Why Linda Evangelista Will Always Be The Fashion Girl’s Favourite Supermodel

Playing the Versace vixen at the brand’s autumn/winter 1996 show.

Pool ARNAL/PICOT/Getty Images

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There was a different kind of authenticity back then. These women spoke large. Outrageously! Or did they? Because on reflection, what was shocking about that quip, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000”? What if a man had said that? Flush from a fresh stock market deal, bigging up his bonus? Was that the last time women could shout from the rooftops about out-earning other people (namely, men)? Surely that was merely a woman owning her success and career. A woman declaring her financial prowess with agency. Now, that’s a super power. Not least for the cultural currency the line still holds. 

In a period when fashion was framed by scenes from Absolutely Fabulous and Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter, Linda was a character straight out of central casting. But her wit through her candour was always evident. That arched eyebrow, that knowing smile. Watch the finale scenes from the still brilliant Unzipped (Amazon Prime it), the documentary of Isaac Mizrahi’s autumn/winter 1994 winter show, for her mock upset over “Naomi Campbell always getting the heels”. See also her NYC ’90s party look T-shirt emblazoned – in diamanté – with the line that nodded to George Michael’s “Too Funky”: “Do you want me to seduce you?”

And what about that record $7million Clairol deal? There was a palpable sense of thrill over every colour switch. Linda is the reason I spent a good chunk of the ’90s head over the sink with my hands covered in henna. Why I had my hair chopped to an angled bob and spent a tonne on Sun-in (if you know, you know), until I had spritzed enough on to get that vibrant copper tone. 

For those of us watching from the suburbs, Linda was fashion. The looks! The hair! Dating Dale Cooper long before Kyle MacLachlan became Charlotte’s incapable husband! A true fairytale queen in a world where a haircut really could change your life, thank heavens Linda Evangelista is back. 

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