Patrick Demarchelier

July 26th, 2007 by Larry Smith

By Molly Crabapple

Until I saw Billy’s studio, I never suspected his highfalutin connections. But when I exited the service elevator to see a sweeping Chelsea loft, bedecked with blown up Zink covers and cardboard Cindy Crawfords striding off to some invisible tomorrow, I began to suspect there was more to Billy than met the eye. A short, dour Japanese man, Billy led me over to the mini-bar and opened his portfolio. I immediately lost my head around the folds and swirls of cooters, a veritable Sahara of black and white, three-foot high cunts. I doubt my boyfriend could pick mine out from the pile.

“Billy,” I asked, catching a breather from the Georgia O’Keefe action, “is this your loft”

“No. P’s.”

I gazed around at the magazine covers, books of the collected works of Patrick Demarchelier, the 20-foot soft boxes and the probable $20,000 rent, and realized that I was in the great fashion photographer’s studio.

Then Billy led me over to the bed.

PatrickD.gifA self-designed vagina photographing bed sounds gynological. It really isn’t. Rather, resplendent in red velvet, I lay back with my knees parted. Billy had also built a miraculous camera, with huge bellows and two feet pieces of film. Were my position less clinical, I would have felt like I was posing for Man Ray.

As it was, I took a deep breath. I contemplated my education. Then, I said the only thing worth saying. “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

A flash of light. I’m immortal.

I don’t model any more. I’m a bourgeois illustrator and email jockey, and I refer to my posing days with a bit of a sneer.

But sometimes, if I’m in a swank club, or surrounded by some Manhattan media vultures, I want a little bit of glamour. In that case, I just tell them I was photographed in PM’s studio.

I just don’t reveal what part of me was shot.

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.