Jerry Hall, first generation supermodel

4 Nov

Watching photographs of Jerry Hall in the book Antonio Lopez: Art, Sex & Disco a memory popped in my head: when I was fifteen, I covered my bedroom with her magazine covers and fashion pictures. Those days Jerry was the it girl. After a while I’d gathered lots of pictures in which the main colour was blue (blue sky, blue bathing suit, blue dress or blue eye make-up) and I decorated a whole wall with them. (I was already a very stylish girl) The Vogue cover underneath was in the centre of my ‘Blue Jerry Hall Wall’. I assume Jerry Hall was my first muse….

Jerry Faye Hall and her twin sister Terry were born on July 2, 1956 in Gonzales, Texas. Still young she attended the Kim Dawson Modeling Agency and at sixteen, she used the insurance money she received following a car accident, to move to France (with a suitcase full of Frederick’s Of Hollywood knockoffs made by her mum).

Jerry was staying at the French Riviera, when she was discovered sunbathing on a Saint Tropez beach by fashion agent Claude Haddad. Soon she moved to Paris where she shared an appartement with Grace Jones, who was also pursuing a modeling career. Together Jerry and Grace immersed themselves in the Parisian nightlife, often performing risqué cabaret acts in clubs and at parties. In famous Club Sept Jerry mesmerized fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez , who immediately started working with her.

 
 

To Antonio Lopez, Jerry was the personification of his illustrations and with the changes he made in her appearance, she became the model everybody wanted to work with. It wasn’t the first time, Antonio had discovered and transformed a girl into a sought-after model. Jerry moved in with Antonio. She fell in love with him and because he didn’t want to lose her to another illustrator or photographer they got engaged. They were the couple everybody wanted to be acquainted with. The engagement only lasted  a few months.

Jerry Hall’s first fashion show was Yves Saint Laurent at which she wore his famous tuxedo and her first photographer was Helmut Newton. Her modeling career took off instantly. At nineteen she appeared on the cover of Roxy Music’s album Siren. Five months later, lead singer Bryan Ferry gave her an engagement ring, Jerry was 19 and Bryan Ferry 30She also appeared in the video for his solo hit ‘Let’s Stick Together’. By 1977 Jerry had been on forty magazine covers including Italian Vogue and made thousands of dollars a week. She was the face of Yves saint Laurent Opium perfume and Revlon cosmetics.

Jerry Hall and Bryan Ferry were the coolest couple in London and invited everywhere, including to dinner by Mick Jagger. Bryan saw that Mick was smitten with Jerry and at the end of the evening Mick brushed his leg next to hers. “I felt an electric jolt!”, Jerry remembers. Mick Jagger began turning up regularly at the home Jerry and Bryan shared. One night, while Bryan was on tour, Jerry was seated between Jagger and Warren Beatty at a dinner in New York City. “It was May 21, 1977… We would celebrate that day for the next 23 years”, Jerry wrote in her biography. They began an affair.

When Bryan Ferry’s tour ended later that summer, he took Jerry with him to Los Angeles, but Jagger was relentless. When Jerry saw Mick again in Paris, she knew she wanted to be with him. Not much later Jerry and Bryan Ferry ended things and she was free to move in with Jagger. She tried not to worry about the small detail that Mick was technically married to Bianca. On a David Letterman show she famously said:”My mother taught me, the way to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I said I’d hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit myself.”

Jerry and Mick became regulars at their favorite nightspot Studio 54. “It was wonderful. You’d see Martha Graham, Rudolf Nureyev, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Elisabeth Taylor’.

The couple finally married on Bali, Indonesia, and had four children. For many years Jerry was plagued with doubts about the relationship, “Mick was a dangerous sexual predator and I felt very unsure of him. I had weaned him off drugs, but they had been replaced by sex… By the time we had children, I would read about Mick’s dalliances in the newspapers.” Two years after the birth of their fourth child, Brazilian model Luciana Morad announced she was pregnant by Mick, Jerry filed for divorce. Mick claimed their Hindu beach wedding wasn’t valid under English law. The relationship ended after 23 years.

Through all ups and downs, Jerry’s career stayed on track. She walked countless catwalks, worked with most famous photographers and became a muse for Thierry Mugler and Vivienne Westwood. Her signature style was all over the spring 2011 collections. Her youngest daughter Georgia May has followed in her footsteps and although Jerry herself is more focussed on acting the last decade, she still appears on the cover and in fashion stories of magazines. Jerry Hall went from supermodel to icon.
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Jerry Hall, The Supermodel

       (I don’t like ‘models with meat’, but this picture is from 1974 and therefore revolutionary)
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Jerry Hall  The Icon

Marc Jacobs was inspired by the Jerry Hall-look for his S/S collection 2011

Steven Meisel was inspired by Jerry Hall & Antonio Lopez for the ‘High Gloss’ story in Vogue Italia december 2012

cover Vogue Italia by Steven Meisel

Vogue Italia

vogue italia

 Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

Vogue Italia

Vogue italia

I end this post with a picture that could have been part of my Blue Jerry Hall Wall’……

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