80-somethings in Berlin fashion shoot
Jess Smee in Berlin
Thursday November 16, 2006
Perched elegantly on the edge of a linen-covered table, the model clasps a lighter in her gloved hands, which she holds up casually to her unlit cigarette.
At first glance it looks like a typical fashion shot. However, this is no size 0 but one of a number of models mostly in their 80s and all talent-spotted at a daycare centre.
The image is part of an exhibition by German fashion photographer Esther Haase titled Rare Moments of Truth.
"Beauty isn't just the preserve of the thin and the young," the 40-year-old photographer told the Guardian. "I see my works as a homage to age."
The models are clothed by students at Vivienne Westwood's Berlin fashion school. The project, which started 12 years ago, has become an annual event, and every year Haase's photos are published in a calendar. Ms Haase says many of the elderly men and women she approaches to model are initially sceptical, but, "after taking part, they are often really keen to model again".
Model Paul Kukuk, who in real life can hardly walk, is pictured standing in a stairwell wearing a sharp suit and a cowboy hat, surrounded by younger models. The label reads: "I may lay my false teeth on my bedside table at night, but I don't want to give up my style."