arthur elgort


In the autumn of 1993, celebrated fashion photographer Arthur Elgort accompanied stylist Grace Coddington and supermodel Linda Evangelista down the Li River in Guangxi, China, for a five-day shoot in mountainous terrain. An acrobat was hired to stand on a local Chinese guide’s makeshift raft next to the then 28-year-old Evangelista.

“We wanted to show the mountains in China because they are spectacular. It was a special image because we had a guy there who was kind of an acrobat, but he couldn’t do it – he couldn’t stand up on the raft. Grace (Coddington) was devastated when she found out that standing up on this boat couldn’t be done. Linda was getting dressed and Grace was going, ‘What am I going to do? This picture is so important to me. We need to take it.’ Linda said, ‘Don’t worry Grace, as long as you get me a double page, I’m going to do it.’ The acrobat said it couldn’t be done because she’d fall in the water – he said, ‘You know it’s like a tightrope?’ If you look at the picture, the raft is not very wide.

Linda said, ‘I can do that easy, if it’s a double page. I won’t do it if it’s a single page.’ So we said, ‘Okay, Linda, it’s a double page – we promise you.’ Linda did it easily and everybody was like, ‘How did you do that, Linda?’ She said, ‘With a double page you can do anything!’ I thought that was so funny. - Arthur Elgort