Rebecca Pignatelli is one of those genuine, warm and beautiful souls. She also happens to look like a modern version of an ancient Greek goddess, which doesn't hurt. Recently picked up by 25 Model Management, she is only just embarking on her modelling career after years of loving praise from her equally beautiful older sisters, Ilaria and Beatrice. Having attended the same secondary school, we've known each other for a long time. I saw her excel at netball, playing with teammates who had several years on her. She's had the finest education and I know, through years of brief catch ups and her sisters' examples, that she intends to make the most of it. I'm also aware of her reluctance regarding her looks. Although she accepted them graciously, complements seemed to always go over her head. This was confirmed to me by her agent, who got quite a workout when she tried to scout Rebecca by chasing her through a department store! Now, Rebecca is willing to give modelling a go. But she is not obsessive about this industry. When I told her she reminded me of the '90s glamazonians, (the women whose somewhat healthier approach to body image and business branding helped them coin the term 'super model'), she seemed genuinely pleased. A girl of Italian and Polish descent, she has no intention of squeezing herself into any type of box.
I met with the 18-year-old model on the Suspension Bridge for a portfolio shoot. It was pre-dawn, cold and threateningly misty. She showed up in good spirits, never once complaining. We got her ready in a nearby public loo (the glamour of the fashion industry never seizes to amaze me), where she confessed she knew next to nothing about makeup. Like me. I remember praying that the sun would rise soon, as forecasted, to shine a golden light on her cheekbones - with the help of some coconut oil. We arranged her adventurer-on-a-sojourn get-up and headed out to greet the warm glow of morning light. The golden hour blessed us with its presence. Here's what came of it.
Photographer: Patricia Ekall
Model: Rebecca Pignatelli