Iconic Spotlight : Apollonia Van Ravenstein
The 12th August marks the birthday of Dutch fashion model Apollonia Van Ravenstein.
Parkinson photographed Apollonia on many occasions, and one of their most iconic collaborations was this trip to Bird Island, Seychelles for British Vogue’s December 1971 issue. Apollonia wears a dress by Mrs Caswell for Angela at Rosie Nice, Kensington Antique Market with a Herbert Johnson straw hat and jewellery by Adrien Mann.
A text in Vogue by Georgina Howell narrates the photographs from Apollonia’s perspective. On Thursday, 2nd December 1971, it reads: “After a pleasant journey of a few hours, a small rocky island appeared on the horizon, which we approached and made fast to. What I first took to be a thick carpeting of white plants proved to be a covering of many thousands of birds creeping about like quadrupeds. The sailors bid me go alone on the shore, where I walked slowly about among them until, raising my arm sharply in the air, I sent them into a fury of motion and sound.”
Apollonia Van Ravenstein began her career aged 15 posing for a tights collection in the Netherlands. Shortly after, Van Ravenstein’s brother Theo made her an appointment with the Amsterdam-based model agency of Corine Rottshäfer (b. 1938). Van Ravenstein shot to fame as a cover model, and travelled to Paris and New York, signing an exclusive contract with American Vogue in 1972. Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon were among the photographers Van Ravenstein collaborated with, including Andy Warhol.
Van Ravenstein also acted in the 1980s, playing a small role in Anton Corbijn’s 1986 music video ‘Golden Earrings Quiet Eyes’, as well as the films ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ (1984), ’Flodder’ (1986) and ‘Seraphita’s Diary’ (1980). After retiring from modelling, Van Ravenstein has been sailing and acting as hostess on luxury cruise board ships of the Holland America line since the late 1990s.
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