“So what are you going to call me?” probes Angie as I’m setting up our shoot at her Brooklyn Heights apartment. Good question. I knew Angie Schmidt when she started modeling in New York in 2000. She was a young girl from South Africa who looked a lot like Rosanna Arquette. She had that seventies thing going on, with her wispy bangs, flared jeans and elfin frame. Ten years later, Angie still evokes that same feeling. But rather than staging a come-back as a model – she walked the Marc Jacobs show this season – she’s gearing up to be a full-time photographer. “I started taking pictures when I was 19 but fought the urge to pursue it while I was modeling. I realize now that being a model was actually the best education for it,” she thinks back. “I’m still discovering my own style, shooting on film as often as possible. I like to shoot honest portraits, nudes, youths, a little voyeuristic, and dreamlike in mood. I shoot my husband alot, in his skivvies; he’s been my muse this past year.” Her website is just about done, folks. She’s just waiting for the right moment to launch it… So I guess I will call her an artist for now.
The third floor apartment is tiny, but not surprisingly, beyond cute. The rooms are sunny and the walls painted white. Angie is the perfect host. She serves gluten free macaroons and organic juice, has her favorite itunes playlist going, and entertains me with indulgent but never overbearing conversation. We talk about kids and dogs and David Lynch and snakes and skydiving, while her husband, Jacques Naude, also a South African model, quietly sits back and well, mostly gets shooed out of the picture. Jacques’s been summoned to take behind the scenes shots of us for fashionista.com. You can find the story here.
Angie is not the kind of person to leave things to coincidence. The outfits she chooses to show me, are carefully put together, consistent with the image she has been feeling most comfortable with lately. “This summer Jane Birkin was my inspiration, but I also love Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, and basically all old Woody Allen movies. I am really enjoying being a more grownup woman nowadays, but never let that reflect anything too serious in my dressing…” Even days after our shoot, she sent me numerous e-mails with comments and reveries about her style, inspiration and vintage collection and more pictures of pieces she felt she overlooked. “I can’t believe I forgot to show you my wedding dress! There was just noway a new dress would have looked right on me. It was 4 pieces I found at New York vintage in Chelsea. The skirt was turn of the century lace and the bustier was from the 40’s. Very lingerie in style. The whole thing was nearly transparent with a cage underneath.” Sigh…
“Especially this last year I have found so much inspiration from my mother’s personal style. Some of her things, now mine, have been more precious to me than my vintage Alaia or Jean Paul Gaultier 80’s wear. To know the stories behind some of her clothes adds a lot of inspiration too. Being that I have lived so far from my home in South Africa for the past 12 years it’s nice to have her influence as I’m getting dressed in the morning.”