Bring back some good or bad memories


April 27, 2012

Good Morning Vietnam: Kate Moss by Bruce Weber for Vogue US, June 1996

Bruce Weber writes about the editorial “Good Morning Vietnam” on Vogue US, June 1996:

“The huge crate arrived in Saigon. It looked like it was built for a pygmy elephant, but in it was a John Galliano dress from Paris. Photographing in Vietnam is a challenge to begin with, let alone carrying around a dress the size of a John Deere tractor. Fortunately, we never lost that dress, but the idea of looking for an elder Vietnamese man with a beard to be photographed with Kate Moss became my obsession.

“As soon as we arrived in Saigon, we started looking for him. I saw hundreds of motor scooters all around. Some of these tiny scooters held families of three or more, carrying a plate-glass window, or a mattress. It looked like everyone was waiting for an accident to happen. Yet, in a van with seats covered in white cotton and embroidered with flowers, Chris and Terry Lawrence – our forever faithful production team – would serve us hot tea and Pringles chips as I stared out the window looking and praying for the older Vietnamese man to pass by on a bicycle.

“On our second day, we went to The Sunshine School, founded by Christina Noble, an Irishwoman who wrote a book called Bridge Across My Sorrows. She rescued orphaned children from the streets, gave them medical care and clothes them. It was wonderful to watch Kate, Brana Wolf – the Vogue editor – and my crew playing with the kids. I took a lot of pictures, and I think that was the day that I fell in love with photographing Kate.

“Finally, on our last day, the crate was opened in a field north of Saigon. It was in the middle of nowhere and reminded me of our ranch in Montana. Brana, Nan, Kim (our guide) and Terry unpacked the dress, which was so huge that it needed all of them to carry it and dress Kate. The sun was about to go behind a grove of trees, when all of a sudden this elderly Vietnamese farmer with a white beard, dressed in his pajamas (which incidentally matched Kate’s dress), walked toward us from out of nowhere. Kim politely asked him where he was going, and he calmly said that he was ‘walking across this field to say goodnight to my grandchildren.’ She then asked him if he would mind posing with Kate, and he bowed his head in an elegant gesture. His grandchildren came out in the field and couldn’t imagine their grandfather being photographed in his pajamas with this beautiful young girl. He left us just like he came, just disappearing into the softness of the evening.”



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