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Veruschka, Eyes Up, 1966

Vera Gräfin von Lehndorff-Steinort was born in East Prussia, right at the border of Poland, Germany, and Russia. The young Vera studied art in Hamburg and Florence, began modeling in Paris and Milan, and ultimately went to New York where she created a mysterious backstory and presented herself as Veruschka. Her statuesque figure and dramatic looks endeared her to Diana Vreeland, who gave her carte blanche on exotic Vogue assignments. Veruschka also became famous playing herself in a memorable scene in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up (1966), opposite David Hemmings. In this shot of Veruschka, photographed by Jack Robinson in New York on January 20, 1966, she models a “magnificent collier that flitters like a thousand fireflies” designed by Mimi di Niscemi.