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Natalia Vodianova

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pautinka, thank you so much dear, I've never seen any of them before! :)

Below is the article form NYT (the photos got taken out but they were the ones where she is in chiffon dress with a gentleman hat and you can see at the bottom the photo captions).


20's Something

By William Norwich

Published: Sunday, March 28, 2004

As they say in fashionspeak, the vibe these days is all ''about'' the 1920's. And why not?

In the 1920's, conservatives were worried about everything from Bolsheviks to bobbed hair to barelegged rebels destroying the polite social order. In the year 2004, conservatives are still getting their knickers in a twist over rebels and body parts.

Only yesterday they were prohibiting alcohol. Today's Prohibition would censor whom you can love, honor and obey -- and don't even think of smoking a cigarette afterward.

Having fun is starting to look a lot like civil disobedience. And the smoking ban in New York restaurants and clubs has provided a boon for private entertaining. So it seems only logical -- well, at least from a fashion point of view -- that parties with a 20's theme have become the rage. In London, Kate Moss recently celebrated her 30th birthday with a movable feast inspired, in theme, by ''The Beautiful and Damned,'' by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Closer to home, the model Natalia Vodianova and her husband, Justin Portman, a British aristocrat, gave a small dinner with a rollicking 20's feeling at their loft in downtown Manhattan.

The gentlemen who attended the party wore black tie, or a reasonable facsimile. The women, who included Natalia's modeling-world cohorts Frankie Rayder and Mariacarla Boscono, merrily vamped in samples from the current collections. Call the looks ''interpretive flapper.''

As she would be the first to tell you, it was not a typical night chez Portman. Usually Natalia does the cooking and prepares her more down-home crowd pleaser, a chicken-and-cabbage concoction -- part soup, part elixir -- from a recipe she perfected when she was growing up in Russia.

However, when the Portmans decided on a 1920's theme for their party, they sought the catering expertise of Hank Thomashevski, who in turn consulted the pages of ''Fashionable Food,'' a cookbook by Sylvia Lovegren that describes 20th-century food fads by the decade.

''Nineteen-twenties food was pretty and feminine,'' Thomashevski explained. ''Very clean cuisine, plus there were a lot of cold salads and Jell-O molds because refrigeration was then the new big thing.''

The Portmans' dinner buffet, laden with 20's favorites, included lobster thermidor and waterlily, Caesar and gelatin salads, along with éclairs and a Lady Baltimore cake for dessert. For drinks, there was a Buck's Fizz cocktail, Perrier Jouët Champagne and a bathtub of New York City's finest tap water pretending to be gin.

Prohibition changed not only what Americans drank, or didn't drink, but also how we socialized. From the drinks themselves to drinking mates, a new mix emerged in the various speakeasies and bohemian groves that sprouted outlaw style the way raves happen now. Until Prohibition, purists would rarely if ever dilute their whiskey, wine or after-dinner liquor with any ingredient. Even ice was suspicious. But 1920's bootleg gin and assorted other rotgut tasted as bad as it sounds. Mixers were essential. Although linguists debate the derivation of the word ''cocktail,'' some believe it comes from the cocktailed horse, a horse with a tail docked. Wherever ''cocktail'' comes from, members of the old guard were nonetheless appalled by the concept -- until they had one or three -- and considered the mixed drink a symptom of civilization in decline, the end of the purebred anything, be it a person, a horse or an entire nation.

''Lucas is our cocktail,'' Justin said dryly, proudly holding the couple's 2-year-old son.

Natalia, 22, and Justin, 35, could not come from more different backgrounds. Justin is the son of a wealthy British viscount. Natalia sold fruit to support her family in her native Nizhniy Novgorod, a bleak place formerly known as Gorky, in what was then the Soviet Union. At 17, alone and almost penniless, she went to Paris to try her luck as a model. Good fortune -- indeed, hers and the fashion world's -- came swiftly, and she is now under exclusive contract to Calvin Klein.

Natalia and Justin met while dining with mutual friends in a Paris restaurant. They were married two years ago in St. Vladimir's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The reception, a seven-course dinner complete with Cossack dancers, was held at the palace of Catherine the Great.

Like all the best It Couples, Natalia and Justin divide their time between many places, including Monte Carlo, London, Russia and New York. Home in New York is their loft, with terra-cotta glazed walls and a bathroom with Alexander Calder drawings. ''I'd been working on making this the ultimate bachelor pad before I met Natalia,'' Justin said. ''Now it is the ultimate marriage pad.''

As the night's party reached fevered pitch, some guests could be found playing table tennis. Lucas was sound asleep, watched over by a nanny; Motown music was blaring; there was dancing to suit any neo-flapper; Natalia was waiting to dive into the éclairs; and Frankie and Mariacarla loudly debated religion in the kitchen.

''There was no Noah's Ark!'' Frankie, from Wisconsin, insisted at full decibel.

Mariacarla responded with a certain gesture from her native Italy that spoke volumes. ''But, Frankie, you've got to believe in something!''

Natalia surveyed her social circus. ''You see, here we are a family. We are a family who gives a party, not a party with a family.'' She smiled. ''And no one is drunk,'' she said, and closed in on an éclair. ''They are just happy.''


2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup water or cranberry juice, boiling

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup ginger ale

1/ 4cup fresh lemon juice or more to taste

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup chopped, peeled fresh pears

1/2 cup chopped, peeled fresh peaches

1/4 cup canned pineapple, drained and crushed

1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped.

1. Place 1/4 cup cold water in a large bowl; sprinkle gelatin on top. Let soak until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in boiling water or cranberry juice; stir until dissolved. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. Add ginger ale, lemon juice and salt; stir. Taste to make sure it is lemony enough; add more juice if needed. Pour into 4-cup mold; refrigerate until just thickened. Stir in fruits and nuts; chill until completely set, for 4 hours or overnight.

2. To serve: dip the bottom and sides of the mold into a bowl of warm water; dry bottom and invert mold onto serving plate. Lift off mold.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.



1 chicken leg


1 small head cabbage (1 pound)

1 medium potato, peeled, cut into small French fries

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled, cut into long shreds on a box grater

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1/4 cup snipped fresh chives

1 cup sour cream.

1. Remove the skin from chicken. Cut at the joint to separate thigh and drumstick. Place in a large stockpot. Add 3 quarts cold water; heat to boiling over medium heat. Simmer, covered, over low heat until the chicken is falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove bones and stir meat to break it into small pieces. Season broth with salt.

2. Heat broth to boiling, skimming off any foam. Cut the cabbage in half through the core; place cut side down on cutting board. Starting at the top, slice crosswise into fine shreds. Add cabbage to the stock; simmer for 5 minutes. Add potato; simmer until almost tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons stock. Cover; cook for 7 to 10 minutes, adding more stock if needed. Stir vegetables and juice into the soup. Add the bay leaf and peppercorns; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in fresh herbs; ladle into bowls and serve with dollops of sour cream.

Yield: about 3 quarts.


6(1 1/2-pound) live lobsters

1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or more to taste

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons Cognac

1 1/2cups heavy cream

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Split lobsters in half lengthwise; discard gritty sac. Crack the claws. Place flesh side up on baking sheet; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Roast lobsters, basting with melted butter, for 10 minutes, until barely cooked through. Remove the lobster meat from shells and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Discard all remaining lobster innards; rinse and dry shells.

2. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat; when butter bubbles, add mushrooms and sauté until the liquid that the mushrooms exude evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add Cognac, heat to boiling and add the cream. Lower heat to simmering.

3. Whisk egg yolks until mixed in a small bowl; whisk in enough hot cream mixture to warm the yolks. Pour the yolk mixture into the cream mixture in the saucepan; heat, whisking, until thickened. (Do not boil.) Add paprika, tarragon and lobster; stir to coat. Taste; season with salt and pepper.

4. Preheat broiler. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Arrange lobster shells, cut side up, in prepared pan. Spoon lobster mixture into shells without overfilling; keep remainder warm. Broil 6 inches from heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Place halves on plates; serve with remaining sauce.

Yield: 6 servings.

Photos: Dressing drink: in a scene out of the 20's, the model Natalia Vodianova relaxes before dinner in a tub of gin (O.K., it's really water) and flowers, looking glamorous in her own sparkling earrings.; Great Gatsby! Justin Portman, Natalia's husband, and their son, Lucas, join the madcap social circus in their downtown loft. Dolce & Gabbana wool suit, $1,895, and John Varvatos bib-front shirt, $225. Suit at Dolce & Gabbana boutiques. Shirt at John Varvatos stores. John Galliano top hat.; ''You know you're a grown-up when you buy your first Viking range,'' Frankie Rayder, left, told Natalia. Frankie wears a Marc Jacobs velvet tank dress with crystal embroidery and chiffon inserts, $7,225. At Marc Jacobs stores. Bergdorf Goodman. Tracy Watts feather headband. On Natalia, Juicy Couture silk pants, $106. At Henri Bendel. Her own Calvin Klein top. Frankie's bracelet and Natalia's necklace, Tiffany & Company.; Flappers for the 21st century: Mariacarla Boscono, left, and Natalia take a dip, while Nathalie Lyon strikes a pose, flanked by Sturt McEwan, left, and Mazdack Rassi. On Mariacarla, Collette Dinnigan dress. At Barneys New York. Natalia wears Dior by John Galliano, $15,385. At selected Dior boutiques. On Nathalie, Temperley flapper dress, $895. At Temperley, 453 Broome Street. Henri Bendel. Manolo Blahnik shoes. All jewelry, Tiffany & Company. Sturt wears a John Galliano jacket, $1,930. At Saks Fifth Avenue. Helmut Lang shirt, $327, and tie. At Helmut Lang, 80 Greene Street. On Mazdack, Ralph Lauren Purple Label blazer, $2,995, shirt, $265, and pants, $450. Blazer at Ralph Lauren. Shirt and pants at Saks Fifth Avenue. Yves Saint Laurent boots.; The 20's feast included, from top, a ginger-ale salad and a Lady Baltimore cake.; Mother and child: Natalia's necklace, Tiffany & Company.; Opposite: the dessert list included a pineapple upside-down cake, which became popular in the 1920's with the availability of canned pineapple.; Fashion assistant: Lindha Jacobsson. Hair by Pasquale Ferrante for Cutler NYC/Redken. Makeup by Ana Marie for Aveda at Kramer + Kramer. Prop styling by Noemi Bonazzi for Marek & Associates. Food prepared by Hank Thomashevski.; Parting shot: from left, Frankie, Natalia, Mariacarla and Nathalie. (Photographs by Ben Watts; Styled by Mimi Lombardo)

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