Many times I've tried to figure out exactly WHAT it was about these impossibly beautiful ladies that resonated so well with young women in the '80s & '90s. I've never come up with a satisfying explanation, only a willingness to acknowledge that they were our superstars - particularly from the late '80s through to the mid '90s - those being their glory years 'n all.
They made fashion a spectator sport. We were never going to be able to afford the clothes they draped over their willowy frames, and - for most of them - we probably wouldn't have wanted to if given the opportunity. But these girls sure could rock a leather jacket, motorcycle cap, and unflinching scowl on their annoyingly perfect faces.
So here's my Top 10 (+1) list of '90s fashion models who were so damn good at their job that they earned themselves the distinguished honour of being forever known as super...
1. Linda Evangelista
Linda ruled the catwalk, and was best known for changing her hair colour whenever the mood struck her. The mood struck her often. Effortless glamour.
2. Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford's mole was almost more famous than Cindy. That mole walked for all of the top designers, graced the covers of 100s of magazines, and raked in the wigwams from mega-companies like Pepsi & Revlon. Good work mole.
3. Claudia Schiffer
Most of the supermodels were brunette, but Claudia bucked the trend & vamped up her Brigitte Bardot-esque look to her advantage. Having a clunky walk did nothing to rain on Claudia's catwalk parade, and Revlon & Guess jeans campaigns were career highlights.
4. Christy Turlington
Christy was the face of Maybelline for eons, and probably best known for cheekbones you could slice onions on.
5. Niki Taylor
What are the chances of a SECOND glamazon emerging with a beauty mole in EXACTLY the same spot as Cindy Crawford? The rest of us drew ours on with eyeliner.
6. Helena Christensen
Apart from depressingly exotic good looks, Helena was also known for dating Michael Hutchence for a while, and draping her naked body all over Chris Isaak in the music video for Wicked Game. Helena had wicked game.
7. Naomi Campbell
Alongside Linda & Christy, Naomi was lucky number 3 in a little super group of supermodels, nicknamed The Trinity. Together they were the superest of super. As super as any super could possibly hope to get. The original girl squad.
8. Karen Mulder
The 'other blonde' in the supers pack, Karen spent most of her time swanning down the catwalk with her amazing head of hair following close behind. Versace in particular featured Karen in most of his shows.
9. Kate Moss
Kate Moss was a latecomer to the she-pack, but her impact was one of the biggest. She brought with her a whole new style that quickly took over the fashion industry. I think the word they used was waif. Until Kate, models were buxom, with curves - sure those curves were in all the right places, but they had them nonetheless. Within a few years the whole fashion industry would change. In response, fashion magazines changed tack, and started putting film & music stars on their covers; the supermodel phenomena died out as a result. Now I'm not blaming Kate Moss... but her arrival did flick that first domino over.
10. Yasmeen Ghauri
Yasmeen was the quiet achiever supermodel. We never really found out much about her, but whenever the pics from the runways came out in the magazines, there she always was - front & centre. Another Versace favourite.
+1. Elle Macpherson, Tatjana Patitz, Paulina Porizkova & Stephanie Seymour
But that's +4 Megan! You're cheating! Yes, yes I am. But it's my Top 10 & I reserve the right to make the rules up as I go along.
And thus concludes my first arbitrary Top 10 +1. Now if you'll excuse me, I must away to console myself of my own less-than-super existence with a bread roll & a Tim Tam (or 8).