21 Apr 2014

Veruschka Who?

What comes to mind when you hear the name Veruschka? A German Veruca Salt. 

This was exactly what I was thinking when my lecturer was desperately trying to convince our blank faces that she is real. I thought he was going to cry when he realised we had never heard of his favourite model from the 60s. Although he must not be the only person due to Somerset House exhibiting a small collection of Johnny Moncada's photographs focusing on her.

So inevitably we followed our lecturer and went to visit this exhibition; From Vera to Veruschka, The Unseen Photographs by Johnny Moncada.

In the smallest corner of Somerset House there are two white rooms exhibiting a series of an elegant girl. I have to admit I was expecting more but it was still educating to learn about the 60s lifestyle. 

One of my trails of thought during this trip was why change your name from Vera to Veruschka? Veruschka did not seem like an appealing name to me and I often pictured scenes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory playing in a German accent when thinking of the name. Maybe she wanted to emphasis her Russian roots in the western fashion world, we will never know. However while writing this post I came to like the name Veruska, it has an edge unlike Vera, which sounds like a name my Grandma would have. I did not realise, until using faithful google, Veruschka is simply Russian for Vera. 

Our next project after touring the exhibition was to ask other visitors about Veruschka. This however was harder than it seemed. Maybe it was the hot sun or England's attitude to students armed with cameras but no fellow visitor knew who Veruschka was either. After seven attempts of approaching different pairs we gave up and went for ice cream.

 Approaching People in Somerset House

A Top Tip I Learnt Today: Somerset House is a good spot for people watching.


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