That, along with the often cheeky opulence of her work, is likely how she managed to charm couture-house and venue managers in Paris, a notoriously inhospitable city, into giving her such extraordinary access to clothes and backdrops for Haute Couture. One shot from the book, taken in the kitchen of the Plaza Athénée Hotel, shows a model in a Dior dress (its hem pooling dramatically on the tiled kitchen floor) and a Stephen Jones lobster hat pulling a live version of the clawed creature from a steaming silver pot. "I pre-ordered lobsters from the hotel for the shoot but they weren't there, so I sent my stylist out into the streets to find a lobster," she laughs.
The book also has more than a few nods to Horst, such as an image of a dark-haired model lounging in the same chair in Coco Chanel's rue Cambon atelier that Chanel sat in for Horst's famous 1937 shot. Typical of her chutzpah, Naundorf looked up the elderly Horst's number in the New York City phone book when she was still a twentysomething in Germany and called him. "I told him I was from his hometown," she says, "and that was destiny. He told me to come to New York." So she did, for a spell. Naundorf never worked with Horst, who died in 1999 at 93, but she ended up talking with him on the phone nearly every day for years. "He'd give me advice, always so well-dressed and full of old-fashioned manners," she says. "He started as a painter, too."
To look at their work alongside each other's makes clear what Naundorf, despite her unique processing style, learned from him. She says it best herself. "It's the lighting, the drama," she says. "It's called zwielichtin in German, the play of light. If you could see the way the light comes through the leaves in Weissenfels, you'd see where we both get it from."