MODEL DIARIES

How a Dior Model Spent a Day in the Desert for the Georgia O’Keeffe-Inspired Cruise 2018 Show

Zuzu Tadeushuk, the 19-year-old model and artist whose credits include regular appearances for Valentino, Chanel, and Isabel Marant, takes you through a day in the desert with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior.


Photo by Myles Pettengill.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, a group of models, including Lex Herl, Mayka Merino, Amanda Googe, Maartje Verhoef, and Zuzu Tadeushuk, departed Los Angeles and headed for the hills—the Calabasas hills, to be precise. An hour later, they arrived at their destination, a series of tents pitched in the middle of the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, a dusty desert region populated primarily by rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and the odd tarantula—and, for today, at least, by supermodels, stylists, makeup artists, and one Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Christian Dior.

Model Zuzu Tadeushuk Sketched the Southwest-Inspired Dior “Sauvage” Cruise 2018 Show

The Location: Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve. Home to large spiders, rattle snakes, and, for one day, a whole lot of models.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

My seat-mate en route to Los Angeles.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

My roommate Amanda Googe at the Andaz Hotel in Los Angeles.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Amanda again, in the Dior shuttle to the show venue.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Sketching at the makeup station.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Self-portrait with hairnet, courtesy of Guido Palau.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Girls, waiting.

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Detail of Earring from Look 36, my outfit. Dressing begins and then… Show time.

Zuzu Tadeushuk
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That evening, the models would step onto the runway to show Dior’s Cruise 2018 collection, whose inspirations ranged from Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams to cave paintings discovered in Lascaux, France, dating as far back as 20,000 years ago. For now, though, Tadeushuk and her peers contented themselves with lounging in lawn chairs in the shade of the tents and venturing out into the sand dunes to explore and to shoot the season’s lookbook.

Each look came topped with a wide-brimmed hat, shielding the models from the Calabasas sun. It was hot, with forecasts in the high-seventies. Men stood sentry with clubs, protecting the models against rattlesnakes; while Tadeushuk didn’t seen any herself, a handful of her fellow models reported hearing rattles in the weeds. She chatted in Spanish with Merino—“I like to practice when I have a victim to practice on,” she said—and explored with Googe.

“It felt like we were having a barbecue,” Tadeushuk said of the afternoon’s relaxed west-coast vibe when we spoke the next morning. It was 5 a.m. in Los Angeles and she was about to board a flight to the next job, a shoot for Everlane in San Francisco.

Thursday’s show was her third for Dior—she was fresh off last month’s Tokyo couture show—and her first resort runway for the brand. “Everyone was excited,” she added. “It’s great to do a show outside of fashion week because you don’t have the stress and the sleeplessness of a month behind you.”

“Road Kill on the Way to Coffee,” Zuzu Tadeushuk

Tadeushuk, 19, is also an avid journaler, artist, and writer. A devotee of both Virginia Woolf and Frida Kahlo, she can often be spotted passing the time backstage documenting her surroundings in a notebook through words and illustrations. (At Dior Cruise, she also finished a term paper for a college literature class she was taking back home in upstate New York.)

Her blog, Mind the Gap, is her “official journal,” a document of her gap year—now turned gap-two-years—between high school and whatever comes next. She has been sketching and painting since “longer ago than I can remember,” she said, and while she plans eventually to become a writer, modeling has provided the opportunity to travel the world and earn money while she documents every step of the way.

“I don’t draw to create beautiful, glorified things. I draw to memorialize cups of coffee and sunshine in windows,” she said. “It’s kind of another form of journaling to be like, ‘This is where I am.’”

Her Instagram, too, is filled with these small moments: Cafés where she’s perched at her laptop, finishing her homework and sipping espresso, late nights at hotels, books she’s reading (she just finished The Handmaid’s Tale), and the occasional backstage or runway shot.

An excerpt from Zuzu Tadeushuk's journal.

The painterly setting of the Dior Cruise show proved especially striking for Tadeushuk’s artist’s eye, and after the show, she shared a few images she had documented en route to Los Angeles and backstage at the show, a blend of line drawings accented with vivid watercolor.

“I took a ton of pictures of the gorgeous hills with the blended grasses of yellow and green,” she recalled. “There was a stunning blue sky, which I want to do a watercolor of on my flight.”

The show began just as the sun was setting on Thursday evening. Set against a backdrop of hot air balloons, the stark desert hills, and an illuminated “Dior Sauvage” sign that recalled the landmark “Hollywood” sign just outside Los Angeles, the runway was a simple circle, models looping around a tent where Rihanna, Charlize Theron, Kate Bosworth, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Laura Dern took it all in.

Step Aside, Yeezy: With Christian Dior’s Cruise 2018 Show, Maria Grazia Chiuri Is Now Running the Calabasas Terrain

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.v

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

MYLES PETTENGILL PHOTOGRAPHY

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.

Inside Christian Dior’s 2018 Cruise show in the Santa Monica Mountains of Calabasas, California.

Photo by Myles Pettengill.
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After the looks—84 in all, including Tadeushuk in a red, yellow, and black crocheted dress—had circled the runway and designer Chiuri took her bow, the campsite evolved into a party. Food trucks doled out everything from salads and tacos to ice cream; Solange played a live set. (Tadeushuk, previously unfamiliar with her music, got quite the introduction, taking a photo with the singer after her performance.)

The next morning, I asked her what stood out the most from the previous day’s adventure. “Just, everything,” she told me. “The fitting of the clothes with the scene was just so perfect and beautiful.”

She paused.

“The hats made it all come together.”

Up Close & Personal: Kate Bosworth Photographed by Husband Michael Polish

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “For Your Eyes Only.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “Mouth by Mario.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “Skin palette, testing lip colors.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “Painting the picture.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “A finishing touch, my favorite scent is Gypsy Water by Byredo.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “DIY manicure. I love Essie’s blush polishes.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “In process…it’s tactical.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “Octopus!”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “Sin-a-Bun by Bridget.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “Accessories!”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “These shoes are divine. J’adore Dior.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “My beautiful stepdaughter, Jasper. This was her first fashion show.”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “The last detail…”

Photo by Michael Polish.

Kate Bosworth writes from Santa Monica as she prepared for the Dior Cruise 2018 fashion show in Calabasas: “…ready for the show!”

Photo by Michael Polish.
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