It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Paris, but for a certain fashion-shoot crew it’s the calm before the storm. All is quiet on the set-until Irina Lazareanu blows in, that is. Bouncing around like a boxer before a big match, Lazareanu – dressed in a bright red dress-moves more like a modern-jazz dancer than a high-fashion model.
Well-known for her romantic ties to rocker Pete Doherty and her some- times-BFF relationship with Kate Moss, Lazareanu, 26, has stormed countless catwalks and graced the covers of hundreds of fashion glossies, including ELLE Canada. But she’s more than a mere one-note wonder: The girl has a lot more than modelling on her mind.
Born in Romania and raised in Saint-Hubert, Que., Lazareanu moved to London, England, at 13 to study dance. A knee injury ended those dreams, so the then 17-year-old turned to modelling. But the fashion world took little notice until Moss, as guest editor, featured the gamine beauty in French Vogue‘s December 2005 issue.
By the spring 2006 collections, Lazareanu had become a one- name phenom and Dior’s John Galliano had claimed her as his muse. “John and I are neighbours,” she says. “We see each other often. We share the same enthusiasm for things.” Her life sounds glam, but she’s pragmatic about her “It girl” status. “What does that mean-to be an ‘It girl’? I don’t really identify with these role models we’re falling over one minute and forgetting about the next.”
Right now, the only things this supe cares about are playing guitar and penning lyrics. She dreams of becoming the next rebel muse and spends her free time collaborating on songs with Doherty and his band Babyshambles and rock royalty Sean Lennon.
Until music becomes her main gig, she’ll stick to her “day job.” “I know what’s expected and I play along,” she explains. “‘Hey, how’s it going? Kiss- kiss! Call me!’ And then I go back to Paris and spend nights playing guitar over a glass of whiskey.”