Home Edizioneed. 11 LUDMILLA VORONKINA

All you need is love

Written by Monica Camozzi
Photos by Luca De Nardo

When you talk to Ludmilla Voronkina, after contemplating the icy beauty that has made her one of the most popular models on the globe, what surprises you is the warmth that emanates from her inner self.

And you understand why Max Vadukul, when he saw her at a casting session for Roberto Cavalli’s Zero Collection shoot, with her soft pride soaring in the sea of other models, said ‘She was different, really different. She had a history and a past; a real strength and I started to photograph her over and over again. In fact, I felt I had found someone who could create strong Vadukul images. I wanted to create an art project with her”.

From that emotional dazzling came the photo-narrative project ‘Through her eyes- Timeless strength’, which brings to life sequences of cinematic images in which the protagonist embodies different women.

Ludmilla moulds herself from time to time into mother, daughter, wife, charmer, worker, processing the entire matrix of moods with the versatility worthy of an actor.

How did Max grasp this chameleonism in you?
Max has developed an extraordinary sensitivity.

Vadukul has photographed exceptional people, from Amy Winehouse to Kennedy to Mother Teresa.

And indeed, on the set he did not look at me as a model but as an eclectic character who could transform from time to time.  Then, listening to my family’s story, he became passionate because he had been nurturing the idea of such a project for some time but had not found the right person with whom to realise it.

How long did it take you to make it?
Six months. I went looking for my family’s archives, we developed the idea as we went deeper into the human and iconographic material. His wife Nicoletta Santoro, who is an important stylist, did the research of clothes that was essential to convey the right perception.

Photography is a more complicated art than filmmaking. The actor has the gift of speech and movement, the photographer has to capture the moment and fix it.

By the way, have you always been comfortable in front of the camera? You started at a very young age, 15…
At that age you approach everything with a good dose of recklessness. I always had my suitcase in my hand, I was in the most different places and sometimes for me it was like a game, an amusement. Then you learn to make it up, you grow up.

What is life like at the top? Does it resemble the real thing or is it a space of its own?
Mah, apart from the perceptions that the fashion world evokes, at the end of the day models are normal people, with the problems of everyone else.

Actually, a model often has an even more critical sense of herself, exactly because she is always placed in front of the archetype of perfection.

I have always worked a lot on myself, I believe that health – even mental health – plays an important role in the manifestation of physical beauty. That’s why I follow a disciplined diet, I exercise early in the morning before going to work.

Have you ever thought of being an actress? Due to this expressive talent of yours
Actually, I would love to. On the set I’m used to giving everything and cinema is an area I would like to try my hand at.

How long have you been in Italy?
I came the first time when I was 16, but I stopped permanently 13 years ago.

Is this where you met your husband, Giovanni Bozzetti? (former councillor for fashion in the Municipality of Milan and Lombardy Region, lecturer and entrepreneur, ed.)
Yes, some mutual friends invited us to dinner and we discovered a shared passion for the Emirates. The funny thing was that we would never stop talking, we would spend entire evenings chatting. We would go to dinner and the restaurant would remind us that it was closing time, because we didn’t realise how many hours had passed.

Six months after our first meeting, he proposed to me and we got married in the middle of the Abu Dhabi desert.

What do you dream of now?
Apart from the cinema, I would like to create a place, a meeting place for all women who are looking for discussion, advice, sharing experiences. On all fronts: work, sport, beauty…

I would like to remind women how incredible, exceptional, chameleonic they are, capable of rising up from any challenge. The woman is and always will be the centre of society as the glue of the family The world now needs love more than ever and I would like to remind you that we women have it within us, as we are called to create life.

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