Fashion from behind the camera lens -- ''Arthur Elgort's Models Manual'' provides a peek into the sexy world of high fashion

By Daneet Steffens
August 19, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

This is the book that Madonna’s Sex should have been: provocative, sexy, and tactilely satisfying to flip through. Part memoir, part tongue-in-cheek how-to, and part ode to models, stylists, and designers, Arthur Elgort’s Models Manual is a deeply hip peek inside the fashion industry. Elgort, 54, has been snapping pix since 1969, and he has crammed hundreds of photos into this 384-page book, along with quotes, recollections, and interviews.

Elgort, who works mainly for Vogue, has seen lots of models come and go. ”Magazines get yellow and thrown away, and [the models] get replaced by new ones,” he says. ”I always [tell them] to save money, take half and hide it away.” Among his favorites: Christy Turlington and Kate Moss (”They say she’s done this terrible thing to American women, and she doesn’t eat… She eats a lot”). These days, however, Elgort doesn’t dine out with many of his subjects. ”I don’t socialize with the models the way I used to,” he says. ”Now I socialize with my 8-year-old.”