Well at first, they brought a short dress–strapless with a big great white bow. I looked at it and thought it would have been more appropriate for a younger woman–a 19 or 20-year-old girl. The two ladies that were helping me step into it said ‘This is too small. We can’t pull up the zipper.’ It must have been a size zero, and I was so happy. Then they brought the original dress, and it was just me. It had a neck. The green long sleeves, skirt below the knee, with a peplum in the front. It’s so unusual because I spoke to them when they interviewed me about a peplum, and I didn’t event know that a peplum was in this year! My mother sent me a Singer sewing machine when I was 9 or 10 and I made my first little dress at 10. But then when I was 13, she had this material from Haiti, this white eyelet, and my mother had her friend, a dressmaker, make a two-piece. The top part had a sweetheart neckline with lace, and in the back was a peplum! My mother used to starch and iron it, and it would shoot out. I thought I was the cat’s meow. I was 13 years old. I never forgot that dress. I was thinking of copying it and having it done all over again. When [Elbaz] brought this dress I said, ‘My, chercher la femme!’ He laughed because it was perfect for me. Just perfect.
Did you get to keep it?
I think they should send you one. You’re very serious in the photo…
You know why? I asked them, ‘Should I smile?’ And they didn’t tell me what to do. The young lady that put my hair up in a French knot, she took some spray and started spraying it all around me, and I had allergies. Every time they took a photo, we had to get tissues because my eyes were running. I don’t even use hair spray. It affected my sinuses. In fact, I had lost my voice that night. That was an embarrassment for me. I didn’t know, I figured, when you see top models they aren’t grinning and smiling unless they are on the runway, so I just kept a serious look. They said, ‘You look like you’re mad,’ but I wasn’t, I was just serious. They didn’t instruct me to smile or turn left or turn right. That was it.
So how does it feel to have landed a major high fashion campaign?
Long time coming.
Indeed. Click through to watch Jacquie in action on Advanced Style.