FASHION / On the Eve

FOR THOSE supermodel-spotters who are by now feeling rather tired of the winsome sweetness of Kate Moss, here's the antidote. Eve Salvail (pronounced Evv) is the 22-year-old French Canadian model who for the past two years, since she shaved her head and had her scalp tattooed, has been making them sit up on the front row of the international catwalk shows. A Sinead O'Connor among supermodels, she is noted for her beautiful-aggressive looks and a cavalier attitude to modelling agencies, which she changes with careless regularity. In fact, she says, she doesn't want an agency, just a manager, preferably her friend and companion Pina Rizzi, from whom she's rarely separated.

She started modelling in Canada after winning a competition in 1989, but it wasn't until 1992 that her career began to take off in Europe, after she modelled first for Jean-Paul Gaultier, and then for Rifat Ozbek, who has used her in his shows since. She's worked with the high-rollers of fashion advertising: Bruce Weber for Versace, Jean-Baptiste Mondino for Gaultier. She has, in the line of duty, alternately grown her hair, dyed it blonde, red, blue for the American collections last year. She stomped out of the Prada catwalk show in Milan 10 minutes before it started because they insisted she wear a wig. But the signature tattoo will disappear the moment she allows her hair to grow. She is, she says firmly, in modelling for the money. She hates the idea of being looked at in the street. 'I hate the idea of being famous.'

But famous she is undoubtedly going to be. She has just finished two and a half months working on Robert Altman's film about the fashion business, Pret-a-Porter - one of the few people privileged to play themselves. She has little respect or envy for the life of a supermodel and sees nothing to learn from the Cindy Crawford school of superhype. This is not a model who will end up with her own exercise video.

(Photographs omitted)

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