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‘The Red Flame’ by Karen Elson: The life of a redhead supermodel

‘The Red Flame’ by Karen Elson: The life of a redhead supermodel

We could go on for hours about how redheads are often the artist’s muse, but this time, the muse gets to talk.

That’s what Karen Elson, world-renowned redhead supermodel, wants to do. Her new book, The Red Flame, collates and showcases her life and career, from her Vogue Italia cover at age 18, to advocating for model rights in the workplace, and even her music work and release of two albums.

© The Red Flame by Karen Elson, Rizzoli New York, 2020

Unsurprisingly, The Red Flame is packed with heaps of photos of Elson from her modelling shoots and beyond, 150 of them, in fact.

But it’s not just a photo book of beautiful pictures. Elson herself takes to the pages to talk about what it was like to work as a model since the Nineties, detailing everything, warts and all. That’s because, while the book was pitched as a photo book of Elson over the decades, she wanted there to be more to it than that. It’s not just walking runways for the likes of Chanel, Valentino, and Gucci.

The book offers a window into the modelling world that isn’t often portrayed. As publisher Rizzoli says: “Exquisitely written, this tome details her childhood in a gritty industrial town in Northern England and her rise to fame as one of fashion’s most unique faces to her evolution as a singer-songwriter and her thoughts on body image and the state of fashion up until the present day.”

The Red Flame contains recognisable images from the likes of Annie Leibovitz and Craig McDean, with contributions by Tim Walker and Grace Coddington, the redhead queen herself.

You can get yourself a copy of Karen Elson’s The Red Flame from Amazon and Waterstones in the UK, and from Barnes & Noble and Amazon in the US.

By Emma


Emma Kelly is the Editor & Founder of Ginger Parrot. She dresses herself in mismatched multi-seasonal clothing and has a talent for sniffing out the next opportunity for coffee. She believes that any new band with a female musician is the next big thing and that whoever is currently dating Ryan Gosling is the luckiest lady on earth. Her biggest obsession is shopping online for castles, (probably) fueled by childish fantasies of finding her prince and settling down for a life of luxury, bathing in a pool of gin and bitter lemon. Other than that, though, she’ll be incessantly researching the latest gingerful news to deliver to Gingerkind.