I just finished the book "Thing of Beauty" (which I recommend) It's a great look at a different era. It was sad how many people in her life insisted that she couldn't be gay b/c she was so pretty. It also sounded like her narcissistic mom really did a number on her and made her a raging borderline. It sounded like there was some growth.
Did any of you know any of these characters? I'm particularly fascinated by Way Bandy and some of the photographers.
Also, the book didn't say it, but I get the distinct impression that Patti Hansen was the one who introduced her to heroin.
I was a teenager during this era, and it fascinates me. Who wrote the book Op?
Gia Giudice's heroin habit makes Gia Carangi look like a girl scout.
Stephen Fried wrote the book. He wrote at Philadelphia Magazine at the time. Originally Gia's story was in that mag and in Cosmo too - that is where I first read it. A couple of years later, it became a book. Gia grew up in a burb near Philly. I know some people who went to school around the same time that she did, and some LGBTers who hung out in the bars when she did - namely the DCA. She was by all accounts a nice girl with some serious mommy issues. I don't think Angelina's performance in that cable movie did her any justice.
I agree, I thought Angelina was good in the movie until I read the book. Also Gia was a jillion times more attractive.
Did Gia & Janice Dickinson get along? It seemed like Gia would have been a rival...
once janice hit on gia b/c she "missed her boyfriend" but gia didn't bite
She got hundreds of chances, it's a testament to her beauty. I can't think of any models past or present that are more beautiful. of course nowadays they'd tell her to lose 40lbs.
I knew Gia in passing in 1980s Atlantic City. She was a mess, but certainly not the only one in that very troubled place and time. Gia would sometimes be very friendly and upbeat and other times very dragged out & exhausted...classic addict or bipolar type.
I read the book too, OP. I kept a copy of it, I read it twice.
[quote]Gia Giudice's heroin habit makes Gia Carangi look like a girl scout.
I can just see Milania pulling up on a motorcycle and Gia hopping on while the Bravo cameras film. Teresa would be yelling, "Gia! Come back!!!" and Milania would wisk a despondent Gia to a crack alley in Patterson.
Another observation...while still very pretty, Gia had a masculine edge and a lot of Philly/Jerseyy vibe, which Hollywood Angie did not convey at all.
[quote]Gia had a masculine edge and a lot of Philly/Jerseyy vibe, which Hollywood Angie did not convey at all.
I thought she did so (briefly) when opening the can with a switchblade and kicking in the window
A friend of mine dated one of her enablers/hangers on, a makeup artist who fetched her drugs. He is homeless now and had never had anything interesting to say about her except to rhapsodize about how beautiful she was. She had a large circle of these types--shallow idiots who admired her tragic "edginess."
I liked the Angelina movie (it's actually the only thing I've ever seen her in) but it was clear to me watching it that it had to be an airbrushed fantasy.
Like all models, the real Gia looked pretty identical to every other model of her time and didn't project anything you could call an individual personality. By the nature of their work models have to fade into a sort of appealing anonymity so that the product they're selling is the focus of the image. Angelina is a star, so her personality stands out in a way that's the opposite of how a model works. Being a model is for people who do what they're told, and as the film pointed out Gia (like Kate Moss) partly got on because she was willing to get naked.
I read "Thing of Beauty." Amazingly it was very dull, despite the incredible story it told: trashy little lesbian street becomes a top model and then sytematically destroys her with drugs, eventually dying of AIDS. Fried's writing is uninspiring and his depictions of Gia and her family and lovers and acquaintances have no depth.
Her most important lover was a white trash druggie/criminal from a well-to-do family: Elyssa Golden. Fried was for some reason protective of Golden; in the book he gives her the name "[...] Rosen" and in the epilogue at the end says that she is HIV-negative but has liver cancer. In reality, Golden DID have AIDS (did Gia contract it from HER?) and went on to die of it.
Photographer and personal friend Francesco Scavullo was asked what he thought was the cause of Gia’s death. Taking a moment to think, Scavullo answered, “Lack of love. ”
R21, Don't all models (Cindy Crawford) get naked? Why would that matter?
Cindy Crawford was called "Baby Gia" when she started in the industry. They used to airbrush out that mole. But I think Gia was a million times prettier, except for that last tragic photoshoot.
I worked with aids patients in the mid eighties (pre-meds and all about Marianne Williamson/the healing circle) in NYC. A guy I helped out said he was a former model handler and his job was to get Gia, Patty Hansen and others to their shoots no matter what.
It didn't mean much to me but it was amusing and sad to listen to. It seemed from his story telling that all they did was do massive drugs and get pushed in front of a camera. For what?
Bump! More about Patty Hansen please! I though she was just a party girl; didn't know she was into the hard stuff. I loved the Angelina movie, though I'm certain it glossed over some of the more unseemly details.
Didn't Fried allude to some sexual abuse from her dad?
[quote]I loved the Angelina movie
Why? It was horrible piece of shit. You have spectacularly bad taste.
R27, Don't you think that it's extremely contradictory, heavy duty drug use and modelling (or acting, or singing)? It's as if you're playing Russian Roulette with your looks and talent.
[quote] I thought Angelina was good in the movie until I read the book. Also Gia was a jillion times more attractive
What brought this thread back up? Anyway I don't agree at all. Angelina was way more beautiful than Gia. In fact, Cindy Crawford was more beautiful than Gia - before she ruined her eyes with surgery.
The movie wasn't that good but Angelina's performance was excellent which is why she won every award out there for it.
"Angelina was way more beautiful than Gia"
Not in that movie. When AJ was young she wasn't outstandingly beautiful, something (weight loss and plastic surgery) happened in her late twenties and she blossomed into a real beauty. But when she made "Gia", she was babyfaced and snub-nosed and not supermodel material.
I saw that movie when it came out, and kept thinking "She's not beautiful enough for the role".
R you have spectacularly low esteem. Your comment is completely useless unless your goal to to elevate yourself by trashing an anon poster.
Hey R38 it was me R30 was trashing. I don't give a hoot what people think about my taste! I enjoyed the movie and whomever has a problem with that can take a hike! Thanks for sticking up for me though!
Meanwhile... who has more dirt on the modelling world of the '70s/'80s? Spill!
Her story is a cautionary tale.
Young Janice DIckinson looked alot like Gia.
She's a mess now. But she's like a cockroach - she did a lot of shit too - but somehow survived.
I never understood why Angelina wasn't required to wear brown contact lenses. She didn't look all that much like Gia to begin with, then add the fact that AJ has blue eyes, I guess the director wasn't going for an actress who looked like Gia?
I always thought Cindy Crawford resembled Gia.
A former work acquaintance worked with Gia, he describe Gia as "always stoned, she basically acted as if she didn't want to be there, as if she was annoyed."
A million young women would have killed to be in her shoes, but she was a white trash fuck up with a bad attitude and a bad drug habit.
A questioned a lot in the film, like the part where she gets clean, they starts doing heroin again. She goes to some loading dock where she tries to score, then some dealers who knew her, beat the crap out of her or IIRC, they beat her then raped her and also took her money. Really?
I doubt many drug addicted models were dealing with those types of street drug dealers. Most wealthy people aren't even dealing directly with the drug dealers, they have someone else do that.
Was her gay male friend a real person or was he created just for the film?
Models did heroin so they could starve themselves.
"Models did heroin so they could starve themselves."
Well then they're fulfilling the stereotype of the dumb model because heroin tends to make people fat, until they hit junkie-ville.
Coke is always a better choice for thinning out.
Angelina Jolie would have never been so popular among the gay population if she hadn't be Gia Carangi in 'Gia'. She owes a lot to Gia's personal story. Actually it was 'Gia' that made the difference in Jolie's career. After 'Gia', she managed to play in some really good movies before she retired to the 'superwoman' movies she is for a long time now!
Could you be married to Keith Richards and not partake a little bit?
R30 is Jen Aniston.
please more gia stories
We'll name a whole phone line after you: GIA!!!
Definitely 1 of the most beautiful white women who have modeled. I thought Janice Dickinson was quite pretty before she fucked her face up but when I saw those shoots of her posing with Gia? Gia blew her away. That said Gia seemed like a typical depressed druggie who was very naive and empty outside of posing for pics.
Did anyone see those videos on youtube from the last few years in which Sandy Linter talked about Gia and had on Carol Alt and a photographer?
For someone who says she is straight and seemed annoyed by Gia constantly pursuing her, Sandy has had a lot to say about her in the last 20 years.
Her last Cosmo cover shoot:
She was so drugged out/financially broke, F. Scavullo and W. Bandy helped her out with the referenced Cosmo cover. She was so high, arms massively messed up by needle marks, they had to prop her up and place her arms in the folds of her dress to hide the needle tracks.
The contrast between her final Cosmo cover and the one she did before is stunning. In the first one she's wearing a skimpy bikini and looks healthy and luscious. In the final one she's bloated and wearing a puffy party dress with her arms concealed under the skirt; in no way does she resemble the incredible-looking young woman she was before. Scavullo got her the Cosmo cover out of pity; he was a kind man and he could see she was no longer going to be able to model much longer.
In the pics shown, Gia has an unusual ability to connect with the camera, and to "bring it," even if she does not really feel sexual or at all elegant at that moment.
You bitches are crazy to think AJ didn't play her part well. It made her career.
Before the drugs took over, she really was stunning to look at.
Good Lord! Janice looks nothing like she did in that pic.
Was her plastic surgeon drunk when he worked on her ? There is zero resemblance between then and now.
R57 Sabatini isn't as pretty and has different hair/skin color but some of her features do resemble Carangi.
Gia was very interesting-in full makeup she looked so feminine but without it she just looked like an extremely gorgeous boy. Definitely had lesbian face.
Gia's androgyny had a hot, smoky result. Some models, both male and female, might be androgynous, but the effect is more sterile, less sexy. Gia also looked slightly animalistic, like a panther.
Gia is remembered IMO because of her tragic end.
When I think of great models she doesn't hold a candle to the likes of Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, etc...
I think she is mostly remembered for the movie.
I knew them all. The movie and book were trash. I knew the people who helped make her. Tony V ( died of H over 20 years ago) and Steven Meisel were young and brilliant and considered the taste makers. Believe it or not GIA was considered a model that was considered " ugly beautiful" that sounds crazy given her beauty but after decades of Cheryl Tiegs thin lipped all American girl next door Gia and her ethic look and LIPS was considered a sensation. This moment in time even the ugly girls worked because S.M wanted LIPS and the bigger the better.I was close friends with D Cohen ( hat designer) who knew Gia from the age of 15 in philly. He told me she would not wash her hair in weeks and wore a dirty tee and jeans and when they walked down the street men would stop in shock. Her beauty was something that was unreal. That saying about people who could care less are often the most beautiful is the GIA story to a tee.I was almost the naïve one of the group. I knew little of their drug use. Way B was a major player. Between Steven , Way and Tony Gia became the IT girl overnight. Sadly most all are dead. H, something I thought had been a 60's thing was a major part of many lives. Gia was born at the wrong time. Being Gay tormented her and her family. The stories I could tell..... this was pre aids (late 70's early 80s )and people were fearless. Tony V was one of the most brilliant illustrators of the day and his work is still considered directional.Gia was like a muse. He used her image ....slighty androgynous face Lips symmetry as a model for much of his work. Gia walked like a truck driver. Her few shows ( perry ellis ) were funny in a sad way. Yet she was on the cover of Vogue that season wearing ellis ( pink hand knit sweater I think) Polly M loved her because she was so new and different. In the same way Esme was different a few years earlier for her thick brows . It was a time to love away from the typical ford model norm. Scavullo loved her and his BF sean put her on her final cover, cosmo. She looked terrible. the HIV had already done a number. The story was sanitized. The people then were about talent and newness....now its copying and " branding"
More, R63, more! Am I correct in presuming that you worked in the business? If so, in what capacity? If not, how were you part of that circle?
I didn't know that SM was an established mover in the late 70s and that he had even worked with Gia. I though that he had arrived later.
Did you also know Wilhelmina? The book posits that her death was a huge blow to Gia due to the latter's mommy issues. Do you agree? Do you know what Willie though of Gia?
Was Gia bisexual or exclusively lesbian? I've heard that she was bi, but I've never read anything about her being involved with a man.
Here's a very good documentary from ABC News about Gia, that was from 2001.
"Didn't Fried allude to some sexual abuse from her dad?"
Her mom said that she said (as a child) that he would come into her room at night, but nothing happened; however, one of her AA counselers or buddies said that she said her abused her. I wonder if it was the junk talking, childish fear, or it really happened.
I don't think Gia was that exceptional-looking either, but 1) I've only seen a few pics of her, and 2) what model is? Very few are incontrovertibly beautiful---striking yes, but imo, that's what maKes them appealing.
"I think she is mostly remembered for the movie."
Lol, I agree.
She would be completely forgotten but for the movie and the early death.
I looked at a lot of pictures of her--she's not a great model at the level of, say, a Suzy Parker or a Lauren Hutton.
"I doubt many drug addicted models were dealing with those types of street drug dealers. Most wealthy people aren't even dealing directly with the drug dealers, they have someone else do that."
Please! Addicts (not prescription drugs, but street drugs) usually buy their own drugs. The ritual of getting high becomes so intimate that they only want to be around other druggies or their dealer-patron saint. Having somebody buy your drugs for you is risky because you're left out of the loop; it also takes more time. Theoretically, there's also a possibility that they will run off with your "score," is disconcerting for somebody who's physically dependent on something. It's not like you can pick it up at CVS. Heroin addicts only trust other addicts, for good reason. Who wants to schlep a junkie's drugs? Addicts become increasingly vulnerable as their addiction develops. The real Gia was raped several times as an addict; it would have been surprising if she hadn't been.
I remember her Jan. 1980 Cosmo cover because one of the girls on the dorm floor was into models and she showed it to us and told us how Gia was revolutionary because the covers were usually blonde and blued perky women, not dusky tigresses...
To answer the question I was roommates with Tony V for a year. He was just starting to travel to Paris and I shared his apt on 1st ave. Gia was different. Not to compared but in the vain of Gisele..... Breasts curves and highly sexual to men. The runway models of today are many inches taller than Gia and at least 15 pounds lighter but without makeup a man would not look twice (hetero) Many in real life look like ugly ducklings....skin ,bones and symmetry. Gia was like a goddess thick luxe hair, Lips curves and like an old school goddess. I remember Christy T who is generally known as the face of the century and the camera loves her but in no way even close to the sexuality of Gia. Though there was airbrushing there was nothing like the technology that exists today. She was a bombshell. It was a time that will never be repeated . With the net and hundreds of ways to be exposed for designers models etc none of these existed so its was all about RAW talent and word of mouth. E Ford who just died let many girls stay at her home.They were 16 and in a fast word with no clue. I was 21 and I had no clue so I cant imagine what happened to any of them. If Tony V would have lived he would be one of the biggest stars in the fashion world. Now anyone with a camera and some luck can make it. These people were all under 25, they were just brilliant. I was thrown into a world I did not even comprehend. Sadly I don't think anyone gave a fuck for anyone else....it was all about making magic. If people think things are decadent now they have no clue. It was unreal. To answer the question as far as I know Gia was gay from a young age.. I think she may have slept with men for drugs but I can't say something I don't know. Unlike " baby gia" Cindy Crawford, Gia was self destructive and the flame went out a fast as the rise. When I see gay men make snarky and nasty remarks on DL I cringe because if you lived through a period and you were a nervous wreck like myself watching people get sick and die weekly like flies was more than many could cope with. I give people credit but would could cope, I literally snapped. It was just too difficult for some to comprehend.It was Aids but not only from sex but from dirty needles.
ps SM was an illustrator for WWD while he worked his way into photography and the rest is history. He was crazy for Gia as he is for anything new and different or strange.
Thank you for responding, R63. I am fascinated by that world at that moment in time.
Write your own memoir, R63!
Thanks, R63. This is great. I've always been fascinated with Gia, the movie, and have the book.
"When I think of great models she doesn't hold a candle to the likes of Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, etc..."
She was better-looking than either one of those cows. She had a special quality, whereas Campbell and Turlington were just a couple of models with nothing interesting about them at all. I always thought Turlington's face always looked like some kind of weird bird. And Campbell is no better looking than any other generic model. And poor, trashy, drug-addicted Gia was certainly more likeable and sympathetic than the atrocious Campbell, who is one of the most detestable celebrities on earth.
It's interesting that people are obsessed with a second-rate model whose only distinguishing mark was a penchant for self-destruction.
A pretty girl who was a doper and then ended up dead. Just exactly why does that scenario endear her to us? She's not the first of her kind, btw. Cf. Marilyn Monroe, etc.
Gia was a lesbian, but she'd have sex with guys when high and she'd have sex with men in order to feed her drug habit. Apparently she wasn't that picky when it came to lovers. In the book it said she was having an affair with a fat girl; she said for some reason she was into sex with "fat women." The book said the girl whose pie she was munching was straight.
Let's hear some gossip about Gia's best girlfriend "[...]." She was some piece of work, a sleazebag of immense proportions.
I eat shit.
The book from which the movie was made was flawed in my opinion. I believe when I read it many of the original players were already dead. Because she was so damaged I don't think anyone except Sandy Linter thought of her as more than eye candy or a dollar sign. I think no model in history wanted to be a model less than Gia. That's the whole contradiction, she was everything. People that say she is remembered because of the book or Aids don't get it. She will be remembered because she was a complete original. This was a period that bookers and stylists overused the word "flawless" and she was. Who else would eat greasy chicken with her hands while wearing YSL.....not RTW, Couture.
Sandy Linter truly cared about Gia and tried to help her but Gia was so out of control and so desperately hooked on drugs it was impossible. Sandy still speaks very fondly of Gia and says that in spite of the drugs and self-destructive behavior, that Gia was still a good person.
r83 = Sandy
I'm still trying to understand what "ethnic look" is supposed to mean.
Not Daisy in the Dell blonde blue-eyed or Grace Kelly blonde blue-eyed or Kim Alexis
r86 yes I just meant it's a ftoopid use of the term.