MOMENTS WITH VICTORIA SILVSTEDT

London’s North Circular on a grey day hardly matched the sun-bleached LA highways normally trod by this all-American Swede. Nevertheless, as those tanned ankles emerged from the taxi, it was clear we had imported a piece of California.

A clothes rail displayed configurations of gingham and cherry pattern. I laid out my props: a toy motorbike, painted hairdryer and Motor-oil cans made from fruit cocktail tins. The theme, it seemed, was pop-art biker.

The first shot was in the bubblegum pink (female) bathroom, a tight space with room for just the two of us. Like two warriors about to battle, we raised our weapons: me my camera; she a hairdryer. Soon her wind-blown hair inflated like an aroused cobra amidst the flashes of a lightning storm. Looking up from my kneeling position I felt uncommonly religious.

Later, a full-length pose required an oily hand print on her thigh—do we have a volunteer? In the name of perfection, some details can’t be delegated. Swiftly, I returned with blackened hand, and failing to look indifferent, applied it with the precision of Michelangelo.

During the shoot, two Hell’s Angels arrived and sat at the bar. Under the glare of a bearded audience I was afraid Victoria would feel self-conscious. However, I had underestimated this crack troop of Hefner’s hyper-sexualised master-race. In front of the stunned bikers, she confidently caressed the knobs of the retro coffee-machine as they sat silently like good schoolboys without a snigger.

I guess they were just enjoying the California sun.