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The Inheritance

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Rossellini and Wiedemann in Moscow, 1990.  

Rossellini cites Jackie Onassis and Georgia O’Keeffe as mature women whose styles she has looked up to. But contemplating which of her peers’ styles she finds inspiring, Rossellini gets a bit stumped. Catherine ­Deneuve is one. And then there’s Meryl Streep. (“I can’t think of a definite style [for her], but I’m so glad she’s successful and working and intelligent.”)

Her own unmistakable, minimalist look materialized in her early modeling days. “A great bag and jewelry and red lipstick and you’re ready. I remember my mother still doing a lot of that ‘What am I wearing?’ I’m more certain.” Her mother was Ingrid Bergman, of course, making Rossellini no stranger to what it’s like to be the daughter of an icon.

Wiedemann’s pursuit of a master’s in biomedicine was a bit of a surprise to Rossellini, but not the modeling. She attended her first Vogue cover shoot at 3 weeks old, Rossellini breast-feeding between shots. And Rossellini never had reservations about Wiedemann joining the family business. “Being my daughter, Elettra understood how it worked. You know how to avoid the pitfalls. Of course, if you are a girl from the countryside of Russia sent to New York by yourself and you have a million managers who get a percentage, it can be ‘Oh my God, my poor daughter!’ But we know exactly who is the best lawyer, who is the best agency. It’s a little harder to be taken advantage of if you’re one of us.”


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