Well they said it would be the hottest weekend of the year, temperatures were in the mid thirties, but Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque and Santa Cruz port were sizzling for another reason. Six Tenerife models were wowing the cameras for the prestigious Peroni calendar for 2011. Two shoots took place in Gran Canaria last week but they saved the best till last, as The Beach Boys might have said I Wish They All Could Be Tenerife Girls.
Arriving at the 5 star Bahia del Duque in Costa Adeje on Friday morning, the first three models were being groomed and prepared in the Salon Arquayo for a hard day’s work. Loud rock music belted out from the gym above, clothes and hair dryers masked the salon walls and there were enough shoes lined up to make Imelda Marcos feel under dressed.
Juan Casteneda, their make up guru, added deft touches, but to my eyes they already looked pretty special. Vanesa Cabeza, who counts acting and presenting among her talents, is a familiar face to many Canarians through the Cuatro channel, but how ever early they tuned in, they won’t have seen her in the curlers that were doing nothing to hide her natural beauty.
Laura Martin, the face of Tenerife Pearl, and Natalia Farina, a regular attraction in Fama and Showroom mag, were already trying out their outfits designed, along with the other calendar clothes, by Nuria Diaz. Completing the array of Tenerife talent, Alfonso Bravo the calendar photographer was loosening up his range of cameras ready for the task ahead.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro has its own connection to Tenerife as Compania Cervecera Canarias, brewers of our beloved Dorada, also distribute Italy’s famous bottled beer. A suitably cooled bottle of the blonde nectar followed Vanesa Cabeza and the crew up to a pagoda perched on a mound looking down on the resort and the beach below. Alfonso coaxed and encouraged his model and with added lighting to dispel any unwanted shadows he started to work his magic. Sun worshipers on the beach were later treated to the other girls getting some sand between their toes as they worked through the day’s demanding schedule.
There was a change of scene and models for the Saturday shoot in Santa Cruz. The old jet foil station in Avenida de Anaga is home to the Middlesborough built steam ship La Palma, currently being lovingly restored to its former glory. This proud ship and a classic Alfa Romeo were to be key props for the remaining three month’s pages. Each location brings its own challenges, the sun was fiercer than ever and the small dirty beach next door was heaving with swimmers, a few of the younger ones came to enjoy the unexpected floor show. Alicia Medina looked elegance itself as she posed on board ship, but those high heels made the gang plank and rough wooden deck into a challenge that she rose above with great poise.
Juliane Brandmayer, originally from Germany, tried to grab some shade for herself and her canine companion as she prepared for her later role. Leticia Sarda already had her engine running as she slipped in behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo. It’s not always easy looking cool and sultry, especially when a local fisherman is just slipping off his dirty vest for a quick swill out of a bucket and a rusty tanker is sneaking out of port past a luxury cruise liner, but Leticia was parked in the moment that the shot demanded.
The whole process is quite drawn out and repetitive as they strive for the perfect look. The trick is to ooze style and sophistication, all six models I saw managed that with ease. Their efforts will only be seen by a select few, 1,200 copies of the calendar go out to valued associates of Peroni. I left full of admiration for their dedication and with a burning desire to have a nice cold beer.