Lydia Hearst to Get 'Model of the Year' Laurels; Plus, Sneak Peek at Richardson Shoot for Perry Ellis

The Michael Awards—the big black-tie fashion-industry smoochfest that gives out awards and raises money for the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation—won’t be held until May 7th, but at this early date! The Transom can now exclusively reveal 2007’s model of the year: Lydia Hearst.

“It’s basically the Oscars of fashion,” she said, while picking away at a lobster roll yesterday at a café in the Time Warner Center.

Okay so, had she prepared her speech?

“No, no,” said the diminutive heiress, formerly a redhead, currently a platinum. “And it’s still actually up for debate who will be presenting the award. I’m nervous because I will actually have to ask someone.”

“It’s up for debate. I have to ask someone, so I’m nervous.”

Seriously she’s nervous.

“I’m more nervous about that than anything else.”

She’s considering a couple of people. She doesn’t want to say just yet. Oh, what the hell:

“My ideal would be Stephen Meisel because I owe everything to him. I would be nowhere near where I am today if it weren’t for him. For me it’s a huge honor and it’s unbelievable to me. It’s literally like a dream come true. You know when I began my career, my first photo shoot was with Stephen Meisel and it was the cover of Italian Vogue and to me essentially that was like winning an Oscar. And now this is literally winning the Oscar of fashion, because I get to follow in the footsteps of all of my idols. I’m following after Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer.

And now … she! But why?

“Uhm, gosh I don’t know.”

She explained that it had been a big year. There was the Nars ad campaign, the Sephora campaign for Christmas, she’s doing the worldwide launch of the new fragrance for Escada, the Roberto Cavalli for H&M campaign, commercial and print, her Puma stuff—she models and designs a line of bags.

“And all my editorials,” she offered. “You know I’ve been very fortunate in my career.”

What’s she going to wear to the Michael Awards?

“I’m hoping for Roberto Cavalli to make something special. That would be my dream.”

She had recently visited his castle in Tuscany with Theodora Richards—while filming for the H&M ad campaign.

“It’s literally like living in a palace,” she said.

But Mr. Cavalli also gave the girls a glimpse inside that giant creative cranium of his.

“He showed us how he does his collections where he either takes pictures of insects or leaves and he actually zooms in really close to the insects and plant life and expands it and that’s where all the fabrics and prints come from. It’s unbelievable to actually watch it happen.”

There is another little secret Ms. Hearst let the Transom in on: Terry Richardson, the edgy fashiony photographer known for taking pictures of his genitals and getting young women to take off their clothes for the camera (and who himself has been pimping Belvedere vodka recently)—turns out the guy’s a total gentleman.

“I’ve heard the reputation and I was nervous but he’s one of the sweetest, funniest, greatest people in the industry,” said Ms. Hearst, who recently did a shoot for Perry Ellis jeans with the man.

“No, I understood—it was sort of like a Calvin Klein Jeans type feel, in a sense but it was for Perry Ellis.”

She provided the Transom with an exclusive image from the shoot. Mr. Richardson, as you can see, has done it again.

Lydia Hearst to Get 'Model of the Year' Laurels; Plus, Sneak Peek at Richardson Shoot for Perry Ellis