When she posed for the 2014 SI Swimsuit Issue, Lauren Mellor double-dipped for two incredible features: she posed for Walter Iooss Jr. on the beaches of St. Lucia, and also worked with makeup artist Joanne Gair for a stunning bodypaint feature.
The 37-year-old South African model donned a painted-on sparkly gold swimsuit that was inspired by none other than legendary SI Swimsuit model Kathy Ireland herself. The 60-year-old supermodel and entrepreneur was featured in 13 different SI Swimsuit Issues over the years, including three different covers.
“It looks amazing,” Mellor declared during her “fitting,” which required Gair to paint similar-looking gold sequins all over the model’s body before adhering actual gems to her skin to provide some realism.
Mellor then hit the beach in her painted-on one-piece, in a nod to Ireland’s original 1990 SI Swimsuit Issue feature in St. Vincent.
“I had a very long but exciting day,” Mellor revealed while on location. “I feel really lucky and I think the pictures are going to come out great, so I’m really excited to see what happens.”
Mellor continues to model today, and is also a proud mom. She and her partner, Stew Game, welcomed a daughter named Isla Sylvia Game in March. In addition to her two features for SI Swimsuit nine years ago, Mellor has worked with notable brands like Agent Provocateur and Freya Swimwear.
Below are six of our favorite photos from her jaw-dropping bodypaint feature in the Caribbean.