Claudia Schiffer at the Severnaya Palmira modeling contest. Photo: Alexander Blelenky. (Large jpg - 71K)

Supermodel helps picks a winner

By Linda Jones

World-famous supermodel Claudia Schiffer denied rumors that she is planning to abandon her modeling career during a visit to St Petersburg.

She brushed aside Western press reports that claimed she was about to quit because she was "past it" at the ripe old age of 23.

The blonde bombshell wore a simple but stylish black dress and Chanel choker to stun the audience at a city modeling contest and prove her critics wrong.

She chatted animatedly with fellow judges city mayor Anatoly Sobchak and fashion designer Tatyana Parfyonava, herself fresh from her own success at a Lithuanian fashion contest.

Ms Schiffer headed the jury for the Miss Severnaya Palmira competition which was held at the magnificent Tavrichesky Palace from May 6 to 7.

Asked about the absence of her fiance, showbiz magician David Copperfield, by curious Russian reporters, she responded diplomatically, "He's in Germany, on tour."

Although she admits she won't be a model forever, Ms Schiffer said she would always have something to keep her busy -- her trendy New York restaurant and her frequent TV appearances.

The presence of Ms Schiffer at the Palmira event threatened to upstage the contest itself -- nevertheless a stunning show of local talent trod the catwalk led by the eventual winner, Rina Vlasova.