I t’s a balmy morning in a tranquil corner of Singapore’s Upper Peirce Reservoir Park. Outdoor photoshoots can be tricky, but this one goes so smoothly that even our cover star remarks on it. “That’s one of the fastest cover shoots I’ve ever done,” Liv says after we wrap. “It’s really hard to do what you guys just did.”
We’ll gladly accept the compliment but let’s point out the obvious reason why the morning went so well: Liv hasn’t been a professional model for a while now, but the decade she spent in that job has clearly etched a kind of muscle memory in her body. It isn’t easy to do what she did—strike poses that look natural and unstudied; connect with the camera while looking lost in thought; sync subtly shifting expressions to the rhythm of the shutter, always remembering to let her face catch the light just so.
This used to be her livelihood. Long before most of the world got to know her as the wife of Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding, Italian-Taiwanese Liv was appearing in magazines, commercials and runway shows all over Asia. For a while, she revelled in the kind of glamorous, globetrotting life that aspiring models dream about.
“It gave me freedom. I got to travel the world and meet amazing people. I was able to support myself and take care of my family. When I got my first big advertising campaign, I bought a house, and that was, like, when I was 20,” she says. “But after 10 years of modelling, my goals changed. I was looking for something new.”
FROM STYLE TO STRENGTH
Liv started practicing yoga when she was 17, the same year she became a model. “Back then, it didn’t really mean anything to me,” she muses. “You know how sometimes when you go to a yoga class, and the teacher says to set your intention for the day? I would be like, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Exercise wasn’t personal to me at all; it was just something I did to be skinny.”
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