"LOOK Magazine purchased the rights to the Mongolian cashmere story, and The New York Times devoted half a page to it because of the sheer ambition of traveling halfway around the world, to a Communist country, in order to photograph women's fashions. My challenge now was to suggest an idea for a sequel. I proposed to LOOK that, since a million or more furs changed hands in the Fur Palace in Leningrad each year, and since that city boasted so many exquisite palaces, it would be a natural location in which to shoot a story about fur fashions. In January 1967 Jo Segal, the fashion editor of LOOK, and I met up with American model Ann Turkel in Paris and made our way to Moscow.
We brought with us from the United States a collection of extravagant designer furs from some of New York's most prestigious furriers: Revillon of Saks Fifth Avenue, Maximilian, and Bergdorf Goodman. It took several days for these to clear customs. While waiting, we spent the time trying to persuade the Soviet officials to let us do the shoot in Leningrad; for some reason, although we thought the necessary permissions had been secured before we left the United States, officials were now insisting that we shoot the story in Moscow instead. We finally reached a compromise: we would be allowed to do our fur story in Leningrad, and in return we would do a story on Soviet women wearing Soviet fashions in Moscow. That settled, I left the crew in Moscow to await the release of the furs, and I took the overnight train to Leningrad to begin scouting locations.
I was met at the station by my guide from Novosti. She took me to the Astoria Hotel, handed me a ticket to the opera that evening, and left, instructing me to enjoy myself - she always spent Sundays with her family, but would see me the next day. I did as I was told, and headed off to the opera house and Boris Godunov. During the intermission I walked up to the front, near the stage, and scanned the back of the house through the viewer on my camera, thinking it might make an interesting location for one of the photographs. Big mistake! As I got up to leave at the conclusion of the opera I found myself detained by an army officer, who, along with his wife, grimly identified me to two men in dark suits. They in turn indicated that I was to go with them. I was ushered into the back of a large black car, and for the next ten hours I was taken from one police station to another. There I would either be placed in a holding cell by myself, or interrogated by sinister plainclothes agents. Since the interrogations were conducted mainly in Russian neither side was getting very far. I was beginning to wonder how and when this would end when, late the next morning, an official with a smattering of English ordered me taken back to my hotel where my passport would at least verify that I was an American. My crime, I was told, was that I had photographed the Army officer who happened to be seated in the balcony, and it was illegal to photograph a Soviet Army officer. I offered to give them the film from my camera if that would resolve matters. They nodded, "Da, da, da," took the film, and left, leaving me standing in the lobby of the hotel. Two Finns, who had witnessed the entire episode, walked over to me and said: 'Nice country, isn't it?'"