Model Coco Rocha on pregnancy, religion and her signature style – New York Post

Coco Rocha once threw herself into a mud-flinging, hair-yanking runway rumble with a pregnant model-turned-actress who had the upper hand because of her delicate condition.

“People in the audience started gasping,” Rocha tells The Post.

The fashion flock eventually caught on that it was Jean Paul Gaultier’s fall 2009 show gag, laughed uproariously, applauded wildly, and Rocha racked up another exploit in her ever-expanding panoply of extreme modeling gigs.

The 26-year-old Canadian supermodel has posed in a room on fire for British Vogue, spent hours with a snake slithering on her face for photographer Steven Klein, and just last month pretended to faint with joy at Gaultier’s final ready-to-wear show in Paris.

“I find it so much fun to be able to do something more than your basic runway walk,” she says.

These qualities drew photographer and filmmaker Steven Sebring to shoot Rocha in his new book, “Study of Pose: 1,000 Poses by Coco Rocha” (Harper Design).

The numbered black-and-white photographs show Rocha, clad in a leotard and tights, in every imaginable position.

Sebring shot them with his “Rig,” a one-hundred camera setup with software that allows a 360-degree view of the subject. While the book features stills from a single camera, a soon-to-be-released e-book will show full rotations.

On Oct. 6, one of Sebring’s revolving shots revealed Rocha’s gently rounded belly on her social media feeds.

“James Edward Conran and I are absolutely thrilled to announce that after 4 years of marriage we are expanding our family and expecting our first child spring of 2015!” she wrote.

Rocha fakes a faint on the runway during the Jean Paul Gaultier show in Paris in September. “I find it so much fun to be able to do something more than your basic runway walk,” she says.Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

Rocha and her husband, an English artist who manages her career, intend to document her pregnancy with Sebring shots.

While Rocha is “pretty up for some fun and crazy things,” she’s also famously strict about what she will not do.

A practicing Jehovah’s Witness since childhood, she has clauses in her contracts barring nudity and cigarettes, religious icons or war-related and political messages in pictures.

“Early on it was a little more difficult for me to voice my opinion,” says Rocha, who advocates for models’ rights and helped pass a New York State law protecting underage models. “Now it’s common knowledge: [I] will only wear certain things or do certain things.”

Rocha grew up in suburban Richmond, British Columbia, a daughter of airline employees who was scouted at an Irish dancing competition.

Her first destination as a 15-year-old rookie model was Asia. At Taipei castings, models were given a theme such as “cutesy” or “feminine” and expected to strike a battery of poses for one or two minutes without stopping.

She had a knack for it. Soon she was shooting up to two catalogs a day, each with 75 looks and photographs.

Rocha naively assumed it would be the same drill in New York, where she moved in 2006.

“A lot of people were like, ‘Why isn’t she staying in one pose?’ Some people snickered and some people were like, ‘That’s amazing!’ ” she recalls. (Rocha was so green that at one point she thought designer Donna Karan was two people: Donna and Karan, twin sisters.)

Luckily, one photographer who fell in the ‘amazing’ camp was Steven Meisel, the legendary “model maker” who worked exclusively with her for six months. The up-and-comer with cut-glass cheekbones soon appeared on nearly every major magazine cover and designer runway.

Today, Rocha isn’t suffering from morning sickness and continues to work, bump and all.

“I’m definitely going to take some time off [after the baby is born], and I’m definitely going to go back into modeling.”

And if she has a daughter who wants to follow in her footsteps, Rocha’s ready.

“This is a fun job!” she says. “I’ll be the best momager.”

Two photos of Rocha from Steven Sebring’s new book, “Study of Pose: 1,000 Poses by Coco Rocha.”Photo: Steven Sebring

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