For a while in the late 90's a ot of the photos lookedike people were practically dead or comotose, very pale, almost bluish skin with black circles around the eyes, some posed with people slumped over in the corner/on the floor (can't remember those particular ads but there were alot of similar shoots/campaigns). Kind of think of what Vincent Gallo looks like, and that was the inspiration.
It's weird, heroin chic always sort of appealed to me....not because of the inspiration because let's face it, addiction is a terrible thing. But the darkness and danger it conveyed was somewhat seductive, to me anyway, not to become a drug user or to be that skinny but to look at. I agree that there needs to be a limit, but I also think that it's unfair to say that heroin chic was responsible for higher drug use rates or eating disorders....it's not as if the supermodels of the late 80's/early 90's were the healthiest image to send to the masses, nor did they live the healthiest lifestyles.
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford
When I was doing my vintage fashion mag research last year I find that the 1970s had a rather subdued heroin chic wave. It was basically limited to 1970-73 and was most apparent in Vogue Paris....and it makes sense. The 1990s had River P but the early 70s had Janice Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and other famous people dying from heroin ODs all over the place....
Here's a shot from a 1971 Paris Vogue, incidentally shot by Terry Richardson's father Bob.
As far as modeling goes, though, I'm sure there have been a lot of casualties on the account of heroin. But I only know of two who actually were stars who graced American Vogue covers: Gia (AIDS, 1986) and Pola (OD, 1974).