Photos: Who was the Witch of Wellington? The answer with amazing photos

Suzan Strauss was known as the Lava Lady in Los Angeles in the 1990's, where she let photographer Osker Jimenez capture her in her DIY couture. (Osker Jimenez Exposure House)
Suzan Strauss on a street near her Los Angeles home in the 1990’s. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at local thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at Wellington thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)

In Florida’s suffocating heat, she wore head-to-toe black, as if in mourning a loss.

Consequently, locals dubbed her the Witch of Wellington.

Read the full story about this eccentric Wellington and Los Angeles icon

But in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and ’90’s, Suzan Strauss was a street style star for the colorful outfits she designed, always worn with platform boots as high as horses’ hooves and a towering hat covering her hair.

The effect, said photographer Osker Jimenez, was to make her look seven feet tall as she glided slowly along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, among the era’s pierced punks, dark goths and glam rock kids.

Fascinated with this self-assured, eccentrically-dressed woman, Jimenez photographed her for a decade, eventually publishing two books and staging a photo exhibition of his Strauss photos.

Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapers. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapes. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

 

Strauss' Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)
Strauss’ Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)

 

(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Strauss was born to an Orthodox Jewish family. In accordance with custom, she always wore hats or wigs to cover her hair. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding her home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding the lava rock-covered home that gave her the name “Lava Lady.” (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez' photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez’ photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

Prince Harry “really fun to be around,” says polo star Nacho Figueras

Polo prince Nacho Figueras and Harry, Prince of Wales, wave to the crowd before a charity polo match to benefit Sentabale, the Prince's African children's charity.(Post photo/Allen Eyestone)
Polo prince Nacho Figueras and Harry, Prince of Wales, wave to the crowd before a May 4 Wellington charity polo match to benefit Sentabale, the Prince’s African children’s charity.(Post photo/Allen Eyestone)

Is this a polo “bromance”?

Leading up to Wednesday’s charity polo match in Wellington, the Prince of England and the Prince of Polo engaged in a week of texting banter about whose team would take home the trophy from the Prince’s Sentabale Royal Salute Polo Cup, said Nacho Figueras, Argentinean polo god and Ralph Lauren model.

Figueras, a Sentabale Ambassador for the Prince’s African children’s charity, paused to speak to the media before the match, which was held May 4 under rain-swollen skies on a sodden private polo field south of Lake Worth Rd.

“He’s really fun,” said Figueras of his royal pal. “We’ve been joking about who’s going to win.  He’s really fun to be around.”

Nacho, who has four children, said he strongly supports Sentabale’s mission of helping children living with HIV and AIDS. He and Prince Harry, who’s on the cover of new People talking about how his life mission is to “make my mother incredibly proud,” visited the the charity’s operation together in the southern African country of Lesotho.

“It’s important to get over the stigma of HIV,” Figueras, 39, said, “and to get behind these kids.  They’re the future of Africa.”

A casually-dressed Harry, wearing a scruffy red beard, showed up a few minutes later escorting Figueras’ wife, photographer Delfina Blaquier.

“Welcome to the Sunshine State,” the ginger-haired Prince, 31,  said, laughing, indicating the gray skies overhead.

Prince Harry and Delfina Blaquier, wife of polo player Nacho Figueras, arrive at the private Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington May 4. (Post photo/Allen Eyestone)
Prince Harry and Delfina Blaquier, wife of polo player Nacho Figueras, arrive at the private Valiente Polo Farm in Wellington May 4. (Post photo/Allen Eyestone)

The Prince, fifth in line to the English throne, seemed to have some royal power over the weather.

As soon as he arrived at the Valiente Polo Farm, where the event was held,  the afternoon torrent trickled to a drizzle, then stopped for the duration of the match. It started up again at the end of the games, as trophies were awarded.

After the Prince’s Sentabale team won the trophy against Figueras’ Royal Salute squad, it was obvious the two men are good friends.

With some good-natured trash talk on the trophy stand, Figueras swiped the gold horse-and-rider out of the Prince’s hands, who grabbed it back.

Nacho Figueras tries to swipe the winner's trophy from Prince Harry. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)
Nacho Figueras tries to swipe the winner’s trophy from Prince Harry. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)

 

Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras shake hands after a polo match as Figueras' wife, Delfina Blanquier, looks on. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)
Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras shake hands after a polo match as Figueras’ wife, Delfina Blanquier, looks on. (Post photo/Rich Graulich)

A Sentabale spokeswoman said the Prince’s charity hoped to raise more than a million dollars from the match, which will go toward sending 1,500 children to the Mamohato Children’s Center, where they are educated about the virus in hopes of ending Africa’s AIDS epidemic.

Speaking to donors afterward, Prince Harry said later this year Sentabale expects to expand its work into Botswana.