05/09/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT
FOR SARAH ROZEN, SPECIAL PROJECTS photo editor at PEOPLE, the key to our fifth annual collection of the world's 50 Most Beautiful People was that "each photograph would showcase their individual beauty." Sarah's collaborations with photographers included plus-size model Emme re-creating a classic 19th-century painting, The Large Odalisque (page 80), and cover girl Meg Ryan in a slip dress and boots (page 56).
After her work for the issue was completed, Rozen agreed to switch places with her subjects, enduring grueling hours of makeup and lighting. The transformation (above) reveals a foxy photo editor's glamor fantasy. "That day I had on more mascara than I normally wear in a year," she says.
The third of six children of two Penn State professors, Rozen, a State grad herself, saw The Sound of Music as a child and became an instant Julie Andrews wannabe. In keeping with our request that our 50 Most Beautiful provide photos of themselves as youngsters (page 152), Rozen sub-milled a snapshot of herself as a child (inset, above) sporting a Julie Andrews coif.
Rozen has worked with scores of celebrities since coming to PEOPLE in 1986. For the Beauties issue, there were so many shoots rescheduled due to the flu season that "we started calling this the Sick and Beautiful issue," she says. Fortunately setbacks only make her more determined. "She always brings great flair and originality to her subjects," says assistant managing editor Carol Wallace, who led the Beauties editorial team. Rozen was sent Down Under in December 1991 as founding photo editor at WHO, the Australian edition of PEOPLE.
Last fall, Rozen returned to PEOPLE and in January began work on the Beauties issue. Naturally she found some subjects more appealing than others. "I fell in love with Antonio Banderas (page 70)," she confesses. Still, Julie Andrews isn't forgotten. Admits Sarah: "I still see The Sound of Music a couple times a year."