Sunday 24 September 2017

Models reveal secrets of ageing elegantly

Tracy McVeigh

IT is difficult to imagine why anyone would not want Isabella Rossellini at their party. But according to the 60-year-old model and actress, her age has led to her name dropping off glitzy guest lists.

"For sure, my social status has diminished because, for sure, I'm not invited to the A parties any more. My daughter is," she said.

Rossellini is among a group of women, famous for their beauty, who have taken part in a new documentary talking frankly about coping with getting older in a society and an industry notoriously in love with youth.

About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now will be shown on cable television later this summer having premiered at the Sundance film festival earlier this year. It is a "slice of history", according to Beverly Johnson, 59, the first black model to grace the cover of American Vogue in 1974.

She said it was good to have been allowed a voice on some of the issues the fashion industry kept quiet about during the "supermodel era".

"We were basically a printed page, and when we did interviews we were soundbites," said Johnson.

Coming after psychologists in the US have started to identify "appearance-related anxiety" in older women, the film features models "of a certain age", including Jerry Hall, Marisa Berenson, China Machado, Carmen Dell'Orefice and Paulina Porizkova, speaking about their treatment as they grow older.

"It would be very easy to make a film that was very superficial," said its director, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. "There is depth in these women."

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