The presentation, aptly titled “Modern Muses,” featured Niki Taylor, Carol Alt, Roshumba, Pat Cleveland, Frederique van Der Wal, Irina Pantaeva, and Carmen Dell’Orefice. All old school, and all fabulous. After a week of watching prepubescent beanpoles walk all over New York City, it was a pleasure to see these ladies looking real and having a blast. It was a brilliant move by Adrienne Vittadini, because the place was packed with an enthusiastic crowd.
I chatted with Carmen backstage, who is quite the grande dame at 79. She’s been working in Europe quite a bit lately because “they appreciate old wine there–this country likes Coca-Cola,” she told me. I could have talked to her forever, but she was whisked away. That lady has some stories. She started modeling right after World War II, and worked with Cecil Beaton after he escaped the Nazis in Europe. She feels that the girls today are more disposable and don’t have the kind of quality mentors she had.
Niki Taylor’s cheekbones are to die for and she had her signature slicked back bob. Frederique van Der Wal, whose pillowy lips and cleavage you may recall staring at you from the Victoria’s Secret catalogue throughout the 90s, was the first Dutch hottie to come into the American consciousness. She still has an air of quiet mystery, with that signature Mona Lisa half smile. Her curves have gotten a bit softer and curvier.
Pat Cleveland danced down the mini-runway and Carol Alt’s hair was as bouncy as a Barbie doll’s. Each model wore two looks, and Carmen came out as the finale. I still have no idea what the clothes looked like.
(Beauty note: This was the perfect backstage to ask about how to hide fine lines and wrinkles, so one of the Hourglass artists kindly talked me through it. Don’t over powder or go too matte. It ages you. On the flipside, don’t use anything too sparkly. The pigments can settle into wrinkles and enhance them. Look for powder that’s finely milled. Use a dewy light foundation, nothing too cakey.)