Amber Valletta Is Literally 120 Years Old
Aug 22, 2011 - by Lester Brathwaite
With the aid of some expert make-up and prosthetics, supermodel Amber Valletta gets buried in the sands of time, aging 100 years -- and looking impossibly chic along the way -- in Steven Klein's brilliant editorial for W, "One for the Ages."
Hands down my favorite spread so far in this, the September issue season, Klein, Valletta and Edward Enninful envision an eternal heroine and her struggles over the course of a century, featuring looks by Chanel, John Galliano, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen.
"September 29, 1929: A month before the stock market's Black Tuesday, our heroine's opium-tinged 29th-birthday party in the Blue Room rolls on."
"November 16, 1936: With Edward VII threatening to marry Wallis Simpson and the national economy still in the tank, one needs all the help one can get."
"October 2, 1947: Having a bun in the oven makes it impossible to wear those divine New Look wasp silhouettes -- but that's no excuse to turn down an invitation to El Morocco."
"October 10, 1958: Finally! There had to be an upside to the stifling corset trend all those boring housewives have been so excited about."
"September 27, 1966: Just back from Mary Quant's party to celebrate her O.B.E. and now living out her own swinging sixties, our heroine gets ready for her close-up."
"September 22, 1979: Her beloved Studio 54 is on its last legs -- and frankly, so is she. It's a long way from the nightclub's balcony to the floor, but the wall-to-wall helps cushion the fall."
"October 11, 1986: After a strictly enforced 'Just Say No' regimen, our material girl is back in action and ready for the Neo-Geo opening at the Sonnabend Gallery."
"September 6, 1998: A chance encounter with Tom Ford -- an old friend from Studio 54 -- leads to a glam wake for the last days of disco before escaping for some much-needed R&R."
"September 10, 2009: Several years into her second century, it's time for fashion's night in: a moment for reflection, tenderness and..."
"September 30, 2019: Girding herself for another decade -- and another new generation -- our heroine heads out to dinner. There's a place just around the corner she's been going to forever."