Carmen Dell’Orefice for You Magazine

Posted on July 09, 2013

Darlings, here is your Gorgeous of the Day. Lucky for you, it’s also your Life Goal for the Day. Supermodel Extraordinaire (all others are mere pretenders) Carmen Dell’Orefice serves up bone structure, attitude, and experience for You mag. We’ve long adored her and even got to speak very briefly to her at Fashion Week a couple of seasons ago. For the record, this is really what she looks like in person. Oh sure, there’s always photoshoppery in every editorial, but she really is luminous, aristocratic and smooth-skinned in the way she appears in her pictures. The only time she looked anything close to her age (EIGHTY-TWO, BITCHES. MODELLING FOR ALMOST SEVENTY YEARS BOW DOWN I SAID BOW DOWN RIGHT NOW) was when she struggled slightly to get out of her chair when we asked her if we could take a picture.


Carmen Dell’Orefice covers the lastet issue of You Magazine shot by MoDa’s Touch.


“As a model I didn’t have an identity; I was a chameleon, a silent actress. I was an amorphous thing. I wasn’t full of personality, I was full of solitude and solemnity. I wasn’t a cover-girl type. I’ve had more covers in the past 15 years than I had in all the years before that.”

“There is no way I would have got to see so much of the world, with my humble background, without modelling. We were penniless and hungry for most of my youth. I washed sheets in the bathtub in my bedroom and hung them out of the window on the clothes line, which in winter was difficult as the sheets would freeze and get stuck on the line.”

“It took me half my life to understand who I was. How I could I be true to anything when I didn’t know myself? I am able to be truer and truer with myself the older I get, but I am still a work in progress. You don’t have to like me, but I’m not going to please someone for the sake of their approval.”


She’ll never die, darlings. At the end, she will walk a runway, make one final spin in front of the cameras, give that glorious, knowing smile of hers, and ascend to the heavens, where she will become our Goddess of Fabulous forever more.


Oh, and your life goal is not to look like a supermodel at 82, because let’s face it; genetics and some cosmetic sweetening had almost everything to do with how Carmen looks. No, your goal is to remember to be fabulous every day of your life, no matter your age, shape or size. If an 82-year-old can walk a runway in heels and 40 pounds of couture, can’t we all slap on a little lip color or put on some snazzy shoes just to get through our day looking and feeling like we own it?


[Photo Credit: MoDa’s Touch]

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  • alyce1213


  • Deb_Lynn

    We all need to pray that THIS is who Tilda Swinton becomes.

    • Introspective

      We all need to pray that this is who we all can become!! (at least in part)

      fierce does not even begin to encapsulate what is occurring here. living for all of this. especially the middle pic.

    • Nicholas

      Pretty sure she turns into Tilda the White, when the time comes.

    • NMMagpie

      Don’t forget Debbie Harry too!

  • Danielle L

    I AM NOT WORTHY. *bows down*

    • StellaZafella

      Yes…you are. That’s the point. ;>)

      • Kiltdntiltd

        Amen Sistahfriend!

  • poggi

    Thanks guys. That was inspirational. I am so going to wear heels tomorrow.

    • formerlyAnon

      Now THAT’s commitment I can’t rise to. But I am thinking that I deserve a pair of (modestly) tooled leather boots, even if it IS July.

      • poggi

        Yes, yes, yes.

  • madscntst

    Her smile makes me think that she not only knows the answers to a great life, but she also knows the right questions, too.

  • majorbedhead

    I’ve never heard of You magazine, but I must have a copy now. She’s divine.

  • pattyw

    Me too! And yes.

  • MoHub

    Bowing down. (But having trouble getting back up.)

  • KateShouldBeWorking

    She is my spirit animal.

  • TSkot

    All Hail the Queen

  • StellaZafella

    My goddess. period.

  • Buffy


  • annabelle archer


  • neonseattle

    wow. i’m bowing.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Now this is Absolutely Fabulous!

  • PrunellaV

    Diva of all divas.

  • Julie Chase


    And I’m not embarrassed to admit that your goal setting for us put a little tear in my eye.

  • another_laura

    Just wow.

  • SewingSiren

    I’m wondering if she looked this good while she had teenage kids living at home, or if she got her Mojo back after they moved out. Here’s to hoping anyhow.

    • Wendi126

      When they moved out. Count on it

    • formerlyAnon

      I vote when they moved out.

      The gritted teeth of frustration/rage management must mar even the most alabaster of brows.

      Not to mention the under-eye bags of exhaustion and the anxiety of permanent high alert for self-destructive stupidity surveillance.

  • Blair Sylvester

    Gives me hope that one day I will feel so good in my skin, even if my skin won’t look nearly that good

    • marlie

      It’s all about the feeling good part. :)

  • MilaXX

    Love her! What a fabulous gal.

  • MilaXX

    Just had mine done up in red and got designs on the big toes. (my summer treat)

  • Julie

    She looks like she belongs in a Klimt portrait. Aristocratic indeed.

  • Janet B

    I may not have lived up to the goal of living fabulous, today, but I did many loads of laundry, didn’t strangle any teenagers and had a good laugh. Sometimes that’s all I can ask.

    • Qitkat

      I’m much more in your camp too. Sometimes owning our real face in our own reality is as authentic as it gets. I like her quote: “ I am able to be truer and truer with myself the older I get, but I am still a work in progress.” That’s my goal, to gain wisdom as I age and live, and if, along the way, sometimes I get to be a teeny bit fabulous, well that’s a bit of icing on the cake.

    • formerlyAnon

      On a good day I love what I do even with the struggles and that’s living fabulous, however unglamorous it looks. It’s also not the norm, the norm is being able to look back on the day and find moments that give some satisfaction. (Not strangling teenagers = gold star day, sometimes!)

      I subscribe to doing what makes you *feel* a little whisper or big jolt of being able to get out there and fight the good fight. If the rest of the world can’t see that as fabulous, that’s not the point. I was raised to slap on lipstick as armor and battle flag, even if it’s on an otherwise bare face sitting under a crappy cheap haircut, so that’s a given. Most days a flattering shirt and some songs that make me want to dance is where the power lies.

      • TLJezebel

        Touchingly well put.

  • ringthing

    This brought tears to my eyes.

  • EEKstl

    F-ing. Amazing. Luv Huh. She IS all that. Stunning.

  • e jerry powell

    Okay, I just died. Again. The fabulous slays me yet again.

    This is DISGUSTING FABULOUS. I must avert my eyes, lest the fabulosity blind me.

    Too late.

  • Sara__B

    Thank you for the last paragraph, guys. I needed that, today especially.

  • Kiltdntiltd

    Wearing my tri color Fluevolgs, and my kilt with tweed from the isle of Skye. I’m rocking it.
    You gentlemen offer so much more than commentary on fashion. Your words on life are so often profound, and elegant, as doubtlessly you both are in your own persons.
    Many many thanks.

  • Nicola Anna Molly Page


  • Toby Wollin

    And no sleeping in teeshirts and sweats, mmmkay?

    • Ass Kicking Adviser

      I don’t know. We are talking about the woman who said her skin care regimen came down to two words: Bag Balm. I’m thinking her willingness to rest – and rest fully and well – might be a key to her fabulousness. But I’m still putting on my pretty Anne Klein nightie. ha!

    • Fordzo

      That’s right. We should all sleep nude, it is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

  • nancymae

    Must. Buy. This. Magazine. Now. She is beyond stunning!

  • nancymae

    I just got an OPI tangerine and I feel bright and sunny!

  • Fred V

    Vitamin AWESOME!

    • LuisaNL

      I may have to steal this.

  • Just Me

    Amen, Uncles. AMEN.

  • 1carmelita

    Sweeties, that last paragraph was just what I needed today.

  • Anniebet

    My grandmother kept old fashion magazines – seeing this beautiful woman looking as elegant and ethereal now as she did in the ’40s and ’50s is amazing.

  • Chaiaiai

    Her HANDS. regard her perfect HANDS.

    *goes for a lie down*

  • Kathleen

    Goddess. She is perfectly, fabulously, Carmen.

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    Yes! I accept the challenge. I’m totally serious darling TLo, you are right to look to her – to have all of us look to her – for some serious inspiration. Trying. It’s more fun than not trying.

  • frannyprof

    I love what she has to say. Her words make her more divine.

  • mmebam

    Printing that last paragraph and posting it on my fridge.

  • demidaemon


  • The Gifted Collector

    I’ve been wearing lavender on my fingernails for a few months. It makes me feel young and modern without looking like I’m trying too hard. It’s amazing how many strange men have complimented the color. (The men weren’t strange, I just didn’t know them.)

  • conniemd

    Love that last photo, lady still knows how to pose.

  • PastryGoddess

    I am weeping at that last paragraph. Can you call your publishers and have them add that to the last page of your book?

    • formerlyAnon

      I am sure that message is in there somewhere. Positive.

  • Anathema_Device

    So glad I took a few minutes from my somewhat shitty past two days to see these amazing pictures and read these amazing words (from Dell’Orefice and TLo). Just what the doctored ordered!

  • Anathema_Device

    I just had an amazing turquoise on my toes. Changed it to a fairly bright green that is quite different, but i’m thinking of going back to that blue.

  • Gotham Tomato

    I had a delicious moment with her a photo show at ICP years ago. I was there with my boss at the time, an obnoxious magazine publisher; he walked up to her to introduce himself in a phony/familiar way, while someone else was speaking, and she shut him down and put him in his place quite neatly. I thought he might pee his pants. It was SO MUCH FUN to see my asshole boss be reduced to the nothing he actually was.

    She became my hero.


    • formerlyAnon

      And in front of witnesses! Heheheheh.

  • Scoop

    Now why can’t Vogue put this incredible creature on the cover instead of overrated pop tartlets like Katy Perry??

    • Chickadeep

      Word. Especially since most of the people who can afford the products featured in Vogue are much closer to *her* demographic than Katy’s.

  • NoveltyRocker

    Straight to my heart, this post ♥

  • travelingcat

    I love her and I love you. Each and every one of you. The fabulousness, the writing, and all these comments are just what I needed. Now I off to go write a paper due tomorrow night. Grad school in you mid-forties rocks!

  •!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    Words to live by.

    No, seriously.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    That made me a little misty-eyed. And thanks for the encouragement, TLo. I do make an effort to look my best when I go out, but some mornings it doesn’t seem worth the trouble. So I will read this and be uplifted and make the effort.

    Carmen is magnificent and an inspiration to us all. These pictures are exquisite.

  • Cameron Turner

    Couldn’t agree with you guys any more…… I am bowing as I write this…

  • Jennifer Ford

    She is just amazing. Wow.

  • Sara Padilla

    Silver finger and toes, because it makes my summer tan look pretty (before anyone start yelling at me about tanning, be advised I tan through 50+ spf sunscreen. I tan through clothes).

  • Andrew Schroeder


  • prettybigkitty

    Amen to that uncles!

  • JulieK

    Damn. I’m going to put on some lipstick right now.

  • TLJezebel

    What Daddies said…no excuse for lack of effort.

  • ZnSD


  • GorgeousThings

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    This is why I love, read and follow you two. Be fabulous every day is the mantra all people should adhere to. And that doesn’t mean wearing designer labels and dressing to the nines every day either, does it, darlings?

  • formerlyAnon

    Photos awesome. Anecdote awesomer. Pep talk awesome-est.

    Thanks fellas.

  • ankali

    I actually have tears in my eyes. Not just because of her exquisite, otherworldly beauty and presence, but because of those quotes. I work in geriatrics, and I have met so many people who seem to think that they’re expected to be static after a certain age (usually around 60). That she describes herself as a work in progress, and is clearly incredibly engaged in the world around her and her own evolution, is inspirational.

  • ItsDicey


  • ItsDicey

    So inspirational, especially when I re-read your linked post from 2011. Beautiful job, guys.

  • bertkeeter

    LUV Her!

  • LuisaNL

    She is divine. and TLo? Thank you for the inspirational words. It’s easy to forget to be fabulous.

  • drdarke

    I remembered to shave today – is that close…?

  • CMSmith1848

    I loved coming here and seeing this. I definitely have a new goal. I saw this same article on Huffington Post. The comments to their article were horrific. I should have known better to trust T&L and the rest of the BKs.

    • e jerry powell

      I’m afraid of saying what I really think, because I’ll sound all Upson Downs, but…

  • Vanja

    I’m so gonna copy that first pose for the next I’m having my picture taken.

  • queeniethebold

    At the risk of sounding silly or pathetic, still i must say how much you gentlemen (and you *are* gentlemen, and gentle men, too) speak to me (and clearly so many of us). You really, really get it. Thank you.

  • kat89

    I am printing out that last paragraph and hanging it on my closet door so I can reread that every morning!

  • MrsAtaxxia

    She is sublime. And so utterly possessed of herself. I love that these picture are not passive in the way so many pictures of women are. It feel trite to call her inspirational, but she really is, and I teared up reading what you two lovelies wrote about her. Thank you for this.

  • Ramon Figueroa

    Iman and Helen Mirren bow down to her. And I do mean bow on your knees and forehead on the ground. If it is good for the King of Siam, it is the least they can do for her.

  • rougeort

    I’ll join the club (sort of… it’s mint) and yes! Pedicure pride, kittens :)

  • sweetlilvoice

    Thank you! This is someone who we can all admire. I’ll think of her every time I see someone in sweats and flip flops out in public.

  • mjude

    bowing the fuck down.

  • Chickadeep

    Hot coral. My toes look good even if my nails are all busted up from gardening. Once they even out a bit, I’ll be slapping on a non-standard manicure color (teal? lavender? navy?) because why not? When the rest of me is less than fabulous, at least I’ve got that—and a good haircut—going for me.

    • formerlyAnon

      I flat out cannot afford my hairdresser and will not be giving her up until it’s a choice between a good haircut and life-saving healthcare. A good cut is magic.

      • Chickadeep

        I hear that! I’m in the same boat. My stylist is fab and he’s climbed through the ranks all the way to an out-of-my-price-range Boston salon…which I save up for and cross two state lines to get to. Worth it.

  • Jessica Freeman

    Thank You Uncles. That last paragraph is why I wear a little lip color and jazzy shoes, every day.

  • Beardslee

    I highly recommend the Advanced Style blog to my fellow BK’s. It is devoted to well dressed elderly women that the young man blogger sees around NYC. Some are fabulous and eccentric. Others, bless them, are just nicely dressed. He celebrates them all.

    • marlie

      I **LOVE** the Advanced Style blog. It embodies all of what TLo said, and I just love how each and every one of those ladies makes a point to channel her own style, look her best, and embrace the day. I only hope that I’m that cool when I’m their age.

      I think there’s a book coming out, too.

      • meowing

        Either the Uncles themselves or another BK mentioned Advanced Style about a year ago, and I discovered it then. Just wonderful to see Elders dressed to the 9s and owning every inch of their looks. Maybe there’s hope for me yet! (And I’m getting closer to being Elder myself.)

  • carnush

    Thank you for this. She’s the ultimate inspiration.

  • TLJezebel

    And THAT, Kittens, is how it’s done.

  • Vaniljekjeks

    Amen, says the woman who did yard work in a sexy royal blue bikini this morning.

  • decormaven

    Fabulous. So needed – each and every day.

  • seelebrennt


  • carolynmo

    I should print this and put it somewhere so I’ll see it every day. She is a force!

  • ashtangajunkie

    What a wonderful post. She’s a goddess and that last paragraph is pure gold. Thanks!

  • TerryMH

    I love what she has to say even more than she looks:

    “It took me half my life to understand who I was. How I could I be true to anything when I didn’t know myself? I am able to be truer and truer with myself the older I get, but I am still a work in progress.”

    I think I may have to stick that quote on my desk and read it every day!

  • marlie

    She’s breathtaking. I just love how she carries herself, whether or not she’s a supermodel. LOVELY.

  • Amanda Gun

    Women like this inspire me so much! Seeing someone so fabulous and self assured makes me want to be the best version of me I could possibly be, every single day.

  • stubbornthoughts


  • Jessica Goldstein

    I had an uncle who was also “a work in progress” in his twenty years after 80. He continued to intellectually and emotionally develop long after most people assume you are frozen in a certain role. It was inspirational to see, as are these pictures. On a more shallow note, can we discuss her hands for a quick second? Because regardless of whether they were smoothed with Photoshop, those are some long, slender, impossibly elegant hands.

  • BKagainwiththesweatpants

    PREACH, uncles, PREACH. She–and all of you fierce bitches on this blog–give me life.

    • meowing

      That last paragraph got me. Still had on my ratty clothes from a 6 a.m. walk in muggy weather. Changed clothes, ran a comb through my hair, put on a dab of makeup. That’s ’bout as much as I can manage today, but I’ll do better tomorrow, Uncles! Thanks for the kick in the pants.

      • formerlyAnon

        Go you!

  • MsKitty

    Thanks guys, I needed this. In between your many gigs can you squeeze in a few minutes here and there to be my life coach?

  • Synnae


  • Danielle

    “No, your goal is to remember to be fabulous every day of your life, no matter your age, shape or size.”

    Words to live by. Love you guys.

  • Shawn EH

    How awesome that she’s had MORE covers since she reaching her mid sixties.

  • DilettanteDeconstructed

    I have to admit, I immediately auto-corrected my posture while reading this post.

  • MannahattaMamma

    I have to say that thinking about “owning the day” got me all verklempt. Because really, that’s what it’s all about, even if a person doesn’t have, say, instantly visible cheekbones or snowy white hair or is teetering on the verge of fifty still lugging around the baby weight from baby #2…who is almost nine. Carmen, Carmen, you’ve become a totemic object. I am typing this even as I, yes, bow the eff down.

  • TheAmericaness

    There aren’t enough “likes” in the world.

  • harlowish

    She is fabulous on a level I can never hope to achieve.

    I agree that everyone should strive for fabulousness, but at the same time, I don’t need makeup to feel fabulous.

  • SF_Gal

    Love her sooo much!
    Was sad to hear she lost a lot of $$ in the Madoff mess but love her even more because she deFINES the word Survivor.

  • SportifLateBoomer

    She is stunning. One of her quotes from the movie (About Face?), about supermodels, is my motto for life: “There’s another job, or there isn’t another job. We all have to go sometime, and when I go, I want to go with my high heels on.”

  • ailujailuj

    …remember to be fabulous every day of your life…