American supermodel and actress
Carmen Dell'Orefice (born June 3, 1931) is an American supermodel and actress. She is known within the fashion industry for being the world's oldest working model as of the Spring/Summer 2012 season. She was on the cover of Vogue at the age of 15 and has been modeling ever since. Her daily motto is to enjoy herself, at no-one else's expense.
Acting workSolitudeAs 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.
FashionPassionLondon College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, offers the range of subjects that help young designers to arrange the underpinnings that are necessary to get from zero to 10. The hardest part is the beginning, understanding your passion and making the decision that whatever it takes, that's what you're going to do. London College of Fashion shows them what they must do and helps them to find their goal.
FailuresLifeFearThe key to overcoming adversity is to be ready to understand that you have enough, no matter what rug is pulled out from under you. You can't live in fear, or thinking "I'll never figure it out." The more consciously we can understand what we're experiencing, the more that is our protection. So, we run into adversity, but we don't have to stay there if we have imagination and a way to help ourselves change course. Sometimes we can't - knowing the difference is wisdom and the acceptance that we have enough.
FashionAmbitionsWhite colorAgeI have had more magazine covers in the last 25 years than I have had in my whole elongated career. [...] Today I am in a territory that business considers unmarketable: age and white hair. Slowly, however, I started to own that territory little by little because I stood up for age.
LifeYou know, Italian-Hungarian - no matter how linear and cool I look on the outside, I have all that energy trying to find its way through life.
FashionPeopleFashion matters to the degree that it is, for the sighted person, the first language we speak to each other. We are... "judge" is a very harsh word, but we're taking in and we're evaluating. Who is this person? What do I have in common? Do I respect them? All of that is that unspoken visual impact.
AgeLifeI'm doing the best I can with the ravages of time on my body and I'm a work in progress. I can't write a memoir because I can't do it this week or next week... I try to be an inspiration to the young to respect their older people; we can't stay the same, but we do the best we can with what's left. You can't whine about stuff, you have to learn to eat humble pie along the way and keep going, because the alternative is going to happen.
Actors about themselvesI was friends with Salvador Dalí until the day he died. Lucky me. I can't say why. I didn't live to be noticed, I lived to enjoy the excitement of doing right that day, and I knew I was doing it right when they would have me back. That was the thrill for me. I yearned to be validated because my mother was stern and I never did much right, that's how I perceived it.
MoneyLifeThe money I've earned has enabled me to keep my life in my own hands. I had a terrific body, and I got paid for using it.
AgeLifeMy life has been amazing. How many other ladies of 76 can say that the snapshot on their senior citizen's card was taken by Norman Parkinson?
LifeI don't live for stuff and things, and if I had to live in a cardboard box, I would put curtains on it.
MoneyArtThe minute we don't finance the arts, the accountants, attorneys and politicians keep taking the cream of money off the top and it doesn't trickle down unless all of society understands that we must support the arts, whether it's ballet, opera, fashion. Fashion is like opera, is like ballet, is like theatre. It's a visual theatre.
FashionClothesStyleFashion goes in cycles but nothing has changed. When it's ridiculous it's more ridiculous than ever, and when it's wonderful it becomes more wonderful than ever because now more people think: "I dress the body I have, not I have to change the body to wear the fashion." That's what I admire about the growth of the fashion industry. I also think it's wonderful that there is the opportunity to use different textures and fabrics on different colour skins. I am inspired by that.
Self-DisciplineFashionClothesI'm totally formed by my mother's interest in fashion. As a Hungarian immigrant, she couldn't afford clothes. She made all her clothes from patterns. It was not dépassé to make your own clothes, it was a respected skill and it was financially expedient. I learned that doing it yourself, having self-discipline and working went hand in hand. To work passionately at something is the key. I'm fortunate and blessed to have had, for the most part in my life, the privilege to work at something I'm passionate about.
AmbitionsWomanI'm a working woman of 80 trying to work out what the image I can project is. How I can do it with, you know, dignity.
MarriageI didn't marry to have children. I married to have a relationship, and I was blessed with one child. I was an only child, too - my mother was smarter than most women today; she just had me.
BeautyWomanWhen asked her view of cosmetic surgery, Carmen Dell'Orefice replies, '”That's a very polite way of asking me, I'm sure, ‘Have you had a facelift?' Well, if you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have a repair?
FashionClothesStyleFashion is more about taste than money - you have to understand your body and tailor clothes to your needs; it's all about the fit. I do the alterations myself - I'm quite a seamstress - it's the influence of my Hungarian mother.
ArtWe're all works of art in progress.
LoveThere’s always a boyfriend... Whatever else I have to give up on, I won’t give up on love.
TimeLifeMy philosophy is the balance of remembering the past but not living in it, to know where you are in the moment, to project a little in the future and be ready to change. It's how you experience the grace to enjoy the smell of the pavement after a rain - the little things in life to make you satisfied. I never settle for anything that doesn't give me a modicum of pleasure if not total joy and satisfaction. It's allowed, that's what we're supposed to feel. How can we, from an empty cup, offer a stranger a drink of water? You have to fill that cup to the brim!
PeopleWe are oceans apart. My mother had a very difficult life.
Even with a computer, I can't get rid of all the papers in my life.
If your ceiling is falling down, don't you call someone in? I apply the same principle to myself.
I'm loath to do interviews. What comes out is generally not what I meant or thought I was saying or thought they were asking.
My mother was harsh and constantly told me I had jug ears and heaven knows what else. But she was devoted and a hard worker.
If you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have a repair?
We were so poor that my mother would often leave me in a foster home until she could raise enough money to rent rooms for us.