25 Sep 2012

Isabella Rossellini: All In Black

 

I don’t know how it happens that a face can be so expressive, so beautiful and so radiant… it is as if a miracle has occurred… but some faces are extraordinary and Isabella Rossellini has one of those faces. A good gene pool helps… undoubtedly… but surely it is more than that…. a combination effect… inner beauty, confidence, spirituality, contentment… expressiveness… all blended together with a little magic.

 

I saw Isabella Rossellini recently in Paris… and truthfully, her face is so much more engaging in reality. Together with Sande, I met the wonderful Carol Fertig, the creator behind Object-Lesson, at the Martin Margiela designed hotel, The Maison des Champs Élysées in the 8th arrondissement… We met for a drink… stayed for dinner… and watched the restaurant pack up… It was that kind of night… great chat, much in common and so much to say… and as embarrassing as it is to admit, a celebrity only adds to the buzz… especially when it is a woman ‘of a certain age’ that I have long admired.

 

Isabella Rossellini sat quietly, she knew that she had been recognised… she couldn’t help it… we were the only guests. Yet there was no sign of impatience or annoyance from her… she enjoyed her dinner and we enjoyed ours. We liked to think that she would have joined in our girl talk if she could… we saw her looking over from time to time… As she left the room she winked at our table…as if to say, ‘have fun you three… it looks like a fabulous time you are having’… We were.

 

I have already said that she is beautiful and truthfully that is an understatement. Isabella Rossellini is 60 and I think she is more lovely now than in her younger years. She was dressed simply… all in black… her hair cropped very short… boy style… Her face was un-made up… or if so, artfully so… with a slash of lipstick to define her mouth. She needed no decoration.. no fashion statement to mark her presence… For Isabella Rossellini, less was so much more.

 

I re-learned many things that night. Beauty is not reserved for the young… beauty is for us all, whatever age we may be. Beauty is all about personal style and the conviction to go forth and shine. I realise that the women I find most attractive, most fashionable and most interesting… the ones that I wish to emulate are generally older than me. I find this peculiar considering we live in a youth obsessed culture, but I don’t want to look like a ‘red carpet wannabe’… I want to be elegant, I wish to feel beautiful and I want to do this with my own signature… and most of all I want to find the confidence to age gracefully.

 

We can’t all have this face but we can have the same grace and style. xv

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78 Comments

Pamela

I admire Isabella since I was a young girl and she was the Lancôme Model. Wow, she must be really beautiful in person. I also would like to age gracefully just like Isabella, Ines de la Fressange and Meryl Streep. To have that inner glow, contentment and joy! Have a wonderful week.

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Jojo

Great post. I love Isabella and I adore Leslie Caron and Catherine Deneuve. The older I get the more I appreciate these beautiful women who appear to bask in their beauty and their age while continuing to pursue thei careers.

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Vicki

They are truly inspirational… and for many of them, their careers have continued to grow… which is admirable… and promising… :)

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Teresa @ Splendid Sass

It is wonderful to see a truly beautiful person, especially when they are our age or older. The fact that she wore black and lipstick tells me a lot. What can be more chic?
I am happy that you had such a wonderful time in Paris.
Happy Monday.
Teresa
xoxo

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Caramel et Fleur de sel

I’ve always admired Isabella Rossellini. Not only she is still as beautiful as ever but she also has a lot of class- which in my opinion cannot be bought.
Do you remember the movie “Cousins”? It’s one my favorite all-time movies.
Lovely post, Vicky …. also thank you very much for your sweet message – I am touched.
x

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Melissa Lee

Love this post! I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a woman of a certain age whose face reflects a life well lived, savored and enjoyed. The pretty younger face is beautiful as well, but until life leaves its imprint of joy and sorrow, softened by love shared….that is the interesting face. And when a woman is at peace with herself and where she is the glow behind the face lights up a room like no other. Here’s to that woman of a certain age….I love being one of them….not quite at Isabella’s age, but getting there gracefully and lovingly!

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mary

I’ve been following “Object-Lesson” almost from day-one–it is fantastic. I learn something with every post. As far as Isabella, timeless, gorgeous, my hero. Have a wonderful week.
Mary

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Pam@over50feeling40

Beauty is for all of us and she represents the 50+ crowd so well. Hopefully, more media will begin to see that there is beauty in every face! There is a story behind each expression. Excellent post…have a great week!

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Vicki

I think media is changing slowly… There is no denying that youth is beautiful… but beauty is by no means exclusive…

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Giovanna Murgia

Come sono convinta che, non solo magro è bello, sono convinta che, non solo giovane è bello,ma anche la maturità ha il suo fascino.
Da sempre ho ammirato Isabella Rosselini,la sua classe e la sua eleganza,quando era il volto della Lancome.Lei è stupenda ancora oggi!!!!!
Giò

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Anita Rivera

HERE HERE!

I truly believe what you say that “….beauty is for us all.” It has to be developed from the INSIDE OUT or else we will always be in hot pursuit over an IDEA rather than our own reality. I have never seen her in person, but I have seen other women that our local, urban legends who are even older and radiate confidence and love. Love never dies, never grows old….and when that is your source, even ETERNITY is not the limit for a woman or man who loves from within.

On a fashion note, I truly believe in a dark shade of lipstick for myself. I have very fair skin for being of Spanish descent, and have a mop of natural black hair that won’t quit. I have learned in our American culture that is obsessed with being blond (blonds are fabulous) that being brunette is difficult when you are young. But as a brunette ages, she can use her dark hair along with black and chic clothing to create that dramatic contrast….I don’t even bother with eye make-up any more due to constant styes, but lipstick and a simple pair of diamond studs will suit me just fine, thank you very much.

:)))))))))

BEAUTIFUL POST, VICKI! Anita

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Vicki

I agree Anita… and if a women loves, is loved and is in love… there is nothing more beautiful… despite age… as for dark lipstick… I am fair and I love it too… :)

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Mary-Jill

I agree Anita. I am 63 and wear light foundation, mascara and lipstick. I have given up trying to figure out eye make up – can’t see to put it on anyway unless I have my glasses on – whereas you can’t miss with mascara! A good cut to my shoulder length hair, streaked regularly with just enough light blonde to blend with the grey completes my look. I am finally content with my looks.

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Mary-Jill

Oh, and I forgot the diamond studs. Recently had my ears pierced a second time and two nicely proportioned diamond studs look fabulous, not too much, just enough.

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Victoria

You saw her in person?!?!? OMG, what a treat! I love Isabella, she’s been one of my favorite classic beauties since I was a teenager. When my friend went to Europe in the 80’s she brought me back a European Vogue with Isabella on the cover…my mom threw it out when I moved out in my 20’s:(

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Vicki

It was a treat… and as I never seem to see anyone famous…. the last few months for me have been a bonanza… :)

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hopflower

Isabella Rossellini is a beauty, no doubt. There is plenty to admire there. I would love to see her in person. I think the thing I miss most is seeing people (women AND men) with style. Young people are almost always gorgeous; it is easy for them. They too however, often look like a cookie cutter version of beauty: all the same. But a woman of a certain age with style and beauty has almost become a thing of the past. Trainers, jeans, over-sized sweaters and coats, extreme make up and body art have taken over and rarely do you see someone with simple good taste anymore; particularly here in California. It might be different elsewhere in the U.S.

By the way, do you remember what colour lipstick she was wearing?

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La Contessa

OH< first INES and now ISABELLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yes, I agree with you about admiring the older woman who has style all her own!What a sighting!I cant believe she is 60!Do you remember that poster of her with the snake?I had that hanging in my bathroom years ago!Oh, just beautiful………….who's next to spot!!??

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Karen in CT

.. another great enounter, Ines the best .. slowly I have come to realize that much of beauty is how one carries themselves, and facial countenance .. she was on Graham Norton show one night (we get on BBC America) and was lovely and funny. I signed onto object-lesson and said you were my reference (it looks interesting). Thanks again, love your posts.

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Vicki

A smile can change everything.. that’s what I notice as I age… A smile can cover a multitude…

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Jillayne

When I read this post I thought, “Yes, that is exactly how I have been these past months” – looking to older women to be inspired, to see how style and grace blend together to a dynamic that is beautiful, elegant and simple. Almost as if, as we age we learn that paring away all the excesses of fashion will actually reveal, a distillation of it, if you will.
Beautifully written Vicki.

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quintessence

Love everything about this. Firstly Isabella – I’ve long been an admirer and used to see her occasionally in Soho in the “old” days and totally agree with all your comments on her beauty, stature and elegant radiance. Love Carol’s Object Lesson (I’m a subscriber) and the hotel sounds fabulous – all in all a total treat!

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Keri

Ah.. she is beautiful. I pay little attention to age when it comes to my search for inspiration. I am 30 and frequently find wonderful inspiration from women older than I am. I admire their confidence and poise and steadfast ignoring of anything trendy that does not suit– a characteristic I’m still trying to acquire.

Your post today inspired me. I read it just before getting dressed, and went straight to my closet and put on a black outfit: a very soft, slim-fitting, long sleeved, ballet-neck tee with a full mid-length skirt and a pair of nude color ballet flats. I feel like a ballerina. ;)

Thanks for the inspiration!
Keri

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Manya

Dear Vicki
You couldn’t be more correct. Beauty is for any age and often times supercedes youth. Sure it’s wonderful to be a stick without wrinkles but there is something about an older woman and how she carries herself. That’s why I admire French women.

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Hallie

I love the way you describe Isabella and that is an exquisite photo. I have admired her from a distance as well and I was shocked to hear she is 60.

Years ago, before the Champs Elysees was “malled” by chain stores,or wasn’t quite completely taken over, my younger daughter and I were passing a cafe. Two ladies, well into their seventies were lunching outdoors. Exquisitely dressed they were, in autumn prints, with bold jewelry and make up, but it was enough make up to do the face, more than the usual French way. And I thought, one day I want to look that polished at their age, and enjoy friendship and outings just as much. I can still see one of the faces today, smiling at her friend on that sunny autumn afternoon.

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Vicki

It is funny how something so simple can stay with us for such a long time and impact our thoughts quite considerably…

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Elle from Elle's picturebook

Oh what a treat to see her in the flesh!

That is the 2nd recent encounter with a star for you isn’t it! wonderful!

Elle x

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Vicki

Yes… and I never see anybody famous! ANd I didn’t mention before… but I saw the Queen a few months ago.. so there we have my 3… :)

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BARNALI GUHA

what an inspiring post. Although, i would like to think white or any color would work fine as long as it is not too pattern riddled. I admire women who have it all together and am forever doing edits in my mind on what I should do to have my next social/work look graceful.

Vicki, you saw the queen? Wow!! You have the trifecta – Ines, Isabella and Her Majesty!

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cathi

The quality that I have always loved about Isabella Rossellini aside from her obvious natural beauty, is her joy for life – it radiates from within her!

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Hallie

Yes to Cathi and Vicki above – but also what struck me about Isabella when she would be interviewed is how strong she is, how she knows who she is and what she stands for. There never was a question. It’s the depth of character that we are responding to behind that magnificent face. Don’t you think?

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Vicki

Yes, she appears supremely comfortable with herself… and that is the ultimate in attractiveness…

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Leslie

Beauty starts from within .. it’s always about confidence isn’t it? She is stunning and an inspiration for all (especially those of us in our 50’s and the many that are preparing to throw in the towel because everything is heading south.. ) Less IS MORE and I believe that pertains to make up AND dress choice. I love your attitude Vicki .. age gracefully, keep your sense of who you are.. enjoy life :)

(I always enjoy those links.. keep them coming! We are on the same page!)

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hopflower

It is wonderful to see someone with so much style ad beauty seemingly without trying much. It is very tiring to see people who seem to have no clue when it comes to less is more. In California one sees many women dressed to the nines with full makeup; but sadly they have missed that classic elegance and basically, most look like cookie cutter images of one another. It is easy to be pretty when one has youth; give me a classic mature well-dressed and well-made up mature lady every time. Isabella is the epitome of understated elegance and beauty.

Did you happen to notice what shade of lipstick she was wearing?

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Karena

Vicki, Isabella inspires me tremendously as we are both the same age. She has always been true to herself; her style, her panache.

xoxo,
Karena
2012 Artist Series

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Rosanne

Hello Vicki, I’m a new follower. I too am a fan of Isabella Rossellini, Sophia Loren, Carmen Dell’Orefice, and Maia Helles. Good genes help for sure, but the true essence of beauty comes from the grace within us. I don’t know if you have seen this video, but I thought you might enjoy watching it.

http://youtu.be/cZG1XqFUBDQ

Lovely post!!

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Vicki

I did… and I promise myself to do more pilates and yoga… flexibility is the key to ageing well…

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Suzanne de Cornelia

Lucky you! That would have been a real treat to see her–admire her so much.

I learned from my mother, grandmother and her French friend. Black, simple, spare. Keep the body beneath in shape, and never think of age–we are lucky to even be here. They equated radiance with beauty and thought radiance came from exercise, healthy diets, good thoughts, and beautiful hearts.

They were taught by French nuns to simply do one’s best–focusing on grace and character…and as you saw in Isabella, a bit of wit adds charm to life.

Lovely post and reminder that being a woman is sooo much fun!

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Clare

Vicki – You say “I want to be elegant, I wish to feel beautiful and I want to do this with my own signature… and most of all I want to find the confidence to age gracefully.”
I don’t know you but I do know your blog and I love it, the only blog I read. I can tell you that you already are those things you want and wish for. You already have your own beaturiful signatrue and (without at all wanting to imply you are aging!) you are one of the older woman that I want to emulate. I admire your style, your attention to detail and your persistence in pursuing beauty.
Cx

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Vicki

I think it is a constant battle to age gracefully… just when you think you have it under control… it can turn around and surprise you…:)
Ageing well, not just physically, is an ongoing journey and process… and one that we must enjoy as well as do well. I admit to loving this decade… it has a freedom and a spark that I would not have foreseen… and I am so fortunate because I love what I do… every day…

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Brenda

I am so inspired by Isabella. I saw her interviewed some months ago and it inspired me to start growing out my hair not in length but in colour to reveal the true silver streaked me underneith. Although Isabella didn’t have grey hair it was her confidence and poise and cut that inspired me. Also it’s brilliant that silver marries a treat with black and white which seems to be the basis of my wardrobe.

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Vicki

I always feel best in black… not because I don’t love colour… but because it does work beautifully with silvering hair… I seem to save my colour for the summer months and my black for autumn and winter…

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emily

Vicki, I spent a good part of Saturday night searching for photo archives for pics of Isabella. The reason is, I watched Cousins again after not seeing it for many years. Your post was so timely. One thing I noticed about Isabella in the film, is her serenity. I think that is key to aging gracefully. I’ve noticed some women recently, of a certain age, that have such cross looks on their faces. I am sure they do not realize it. But somehow, I was captivated by the gentle peace and serentity in Isabella’s visage. Even the pics of her today have the same expression. I realized right then that a woman must eliminate the hardness, the dark expression. She must allow herself to be lit from within. That look will transcent the march of time.

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Vicki

I think that it is true that our lives and how we live them are reflected on our faces… Perhaps we are drawn to inner contentment and that is what we, as women, find attractive…

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Angie Muresan

She is a true beauty! Every time I encounter a celebrity I don’t know what to do. I usually act like I have no idea who they are, and let them enjoy their time out and about, but I wonder if that’s the right thing to do. I always wonder afterwards, if they perhaps would have welcomed the acknowledgement.

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Margaret

Truely inspirational, great photo and what a wonderful setting for you to see her. Tres chic personified, a motto I try and live my life by, contentment on the inside really shows on the outside.
Lovely post Vicki,
Margaret

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jane spiro

Oh to be so beautiful……But I agree the thing is to get the concept…and be beautiful in your own way…
Best Regards
Jane Spiro

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yvonne

I have always thought she was gorgeous. Remember the
makeup company that gave her a hard time? Isabella has
a timeless beauty. By the way, so do you Vicky.
Would loved to have seen her. Lucky you.
yvonne

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Catherine

Oh, I so agree with every word you brilliantly say, Vicki…I was fortunate to see this beautiful lady in a restaurant in London many years ago…and she was absolutely enchanting I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she sweetly noticed this and gave me a little wave; I’ve never forgotten that evening or her beauty and grace…she is exceptional as you say, her inner beauty simply shines!
Catherine
xx

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playing with scarves

Hi Vicki,
Isabella deserves all your nice comments. She is fabulous! When I used to work for l’Oreal (= Lancôme) many years ago, lots of us would “fight” to attend the shootings. Isabella was gorgeous and friendly and I agree she still is.
Elegance, style, and seduction have nothing to do with age. Let’s think about Ines de la Fressange, Andy McDowell, Jane Fonda… All over 50 and still stunning. Diane Keaton is also one of my favorite references. Besides inner elegance, they all have something in common: they love life and they enjoy it as much as possible. Much better than botox or plastic surgery. Times have changed. We know that we are like good wine: a little bit older, much better. This was a comforting post to all of us who are dreading the aging process… Thanks :-) :-)
A bientôt,
xo
Anne – who will look at her wrinkles tomorrow with a smile! yessss!

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Mary Jo

Vicki, this was such a lovely post. I agree so much with what you write. One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, who literally floored me with her presence is a photographer, 72 years old. I’ve always loved Isabella Rossellini, so perfect that she was there with you in the restaurant!

xo Mary Jo

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Irina

I have admired and adored this beautiful icon for ages! Not only for her beauty, but for her grace, kindness, and brilliant wit…
I love that she gave you that wink…just reaffirms all of those qualities!!
xoxo

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Clare

I agree. Isabella Rossellini is one of the most beautiful women in the world. How lovely to hear that she is even more so in real life!

~ Clare x

Reply

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