Amber Valletta Through the Ages

In its September issue, W magazine featured a 20-page spread depicting Amber Valletta quite literally aging until she reaches 120.

An aged Amber Valetta in W magazine.

GETTING OLD: In its September issue, W magazine featured a 20-page spread shot by Steven Klein and depicting Amber Valletta quite literally through the ages — until the biblical age of 120. There’s more to the story, though. On Monday, W editor in chief Stefano Tonchi and Klein will fete the work at the Park Avenue Armory with a new video installation called “Time Capsule,” bringing to life this particular aging process in short films that will be projected in an installation of 10 11-by-20-foot screens art directed by Etienne Russo of Villa Eugenie.

For Valletta, the prospect of aging prematurely for the occasion with facial prosthetics was daunting at first — particularly with the youth-obsessed industries that she frequents. “I was a little scared,” she told WWD. “I didn’t know if there would be some push back at me in the industry, but it’s been very positive. As a woman, I was concerned, but art is about facing those fears and exploring something you might not be ready to explore.” Klein thought Valletta was perfect for the part: “Great actresses empty themselves and become vessels channeling forces beyond them. She has this capacity.”

This story first appeared in the September 9, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Valletta is unlikely to show up as an octogenarian on Monday, but the experience taught the 37-year-old a few more things about beauty. “Age will happen to all of us,” she said. “It’s a depiction of what a girl could look like and still be fashionable.”

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