To celebrate the 80th birthday of iconic American supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice LCF is proud to announce a retrospective exhibition to mark the extraordinary achievements of a woman whose career is still as strong today as it was over 60 years ago.
With unprecedented access to Carmen’s personal archives and curated by renowned fashion artist David Downton, the exhibition, which opens on 16 November 2011 and is simply titled CARMEN: A Life in Fashion, will present a very personal insight into the glamorous and eventful career of the world’s most elegant woman.
As well as honouring Carmen through this exhibition and in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the fashion industry, Carmen Dell’Orefice will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of the Arts London at LCF’s annual graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 19 July 2011.
Carmen, who was first discovered in New York at the age of 13, whilst riding a bus to a ballet class, was gracing the cover of Vogue by the age of 15. Her early and meteoric success led her to work with some of the most famous fashion photographers of the era including Irving Penn, Francesco Scavullo, Norman Parkinson, Cecil Beaton, Horst P Horst, Richard Avedon, Gleb Derujinsky, Victor Skrebenesky and Hiro.
The daughter of a Hungarian mother and Italian father – Carmen grew up a resourceful and determined young woman – with little money and no phone Vogue sent runners to her apartment to let her know about modeling jobs. She was often seen roller skating to assignments to save the bus fare and as an accomplished seamstress she made extra money by making clothes – one of her customers was fellow model Dorian Leigh.
As one of the world’s original supermodel, and in the current age where youth is venerated, Carmen’s enduring beauty, style and fortitude has transcended generations and seasonal trends to make her a true icon of the 21st century.
Professor Frances Corner commented;
We are absolutely delighted to announce an exhibition and series of events to mark the 80th birthday of our dear friend and supporter Carmen Dell’Orefice. It is a great honour to have access to such personal archives which unravel the story of her extraordinary career. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the college in 2011, to join us for the celebrations, which we hope will inspire and delight.