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The Age Issue

W Celebrates Steven Klein's Time Capsule

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Amber Valletta, Steven Klein, and Courtney Love   
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Age happens. "It's a reality, unfortunately," Carine Roitfeld said last night, at the unveiling of Time Capsule, a video installation by Steven Klein that stares this cold, hard fact in the eye. An elaboration of a photo spread in the September issue of W, Klein's dramatic black-and-white footage stars Amber Valletta, in heavy makeup, as a middle-aged and finally geriatric femme du monde.

Klein's shoot was just the beginning, though. "The idea was to make an event out of it," explained W editor Stefano Tonchi. Hence the parting of black curtains as guests walked into the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, stripped bare as an empty airplane hangar. As images of Valletta played on giant screens, the soundtrack's eerie throb made Champagne flutes buzz on the glass-top bar. On each of the ten screens, a different scenario—and the fashion in it—suggested a different decade: Prada for the sixties, Ferragamo for the eighties. "We are a fashion magazine, after all," Tonchi said.

Appropriately, a multi-generational crowd was circulating, one that included Daphne Guinness, Rose McGowan, and the youthful and ubiquitous Courtin-Clarins sisters and cousins. Valletta declared that staring her future self in the face hadn't fazed her. "If I look like that, I'd be cool with it," she said. "Both my grandmothers have aged amazingly and really still own their femininity. One is in her eighties and just found a boyfriend! It's just the idea of mortality that scares us, I guess," she concluded. In her oldest, most wrinkled phase, Valletta's character appears to be dressed for a bondage session and sips from a glass of something that we're guessing isn't water. No fear here.

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