• profiles

    Irene Bilo

    irene bilo, 54, costumer

    Dress and Act Your Age

    There’s New York in the late ’70s, and then there’s AGEIST favorite Irene Bilo’s New York in the late ’70s: nights at Studio 54, days spent hanging out with Andy Warhol, Halston and Grace Jones.

    The Montreal native actually moved to the metropolis to study theater, but when she was hand-picked to assist the artist Richard Bernstein, her path took an infinitely more colorful turn. Bernstein was the cover artist for Warhol’s Interview magazine, which meant a front row seat at one of contemporary art’s defining eras.

    “I don’t have many regrets,” she says. “And I did some crazy things.”

    Her path led her to Italy, where she lived for 17 years and picked up her fourth language (after Ukrainian, Russian and English). When she returned to the States, splitting time between LA and New York to work as a costume designer and stylist on commercials and TV series, she noticed a big difference.

    “People don’t really mix in America as much as they do in Europe,” she says. “In Europe, you go to a club and it’s all ages. I think Europeans are just comfortable with aging gracefully, whereas here it’s looked down upon.”

    The emphasis in America is on the physical, with often disastrous results in the styling department. “At my age, I don’t want to run around in a crop top, showing my belly, even if I’m in perfect shape,” she says. “I feel like I’d like a bit more decorum.”

    She winces when she remembers a conversation she overheard where a bunch of 20-somethings she worked with savaged Madonna’s style after a show. “You’re 57 years old, and I think competing with 20-somethings on that level isn’t the greatest thing,” she says.

    So…dress and act your age? That doesn’t ring true either. When she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t always recognize the person staring back.

    “I don’t feel so different. I make better choices. I’m not as impetuous. I have a spiritual life, which is a big deal and which I didn’t have when I was younger,” she says. “I meditate. I take care of myself more. When I was young, I thought I could live forever and abuse my body every which way and I don’t do that anymore.”

    She does still slum it with the younger crowd, though. And revels in it.

    “Every age is important and it’s important to keep an open mind,” she says. “Everyone has an impact. Because there’s wisdom in age, and there’s wisdom in youth.”


    Previous articleHambis Charalambous
    Next articleSteve Radenbaugh
    - Advertisement -

    Don't Miss Out!

    Sign up for the AGEIST newsletter! It's FREE and delivered to your inbox weekly.

    Andreas Tzortzis
    Andreas Tzortzis
    He has worked as a journalist for the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Monocle Magazine from Berlin and London before leading Red Bull’s mainstream-facing content platform, The Red Bulletin, from Los Angeles. He recently returned to his hometown of San Francisco with his small family. dre@agei.st
    - Advertisement -


    Ann-Sophie “Fred” Lakso, 56: Love and Sex Addiction Therapist

    People call you Fred — where did that come from? My real name, Ann-Sofie, always ended up as either Sofie or Ann. One time somebody...

    A Better Multivitamin Post-Menopause

    The multivitamin is a traditional staple in families across the globe. For far too long, a common approach to vitamins has been, quantity over...

    A New You in the New Year? News From the Frontiers of Aesthetic Surgery

    News from the frontiers of aesthetic surgery. For those of you interested in a nip and tuck and what is involved, our expert Diana...

    Fully Alive at the Modern Elder Academy 

    Waking to the sound of Pacific waves breaking had become a welcome change to the usual morning symphony of traffic and sirens in our...

    Quick and Easy Raw Coconut Protein Balls Recipe

    This Keto Coconut Recipe Is Sure to Make Your Sweet Cravings Disappear By Ingrid De La O. All photos by TUSOL Wellness.These are so fast...

    Hiroshi Fujiwara, 55: Men’s Style Icon

    The realm of what is acceptable and what is possible in everything to do with people our age needs some radical expanding. What does...