Dear Shaded Viewers,
Ilona is 100 years old now and I had the great pleasure visiting her in New York with my dear friend Ari Seth Cohen aka Advanced Style. She sings, she dances, she paints and clearly she writes. Ilona Royce Smithkin, the iconic cover girl from the Advanced Style documentary, began keeping a journal when she turned 99. Her new book, Ninety-Nine, Straight Up, No Chaser, is taken from the pages of that journal and is a record of her thoughts on life and what’s important, her relationships, her artwork, and her connection with the sea and the blustery Cape Cod weather where she lives. It is also a self-dialogue on the challenges and beauty of having a century-old body. When Ari Seth Cohen brought me to meet her she told us some funny stories about Tennessee Williams and how Ari Seth Cohen played such an important place in her life taking people over 60 and putting them in the limelight for their beauty and their spirit
Published on May 1, 2020, Ninety-Nine, Straight Up, No Chaser is also a remembrance of things past, as Ilona writes about her life in New York City, her travels, and moments with David Bowie, Tennessee Williams, Djuna Barnes, Anaïs Nin and more.
At 100 years old, Ilona has more to say.
“What I see in the media about aging is advertising, not reality. This book is the truth. It’s my journey, but it will resonate with others like me and those who love or care for someone going through the physical, emotional and spiritual process of getting older.”
Ilona Royce Smithkin
From the back cover:
Ilona opens her treasure chest of 100 years of wisdom, illuminating a path paved in gratitude and filled with pure love, joy and excitement at the privilege of being alive and making every second count. Ilona is a beacon of light and an inspiring example of how to live a meaningful life!
Demi Moore, actress, producer and author of, Inside Out
Ilona’s joyful and self-created glamour serves as inspiration, at a time when we need it most. I treasure the thoughtful wisdom she generously shares.
Dita Von Teese, burlesque queen and New York Times bestselling author
About Ilona Royce Smithkin
With her handmade, three-inch, bright-orange eyelashes, Ilona caught everyone’s attention when she was featured in Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog. When the blockbuster documentary of the same name came out, Ilona was the cover girl for the movie poster, wrapped in a red feather boa.
Since then, Ilona has been on the Today Show (twice!), been photographed for magazines around the world, modeled at New York Fashion Week and published a previous book, Joy Dust, Ilona at 96.