Eve Salvail arrives relaxed at our photography studio one December morning. When she sees Ethné Grimes-de Vienne, her past as a model suddenly comes back to her mind. “Ethné, it was you who taught me how to walk on a podium… and that was more than 30 years ago, during the Clin d’œil magazine competition, and we never saw each other again! Amazing ! “, she says.
Eve Salvail won the photogenic prize in the Become a Model competition in 1990, organized by Clin d’œil magazine, and she subsequently had an international career. Recognized for her very unique look with her dragon tattoo on her head, she has paraded for all the most prestigious houses, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel and Versace. She has also been seen in the biggest fashion magazines around the world.
Now, at 52, she’s thrilled to be called upon again for fashion campaigns. “There’s been a craze since the release of Vogue, I’ve received calls from Paris, but I don’t miss it. I’m flattered to see that I’m still being hired and that there are women like me who represent my age group! The population is aging, fashion is evolving, there is a greater diversity of sizes, cultures and ages. There are curvier women out there and it’s about time! », Estimates Eve Salvail, who is a DJ.
Dominique Bertrand, a model in the same years as Ethné Grimes-de Vienne, compliments the latter: “Your approach was splendor on a catwalk, you were breathtaking! » They often worked together in the 1980s. “We were discovered by the same woman, journalist Iona Monahan from The Gazette [who received the Order of Canada in 1985]. We did all the shows and catalogs, The Bay, Eaton, Simpson, Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy. We worked all the time, like crazy, and Montreal was truly a fashion hub! », remembers Dominique Bertrand, who became an author.
“I remember you, Dominique! A goddess ! When I was 15, I remember being amazed by your beauty! I still have vivid memories of it,” says actress and presenter Julie du Page, who was a Cover Girl at 16. Dominique Bertrand almost blushed at this compliment.
“You are in front of a force of nature, I had to fight all the time, with photographers and clients, to find and keep my place. Because at the time, a young black woman, a model, with very short hair, you had to be daring! », Estimates Ethné Grimes-de Vienne, originally from Trinidad.
She remembers her first cover, for a magazine in the Netherlands. “I always found it interesting that this magazine for young girls had no problem in the 1980s putting a young black woman like me on the cover… They were always at the forefront, the Dutch. » “Ethné, you were simply irresistible… with quite a personality! », replies Dominique Bertrand.
During the photography session which takes place in a very festive atmosphere, the discussions are lively and we obviously talk about getting older. They all respond that they are more fulfilled and more confident today, and that they are aging as best they can. “Every age has its charm and if I wasn’t happy with my age at 65, I would say that it is more difficult to age, but I am fulfilled,” says Dominique Bertrand. It’s not easy being young today, growing old comes with all kinds of problems, but I wouldn’t go back to my 20s! »
Eve Salvail knows well that she no longer has the same face as before.
She talks about aesthetic treatments that have evolved over 30 years, and that if necessary, we can make small touch-ups.
“I think it’s amazing, but I don’t want to overdo it, because I just want to look like a 52-year-old woman who slept well! I had the little chicken skin hanging around my neck, it annoyed me, so I took it off! I find it less beautiful, women who overdo it and end up with the same smooth face. They have the same mouth and the same cheeks. That’s what I don’t want, especially since I’ve always stood out, I’ve always been very different. »
“I like to dress young, but I don’t want to look like my 19-year-old daughter,” says Julie du Page.
“I know that when you are an actress, you hope to be timeless so that you are offered more roles, but I am proud to be 50 years old, to have the face that I have and the experience that I ‘have. Growing old is a challenge, but I still marvel at so many things,” says the woman who is also the face of Lancôme for Quebec. “Lancôme contacted me three years ago, I was 48 years old. The more we see women of different ages represented in media and fashion, the more accepted it will be to get older. »
For Dominique Bertrand, every woman knows what she needs, and she does not judge those who undergo cosmetic surgery. The problem is in the dosage, she believes. “When I see women who look plastic and who no longer have any expression on their faces, I tell myself that they have gone too far. And what horrifies me even more is that they can find a doctor to do this to them! I have already done Botox injections and I really found a woman I trusted to do it. The idea is not to look younger than your age, but to look rested! nuance Dominique Bertrand.
Maybe it’s taboo to get old? “Many women do not want to reveal their age, not just in my environment, in fact, because we are afraid of being pushed aside by younger people and because we do not value experience enough,” confides Julie du Page.
“Except in the spice business! », interrupts Ethné.
“I work in the spice world and it’s the opposite! We want a woman who has experience, who knows what she’s talking about, who has traveled all over the world and who has seen and tasted all the spices from different countries, that’s experience! »