Model Citizen: Dorothy Miller

This woman has been pushing modelling stereotypes for decades.

September 3, 2015

By Jenni Elliott / Photo: Trevor Brady

“I have to wait for a few more people to die before I release my book,” says model Dorothy Miller with a laugh. Discovered at 51, Miller has a grin that makes you wonder what she’s not telling. Now 82, she flaunts a classic grace and style that could easily be lifted from Paris’s Avenue Montaigne. “I’m always in black or white,” says this feisty octogenarian. But in other ways, all bets are off: “I’m disorganized, unpredictable, and game for anything.”

How were you discovered? I was working for Alberto Leone. A lady from Blanche Macdonald modelling school came in and gave me her card—which I later tore up. I assumed she was trying to sell me for something.

When was the last time you modeled before you started this year? Over twenty years ago.

And how were you rediscovered? I have shopped at Leone for 20 years. The stylist there put me in a horrendously expensive leather jacket, and I sat at a white grand piano. Someone must have seen the picture and thought they could work with me.

What design house has influenced your style? Versace. There are so many beautiful black pieces. I can be driving by, look in the window of a store, and know that piece is for me. If I see it, it fits.

What’s your favourite piece? The one I’m wearing now. I wore it to my boss [Jason Bosa]’s wedding. His bride [Ashley] was very gorgeous, but I was told my speech was great and that I looked terrific. Several times, Jason has fired me. I always reply with, “I quit.” But I’ve never left the store.

What is your guiding principle for personal style? My favourite expression for older women is that I don’t like to see mutton dressed up like lamb—just wear what suits you.


This isn’t the first time you’ve crossed paths with Vancouver Magazine? Yes, I do have some pieces in Vancouver Magazine; it was a feature on women over 50, of course it’s been quite a few years since then. That was an exciting time.

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever had to wear? It was a wedding shoot and I was mother of the bride, and I told them: ‘I would never, ever wear something to a wedding like that.’

How long have you worked for Jason Bosa? I’ve been at Palladio for almost 20 years now in sales and design. I love the jewelry end of it, especially engagement rings and special events.

Do you own a pair of jeans? I own a pair of Alexander MacQueen jeans, they’re tuxedo: black with velvet down the sides.

3 pieces you would take on holiday? I must take my Jimmy Choo shoes, they go with everything. I have a pair of sparkly sandles that look good, and I must take a sarong.

Do you have a fondness for other types of art besides fashion? I love music, anytime I hear any Andreas Bocelli music, or almost any music, I start to cry.


Behind the scenes photos from Dorothy’s shoot by the author:

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