Ilona Royce Smithkin, Improbable Muse in Fashion and Art, Dies at 101

After a troubling youth and a career teaching art, she sashayed into the roles of movie actress, cabaret singer, fashion model and artists’ mentor.

Ilona Royce Smithkin, who as an orange-haired nonagenarian with matching two-inch eyelashes caught fire in the world of fashion, starring in a documentary film and joining fashion campaigns for brands like Coach, while flinging embers into many other fields as a muse for photographers, filmmakers and entertainers — a joyous persona that took a lifetime to build after a grim childhood — died on Aug. 1 at her home in Provincetown, Mass. She was 101.

The death was confirmed by Melinda Levy, a longtime friend and a

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