I'm not sure I'd see this as old style, that makes me think more in the sepia direction or low contrast b&w. I also think your eyes lost some impact in the processed photo, in the original they really draw my attention. All subjective of course.
I think setting up nice very soft light (beauty dish maybe?) and then working with spot tools and masks etc (or something like portrait professional) should give great results. Your model should also use some nice skin lotion for a couple days before the shoot. Since it's friends, maybe you can just do a couple tests and just show them to her, before anybody else sees them? That might convince her.
Anyway, just a couple thoughts