“Young women, you're going to be an old woman someday- so don’t worry about it, don’t sweat it, don’t worry about getting older, every era builds character.” That is just some of the advice the women featured in Ari Seth Cohen’s upcoming book Advanced Style doled out at last nights launch party in NYC. What started as a blog of the same name, has been singularly focused, from inception, on ladies and gentlemen of a certain age and their unabashedly bold style choices.
“'The women who I photograph are confident. They know what they like, they know what suits their bodies, and they’re dressing for themselves. They don’t dress based on trends.'" Ari Seth Cohen, New York TimesThe event which was also documented on film by Nowness, gave us a glimpse into how the sartorial mind of older women works. Far from being planted in dated nostalgia, one lady professed her love for Rodarte, “It’s my current favorite.” Another lady explained her love for men's clothes, not pieces inspired by them, but actual suits and such. “What makes it less masculine,” she explained pointing to her delightfully exaggerated baubles, “is that I wear this wonderful brooch.”
Even though it might seem that these women are a bit on the wild side of senior style territory, the message we received loud and clear is that there is actually no such thing a territory or limitations to ones personal fashion choices. In other words, the rules are, that there are no rules. Be an individual, dress according to your mood, live a little. while discussing individuality in fashion all of the women agreed that they felt dressing up was much like “creating a piece of art within yourself.”
Iris Apfel, a woman who has undeniable redefined just how creative and stylish a woman of 90 can be offered her own wonderful take on fashions that might seem over-the-top at first glance. “I think It’s fun to dress up, it’s an exercise in creativity and it makes you feel better. Sometimes you’re in a funk and you put something on and throw yourself around and,,,bam.” In 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City premiered an exhibition about Apfel titled Rara Avis (Rare Bird): The Irreverent Iris Apfel. The self professed “geriatric starlet” has endured many career reincarnations through her lifetime. From running a textile business with her husband for almost 40 years to taking on the design restoration of The White House under the leadership of nine presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. This year though Iris Apfel added yet another title to her ever expanding resume. She created a much lauded, colorful collection for MAC Cosmetics, for which she herself modeled in signature brightly painted nails and owl-shaped massive glasses.
The Maysles brothers who recognized a good thing when they spotted Little Edie Beal and Her mother in 1975 and embarked on shooting possibly one of the greatest documentaries in the history of American cinema, Grey Gardens, have turned their sharp lenses now, on Iris Apfel. In an interview with the New York Times Bradley Kaplan, the president of products at Maysles Films discussed Mrs. Apfel’s charisma as a blend of passion, energy and determination, “She’s wonderfully strong-willed, opinionated and single-minded,” Mr. Kaplan said. “She’s not a waffler.”
Her glasses, he added, “have in effect become a metaphor for her eyes, and through them we’ve found another way of looking at our own world.”
Image VIA The New York Times
Rita Hammer And Loretta Goldstein
Jean (Idiosyncratic Fashionistas)
Ilona Royce Smithkin