The other night we were treated to the new documentary “Advanced Style” based on the New York blog.
From the official site:
Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohenâ€™s famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Westernâ€™s cultureâ€™s increasing obsession with youth.
It’s an engaging and life affirming film about some very interesting women and how they choose to dress.
Their age is irrelevant though: these are creative people who like to express themselves, and have fun with their look. For them, it’s not about “challenging…ideas about beauty”, it’s about enjoying life.
I liked Joyce Carpati’s attitude: “I never wanted to look young. I wanted to look great.” I’m sure she didn’t wait to reach age 80 before looking fabulous, it’s a way of life for her: an elegant and classic style, she resembles an aristocratic ballet director. Inspirational. She’s like the glamourous grandmother of your dreams – ladies like Joyce used to run finishing schools for young ladies but now thanks to the internet she can inspire us all.
It’s only the young that are surprised that older people can be interesting and stylish – we get so hung up on age, but you are who you are throughout your life, only more so as you get older. You’ve had more time to experiment, to discover yourself and your strengths. You’re less scared (hopefully) of the slings and arrows of others shallow opinions.
Those who are over sixty remember what it was like to dress in the age of hats and gloves, and knew better how to put an outfit together, to dress for your figure and make the most of accessories. Perhaps they’re better educated, well travelled and have developed more life skills purely from having more time to do so?
Some of the ladies in this film are in their prime, and far too young (I thought) to be “Advanced” but the title is a respectful one, even if Ari himself seems to feel as if old age is something that happens to other people. I think it’s easy, when you’re young to feel that there’s a lot of distance between you and your elders but time passes much more quickly than you expect (or would like) and it happens to all of us, assuming we’re fortunate to live that long.
The stars of “Advanced Style” are a reminder that life goes on, and can be as rich as you wish it – they’re a diverse bunch and part of the fun for me was seeing how different they are, and how put together into a group, they’re no more likely to get along than any other bunch of strangers but they share a joy of fashion, a love of colour and texture and are happy to invite us into their world.
Madman have sent me five double passes, valid at most cinemas screening the film around Australia – to win one, please leave a comment about the older woman who inspires you the most – she can be any age, because really, I believe that style is not about age at all, but an attitude. Entries close Saturday midnight and winners will be chosen at random – good luck!
The stars of “Advanced Style” at the New York premier, photo reproduced courtesy “Advanced Style” blog.