Fashion fades, style remains eternal
Fashion and beauty intern Marieke Merts muses on the trend of aging gracefully.
I have often looked at older women, on the train, on the street , and wondered to myself at what age the “ granny look” becomes almost uniform. Is it a switch that goes off on your birthday one year, where you abandon your normal attire and switch to dusty shades of pastels, a string of pearls and an oversized cardi? Or does it happen gradually, where you lay your hands on a garment in a shop and instead of heading to the cash register as you normally would, you shrug and think: "I’m far too old for that."
My own grandmother was by far the most glamorous women I have ever met, and I strive to one day age like her, a woman who spent her very first pay check on a coat with her initials embroidered on the inside.
I like to think that she would have gotten a kick out of Lanvin’s newest ad campaign, which features incredibly stylish women who, unlike most models today, are cashing in their pension checks as opposed to hitting nightclubs, and look fantastic doing so.
The latest Lanvin campaign was inspired by a personal project of photographer Ari Seth Cohen who has been documenting elder fashionistas for years on his website Advanced Style(a book and documentary are in the works) and he is thrilled at the opportunities being presented to the ladies who made it all possible. Although it’s fascinating browsing through images and seeing how an older generation interpret style, haute couture and trends, Cohen has taken it one step further by including style advice from his subjects. Words of wisdom include:
'Ask yourself, "If my worst enemy saw me what could she howl and meow about", and then take away her temptation to hiss and scratch at your expense.'
'Always look at yourself critically and helpfully. Check to see that everything you're wearing is in harmony. Nothing has to match - this is not the 50s - but every piece should be complementary.'
Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock, an 82-year-old dancer who is the face of the Lanvin campaign says, 'This campaign is a dream come true. I grew up in Harlem always wanting to be a model, but in my day there were very little opportunities for women of color to work in fashion. At 18 I went from agent to agent looking for jobs, even as a hand model. I have finally made it and I will never give up. Hopefully some day I will get to Paris!'
In an age where women spend fortunes on anti-ageing products and go to great lengths to hide their age, these fashionistas are a breath of fresh air, setting the bar higher, one fabulous outfit at a time.