Browsing the Nowness website last week, I chanced upon the blog and work of New Yorker Ari Seth Cohen. He has spent the past few years photographing, partying and celebrating those more foxy than silver, more Iris Apfel than shrinking violet; more likely to dye their hair violet than give up their love of sartorial charm and swagger. Given I have been raised by my own hot rocker mother, a woman whose mantra is ‘darling never give up’, and whose pilates-flexed limbs mean like her mind she is forever young, I too celebrate all that is wise, yet fun, fabulous, yet proud of the lessons learnt by these charming stylistas.
Most of whom are a generation+ older than my mother, yet never forget that more is more and a dash of lipstick, a pair of red trousers or a quirky felt fedora add colour, passion and texture to everyone’s day. I like the feeling that the best is yet to come and we can all still have fun and play with fashion: sometimes we are told it all stops at 30, taking a look at these portraits and knowing my mother and the woman she is yet to become, I can only say, ‘oh really?’
We have Mary Portas revitalising the high street and Channel 4 with her new shop (and the tv programme Mary Queen of Shops tie-in) for the 40+ woman at House of Fraser, proudly defying women to be in their power and purchase what really works for them. At the Paris Fashion Week shows this week, it really struck me as I gazed covetously at the Chloe catwalk, that these were the kind of clothes I would love to wear, without worrying something or too much was hanging out, while yet feeling I was in the room with enough of a fabulous quota for me to feel stylish enough that I could hold my head a little higher, my shoulders a little straighter: as I do when I feel good…
‘Young woman you’re going to be an old woman some day; don’t worry about it, don’t sweat it, everything adds character’… Ari Seth Cohen’s book is due out next Spring. Amazon are already offering advance order reservations: and who said past 50 women are invisible?..
Going through my own archive I found this shot from a story for Sunday Times Style with Kim Andreolli. Bedecked in emeralds and YSL, this mother of all models, who had been in the game for more than a lifetime, said that her daily dose of yoga kept her young, flexible and alert. I celebrate both her beauty and the hope that with a little yogic discipline we all can aim to reach so high for so long…