Thursday, 24 April 2014

Advanced Style: the documentary

First the blog, then the book, now the movie. Advanced Style: the documentary is coming to cinemas soon - and last night I saw a preview. The film is joyous and fun, a true celebration of life and style. And I fell a little bit in love with the film's Advanced Style starlets. Even the one with the crazy eyelashes. The documentary starts with Ari Seth Cohen on the New York streets photographing his subjects, and moves onto the daily lives and adventures of seven of his regular Advanced Stylistas. Women aged between 62 and 95-years-old, who see dressing up as an art form - like Tziporah Salomon who 'takes it to the nth degree' and explains how once it took her over seven years to find the right pair of earrings to complete an outfit. Now, there's dedication for you.

There are guest appearances from Iris Apfel who talks about the media's obsession with youth and the pressure this places on older women, and creative director of Barney's Simon Doonan who nails it when he says, 'The whole idea of shifting the view towards older women is quite anarchic. If you're looking for punk rock, look at Advanced Style.'

Funded by Kickstarter, the film was made over four years by a very small team for under $50K. I know that Ari Seth Cohen and Sue Bourne the director of Fabulous Fashionistas were in talks but the Advanced Style project was well under way by that point, and a collaboration wasn't to be. And anyway, now we have two fabulous documentaries about age and style. To me, the Advanced Style film is more about a real phenomenon. A movement. Ari's street style snaps and coterie of flamboyant friends have started a style revolution. Providing inspiration for women of all ages, all over the world.

Film maker Lina Pliopyte, follows the women through their daily lives and various opportunities that being an Advanced Stylista brings, including a trip to Hollywood to guest star on The Ricki Lake Show. On all of these occasions the women are chaperoned by Ari Seth Cohen who makes sure that they are treated properly and fairly. And that they behave themselves - at one point there's a minor spat over who really is the face of Lanvin.

But it's not all froufrou. I started to feel slightly anxious towards the end of the film when death and decrepitude creep in - 95-year-old Zelda Kaplan dies after collapsing on the front row of a fashion show at the Lincoln Centre. There's a trip to Provincetown, where artist and eyelash-maker Ilona Royce Smithkin is looking after a lifelong friend with Alzheimer's. Then Iris Apfel says, 'Everything I have two of, one of them hurts.' Reminding us that death, as they say, is a part of life.

These women are confident, intelligent and creative and they care about how they look. They celebrate life with equal measures of energy and eye-popping accessories. The Advanced Stylistas may have a punk rock attitude but they know that the show must go on, and so the film ends on an all-singing-all-dancing high note. As Ari points out, 'I knew that these were incredible people and I had to share them with the world.' We should all be incredibly grateful that he did.

The premiere is at 6.20pm on May 6 at the Curzon Mayfair - which is one of my favourite cinemas - some of the stars of the film will be there and I can't wait to see it again. Tickets are available HERE.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

This week's most wanted: metallic sandals

Now that I've seen The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the V&A (slightly disappointed at the lack of Liz Taylor jewellery, just the one Bulgari set on show) I've remembered my vow to make 2014 The Year of Grown-Up Glamour. I think my allure might have slipped somewhat over the Easter weekend but with a pair of fabulous Tods metallic sandals in my armoury I'd soon be back on track.

I love a sturdy old-school sandal, particularly one with enough leather to cover my bunions. Though I realise not everybody feels the same. Last year, when I blogged about Church's summer sandals, the they were deemed too 1970s primary school/orthopaedic/frump-tastic. But that hasn't put me off. I'm still hankering after a pair of fringed flats and an image of this Tod's metallic sandal has been sitting on my desktop for some time. Just looking at me. Sporty and shiny, they're a modern interpretation of the jazz age style. The Tods fringed sandal is Italian and glamorous  - and comes with a glamorous Italian price tag: £375, if you must know, available HERE. But it is 50th birthday party season and we all know that no one every looked glamorous when their feet hurt.

For comfy metallic footwear without the Italian luxury goods price tag there's always Whistles Holly Flatform, £135, available HERE.

Or these leather bejewelled slides from Dune, £69, available HERE.

And, hello again metallic Birkenstocks, £130, available HERE.

How glamorous are your sandals?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Forever Fabulous: Jean Woods

Photo: Telegraph

Friend of That's Not My Age and Fabulous Fashionista Jean Woods is the subject of a painting shortlisted for the BP portrait award at the National Portrait Gallery. Aside from running 50 minutes, three times a week, and working in a local lifestyle store, the 76-year-old with the statement haircut and penchant for Doc Marten's has been busy modelling for Bath-based artist Richard Twose (whose painting is one of the three finalists shortlisted in the competition) and the Guardian's All Ages line-up. How fabulous!

Photo: The Guardian

Have yourself a very Happy Easter.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Matisse: The Cut-Outs at Tate Modern

I've got a severe case of Matisse Mania. After seeing the exhibition at Tate Modern, my head is swimming with colourful shapes and swirling patterns. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is a joy. Brilliant, beautiful and full of vitality. The show brings together around 130 works, created between 1937 and 1954, when ill health prevented the artist from painting. Wheelchair-bound using scissors and pins and the help of two assistants, to paint and position paper shapes onto his living room walls, Matisse was prolific in the final years of his life. Crafting simple shapes into beautiful compositions. Confidently snipping away with his scissors, Matisse created a magical world around himself, a new kind of art. The man was dying but his work was full of energy and life. I can't remember an exhibition I enjoyed so much. This is magnificent. Good for the soul. And I can't wait to see it again with Mr That's Not My Age.


Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is on from 17 April - 7 September 2014 at Tate Modern.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Ines de la Fressange collaborates with Uniqlo for autumn 2014

Good news, for those of us who missed out the first time round, Ines de la Fressange and Uniqlo are collaborating again for autumn 2014. Prepare to be charmed by another wave of Parisian Tomboy Chic, one that comes in a jaunty flat tweed cap.

Parisian launch. Photo via Twitter.

There are slim trousers and tweeds and layered-up patterned shirts. The London press preview was a very small affair, while over in Paris there was a big fandango to celebrate the opening of the new Uniqlo Marais store. Avec Ines, of course. I'm hoping Uniqlo will Eurostar her over for the UK autumn launch, it's what the public want. And I'm determined to get my hands on at least one of the patterned shirts, they're the highlight of the collection in my opinion. I ventured into Uniqlo to buy one when we were in Paris, but those clever femmes d'un certain age had got there first:

But...a second drop of the IdlF spring collection means there are still a few plain cotton shirts available online:

Cotton lawn shirt, £19.90, available HERE. And denim shirt, £29.90, available HERE.

Did you buy anything from the spring collection? And what do you think of autumn?