Friday, 9 July 2010
Woo hoo! Last night, That's Not My Age met Ari Seth Cohen the genius behind the Advanced Style blog. And, let me tell you I was giddy with excitement - a feature on Advanced Style in The Guardian a couple of years back, is what inspired me to start blogging in the first place, so this really was a poignant, blog-tastic moment. At 28 years-old, ASC may be a young whippersnapper but his work is truly inspirational. Ari trawls the streets of New York - and now London - looking for fabulously stylish older folks to photograph. Yesterday he met the totally gorgeous, Gitte Lee (above), ex-model and wife of legendary actor, Sir Christopher Lee. Just look at that outfit. Effortlessly chic, or what?
And this 96 year-old chap, who lives in Spitalfields and dresses up every day.
Mr Advanced Style is in London working on a project for Selfridges. The Forever Shop is a celebration of the savoir-faire and wisdom that come with age and includes the first ever exhibition of ASC's photos together with design classics curated by Sir Paul Smith, Michelle Ogundehin and Alannah Weston.
So, I got chance to share a plate of mezze and have a chat with the lovely Ari Seth Cohen:
TNMA: What's the style difference between London and New York?
ASC: A lot of people I've spoken to in London describe their style as very classic - and I have seen a lot of beige! - whereas I think New Yorkers take greater risks. Though because of the heatwave people aren't so dressed up in either city, and I have found two of the best people I've ever shot in London.
TNMA: What is Advanced Style?
ASC: It's about personal style and embracing the ageing process. I love the elegance and glamour I see in 70, 80, 90 year-olds wearing clothes they've had for 50 years, matching a hat and a purse, wearing gloves. It's the way they put things together. It's not about vanity. They're doing it for themselves because it makes them feel good and lifts the spirits. They're vibrant and vital and I love the stories they tell. I hear the most wonderful things, the experiences I have make me feel like the luckiest person in the world. Young people can learn a lot from older people.
TNMA: Who are your Advanced Style heroes? And who would you like to photograph?
ASC: Iris Apfel and Beatrix Ost are two of my favourites. And I'd love to meet Anna Piaggi and Vivienne Westwood, women with a strong personal style.
TNMA: You seem to have a coterie of Advanced Style regulars, do you have any plans to build on this in the future?
ASC: I've become friends with about 10 ladies - and now they've all started meeting each other and exchanging advice. It's great that I'm connecting older people. I want to give them a voice, get them to write. I'd love to do a makeover show where old people show young people how to dress!
TNMA: How are you going to dress when you're older?
ASC: I'm really inspired by the people I meet, say, a man in a green suit, scarf and hat. I'm a little eccentric so I'm drawn to eccentricity but I wouldn't want to look like I'm trying too hard.
And last but not least, this is Ari's mum, Frances, 60, who is in town too, and like Ari is adorable. Though we did have to drag her away from the Chanel counter in Selfridges to go find a cold drink and something to eat (Frances if you're reading this, buy that last red lipstick you tried on!)
Forever Shop is in the Wonder Room Concept Store, Selfridges from July 14 - August 15 2010.