Friday, 9 July 2010

Advanced Style

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.


Ellen Arnison said...

Thank you for this, it's inspirational. Goodbye lamb and hello the sweetest, most succulent mutton ever.

Wildernesschic said...

I love the first two photos, they both look fantastic xx

puncturedbicycle said...

I adore Ari's blog. A pleasure to read about how he's getting on in London.

I felt like I'd lost my way a bit in my forties, not feeling confident about what I was wearing, worrying that my artfully disheveled look would no longer serve me well. There aren't many visible older women who take risks with their clothes; the choices seem to be limited to expensive tailoring, M&S or anonymous beige, none of which are really me.

Ari's blog puts the spotlight on people who dress as a form of creative expression. who don't want to blend in or fade away and may or may not be bothered about looking chic or elegant. It's a celebration of and inspiration for people who want to carry on having fun with clothes.

Fashionistable said...

This is a great post. Well done for going to meet Ari. I am surprised and even more impressed with him now I know he is only 28.
Great interview. Xxxx

amanda said...

hello TNMA and we over at TWR are very envious of you having met the wonderful Ari. This is a great read, I am very inspired by what Ari says about older people wearing the clothes they've had for a while so well, I feel that way about some of my clothes, they're like old friends.
Great post girl! keep it up!

Cherie City said...

They look so elegant! I hope to be a glamorous granny in the far off future and outstyle the kids. Great post!

Northern Snippet said...

That first photo is fabulous-love those glasses.What an inspirational post and thanks for putting me on to his blog.

mispapelicos said...

I have been following Advanced Style for 3 months now. And i adore every single shot.
Thank you for your post.

Make Do Style said...

It is my favourite street snaps - they always exude glamour and life! No try hards in the this category.

Rosina at Middle Ageless said...

I LOVE that blog! I agree with the sentiments on London Versus New York style. My sis is 74 and lives in the UK. Her sense of style is very restrained yet she still turns heads. She is an artist so perhaps she expresses herself better on canvas. (I'm most comfortable in safe neutral colours too, and I'm a part time glass artist so I wonder if there is some sort of "choose your canvas" thing going on here. I would hate to use beige glass in my beads.

Aaaahhh, I miss Selfridges! Great post. Thank you :)

Tiffany said...


Blighty said...

What a great post! love it! love the chic ladies, partic the first one. Must look at Ari's blog. Bx

That's Not My Age said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments - and here's to having fun with fashion, to being creative and chic and inspired by fabulous older people!

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

很用心的blog,推推哦 ..................................................................

Madame DeFarge said...

I'd like to look stylish at any age. Just not convinced I ever will.

Jeanne said...

Great post!! Many thanks. I love checking out new things :)


coz said...

Hey, TNMA, I think you should do a makeover show where old people show young people how to dress! It's about time you moved into tv - move over Gok! Maybe Mary can help?! Love the photos, will look up Ari's blog.