Meet the women using their style to challenge the ‘invisible elderly’ label
Being fashionable and trendy is often seen as something only young people can achieve. However, Jade Newman takes a look at the Advanced Style series, highlighting the elderly women who are using their style to challenge stereotypes.
In a youth-obsessed selfie era where sadly, many feel pressure to partake in costly plastic surgery, photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style book, documentary, and blog offers readers an optimistic alternative on the inevitable aging process.
Cohen originally embraced the concept of showcasing fashion-focused images of inspirational elders in New York City, as an artistic homage to the passing of his beloved grandmother.
The book has “blossomed into a global movement re-imaging the picture of aging”, and Cohen hopes to inspire others to look at age in a more positive and insightful way, rather than being worried about getting lines on their faces.
The book and blog feature many
Some of the stand out Advanced Style models and forerunners of this mature movement are Ilona Royce Smithkin, 98, and Joyce Carpati, 86.
Ilona Royce Smithkin
A former teacher and current cabaret performer/artist, Ilona has always striven to uplift her surroundings and those in her presence through art, song, and storytelling. She was an empathetic teenager and at 18-years-old, handed out daisies in the street to passers-by who looked sad. Her aesthetic adds to her flamboyant persona as she is often adorned in rainbow
She continues to illuminate others within her community and online through platforms including Instagram. Here, an encouraging quote is added alongside each image enhancing her truly magical spirit.
Ilona credits her 80th birthday as a time when she finally became free from others’ expectations. She has since starred in documentaries and become an author, influencer, model and experimental painter.
As an opera singer at 16, Joyce soaked up the elegance from the streets of Milan and to this day continues to translate continental taste into her style aesthetic. Her ladylike gloves, braids, pearls and perfectly put-together exterior, reflects an inner balanced yet determined drive. This passion is evident through Joyce’s career history – in 1972 she was one of the first female marketing managers for the globally renowned Hearst publications. Joyce’s intent is not to preserve youth but to enjoy the privilege of aging in grace.
Joyce’s clothing choices are a charming emblem of self-care and she credits her friends and family as being pivotal as pillars of strength to her success. She also promotes Tai-Chi, a healthy diet,
- Meet the upcoming soulful independent artist: Saint Joshua
- Coming out gay as an adult
- How the gaming industry lacks black female representation
- Art and censorship – Faron Sage on social media bias
- The dark side of social media: A day in the life of an internet troll