“You can be stylish, creative and vital at any age.”
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These are the words Ari Seth Cohen lives by.
In 2008, Ari – an author and photographer – started a blog called Advanced StyleIn memory of his grandmother, who was also his best friend.
“My grandmother always encouraged me to express myself through style. I would pour over her old photo albums which were filled with photographs of her and her friends living in New York in the ’40s,”He said, Mamamia.
When his grandmother passed away, Ari decided to move to New York City where he began chronicling senior style on the streets – introducing himself to random people going about their day, and asking if he could photograph them and their
outfit. The blog was started by him as a hobby project. He did not know that it would become something more.
Advanced StyleIt has changed the way women think about how they should dress, live and age. It offers a different view of ageing than the constant churning of products.
Marketing that makes us all feel like we have to go back in time.
Ari, who is now in his 40s has written several books, Advanced Style: Older & Wiser Advanced LoveDocumentary, also known as Advanced Style. His blog is here
Instagram page has continued to grow, being featured by New York Times The New Yorker, Vogue, Forbes Vogue Australia.
And throughout all of this, Ari has continued doing what he loves most – photographing older women, capturing their fashion and style and sharing their stories.
Ari identifies a few key elements that explain the commonalities among these women. Five shared ideals or style rules’ are what Ari refers to.
1. Dopamine dressing is what makes you stand out.
Ari has always been drawn to women who use fashion as a way to bring joy into her life. Because joy is an infectious feeling.
It’s not about what the woman wears. It’s about her imitations. Choose from to wear – things that make her feel unique, happy and confident. Dopamine dressing is now a designated phrase.
Ari said: “Often I’ll be photographing a random woman on the street and afterwards ask her where she’s going all dressed up. And often they reply ‘I’m going to the grocery store’. It’s all about wearing what you want to wear.
“The clothes they wear and the way they walk down the street can reflect a person’s energy. The viewer will also find joy in seeing someone express themselves through fashion.
It is common to hear someone say, “That is my.” Special “That’s my occasion dress” or “that’s my outfit.” nice going-out outfit’. However, if there’s one thing we have learned from the pandemic and being in isolation at home with very little social interaction, it’s that we can be comfortable in our own homes.
It’s time to put on a nice outfit. Wear what makes your heart happy and embrace the bold.
2. It doesn’t matter how much you spend – it’s a personal sense of style that matters.
We see that the glossy magazines cover models are often unachievably thin and wear clothes that would cost a lot of money. It’s an image that is then projected onto the rest of society – and
Those who don’t comply are made to feel inferior or invisible.
Ari claims he has never been able to connect with images like these.
“There’s not one particular style that I’m looking for when photographing – it’s just about what draws your attention. It could be someone dressed in designer labels from head to toe, or someone who bought clothes at a thrift shop and put them on.
Together, we take a look at ourselves.” Ari explained.
Because it’s not about the money spent on an outfit or the trendy brand.
“It’s your personal sense of style. Creativity is something I value, regardless of how much it costs.
3. Dressing ‘age appropriate’ is complete bulls**t.
Women over 50 have been encouraged to dress a certain way for years. Safe colours Formless fits Practical lengths Simple necklines. Nothing too loud. You see a pattern?
It’s all these norms that are bulls**t. And that’s a message Ari wants everyone to hear.
“We have this perception that with ageing we become less silly as we get older – mostly due to expectations put on us by society. But seeing these women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s being playful, adventurous and open – that’s enticing.”
Ari photographs women who face ageism every day. They provide a positive blueprint to living authentic and rich lives, regardless of age. Ari feels uncomfortable because of our social obsessions with ageing.
“I saw this TikTok from a young girl the other day. She introduced herself by saying, ‘I am 24-years old’. What? Is it time to be afraid of the word “old”? While representation is slowly changing in fashion and marketing, there’s still a lot of work to be done, especially in the fashion world.
How we talk about ageing
4. Have fun choosing the right outfit.
For the women Ari photographs, who are mostly in the 70 to 90 age bracket, they are either retired or have fewer commitments compared to when they were younger. This means more time is available. For some, this can lead to a feeling of loss or lack.
Designed for a specific purpose.
72-year-old Annette told Mamamia that for her, she loves to structure her mornings by mapping out her outfit for the day – turning the radio on and listening to good music, mixing and matching certain pieces together before landing
The final outfit. For her, it brings happiness but also means she now makes greater use of her wardrobe – which includes items she hadn’t previously touched for 20 years.
It’s the journey that brings her joy. This was inspired by Ari’s Instagram photos.
As Ari said: “All these women I’ve met love the craft behind how they dress – I guess for them it’s sort of like a meditation. There are rituals behind it, and that process can bring comfort and excitement – they choose an outfit that
You can lift their spirits or even make them laugh.
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“It takes them back to when they were younger and could experiment with dress-ups. It’s an act of play.”
5. Don’t dress for anyone else – dress for yourself and your gaze only.
Ari photographs all of the older women, and they share one thing. They aren’t dressing for other people – they are truly dressing for themselves.
“Often these women – and even myself – we dress in a way that will inherently draw attention,”Ari said.
“And when you tell someone that you’re not after attention, they don’t believe you. But the truth is: no – it’s not about anyone else. As I once had to tell someone, “I didn’t think about you when dressing myself this way.”
morning!’ There is a courage to be yourself, and to wear whatever you like.”
These women have become role models not only to Ari but for those who adore Advanced Style.
Not only does it give Ari a sense of optimism about ageing in the future, but it’s also taught him a number of life lessons. One being to embrace who you are not just when you’re older, but ideally when you’re younger too.
“They have taught us to stop worrying about what others think. Many people feel less concerned about external judgments as they age. Learning to love yourself is a process – but it’s one I hope a lot of people can embark on sooner rather than
later,” Ari said.
“We learn so much from one another – we need more intergenerational relationships in this world.”
Ari has photographed older women for 14 years. There have been many memorable encounters.
He is particularly fond of his friends over 60 who live in Australia. Tutti Bennett, Sarah Jane Adams and Jenny Kee are all examples of women like Tutti Bennett.
Back closer to Ari’s home, there’s one woman in particular – Ilona Royce Smithkin – that Ari looks back on fondly.
Ilona was born and raised in Poland. She managed to escape World War II, and moved to America. She earned a living selling hats, while working in a cinema theatre. After that she became an artist and did cabaret. She became an artist and cabaret performer when she was 80.
She is confident in herself.
“When I was younger, I was insecure and tried anything unusual to be noticed. Now, with perspective, I can wear anything and be comfortable in my skin,”Ari heard from Ilona. Ilona, 101, died last year.
Ari loves what he does because he sees women like Ilona changing our perception of ageing.
“I often have older women telling me they feel a sense of freedom when they see women I photograph who are expressing themselves to their heart’s content.”
Ilona used the expression: “Allow yourself to play and live in full colour!”
You can follow Ari Seth Cohen’s Instagram and Advanced Style’s Instagram hereYou can find the Advanced Style blog at hereYou can also find Ari Seth Cohen’s books at www.arisethcohen.com here.
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