Advanced Style: Older and Wiser

Image of Advanced Style: Older & Wiser
Release Date: 
April 25, 2016
Powerhouse Books
Reviewed by: 

So many spectators of the fashion business and worlds of fashion believe that growing old and being fashionable, stylish, and glamorous is just about being an older fashion model, but that couldn’t be further from the truth and is certainly only a sliver of the whole story.

“My age is somewhere between mid-70s and eternity, but I am not really an old lady—I’m just cleverly disguised as one.” —Sue Kreitzman, 76.

Unquestionably, Advanced Style is a love letter to fashion and its admirers, but most of all to the boomers and beyond who still are loyal to the art of style and fashion. In a business that primarily courts the young, Ari Seth Cohen has set about reminding all of us that how we present ourselves to the world signals more about that person’s personality and is more than just the clothes and labels on their backs. On meeting a person, clothes and overall appearance become the first insight into that person’s psyche and modus operandi.

Today it seems that those over the age of 55 or 60 have simply been vanished, only to receive celebratory kudos upon turning 100. Women, in particular, feel utterly invisible and entirely dismissed. Unless of celebrity stature, few models of age are ever selected for prominent use in advertisement, yet the older segment of the buying public numbers within the many, many millions . . . according to Colleen Heidemann, 67  

What comes across loud and clear is that fashion and style have no age barriers, no rules, no restrictions, and no boundaries and each of the subjects of this book speak to the topic with no filters. One of the most striking elements of the book and its subjects is their passion for what they love and how and why they developed their signature styles. They proudly and in some ways, defiantly, own their looks and are proof that the latest and the greatest is not the only aspect of fashion that should be paid attention to.

“Then there is the ceremony of dressing. If you don’t make your life a bit grandiose who will do it for you?” —Valerie Von Sobel, 74

Furthering the point is that in this age of trying to fit in by staying “on trend” rather than be an independent, these men and women demonstrate that individuality is the name of their game and they eschew almost any concept or notion of blending in; they demand to be noticed as well as they impel their “audience” to acknowledge them and maybe even to get to know them. If nothing else, these men and women make you smile and realize that age is but a number and not about throwing in the towel.

“Alas, alas, most women as they age lament the loss of their youth and beauty. I never wanted to look young. I only wanted to look as lovely as I could at any age. Now at 83, my feelings have only become stronger.” —Joyce Carpati, 83