Have you noticed lately that stylish women “of a certain age” have become trendy?
Photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s blog and documentary, Advanced Style, about fabulously fashionable older people (mostly women) has legions of fans – myself included. Writer Joan Didion is modeling for Celine. The other day I saw “Iris,” the new documentary about Iris Apfel, the 93-year-old style icon, by the late, great director Albert Maysles. My first impression of the film was that it’s light and fun, which it definitely is. Later I found it poignant. It’s not just a film about an eccentric fashionista, but about a woman who has chosen to live her life on her own terms. In her own way, Apfel is a rebel who has questioned everything expected of her – marriage, children, career, and female standards of beauty. While the film celebrates Apfel as an iconoclast, Maysles very subtly (as the NY Times film critic, Manola Dhargis, points out in her review), suggests the unease people feel around someone who doesn’t follow the program.
Perhaps we’re inspired by these women not so much by their stylishness, but by their fearlessness.