Thursday, January 13, 2011

Style Without End -

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Ari Seth Cohen can probably blame his fascination with glam older women on his grandmothers.

His mother’s mother, whom he describes as “my best friend, growing up,” successfully lobbied for him to leave Seattle, where he’d been working in galleries and in a men’s store, and to move east. “She always told me New York was where everything is happening, and if I wanted to do something creative, I should be there,” he told me.

His father’s mother was a fashion plate who took him shopping at Escada. “She wore beautiful suits and jewelry, a very elegant woman,” Mr. Cohen recalled.

When he did move to New York, initially taking a job in a museum bookstore, he noticed a number of idiosyncratically chic older women on the streets. He took to carrying his Canon Rebel digital camera with him everywhere, snapping their photos. The result is the blog Advanced Style, launched in 2008, which declares itself “proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.”

“Older people are comfortable in their own skin, and they wear their style with confidence,” Mr. Cohen explained, sounding a bit envious. He’s a mere 29.

That appearance matters, at least to a number of old people, is something lots of nursing home, assisted living and adult day staffers can testify to. There’s a reason so many of these facilities have beauty salons on site, a reason many women cling to their red lipstick and hair color when even walking becomes difficult.

I often hear complaints about the limited range of clothing designed for older women who disdain pastel velour tracksuits. You won’t see a lot of those on Advanced Style.

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