Advanced (Street) Style
Detailing the sartorial exploits of fashion's senior set.
Scott Schuman better watch out: Ari Seth Cohen's legion of stylish seniors is coiffed, bejewelled and ready for action. Cohen is the 28 year-old founder of Advanced Style, a blog which devotes its pages to adoringly detailing the sartorial exploits of fashion's senior set. Among his regular subjects are Ilona Royce Smithkin, a 90-year-old with a shock of red hair, whose trademark feature is her set of extravagantly long, red fake eyelashes; and Lynn Dell, a 78-year-old who dubs herself the 'Countess of Style' and regularly comes out with statements such as, "Dress for the theatre of your life!"
These are just two of the glamorous grannies whose style Cohen documents (although I'm sure they'd resent that tagline). As much as the blog is about the turbans, pearls and gloves of geriatric fashionistas, its underlying theme is self-affirmative and celebrates the fact that there are a group of style-conscious seniors taking life by the balls in their twilight years.
They certainly succeed in conveying this impression - Cohen's hoard of exuberant elders seem only too willing to share their time and style secrets, which, I might add, are few and far between. In one video collaboration with filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, 60-something-year-old Tziporah Salamon (below) shows Cohen how she finishes her look with a Japanese cloth-head cap and a "tribal, Chinese, early 1900s" head-dress. The head-dress looks like it belongs in a cultural museum and on a 20-year-old would look ridiculous, but Salamon manages to pull it off with incredible aplomb, especially when pared down with black-and-white prints and coupled with her perfectly-sculpted, rouge lips. Indeed, some of the members of Cohen's blog more closely resemble birds-of-paradise than members of the nursing-home set.
And with images of a grinning, geeky-framed Cohen accompanied by his aged ladies littering the site, how can you not fall for it?
Photography: Ari Seth Cohen
Video: Ari Seth Cohen and Lina Plioplyte