I discovered this new – let’s call it – trend back in 2009, in New York – as usual, I mean, where else? – and I immediately fell in love with it, reporting it on the fashionable pages of the glossy magazine «Flair».
What had caught my eye was not only the obvious bold and funny style that these women showed off, but – and more importantly – how this was a new form of revolution.
In these times where a woman is constantly under pressure for the way she looks, the way she dresses, how much she weight, this is something that teaches us a great deal.
We are not supposed to get old. We are not supposed to have wrinkles. Menopause is still something to be ashamed of.
These women, in a very womanly way, tell us: «C’mon girls, let’s have fun with ourselves! Let’s express who we are despite what we are supposed to look and behave at our age». AND. THEY. NAILED. IT. Breaking down the wall that has been build all around being old, because we live in a society that is so erasing the concept of getting old that has to call it “chronologically gifted”, like the word “old” has something shameful in it.
Ari Cohen, the genius behind this whole idea, after the release of the book «Advanced Style» back in 2012, is now the eye behind the camera that shoot the movie «Advanced style», released on February 19th, 2015. We cannot thank him enough for the work he has done for them. And for us. We are so looking forward to learn from Tziporah (62), Deborah (67), Lynn (80), Joyce (80), Jackie “Taja” (81), Ilona (93), and Zelda (95).
This time, following the trend, and not setting it, the acclaimed fashion guru photographer Tim Walker released in 2013 the very nice book «The Granny Alphabet», dedicated to his great grandmother Louisa Wicks. The book is a combination between his wonderful pictures (26 as the letters of the alphabet), cute graphic design and powerful verses by Kit Heshketh-Harvey. It does not have the same power as Cohen’s one, but is a sign that “old” is something we have to relate with on a different way than the “damnatio memoriae” currently in use.
I am particularly happy to own this book because, as Tim Walker says, :«Old age brings back this childlike clarity of vision, and so children and elderly have an agreement, a bond, united both by a sense of being out of time and by the brilliantly reckless lack of responsibility that bookends adulthood and allows them to see things as they really are. This is why I’ve always loved the very old and the very young, whether in age or spirit, and why I’ve taken the photographs for this book – part photographic love letter to the elderly and part documentation of the dying breed of little old ladies who live down the lane.».