Movements giving me hope for the future include the increasingly vocal fashionable lives of older women and men, mostly via Advanced Style.

Advanced Style

Advanced Style captures the sartorial choices of the elderly. A relative of mine, who turned 70 last week, commented that seniors turn into burdens for their children, and then we (the children) have to take care of their ageing selves. It was a little much for birthday introspection.

Ilona Royce Smithkin, on the other hand, is no burden. The 90-year-old artist/teacher, who fashions fake eyelashes out of her own orange hair, simply wants two items in her brandless outfit to match, and then she can “get away with all kinds of things.” Yes, please.

This all inevitably circles me back to NYC photographer Bill Cunningham. The doc on his life, Bill Cunningham New York, is everything you want it to be, and the talented, humble yet stubborn Cunningham is a fascinating character. His former Carnegie Hall neighbour and fellow photographer, Editta Sherman, should be a card-carrying member of the Advanced Style movement.

“The point is that fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.” Thanks, Bill.

– h

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