Podcast Ep. 32, ADVANCED STYLE'S ARI SETH COHEN, NO MORE INVISIBLE WOMAN

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How great is our MUSIC? It's by our friend Montaigne, who sang a special acoustic version of "Because I love You" just for us. It's from her album Glorious Heights.

 Ari with Mimi Widdell - “The only thing left in life that’s romantic is a hat”

Ari with Mimi Widdell - “The only thing left in life that’s romantic is a hat”

EPISODE 32 FEATURES ARI SETH COHEN

Photographer and author Ari Seth Cohen is the creator of Advanced Style, a project devoted “to capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set.” He says, “I feature people who live full creative lives. They live life to the fullest, age gracefully and continue to grow and challenge themselves.”

Ari has a longtime interest in clothing and style and a lifelong affinity for his elders. When he was growing up, his late grandmother Bluma (a librarian) was his best friend; her “energy and attitude towards life” continue to inspire him. As a result, he couldn’t help but question the absence of mature faces in the lifestyle and fashion media. “I noticed a lack of older people in fashion campaigns and street style sites,” he says. “I wanted to show that you can be stylish, creative and vital at any age.”

In this interview, you’re going to hear all about how he began, who he met along the way, what he learned and how he changed the way the world looks at older women.

It’s packed full of charm and wisdom, but best of all it’s packed full of Advanced Style ladies. From Ilona Royce Smithkin, who at 97 published a book on staying creative, and still her makes her own false eyelashes, to Tziporah Salamon, who bikes everywhere because it’s the best way of showing off an outfit, and Jacquie Murdock the former Apollo dancer who at 82 shot a Lanvin campaign and many more.

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT...

Advanced Style, the movie is a delight. Made by Ari with  filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, it's guaranteed to make you smile.

Why does our society ignore older beauty? In this Guardian story Ari explains why he founded his blog to help correct what he sees as a fundamental injustice of American culture: the invisibility of older people, particularly women over 60. Older women are largely unseen in the media, and – as Tina Fey once put it – any woman "who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her any more" is likely to be deemed crazy. "People ask: 'Why do you mostly photograph women?' Well, I don't think men have those same challenges," says Cohen. "I think a lot of it's fear. Fear of death. Fear of getting older."

Sarah Jane Adams - we recorded this interview at her house. Read about her work here and here.

Ari's friend the New Zealand designer Karen Walker collaborated with Advanced Style twice for campaigns. Hear Karen's podcast Episode here.

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"For me it was about age, the attitude of people and how they are wearing the clothes, why they are wearing the clothes but also capturing a bit of their wisdom and empowering people to look at ageing differently." - Ari Seth Cohen

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Until next time,

Clare x