Does growing older entail growing wiser after all? A shift in our ideal of beauty might be dawning
A couple of years back the first “senior” models started to appear on the international catwalks and defied the idea that only young age is beautiful. There was Veruschka for Giles Deacon in 2010 , Carmen Dell’Orefice, who walked for Gaultier and Mugler as well as as Céline hiring Joan Didion for their ad campaign, Saint Laurent showcasing Joni Mitchell and American Apparel signing 62-year old Jacky O’Shaughnessy. While I liked all of it, I took both for nothing but a gesture of an industry that shows off variation merely to attract attention.
These days, as I’ve seen a broad age group between twenty and almost fifty model the new collection by the Olsen twins “The Row” as well as at “Simone Rocha”, I’m not so certain it’s just for show anymore. There seems to be a small yet visible shift towards women designers dressing actual women, rather then men dressing their idea of women, as well as an acknowledgement that fashion is much of a female business (well, at least I read the current pointing at the prevalent inequality in the industry as a signal of change to come). Phoebe Philo has been making garments that suit a womens’ body wherever she is it while at Stella McCartney, Chloé and currently at Céline. The Olsen sisters fathom an aesthetic that’s for all age groups – and many body types as well – and there are more designers like them, for me Gabriela Hearst and Ryan Roche come to mind.
What I think is interesting about shows like “The Row” is that they broaden the idea of what’s beautiful. When you see 46 year-old Kirsten Owen wear an ensemble of effortless shirts, pants and boots alongside a 20 year old in similar garb it becomes quite apparent that both are equally beautiful. Kirsten Owen also embodies the idea that even in fashion you can grow older without going out of fashion.
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