It’s no accident that older women are starting to appear with startling regularity in fashion and beauty campaigns. It’s not a passing trend, either, although there is definitely a trend element to celebrating all ages. Look where we got to with embracing all sizes – that’s never gone away and if anything, it’s a good model to follow if you want to chart the rise of the older women.
Dolce & Gabbana’s newest fashion campaign features older women – I’ll guess they’re in their 70’s – looking every inch at home with bejewelled bags. Not only is it a stellar picture, but it’s about the normality of age; the idea that dressing up, socialising, chatting and having fun isn’t something that ever goes away. I think it’s very positive.
Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent recently featured Joni Mitchell – 71 and as elegant as the day is long. Interestingly, the Saint Laurent campaign is about music (The Music Project), so age is incidental in this. Which is just as it should be! The fashion industry has ignored older women for years – now, they’re actively seeking them out.
The women (and men, if you take the Selfridges Bright Old Things campaign) that are representing older age right now are the influencers of the future. The brands that are embracing beauty and style, age regardless, are the ones to watch and the benchmarks for what comes next.
The idea of only using youth as a selling point will soon become archaic. Going back to how we now view size – it took a while, but now designers that will only use waifs seem backward in their outlook. There’s a format here that plus size has already outlined for us. Denial, novelty, acceptance, normality.
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