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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Development of Personal Style

I was talking to a friend the other day about why I photograph and interview older people. We went over how I was very close to my grandmother and how I wanted to bring focus on the advanced style set and show that beauty, style, and creativity don't disappear at a certain age.She had an interesting point. She feels that many of these people continue on from a peak moment in their lives. Their hairstyles, way of dress, and manner of decorum are carried over from a time when they first began to feel comfortable in their own skin and elements of this moment become frozen in time.This form of developed presentation is what I am capturing on Advanced Style. A majority of the ladies and gentleman I talk to tell me that although they have had interests in style throughout their lives, that it is in their later years that their personal style really developed as a result of years of experience.


I try and feature a range of styles in my photographs, but I am particularly interested in this idea of a "peak moment",frozen in time, where street style portraits speak not only about fashion history but also personal development. I spent most of my youth watching black and white movies with my grandmother. Seeing an older woman walking down the street dressed in the same style that she has been wearing for 40 years brings me back to these beautiful and graceful images.That's not to say that people don't continue to "advance" their sense of style.This is what makes my subjects so interesting to me,the combined wisdom and experience of a lifetime of dressing along with a willingness to adapt new ideas and trends into one's lifestyle.The woman below mixes old fashioned charm with contemporary chicness. Her orange suit, although classically cut is made of Neoprene. She is a wonderful example of how one becomes comfortable with certain things like her vintage gloves and classic tailoring, but the unexpected material of her suit exemplifies a willingness and desire to continue to learn, progress and advance.The key to looking stylish is confidence and older people have had time to develop not only a personal sense of style, but a comfort in who they are.

17 comments:

Trixie said...

And I bet they finally have the time to spend to really explore and develop. They've raised their families and worked and now can enjoy their uniqueness!

GreatSheElephant said...

For some people though, a style that seems frozen in time may reflect a sharp decrease in disposable income after a certain age which means keeping up with fashion with new purchases becomes impractical.

duckalicious said...

I think feeling comfortable in one's skin, as you put it, is the key. getting to this point opens up endless possibilities. I might have told you already, but it won't hurt if I do it again: I love what you're doing here! keep it up. xo

Denise said...

I love you and your blog! Every entry is a complete joy: beautiful photographs and expressive writing. Well done, you!

CINCHED AT THE WAIST said...

She is just divine, the suit, the bag, her hair, even her glasses. She is perfection. What a great image.

The Elegant Bohemian said...

I couldn't agree more. One of the wonderful things about getting older (I hear people over 60 say it all the time) is that you care less and less about what people think. ~Serene

Kimmi said...

So cool.
I like that, especially the first photo. : )

Greetings!

Ferferi in Gothenburg said...

I like your thoughts. I have always been curious of how we, the new generation born in the 70's, 80's and 90's will look when we are older. Since we aren't used with nice tailoring, suits, silk gloves and so on.... And that lady in orange looks fantastic!!!

ottavia said...

i wrote a small article about your blog today, if you will read it keep a look at http://eightbiscuits.blogspot.com/
(really adoring your blog)*

Terri said...

"peak moment"--that's probably what I'm working on. Good to see a theory in development.

Liz S said...

Wow! That orange suit is so impact--I would have trouble wearing that now--good on her--it looks fantastic! I don't think I have ever seen orange on anyone of more advanced years--always the young and considered bold and vibrant.
Oh, and I think it works so well with grey hair--I'd never thought of that.

Liz S said...

Oh, and the other 2 look wonderful as well--the scarf on the gentleman and the black gloves on the lady is what makes their outfit in my opinion.

Renee Fisher said...

I don't comment everyday, but I am constantly blown away at how elegant these people look. Although clothing is certainly not the be all and end all of how a person presents themselves to the world, it is certainly one powerful avenue.

tll said...

"She feels that many of these people continue on from a peak moment in their lives. Their hairstyles, way of dress, and manner of decorum are carried over from a time when they first began to feel comfortable in their own skin...." Spot on! I've been very ill for almost 2 years and just 2 months ago began to feel well enough to get out and about on my own for a few hours each day. The first thing I did was throw away ALL of my "sick clothes". All of them. That meant I now HAD to go shopping. I put to use all the knowledge gained from watching months and months of fashion/design tv shows and what an eye-opener its been, along with being so much fun. I would say that for me, my improved health (it will never be very good ever again) really has been a peak moment in my life and learning to be comfortable with how my body looks now and how I dress is a huge part of my recovery. 'Dressing up' is what gets me up and going each day, even when I feel ill. Love what you are doing here.

Lollo B. said...

I think u a re really genius.
i love your blog, it's amazing.

Lollo from Milan.

Anonymous said...

Fitness is the most fashionable thing a senior can have. If one is physically fit: good posture, with adequate muscle, clear skin and a smile...anything one wears looks good.

Fashionmista said...

Adore that third photo. The matching suit and bag , the white gloves. Sooo chic.

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