More From Advanced Style



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Barbara Flood

Barbara Flood is one of those impeccably dressed woman that I see often see around town, but have never had the chance to photograph. I was thrilled to find her in line for the Manhattan Vintage Sale last and asked if I could take a quick photo. I had to hurry as the line was moving fast, but I look forward to meeting Barbara again in the near future!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In The Metro

I started chatting with Natacha on the Paris Metro. She was dressed beautifully in a blue sweater dress and matching blue accessories. When I complimented on her colorful look she replied, " The sky is so grey in Paris so I decided to wear blue."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Marvelous Magda

I have always been inspired by the seniors in my life and find it refreshing to meet people who share the same attitude towards older people. I asked Magda's dear friend Daniela Arrendondo to share a few words about how she inspires her:

Life is about living and there are special people who show us the way. One of them is Magda Llohis de Gutierrez. I am a 37 year-old woman and there is not a moment that I spend not learning how she lives life. In Magda’s presence I can only feel an eternal summer. Full of color, passion, wisdom, and warmth. I cannot remember a single day where I have not seen her in her own amazing style. Many passersby stopped to admire during Ari's photo session with her, from Lenny Kravitz to a group of five year-olds, who said, “I like her! She looks like Frida Kahlo.  Sara Jessica Parker once saw her at Bergdorf's and complimented her and her trademark flowers. I am sure you will also notice her necklaces. Each one is one-of-a kind, made by her. I could write about Magda forever, but I leave it to you to look at Ari’s photographs and be inspired by her confidence and style.  Magda, you are a true piece of art, you are precious and lovable. And I am lucky to be your friend and student in life.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Manhattan Vintage

Vintage sales are some  of my favorite places to scout for Advanced Style. I always love running into this lovely woman at The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Sale.  She looks picture perfect each time, in a gorgeous vintage coat and hat.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Carol and Richard

It was great running into one of the dreamiest couples around, Carol and Richard, as they were looking for a cab uptown. Make sure you check out Carol's wonderful blog HERE.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mirror Mirror

I saw this gorgeous woman on my last trip to Paris. I am excited to head back to Europe tomorrow for a conference at the London College of Fashion entitled, Mirror Mirror: Representations and Reflections on Age and Aging. If you are near London on October 29th, I will be signing books, and speaking about my reasons for starting Advanced Style, with Alyson Walsh of That's Not My Age. For more information on the conference CLICK HERE. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I was on the subway a few months ago when I noticed a gorgeous woman sitting next to me with flowers and butterflies in her hair. The subway car was too cramped to get a proper photo and my stop was quickly approaching. I handed the woman my card in hopes that we would meet again. We finally met up a few days ago in her stunning apartment near Central Park. Magda was even more breathtaking than I had remembered. As she was putting her signature flowers in her hair she told me "My life is colors, always full of colors." Stay tuned for more pictures from my wonderful afternoon with Magda next week.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Diane Von Furstenberg

I was just about to put away my camera and meet a up with a friend in Lincoln Center, when I noticed  Diane Von Furstenberg walk by. I ran up to her and she kindly let me take a quick photo before heading into an event.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dress For The Theater of Your Life

Lynn Dell always says, "You must dress for the theater of your life everyday."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Magical Maryann

Maryann is one of the most talented and creative women that I know. She embellishes her wonderful outfits with her own handmade accessories. There is something mythical and magical about the way Maryann puts herself together. Check out the video below for some more style inspiration.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Huffington Post Live's Best & Worst Dressed with Lynn and Alice (VIDEO)

Lynn Dell and Alice Carey joined the Huffington Post Live, once again, for a lively conversation about celebrity looks of the week. I think they were absolutely hilarious and spot on. I can't wait to hear your thoughts...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Linda and Winky

Here is a collection of some of my favorite shots of Linda Rodin and her beloved poodle Winky.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn Tea

One of my favorite things to do is have tea with Alice Carey in her gorgeous West Village garden!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Upcoming Events

Jean of The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas
I always find it challenging to explain what I do for a living, especially in the course of a short conversation. There is so much to share about the wonderful people that I photograph. This is why I look forward to opportunities where I can speak about my work and discuss some of my favorite moments and stories from the past few years. I have some upcoming events where the ladies and I will be speaking about Advanced Style and signing books. We hope to meet some of you there!

Advanced Style Photo Exhibit, Presentation and Book Signing
Date: October 24, Thursday, 7pm
Location: Stamford JCC, Stamford, Connecticut
Details HERE

Mirror Mirror- Representations and Reflections on Age and Aging, Presentation and Book Signing
Date: October 29, Tuesday
Location: London College of Fashion, London, England
Details HERE

Advanced Style Book Signing and Party at Koi Boutique
Date: November 23, Saturday
Location: Koi Boutique, South Pasadena, California
Details HERE

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Great Belt

Jackie always has a great belt to go with every outfit!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Debra Rapoport takes creativity and DIY to the next level with her awe inspiring and imaginative looks. Whether she's making hats out of paper towels, or turning a pillowcase into a hat (like in the photos above) you can always count on Debra for some style inspiration. The other day I caught her in the middle of making some of her famous "Viva Paper Towel Hats," so I whipped out my iPhone and made the short video below. Hope you enjoy Debra's wonderful tips and I can't way to see everyone's creations...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


This is another shot of my dear friend Orren in Santa Fe. Check out his incredible home HERE.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How To Deal With Pain

I created Advanced Style to start a dialogue about aging and to show a positive and uplifting image of getting older. It's equally important to show how older people confront the struggles and difficulties that accompany the aging process. Artist, Ilona Royce Smithkin lifts the spirits of everyone around her. She was kind enough to  share some incredible insight into how she deals with physical pain. We can all learn from her inspiring words below:

Everyday something unexpected happens to our bodies. I fight everyday to get up and out of bed.When I feel a pain somewhere I tell my body, "I'm so nice to you, what do you want from me?" And I tell myself a little story or joke and remind myself of the times when I was in worse pain, and how lucky I am today, and the pain begins to go away. I tell myself that this isn't the first time, or the last time that I will feel pain and begin to occupy my mind with other things. You must get involved in things outside of the pain, things that give you interest. All these things are a part of life. We all feel pain and unpleasantness. As long as I can seduce myself to enjoy all kinds of things, like in the morning enjoying the first cup of coffee, or piece of chocolate the pain begins to diminish. I give myself nice things to look forward to, throughout the day. The moment you give in and let yourself get dragged down by misery you are closer to death.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mia Fonssagrives-Solow

Mia Fonssagrives-Solow
Two years ago, I photographed my dear friend Lucy Jarvis on Madison Avenue, wearing the most incredible Robot Ring. I ended up putting the photo in my book and have been dreaming about it ever since. My dreams came true last week, when I finally met up with Mia Fonssagrives-Solow, designer of the robot ring and many other incredible pieces of jewelry and sculpture. I decided to splurge and purchase a ring from Mia and haven't taken it off since. Check out Mia's work HERE. There are still a few robot rings around!!!
Lucy Jarvis wearing the infamous Robot Ring

Friday, October 4, 2013

Advanced Style In Living Color

It's been a real treat to see how much fun people are having with the Advanced Style Coloring Book. Here are some of my favorite submissions so far. Send your finished pages to and I'll make sure to share them with the stars from the book.
Painted by GloriaV
Colored in by Carol Markel
Painted by Debra Rapoport

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Mexico Layers

This woman brought some color to  a stormy day in Madrid, New Mexico. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dita Von Teese Interviews Ilona Royce Smithkin

A while back, my dear friend Ilona Royce Smithkin and I were invited to a party for burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese in New York City. Dita had seen some videos I made with Ilona and was inspired by her creativity and individual spirit.When these two incredible ladies finally met in New York they hit it off right away, united by their shared love of style, personal expression, and performance. After the event, I asked Dita if she would interview Ilona for my book and was thrilled when she agreed. Those of you who have the Advanced Style book may have already seen this, but for those of you who haven't, check out this insightful conversation by two extraordinary artists below:
Dita von Teese interviews Ilona Royce Smithkin

Ilona Royce Smithkin: Dita, I wanted to tell you how delighted I was to meet you, you really a very exceptional person and I was just so enchanted by you.

Dita von Teese: I feel the same way about you, there is so much monotony going on in mainstream media that I really just look for people like you who are individuals and that are self-reliant on their glamour and style.

D: When and how did you start performing your cabaret act, and why did you start performing later in life?

I: That was about nine or ten years ago – I was in a nightclub in which they had an open mic. And I was with a friend from Berlin who had never heard me sing. I said, “I’ll sing something special for you.” So I went over to the piano and performed.  And Zoe Lewis, who was on the piano, asked if I would perform in her nightclub act, so that’s how we started our relationship. Then the Arts Commission Museum in Provincetown needed a fundraiser and we volunteered to do it. That’s how my Eyelash Cabaret started – it’s about an hour and a half and it’s every August, and I do Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf songs and some American songs and I tell funny stories. That’s it.

D: When is the first time you performed? Did you perform when you were younger, or did you wait until later in life?

I: No, I never did, but I always loved the theater. I loved theater and backstage and all kinds of things that had to do with make-believe and fairy tales.

D: What was your profession when you were younger?

I: Well, I’m an artist. I do portraits and landscapes and nudes and I love my work. I have been privileged to do portraits of people in the limelight – people like Ayn Rand, Tennessee Williams, Bobbi Short, Senator Kennedy’s children. I hope one day I can paint you!

D: What do you think is your key to remaining vital and creative?
I: Well, Dita, it’s when you can see beauty in everything, when you can be open to people, when you don’t have to think about “me, me, me” – that is the moment when you can really live and enjoy other people, enjoy a tree, enjoy the streets, anything that you do or touch or see. It’s a matter of concept, you know – that you are open to it. You know, everybody in my older life now seems twice as nice looking, twice as exciting and twice as interesting. Even the flowers look prettier.

D: Ilona, do you follow fashion at all?

I: No, I make my own.  I mean, I look at it and I am always amazed at it and I’ve always been interested in it, but from an outsider’s point of view. I have been doing a lot of changing of things like taking a skirt that I didn’t wear anymore but loved the material, turned it upside down, and made a blouse out of it. Or I took a cover of an old umbrella, cut it out, and made a rain cape out of it. Or with jewelry. I played with all kinds of things. I call it “creative dressing”.

D: Yes, I think that’s more important – real style icons don’t really follow fashion, they just watch it, admire it, and get inspired by it but aren’t slaves to it. I think you and I have that in common, Ilona -- I go to shows, and look at magazines, and I see the way that fashion fluctuates, but I never really try to keep up with it…we have a very distinctive idea of how we want to look, and that is really what every fashion icon is truly about.

I: Dita, I wanted to let you know, the gown you wore when I met you was so lovely and elegant, it was both understated and overstated. It was shocking in its simplicity and beauty. It was detailed. The best way I can describe it would be as elegant.

D: Oh, thank you. I like the word “elegance”, because it really means something not about looking wealthy or having expensive things- it’s about a carriage – the way you walk, the way you stand, the way you speak.

I: Absolutely – style has nothing to do with money. You can take paper and make a dress out of it. It has to do with what looks good. If a drape comes natural, you can do all kinds of things if you’re inventive. It depends on how you feel about your body. If you have something nice, show it off! If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

D: I started dressing in vintage clothes because I couldn’t afford designer clothes – and hey, it worked in my favor in the end.

I: Dita, you could put on a sackcloth and look good in it.

D: [Laughs] I like the way clothes make me feel, like they change the way you walk, the way you carry yourself. You can be whoever you want with just a change of clothes.

I: Well, that’s true. They can make you feel good, or make you feel awkward if you’ve got the wrong thing on.

D: Now, I’m an eccentric dresser, and I know you are too --  so I wanted to ask if you were always dressing this way when you were younger, or did it take time before you were confident that you could wear whatever you liked?

I: I always had the idea, I couldn’t always do it because I was brought up very conservatively by my parents who didn’t want me to stand out, but I always had a craving for something extraordinary, something colorful, something special, something different… and when I dressed up on my own in ways I couldn’t on the street, I would do very crazy things – I would pile things up, and drape them around, and I had a great time with that  [laughs]… but only later in my life, Dita, did I come into my own, that I really became who I am now.

D: Yeah, you know – it’s hard sometimes when you’re young, because you’re influenced by what everyone else says you should look like, and I’ve found there have been times in my life when it’s been hard because someone would tell me they didn’t like what I was wearing or that I was too attention-getting, so I can relate to that.

I: Yes, yes.

D: Do you have friends that dress like you?

I: Never, no, no. My friends always thought I was a little bit way off, because I always did something different. I still remember I had a boyfriend who used to say, “You always have to have an extra sausage! You always have to do something different. Why can’t you do what everybody else can do?” And I felt very humbled by it, because at that time, I didn’t know who I was, what I had to offer, and I just took somebody else’s word for it. But now, of course, you know – it’s so different. It’s not that I don’t care about other opinion, but I know what is beautiful, I know what is nice, I know what’s too much, I know what’s too little. And it’s not a matter how I appear, or the impression I give, it’s a matter of enjoying it, and creating a painting. When you get dressed, you create something.

D: You make a work of art. The Marquis de Sade said, “I want to be a living work of art.”

I wanted to ask you  about something you would like to say to young girls who are afraid of being different, because there are a lot of young girls who would say, you know, I would love to look like that, but I’m too afraid that someone would make fun of me.

I: Well, to them I would say, look in the mirror and see, and find your own beauty. Look how wonderful your eyes are – and they can see! Look at your ears, they can hear. Look at your nose, it can smell. Look at your mouth, it eats, it can whistle, can sing, it can kiss. You have so many beautiful things – use them! Be aware of what you have, never mind what somebody else has. You have so many wonderful, special things. Use them.

D: Is there someone whose style you’ve always admired, or anyone that’s influenced you?

I: When I was a young girl, the person I most admired was Marlene Dietrich. You are young, and I don’t know if you remember her clothes, but she had clothes which were just so beautiful. She had a knack for dressing very, very beautifully.

D: Yes, and she had lots of different looks, from the menswear to glamour. And she was such a smart lady, and would dress herself instead of having other people dress her. She was a genius, I think.

I:  Yeah, you know some people have it inside of themselves. You have to find out what is most you, and then you take it from there.  I think any young woman or young girl should try a lot of things and see what makes them feel most comfortable. It’s very important that you’re feeling comfortable in your clothes.

D: You have to know what’s right for you and what isn’t. I love clothes from the 20s, but I can’t wear them because I have my curves, and…

I: But you can be happy – everyone would want your curves, kid. Be happy with the curves – to hell with the fashion!

D: What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?

I: Now that is a difficult question. Because at my stage, at 91 years old, wherever I look I see something which to me seems extraordinary. Maybe because I have only a short time here. Maybe because I rediscover the world. Maybe because I rediscover everything which I’ve ever learned. But for me, to pick one single thing, would be difficult.

D: Well, that’s the perfect answer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Mom

I just got back from Italy where my family celebrated my parent's 41st Anniversary. I took this picture of my gorgeous 65-year-old mom in Capri! My mom taught me to respect and appreciate older people at a very early age. It is because of her and my grandmothers that I started this project and I will be forever thankful for their love and support.


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