These are exhilarating times for fashion. In the past few years the industry has widened its aperture on standards of beauty; there are signs that archaic stereotypes are being demolished and its infamous lack of diversity is changing. The impossibly thin young white girl is no longer the ideal- models of all colors, shapes, sizes and ages are stalking the runway and bringing brand new energy and freshness to print, TV and online content. Finally, it seems, fashion advertising and editorial are celebrating the breadth and depth of femininity.
The most inspiring aspect of this new openness is the appearance of mature and elderlyomen in advertising. From the extraterrestrial beauty of the 54-year-old art house film and fashion muse Tilda Swinton in Chanel’s Paris-Edimbourg collection, to the return of eighties supermodel and musician Leslie Winer for Vivienne Westwood’s 2014 Spring collection, women of a certain age have never been more in demand or looked more alluring.
Then there is the inimitable and irreplaceable Iris Apfel- style icon and a force of nature in her own right, who at the age of 93 was the face of two major Spring 2015 campaigns- Kate Spade and Alex Bittar- and the star of “Iris”, a new documentary about her life by Albert Maysles. Other examples include the return of 60’s icon Peggy Moffitt to pose for Love Magazine and Celine’s recent ad featuring 80-year-old legendary author Joan Didion. Gorgeous, glossy images of older women are creating an entirely new visual vocabulary in the world of style, and in keeping with this development, agencies like Mrs. Robinson now offer models in Woman, Classic and Retro Woman categories.
We hope this epic awakening is not just a trend and will help break down other barriers and kill some other sacred cows in the fashion industry.