Recently I watched a documentary on Channel 4 called ‘Fabulous Fashionistas‘. The documentary, directed by Sue Bourne, was about six women with an average of 80, and their attitude to aging, life and self image. It was one of the most inspiring programmes I have watched in a long time. Without being tacky, sentimental or sensationalist, it portrayed these women in a way that was upbeat, insightful and at times, terribly poignant. None of these women had resorted to plastic surgery or botox, but had embraced their age, without giving into it, or buying into society’s expectations of being ‘old’. They all used style and fashion as a way to express themselves, keep fit and active, and enjoy their lives.
Needless to say the documentary was a big hit. I don’t really want to chronicle the content of the programme here, because I think you should WATCH it for yourselves. The women featured are all very different and bring their own unique perspective to the programme. The tall and impressive Jean Woods and Bridget Soujouner with their own eclectic sense of style, the glamorous model Daphne Selfe, ex cookbook queen and artist Sue Kreitzman, whose catch line surely now has to be “don’t wear beige, it will kill you’, the amazingly limber choreographer Gillian Lynne (‘You mustn’t let the aging process in, the minute you give an inch, life or illness or something will take a mile’) and the marvelously and unashamedly irascible BaronessTrumpington.
I watched it on the eve of going to London to shoot at London Fashion Weekend. It was the best thing I could have done, because it reminded me that whatever age you are, whether young or old, it’s how you feel about yourself that is the most important thing, and that self worth shouldn’t be defined by how young you are, or how beautiful you are, but how you see your self. I skipped off to London with a definite spring in my step and reminded that I always was and AM STILL a force to be reckoned with.
These then are some of the wonderful women featured in the documentary ‘Fabulous Fashionistas‘. Alas, the full programme is not available to watch on C4 anymore, but you can see a clip from the programme here on Sue Bourne’s Youtube channel.
And, in the same theme, some time ago I came across a writer/blogger called Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style who has been chronicling and shooting the glamorous older women (and men) of New York, is in the process of putting together a film (see the trailer below), but in the meantime you can buy the book. I took the liberty of purloining some fabulous images from his blog, I hope he doesn’t mind, full credit given.