About six years ago, Ari Seth Cohen had recently moved to New York City from San Diego after the death of his grandmother, who had told him at an early age that if he wanted to be creative, he needed to move to New York. Ari was inspired by the older women he saw on the city’s streets, using the wide sidewalks as their runways to showcase their fashion, and he decided to start documenting stylish older people via a blog that he called “Advanced Style.” Ari’s audience for his charming street style photographs of senior citizens, dressed in their quirky best, quickly grew. A book, also called Advanced Style, was released in 2012, and now a documentary film of the same name, produced by Ari and directed by Lina Plioplyte, has just premiered in New York and is making its way across the country to Palm Springs where it opens at Camelot Theatres on Oct. 24. Ari will be on hand for the opening weekend and will be participating in a Q&A session following the 7:15 p.m. showing on Friday.
Lest you think that the film is something geared solely toward an audience of over-60 retirees (which of course wouldn’t be out of place in Palm Springs), we assure you that it is not. Ari, 32, approaches the subject from a younger adult’s perspective while respecting the insight bestowed by the much older subjects of the documentary, and the film left us inspired by the ladies whose style and stories were shared. Their message to younger generations is that style doesn’t have to fade with age, and instead you can take more risks and inject some daily glamour into your life, while caring a little less about what others around you are thinking or saying. Some of these women say that they didn’t even come into their own until later in life, and just now at 70, 80 or 90 years old, they are part of a new segment of “advanced style” icons who attend the shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and are the face of campaigns by brands like Lanvin.
All images © Ari Seth Cohen