The recent phenomenon of the street style blog has transformed the congested city thoroughfares of the worlds fashion capitals into urban catwalks. While most document the all too often duplicated, bric-a-brac styling of Hipsters, lurking around the trendiest patch of Shoreditch or Williamsburg, Ari Seth Cohen of cult blog, Advanced Style tracks down the silver haired style icon. He contines this exploration of the sophistication and elegance of the grande dames of Manhattan in his debut book.
Ari’s fascination with this “oft overlooked yet strikingly fashionable segment of society” began with his childhood best friend, his affectionately named Grandmother, Bluma, and the hours he spent rifling through her sartorial treasures and photographs of an altogether more refined era. As a young man he created a sketchbook of the gracious society ladies of his imagination and saw his drawings come to reality on the streets of New York, moving there as a young man on his dear Grandma Bluma’s promise that “everything creative is happening there.”
With his passion for the style of the senior citizen, greying at the temples is probably something Ari does not fret about…
Neither do his ladies for that matter. Take 100 year old Rose; resplendent in her Hermes belt, elegantly paired accessories and scarlet lipstick, which she swears by, preaching that “Inexpensive lipstick is as good as expensive. Only better.” Or the infinitely chic Gitte Lee, wife of actor Christopher Lee, who graces the books cover; stunning in her unique layered style, finished with one of her signature hats and oversized Jackie O’ frames. Unfazed by the frivolity of fashion, these ladies use style at its best, as self expression. Not of wealth, power or status; but a symbol of who they are.
The book, and indeed the blog, are not merely a collection of photographs, but an anthology of personalities and stories. Stories of lives lived to the fullest, lived with an abundance of lipstick along the way! Which it would appear, for Ari’s Ladies anyway, is the panacea for all of the the ills of modern life. To quote the wonderful Debra Rapoport, “look good, feel good. Feel good, look good.”