Don’t Call Them Grandmas! The Enduring Appeal of the Senior Fashion Icon
, 2022-09-05 07:00:00,
Lately, it seems, everyone on the internet wants to get in touch with their inner octogenarian. People on TikTok are enamored with the coastal-grandma effect—think Nancy Meyers heroines—while others are trying the fancy-grandma aesthetic—with guiding lights like Iris Apfel—on for size. And though the popular trends of coastal grandma and fancy grandma seem at opposite ends of the style spectrum, a defining element between the two is the idea of dressing for oneself, divorced from all trends and external influences. Stylish senior citizens are now an ideal, praised for their effortlessness just as much as their eccentricities. The signatures they’ve built up over time are being fully celebrated to an extent we haven’t quite seen on this level before.
From Joan Didion’s unforgettable 2015 Céline campaign to newly famous favorites like Baddie Winkle, chic older adults have long played muse to the fashion industry. In 2008, Ari Seth Cohen started documenting the senior style set through his blog (and eventual documentary and books) Advanced Style. “Older men and women have always been my role models and the people I’ve looked to for creative inspiration, starting with my own grandmother who encouraged me to play in her and my grandfather’s closets and fully express myself,” he says. At the time, Cohen was inspired to start his project because of his grandmother but also because he kept seeing the influence of the chic older woman on younger people such…
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