Here is your weekly dose of your favorite 90 year old Ilona Smithkin. These shots were taken near Times Square after we attended a screening of the Bill Cunningham Documentary.CLICK HERE to check out the great documentary Ilona Upstairs by Melissa Hammel. I have the flu today but promise some upcoming great new material.
Writer, Alice Carey is another one of the fantastic women I shot for a jewelry series on Vogue.co.jp . Here are some out takes from the original shoot, showing off some more of her wonderful jackets and jewels. I asked Alice the following questions about aging and style:
1. How old are you? What are your concerns with your appearance as you get older. What is your attitude towards aging?
2.How do you take care of your skin, keep it looking healthy. Are you worried about wrinkles and aging skin?3. How do you keep your hair looking healthy. Do you color your hair? What is your thoughts on gray hair?
4.How has your style changed as you have gotten older. Do you feel more free to experiment with style. How do you get out of a style rut?
5.Any advice you would give to others who are concerned with aging…
6.Anything else you ‘d like to add?
Read her answers below:
1. I am in my early 60’S. Provided I stay looking good (and I work on it) I have no concerns about aging other than I hope I won’t become an old crone.
2. I am a CLAIRINS girl and have been for a long time. It is the best. However, when I’m in Ireland or England I find BOOTS face creams very good. Wrinkles are always a concern, but CLAIRINS seems to keep them in check. I use olive oil soap always.
3. Being Irish I began to go white in my early 20’s and I have been hennaing my hair since then. My husband and I do it every 6 or 7 weeks because my hair grows out fast and one can see the white. Several years ago, I wanted to see what I looked like au natural and I let my hair grow out so my stylist could cut all the colored hair off. Suddenly, I was marvelously white and looked like David Bowie. However, it wasn’t me and I continue to henna my hair.To keep my hair shiny I use Indian oil made from almonds and olives I buy in Middle Eastern stores.
4. I change my style all the time. However, as I grow older I heed Geoffrey Beene’s advice of wearing a uniform. My winter uniform being how you saw me in the street. My summer uniform black chinos from Marks & Spencer and as expensive a white shirt I can get my hands on. Thrift stores are good for this. I also live in cashmere sweaters, preferably vintage, and linen shifts for summer. I do not follow fashion trends and think women silly who do.
5. For god’s sake don’t sweat it. Moisturize as often as you can. Remember ‘life is just a bowl of cherries. Don’t take it serious, life’s too mysterious.”Also, red lipstick, always red lipstick!
6.Anything else…a good haircut several times a year. I do 5 or 6. Hair dye. Red lipstick. Face cream, face cream face cream – I do CLAIRINS and a F-you attitude to dowdy’ness. I look the way you saw me at 9 in the morning when all I’m doing is getting the paper and coffee. Fie on women in sneakers and sweats!
Fashion influences: Duchess of Windsor, Nan Kempner & Pat Buckley for frowzy, lavish formal / dress up stuff.Audrey Hepburn for informal such as my wearing all summer ‘uniform’ of tight black chinos (Marks & Spencer) and great men’s shirt from (say) Thomas Pink.
CLICK HERE to check out Alice’s book I’ll Know It When I See It: A Daughter’s Search for Home in Ireland on Amazon and enjoy her style wisdom in THIS past post.
I have talked about my dear grandma Bluma many times so I wanted to share some photos I found of her while I was visiting San Diego. She is the inspiration for Advanced Style and the reason why I feel so close to older people. She always nurtured my creativity and allowed me the freedom to be artistic.We would spend hours watching cartoons and old movies together, as she clicked her heels together and told me stories of days gone by. One of my favorite treats was to look through her drawers where she stashed her old scrapbooks and photo albums. This is where I established my sense of aesthetics, even then I had a sense of nostalgia and yearning for the glamour and grace of times gone by. She was an amazing woman and not a day goes by where I don’t think of her. I hope you enjoy these photos and I would love to hear about your own wonderful grandparents or older people in your lives.
The other day I had the honor of shooting Iris Apfel for a series of photos I have been doing for Vogue Japan. Click Here to see the slide show which features seven of my favorite stylish ladies and enjoy the videos below! I am doing one more series of photos, featuring jewelry trends of the Advanced Style set, so if you can recommend anyone let me know.
Here is another great video of Iris!
I met Jane some time ago at an art opening at Milk Studios. I was delighted to see her again two years later in front of The National Arts Club with one of her amazing marionettes. Jane taught herself how to make marionettes and, since 2000, has made them in the likeness of many celebrities including: Picasso, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Louis Armstrong,Doc Cheatham, Bobby Short, Bobby Pratt and Bernhardt Crystal. She has great style and spirit and I can’t wait to meet up with her again.