I have been thinking a lot about my process and what it is about each person that I stop on the street that draws me to want to take their photograph. In those conversations I have also tried to dissect the elements that make up one’s style and have wondered if it’s even something that can be put into words. I created Advanced Style as a forum for sharing the style and stories of men and women over 60. People who I have always admired and looked up to, but also a segment of the population that is oftentimes marginalized, ignored and made to feel invisible. Style has the power to create a conversation. A great accessory can be the starting point to a deeper exchange about life, vitality, and spirit. In creating my blog I never looked at Advanced Style as being a fashion guide, but rather a place to share, to inspire, and to celebrate the wisdom, creativity, and freedom that comes with age. I try to present a varied approach to style and lifestyle.
As a photographer much of my work is done on the street, looking for people who catch my eye. I’m not really looking to define what is in good or bad taste and I believe style to be very personal and subjective. What I have noticed is that each personal I photograph, whether they dress classic and elegant or eccentric and avant garde, has a spirit that shines way brighter than any piece of clothing they have on. They way we tie a scarf, put on a touch of red lipstick, or mix accessories can a make a world of difference, but above all else it’s our attitude, they way we stand and carry ourselves through life that truly characterizes our style. Why is that we can look at two people wearing very similar outfits and be drawn to one over the other?
One of my earliest muses Mimi Weddell put it best when she said, “You dance as you walk through life, as you sail through life. And furthermore, it heightens your living as of the moment. If you don’t dance, for heaven’s sake, you can not aspire, you don’t lift up from this earth.”
When I asked Gerry (pictured above) how she felt about style she told me that she like to try a bit of everything, but she prefers classic looks and has always been inspired by Audrey Hepburn. This conversation quickly shifted to the revelation that Gerry is about to turn 91 and as of late she is surprised by the attention she has been receiving. As a younger person, she said that no one ever asked for her photograph, but I was the second person that week who approached her about taking her picture. When I asked her what her secret was she announced proudly, “I eat like a horse”.