Monday, January 26, 2009

Restored: Elements of Design on People over Forty

Here are three photographs of women I'd love to have as fashion role models.Where I live, we're limited in our shopping choices. Many of us tend to shop at thrift stores because we can get unique and often better-made pieces there than at the stores in our town. It's inspiring to look at street-fashion blogs like The Sartorialist for visual images to feed the imagination.

I like all these women for the stylistic elements they incorporate. All of them are using vertical line to their advantage. All are mixing the classic with the funky. Each of them also has some area in which there's a lot of flowy fabric; yet you can still see a female form in each photograph.

These elements aren't really "age appropriate" as much as they are good concepts for any age, though they don't get much air time in the media. Most importantly, I like all these ladies because they come across as people first and fashion-conscious second.It's interesting that they're all European, too. The first two photos are from

The first woman's design works because she's balanced the color of her cape with the color of her boots. This is a combination that's seen a lot on the street fashion blogs in real fashion cities like Paris and Milan. Not so much places like my little burg. The top is voluminous and is balanced by her narrow pants. The bike also adds a lot.

I'd love to meet this second lady. I cannot get over her! What works: neutral colors with a "real color"--blue--that picks up her silver hair, plenty of fabric that doesn't entirely hide her figure, pieces that create a long line, and beautiful proportions. Many voices say women of a certain age shouldn't wear red lipstick, but on this lady, it's striking. Her gorgeous silver hair, fair skin, and red red lips are the bright counterpoint to her neutral clothing. She uses her own attributes--hair and lips--as accessories, not something to hide.

Lastly, another one of my favorites: Jane Birkin, English/French singer and actress. I believe she was near sixty in this photo. What works: monochromatic backdrop of good quality clothes; plenty of fabric again that also shows her figure, beautiful natural fibers; fun shoes that are like Converse but probably made of leather; cool scarves. Do you look at her and think "senior citizen?"

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