Last week I saw a screening of a life-affirming film that perfectly illustrates the positive power of blogging.
If anyone can show the unexpected journey blogging can take you on, its the 80 and 90-year-old women of documentary Advanced Style.
Seven women, the youngest of whom is 62, are the stars of the film that was born from the Advanced Style street-style blog by photographer Ari Seth Cohen.
Cohen only takes pictures of older New Yorkers who are stylishly or creatively dressed. Whether subjects are elegant or outlandish, the pictures are brilliant – subverting perceptions about the fashion industry and old age. No pigeon-toed hipsters here.
The blog, started in 2008, has a huge following, has sparked a book, landed three of its older subjects with professional modelling gigs for Celine and Lanvin and is now the subject of a documentary.
Not only that but the blog’s thousands of followers regularly comment on how Advanced Style has changed their perceptions of ageing and older people. Changing the way people think for the better? Blogging bingo.
The film, directed by Lina Plioplyte, examines the lives of seven New Yorkers who featured on Cohen’s blog.
Most of the group are in their eighties and nineties and we follow them as they work, socialise, enjoy family time or new love lives.
They are funny, creative, artistic, musical and bursting with joie de vivre – while being fabulously dressed of course.
Their involvement with Advanced Style has led to countless new opportunities – TV appearances, modelling, a TV show and now starring in a feature-length film.
The women could never have dreamed of this new lease of life in their later years but by god do they seize every opportunity that comes their way.
Some of them are classically elegant – dark clothing and pearls – while others love layers of vintage or vibrant African-print fabrics.
Whatever their sartorial style or personality they share an almost anarchic attitude to ageing – a punk rock refusal to go unnoticed or be ignored.
If, like me, you are finding your thirties is akin to wrapping yourself in a cloak of invisibility, this documentary will inspire you to think differently.
So ditch the grubby skinny jeans and Converse and start wearing something more fun and creative immediately. Who cares if you’re not 24 anymore?
Old age never looked so good.
Advanced Style will premiere in the UK on 06 May at the Curzon Mayfair with a Q&A with Ari Seth Cohen, director Lina Plioplyte plus special guests. Find all screenings here.
(This post is just from me from the heart. I have not been sponsored in any way to write it).