If it weren’t considered rude, I would ask everyone how old they were. I like the context that age provides. I like thinking about how pivotal years tie into people’s history: the age of first loves, career steps, the span of time it takes to realize grand revelations or come into one’s self.
Most recently, I’ve been curious about age as it relates to style. Within the last six or so years of working in an industry that revolves around clothes, I have noticed a considerable shifting away from “Age Rules” in fashion. Gone are the days of arbitrary parameters around what a woman must wear at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100… (I could keep counting decades — the rules used to feel this specific.)
Today, varying silhouettes and colors are no longer reserved for categorized ages. Both young labels and established designers are worn across the spectrum. Trends, whether or not you consider them obsolete, are there for all who dare to dip a toe into them. I see this with my own eyes in the city: women of all ages wear the same thing, and a million different things, all at once, all in a plethora of ways. Their outfits showcase that personal style transcends age. And yet it is age — number or not, disclosed or private until asked — that roots style into the ground by providing another layer of uniqueness. Imagine a funky new designer’s strange-shaped skirt on you (hello!). Now picture it on your grandmother. Both would tell an entirely different, captivating and worthy story.
For the second in a three-part series in partnership with YOOX, I dressed three different models in three different age brackets in labels (all found on YOOX) that were founded within the last 10 years: Vivetta (2009), Simone Rocha (2010); Isa Arfen (2011); Off-White (2013); Rosie Assoulin (2013); Rejina Pyo (2014); Racil (2015); Natasha Zinko (2015); and Attico (2016).
After I finished styling, with more time than usual left over, I asked the women to style themselves using the leftover clothes on the racks, because why not? Then I asked how they felt in both concoctions — mine and theirs. Each woman, though they agreed the looks were a funkier departure from their standard fare, had something positive to say. At the very least, the laughter on set confirmed that fun was being had while playing dress-up — an ageless activity.
The overall unspoken sentiment of the day — the shoot’s purpose, really, was that just as classic dressing (when pieced together thoughtfully) can suit minimalists, in-the-middle-ists and maximalists, women of all ages can find something in the designs of young labels to connect with. And while age has little to do with whether or not one can “pull something off,” each year, give or take, adds an element of individuality to the overall outfit. It’s nature’s best accessory, and ironically, it’s timeless.