This post was about an exhibition, but the exhibition – which was phenomenal – is long gone now. Today, looking at these photos I remember how I had recently attained this new haircut when we went to the Turner show. I remember how hard it was to commit to the cut I long wanted because I was afraid the style was too young. Would I pull it off with my white hair? Would I look silly? Was it okay for a mid forties mom to have this haircut? And most importantly did I even know what a mid forties woman was supposed to look like?
The question of what it means to be a grown up in “Hollywood” is something I’ve been pondering since 1997 when I wrote an article about it for Artweek. Back then, in my mid twenties I observed how both the three year olds and mothers on the west side of Los Angeles dressed like they were in The Spice Girls. It wasn’t just about women; people across all genders and ages seemed to be under the hypnotic power of “adolescent LA” which I linked to the film industry’s obsession with teenagers.
Since the 50’s, when the teenager was invented here in the U.S. for marketing reasons, it’s playground headquarters have been Los Angeles. The campaign may have started by targeting these youths, but it ended up creating a whole population of wanna-be teens at almost every age – especially on the west side of LA. As the American Dream’s price tag rose, the pressures of being an adult attaining this dream rose. So why not be a teenager forever – or at least dress and act like one?
I talk to women friends all the time who are trying to figure out how to dress like a grown up. They, like me, want to express elegance, femininity, strength, and unique style – all, while being happy with their age.
So, where do we find inspiration? When women complain about getting older I say, “Oh, just be French!” Catherine Deneuve, anyone? In the UK, the over forty fashion blogger scene even has their own conference! However, now you can find style direction in your very own country. Look up “Advanced Style” and you will find how the mature lady’s style is coming into the spotlight and giving us some inspiration. These women and men are on fire. They accept themselves and see everyday as an opportunity to live life as art… And that is good to do at any age.
Second outfit: Marc by Marc Jacobs Dress. Photos by Aristotle Hartzell.