[MIFF ’14] Advanced Style (2014)


ADVANCED STYLE is a lovely documentary, inspired by the blog of the same name by photographer Ari Seth Cohen, is about the 50 and over fashion women of New York City. Ari photographs older women around the city, who stand out to him with their fashion. The women featured in the film, are on his blog and appear in his book and have made a name for themselves being fabulous.

The film introduces us briefly to Ari and then we get right on to meeting the women he’s photographed, we learn a bit about them and their style, their ages are revealed and I was stunned to see how youthful they looked and act, age can be but a number. This is really what the heart and soul is of this documentary, just because you are over 50 doesn’t mean you need to dress a certain way and not express yourself. These women express themselves and feel great about it, and even one scene shows a woman who was inspired by the blog and found a new lease on life. ADVANCED STYLE is something special, it really does challenge the ideas of beauty of fashion, and shows that anyone can be beautiful and have their own style. If you look good, you feel good, and looking good is all about how you perceive it.

advanced style quad dogwoof documentary

Each woman has her own personality and style, none of them are alike in that respect. What they do share is a love for fashion and art, being expressive. They are just fantastic to be around, and they are quite inspiring, even for someone who is much younger. Ari aims to get these women into fashion week and on Ricki Lake, and he treats them like his own family. Seeing them head off to certain events is lively and their passion is very much evident. Unfortunately one of the ladies passed at 95 during the making of the film, and knowing she lived her life so full is very wonderful.

While the film doesn’t go too deeply into its subjects, it keeps a very clear message. It really is an absolute pleasure to spend 76 minutes with these amazing women and learn so much from them. Life is not all about looks, but feeling good and not being afraid of yourself. That is a wonderful lesson that everyone can take something away from. This is a great piece, a very satisfying experience and a lovely documentary.


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