We don't like to play favorites, but "Advanced Style" is hands-down one of our favorite style blogs. When it seems like street style has gotten somewhat contrived, when beautiful young 20-somethings are getting dressed just to be snapped and slapped online, thank goodness there's Advanced Style to showcase the style and wisdom of ladies of a certain age who get dressed only for themselves.
"I started the blog to inspire people to look at aging in a new light," says Ari Seth Cohen, the site's founder. "I was best friends with my grandmother and have always had an affinity for older people. Before starting Advanced Style, I noticed a lack of inspiring and positive images of aging and I wanted to show that there are so many wonderful things that come with age."
And now he's trying to take his blog to the big screen as a documentary (it's already been turned into a book). But he needs your help. Cohen has put his project on Kickstarter, and while he met his initial funding goal of $35,000 over the weekend--the more help he gets, the better. And donors can change or rescind their gifts at anytime--a lesson Cohen and his team regretfully learned this weekend when they lost around $5,000. So help them secure their funding, and you could soon be seeing an Advanced Style documentary at a theater near you.
Want to know more about the Advanced Style doc? We did too. So we chatted with Cohen all about the project, including who it will feature (yes, Iris Apfel and Zelda Kaplan will be there) and the lessons he's learned from these amazing ladies along the way.
Fashionista: How long have you been working on this documentary? Ari Seth Cohen: Lina Plioplyte and I have been filming the Advanced Style ladies for over three years. We have over 150 hours of incredibly inspiring footage ready to be edited.
At what point into your blog did you know it had to be a documentary? Lina was one of the first people I met after moving to New York in 2008. A few months after meeting her she asked me if she could film some of the ladies from my blog. She wanted to make short interviews and fashion videos for my blog and the project grew from there. We were capturing so many wonderful moments that we knew had to be shared with a wider audience.
What are some of the most compelling stories you've heard from these amazing women? There are so many, from how they confront the changes that come with age, to conversations about life, death, fashion, style, sex, and fame. One woman, 82 year old Jacquie "Tajah" Murdock, grew up in Harlem. She always dreamed about being a model in Paris, but never got the opportunity. Through exposure on Advanced Style, she just got a huge campaign with a major fashion house out next year.
Why do their stories need to be told? They will inspire us all to look at aging in a new light. People are so scared of getting older, but the ladies in this film embrace their age and live active, creative lives. They also have incredible insight and wisdom that definitely needs to be passed on. Who will be featured in the documentary? Many of the ladies featured on the blog, with some special guests like Iris Apfel and Zelda Kaplan. We are focusing right now on about five main stars.
What's your ultimate goal with this--what would you like to happen with it? Where would you like it to be seen? Our goal is to have the Advanced Style film shown in theaters all over the world to inspire people to feel better about themselves. If our funding comes through, Lina and I are planning to enter the film into the festival circuit and we will see what happens from there.
What lessons have you learned while documenting these ladies? I have learned that there is much to look forward to at any age. My amazing 100-year-old Ruth always says that they key is to, "Celebrate everyday and don't look at the calendar."
Watch the trailer and donate!
No wait, there's more!