There comes a time in every woman’s life when they realise they are not young anymore. I always thought that moment would never come, or at least was too far away to worry about. And then suddenly, one day, I woke up and it had already happened.
Fashion has not always been the most forgiving industry for the maturing woman; however, times seem to be changing – albeit slowly – and I am eternally grateful that my time has come at the beginning of an era of change, inclusion and diversity for the fashion scene. More and more retailers, designers, editors, influencers and bloggers are starting to turn to the older generations for inspiration and new business – and this time its without scrimping on the style front either!
Iconic women over 50 such as Jan de Villeneuve, Daphne Selfe, Lyn Slater and of course Carmen Dell’Orefice, are gracing the pages of our magazines and billboards, they are the faces of campaigns and brand ambassadors and they stomped the catwalks at fashion month.
OK, OK, I know the stats. According to Fashion Spot’s Diversity Report for this past Fashion Week season, the number of mature models on the catwalk for the FW shows has declined since last year, featuring only 13 runway appearances from models over the age of 50; however, I prefer to remain positive. Change comes about slowly and now is the time we should be praising and recognising those labels and brands who actually choose to celebrate womanhood in all its glory and ages.
New York came out top by a long way when it came to using mature models, with 9 out of the 13 appearances. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection2018 chose Maye Musk – one of the most in demand models of the moment to model some of their pieces – oh, did I mention, she’s 70 and fabulous. Musk also worked the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Runway this month, stars in the latest Sachin and Babi and recently became the oldest-ever CoverGirl spokesmodel. Not bad for a septuagenarian.
Also in New York, Creatures of Comfort was all about empowering women, with their ‘Celebration of Womanhood’ show featuring a +50 model, while Eckhaus Latta’s runway featured two plus 50 models, namely art collector, Thea Westreich Wagner and fashion designer cum artist Susan Cianciolo. 50-year-old style icon and heiress Daphne Guinness walked for The Blonds, while 51-year-old comeback queen, Cecilia Chancellor stomped the catwalk at The Row. Gunning for age and size diversity, Chromat’s model line-up included plus-size quinquagenarians Emme (age 54) and Mia Michaels (age 52).