This week on Refinery29, we’re filling your screens and consciousness with inspiring women over 50. Why? Because living in a culture obsessed with youth is exhausting for everyone. Ageing is a privilege, not something to dread. Welcome to Life Begins At...
As with most industries, it seems like as soon as a woman hits 40, she's no longer deemed relevant to fashion. Clothes are no longer made for her, campaigns don't reflect her image, she is shut out of the conversation. Well, in the dominant narrative at least. Look a bit closer, though, and you'll see that the new floral Whistles dress looks as contemporary on you as it does your 60-year-old mum, and that Kitri's deconstructed shirt is as appropriate for the office as for your grandmother's Sunday get-up.
"One thing has become abundantly clear: the common wisdom on what is appropriate to do, say and wear over 40 is no longer relevant," fashion journalist and author Alyson Walsh told Refinery29. "Having rocked out to the Rolling Stones and pogo-ed to the Sex Pistols, baby boomers are never going to be told what we can and cannot do. We’ve grown up breaking and remaking the rules – gone are the days when hitting 50, 60, 70 or beyond meant conforming to a ubiquitous look. Looking good rather than looking young is the new mantra. It’s not about age, it’s about style."
One scroll through our Instagram feed and Walsh's words come alive – we're looking as much to women twice our age as we are to twentysomething influencers for styling tricks, body confidence advice, and shopping tips. Sure, you can adore Joan Didion in Céline's SS15 campaign, or admire Lauren Hutton on Bottega Veneta's SS17 catwalk, but it's time to follow the real women repping style through the ages; they have much to teach us.
Ahead, seven women talk personal style, confidence in ageing, and representation in the industry.