Fifty Plus Show, London Fashion Week AW16, Cafe Royal, London, Britain - 18 Feb 2016
Evon from Mrs Robinson Management

When the invite for the first 50+ fashion show pings into my inbox, I feel perplexed. Having championed mature models and grown-up style for many years, there’s something about this kind of labelling that irks. I don’t want to be segregated because of my age. I want nice clothes and I want to see women of all ages wearing them – not a fashion show for old people (it’s just the one show, not an entire week). Do we need a 50+ fashion show? Am I being churlish? This is a good thing, after all. A collaboration between retailer JD Williams and a group of second year design students from London College of Fashion that culminates in a catwalk show at Café Royale. For years, I’ve been banging on about older models and now there’s a catwalk show full of them, I’m still not happy.

Daphne Selfe with models
Daphne Selfe leads the way…

‘Talking about old people has always been the kiss of death,’ points out stylist Caroline Baker, 70, who launched her career at Nova in the 1960s and has styled the 50+ show, ‘so I think JD Williams are very brave and I hope this is the beginning of the end of the kiss of death.’

Besides, calling the perfectly timed show ‘50+ fashion week’ is clever marketing, aligning the proceedings with London Fashion Week instantly grabs headlines. And this isn’t just a promotional event it is backed up by research. JD Williams is prepared to put its money where its mouth is and has funded two YouGov reports into 50+ female fashion and body image. ‘There has been progress,’ announces CEO Angela Spindler introducing the catwalk show, ‘There has been a clear move on the fashion industry’s recognition of 50+ women, since our last report, but 72% of women still feel that they are under-represented in the media and 58% feel that they are ignored by the high street. Socially, culturally and commercially, it’s a travesty.’

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Stefanie from Mrs Robinson Management

At the catwalk show itself, the grey carpet is rolled out, Jo Wood, Susan George and the Fabulous Fashionistas are all in the audience, the grey-haired models are wonderful, and I even like some of the clothes. The more structured styles, feel right – there’s a lovely navy ruffled top and matching skirt, a chic patterned jacket and the winning design by Meng Wu, a cocoon-style parka with an oversized black and white striped collar will be going into production and sold online in autumn. When Teenage Kicks by the Undertones comes on, I start to feel quite emotional.

Valerie Pain in the winning design

Backstage afterwards, I chat to a couple of the models, ‘We’re a very dynamic generation,’ points out model Sylvia Gobbel, ‘Look at Kate Moss, she’s 42. Only eight years away from 50. Does she look like a grandma?!’ Gobbel, 55, is represented by model agency Mrs Robinson Management and was one of Helmut Newton’s favourite models in the 1980s. ‘We like to travel, take a younger lover, look chic. It’s not about looking young and sexy, we want to look good and feel comfortable. We want to look ageless.’ On the other hand, Daphne Selfe who is a grandma, and proud, is pleased to be helping increase the confidence and visibility of older women, ‘It’s good that older women are being celebrated – we should never feel invisible. I’m very proud to be a catwalk model at 87, I don’t think we should let age stop us doing anything.’

And she’s right. It is amazing to see older women being recognized as part of London Fashion Week and hopefully this will filter through to the high street. It would be great to have more diverse models and brands willing to pay a bit more attention to what the 50+ generation wants to wear. Maybe we need celebration before integration – maybe this Grey Pride, like Gay Pride before it has to start with a big parade. ‘Seeing older models with modern hair and make–up, looking cool, is amazing,’ adds Caroline Baker, ‘This is a wonderful era for change.’

After the show. Sylvia Gobbel third from left. Photo: Telegraph

64 thoughts on “50-plus fashion week

  1. I don’t think you’re being ” churlish!” Why put a label on the show?! But seeing all these over 50 femme fatales is GREAT!!!! My self esteem was just raised three notches♥

  2. The women are gorgeous; clothes, not so much. I totally agree that clothes should not be categorized by age – let your judgement guide you. Just look at the fabulous Iris Apfel – can you imagine someone telling her she’s not dressing “age appropriate”! I hate when Vogue (US) has it’s 20’s, 30’s, up to 60’s (guess women beyond that age don’t shop) issue. The clothes get beiger and more boring by the decade.

  3. Great idea! But why all the grey hair? I’m in my sixties and have a blonde pixie cut. Nothing wrong with grey but I think that, to embrace older women fully, we need to show all kinds of looks, including grey and red and blonde and brown and black. Otherwise we’re in danger of creating or reinforcing a stereotype.

  4. All beautiful women…thank you for posting. When I was very young, I used to read Vogue and Bazaar, looking forward to the day I could emulate that sophistication. I felt the same way looking at these photos. Beauty isn’t restricted to Millennials. These images are great.

  5. I like the idea of mature women hitting the runway. I don’t find the clothes attractive. It looks like the styles are designed to hide the body which I dare say these models don’t need, The black and grey works on some women with grey hair but I think it washes these beautiful women out…more color and more fitted – even a little sexy would appeal to me. Sexy mature women – the idea of mature women having style, being sexy and being fashionable is super!

  6. Anna – I’ve added another picture with more models, not all were grey, just tricky finding good outfits (and I seem to have unintentionally gone for grey-hair).

  7. It would be interesting to know what a 50+ design brief specifies and whether we agree these are the ‘issues’ – if there even are any.

  8. Hi Alyson That sounded fun and anything to bring attention to the notion that, hey, us older types really do care about fashion and style. And maybe you’re right – why anything special for older 50+ women – what’s wrong with just fashion for all???? I totally agree, btw, with Anna that there is a stereotypical view that older women are grey haired, and it’s almost essential that older models have long lustrous grey/white hair. OK, you’ve found another shot and not all the models were grey but imo these models look younger than 50.

    Personally think I’m going to start a movement and/or group of older women who absolutely refuse to go grey – no way. Because why? Because you should take note of your skin tone and what looks and feels right for you. And yes, we older women, we are all sorts and types, and that includes all sorts of looks and all sorts of colours of hair! Why not!

  9. I looked at the coverage if this with interest but discomfort, it reminded me of the way broadcasters used to refer to ‘women and other minorities’ when we are more than 50% of the population! I don’t know the population figures but I suspect that women over 50 make up a bloody big chunk of the population. The question is does a 50+ fashion show contribute to the fight against our invisibility, I hope so I’m not sure. Why did they have to be dressed by young people to have any fashion validity? I then looked at the JDWilliams website thinking ooh have I missed a gem here? Sadly not it was pretty mediocre stuff really.
    Will you have a chance to discuss some of this in your session at Bath Fashion week?

  10. I didn’t care for the clothes much and, even though I am embracing my grey with vigour, was a bit taken aback by the mass of floating grey hair. I think it all looked a bit wild and grey hair needs careful upkeep unless you actually want to look like the Old Woman Who Lives Only With Cats. Something about this made me uncomfortable and I am not sure what it is. A bit forced, I think. Rather like loudly celebrating Plus Size. Can’t wait for the day we are all clapping the short people. At last, my time will come.

  11. There is a certain style promoted for mature women that I avoid like the plague , Oska clothes embody that aesthetic .
    It is a uniform ,hitherto seen on clowns ,of tapered baggy trousers worn under a billowing long top , usually adorned with some large pieces of modern jewellery . It is seen as adventurous and ‘fun’ , I’m afraid it’s origin as a camouflage for less than perfect bodies has made it de rigeur for a lot of 50 plus women here in the capital.
    In fact the fashion show here is just a new collection of these pieces , voluminous pieces made for large older ladies .
    My age is not something I think about far less talk about usually . I eat and exercise well and have no need to hide myself under these ugly clothes . I shop wherever I fancy and will eschew this label Williams . Is it American ?

  12. I loved the look of the models and their outfits, but they are all slim and willowy….. What about we “older women” who are short and not so slim?

  13. Hitting 50 isn’t the same as it was a generation ago. Nowadays, women don’t want to spend up to 30 or 40 years in a fashion wilderness and why should they? I am under five feet tall as well so am already used to feeling like a fashion irrelevance. The models all look fabulous, grey hair or otherwise, but once again they are all tall and I feel consigned to the ‘little old lady’ scrapheap. Fortunately things do seem to be heading in the right direction, albeit slowly, and I hope that at one day we can see people of all ages, shapes and sizes integrated onto mainstream catwalks and not consigned to niche shows.

  14. Hitting 50 isn’t the same as it was a generation ago. Nowadays, women don’t want to spend up to 30 or 40 years in a fashion wilderness and why should they?! I am under five feet tall as well so am already used to feeling like a fashion irrelevance. The models all look fabulous, grey hair or otherwise, but once again they are all tall and I feel consigned to the ‘little old lady’ scrapheap. Fortunately things do seem to be heading in the right direction, albeit slowly, and I hope that one day we can see people of all ages, shapes and sizes integrated onto mainstream catwalks and not consigned to niche shows.

  15. I think having a show aimed at clothes for the over 50’s is great. It eliminates trawling through loads of outfits that would only look good on a teenager …….job done!
    PS I’m happy to be grey, going on white, but happy too for those who want to colour to do whatever floats their boat.
    What I don’t find attractive is unkempt hair of any colour!

  16. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. What women of all races and ages want to see is their age and ethnicity reflected on runways of the major fashion week shows. It’s outrageous that designers show their clothing on excessively thin, mostly white, teenage girls and then expect to sell to a wide range of women. Of course, many fashion houses run into major financial problems because their clothing doesn’t connect with the majority of women. And they have only themselves to blame.

  17. Mixed feelings. It was cleverly timed, and is clearly of the moment. The models were fine (but long white/grey hair still strikes me as witchy) and most of the clothes did not thrill particularly. I also agreed with Zanna: I don’t wear voluminous clothing, because I am too short. That said, I want to buy contemporary clothes that are cut well with a kindly acceptance that my post-menopausal waist is post-menopausal, even if I am technically the same dress size as at 25. Fashion students can hardly be expected to show total understanding of and sensitivity to all our physical idiosyncracies, I do commend the sponsor for courage and commercial acumen.

  18. I suppose anything that reminds the fashion world older women exist is a start and to be encouraged, even if it is cliche ridden. When people like matches fashion and net a porter ( or even Hobbs!) start showing their clothes on the kind of middle aged woman who actually buys most of it, I’ll feel we’re getting somewhere. In the meantime we can point out the cliches, and ask them to do better on the clothes next time.

  19. This is Fabulous!!! – I hear what you are saying on “labeling” – but it is nice to see women who better represent the chapter of life I’m becoming a member of … hopefully this is the beginning of more representation of ALL women … in fashion, cosmetics, lifestyle etc. Media plays a huge role (whether we like to admit it or not) in how we view ourselves … seeing women looking stylish in our age range is inspiring!! Great article!! xo

  20. I, too, have mixed feelings about his. There is a part of me that feels there is some pandering to keep the older women at bay. The stereotypical “older woman” has gray hair–but THESE models have FABULOUS gray hair. They don’t even have THINNING hair! (sorry for the caps but I am unable to use italics–the words in caps really should be in italics).
    And speaking for myself-I’m curvy–and my body isn’t rock solid due to the fact I’ve birth multiple times and I’m a lazy slob when it comes to excercise–I hate the gym. But–I like clothing to be more fitted. I LOVE to show off my ass and hips and tits–in proper and tasteful clothing, naturally. The thought of baggy shapeless clothing just does not bring out my feminine side.
    Also–at almost 61 years old/young/whatever, I refuse to stop coloring my hair. I look washed out if my hair isn’t it’s original color of black.
    Trust me, YOU women in the UK and throughout Europe are in a better “age” place than here in the USA. And if Trump or any of his ilk become our next president, we older people are literally in the shitter. But politics aside. The States are a youth-based country. Older women are put out to pasture as soon as they hit 50. I’m not kidding. You should see the medical advertisements here. Old people are stereotyped as invalids. It’s appalling.
    But I’m rambling. The fact is, fashion is for EVERYWOMAN. As such, Ageism rears its fugly head by segregation. You are correct, the runway should include women of all ages!! Great post–you’ve given me food for thought!

  21. I seem to be the only one to love the outfits? Not because of the possibility to hide a larger body (which I’m not sure would look as great, so maybe not for me), but because they look very fashionable and trendy to me. And I love the grey hair! Possibly because I don’t have it myself, and probably never will (my brown hair just fades in a rather boring way). I think the models look fierce and cool and my younger friends (in their early 30:s) want to be them. As do I. ; )

  22. I would love to see the results of JD Williams research – such a diverse bunch of women’s views, as seen above, must make it very hard to decide on one way to approach something. I think we have to see this as a start – but as others have said, bring us into the mainstream – include older models in the main shows too. We don’t want our own little clique, we want to be part of the whole fashion conversation. Props to JD Williams for getting the ball rolling.

  23. Clothes are clothes, they’re for everybody at every age–so not liking too many of these
    on the other hand even if you think you’re feeling alright about getting older
    a gathering like this makes you recognize there could be enough of a sea change ahead for older women to make us more visible again . . . not just for what we do, which is plenty, but for how we look as well i.e. healthy and desirable.

    do agree with an earlier comment about all the gray hair–it’s very nice looking and it makes a statement
    but let’s not have it be dogma
    brown and blonde and orange and green and whatever are all fair too

  24. I loved these images. There is something about seeing grey haired warriors, one after the other, stomping down the runway looking fierce in their finery. Most of the time you have to pick through magazines and web sites to find enough images like this, and use Pinterest to collect them for enough “saturation”. This show did all the work for me. It gives me a very strong visualization of aging without compromising my outer diva (the inner one will NEVER die!) 🙂

  25. Catherine, so happy to hear you choose not to hide yourself in these shroud like garments made especially for older women with an aim to make them feel ashamed of their age and shape. And thank you for making me understand a little more about the current American obsession with age , it’s gradually being imported here. Go to Mediterranean countries to see women feeling confident and at ease with their age and shape and refusing to be dumbed down .
    Cassandra , body shaming, really?
    It’s about refusing to buy into the package and having a realistic but healthy self image .

  26. For the most part, I like these clothes, enough to Pin some of the looks. But I do understand your ambivalence. I want to work with younger women, not in opposition to them. Although being part of a greying sisterhood is nice, it can also be smothering, and quite frankly, a bit boring. I wholeheartedly agree with Catherine. I’ve been interested in the difference between the U.K. and the U.S. and attitudes towards “older women” ever since I noticed that there is indeed a big difference. You seem to be many years ahead of us. The U.S. is a young country and young still rules here. I long for the kind of actual appreciation I feel when I’m in Europe. It always seems like people truly see me there. Thanks for the post, thanks for breaking ground!

  27. Zanna We spend time in Theoule-sur-Mer each summer and I get to enjoy being my lazy self on the beaches throughout Cannes and the like. It is my happy time because I get to sunbathe topless and free my body. I’ve always been envious of the Europeans for actually embracing the female body of ALL ages. Here in the States, not only would I be arrested if I wore only the bottom of my swim suit-because here in the States, the human body is considered “sinful” but violence is socially acceptable, but I would be body and age shamed for daring to attempt wearing anything other than an old-lady one piece!
    Anita–I’m with you on the kind of appreciation felt in Europe. One hundred percent! It’s just so sad that here in the US, youth rules. I’m on a mission against ageism but the age issue is always swept under the carpet!

  28. I refer you again to my website for dresses that are ageless, season-less, fresh and chic, yet FIT! The fit model is a 50+ woman so the cut takes the spread we all face into account without the overwhelming volume that is presented as the best option for ‘us’. Women aged 30+ look sporty, smart and ladylike in A DELLA DRESS.

    Fashion SHOULD be ageless, but, why not look a little more refined as we age? I think it gives us stature and legitimacy. It doesn’t mean we are the dottering granny drooling in the corner. But rather acknowledges that we are the grownups.

    There are a lot of fabulous under the radar fashion designers here in LA that are giving ladylike a good name.

  29. Anita just hit the nail on the head for me. As an American, I have always felt ‘appreciated’ simply just walking down the street in Europe. Italy! My hair has been grey and short for 30 years. In the US, I now often feel over – looked. I am essentially the same as I always have been just appropriately older. I often feel invisible. Grey or blond, I would still look 68. Hair color is not the issue.
    I also dislike the costume look of exaggerated clothing and accessories. I will not wear something that screams ‘LOOK AT ME’.
    Chic works for me.
    I think what we want as we move from 50 to 60 to 70 to 80 and beyond is respect. Respect is inclusive. I don’t want to shop in the ‘granny’ department nor the ‘teen’ department. I want advertisers to realize my money is as green as those 20 and 30 year old shoppers. Probably greener. I also think that fashion shows and catwalks with grey haired women are a beginning. This never would have happened 10 years ago. A change in attitude is going to come. Thank you Alyson for your intelligent observation and opinion.

  30. Yes, Zanna, body shaming. When you write “I eat and exercise well and have no need to hide myself under these ugly clothes” (the clownlike ones) for “large older ladies,” your contempt for those with “less than perfect bodies” shines through quite brightly.

    That contempt does raise an interesting point that I hope Alyson will explore in the blog, though–dressing a “less than perfect” older body. If we are to eschew the “clownlike” shapes, where are the clothes that flatter those less virtuous and sylph-like than Zanna? The US or UK average size after all is a 14, and middle age spread, however distasteful you find it, is simply a fact for most. The philosophy of TNMA seems to be that you have no reason to abandon the jeans-motorcycle jackets-trainers of your youth if you don’t want to. OK, I guess, if your body is what it was when you first wore them. It’s fine and lovely to look at 60+ models, whether grey-haired or dyed, with their rake-like proportions. It doesn’t really help the rest of us get dressed, though.

  31. I think maybe it does need to be labeled since it’s a new thing! I understand you’re feelings about it…why can’t we just embrace the older generation without labels?….but we are a label society and I think they need to get the word out about us older women! Fashion & style is ageless and these women looked great! jodie

  32. I totally get it! no one likes to be “categorized “. I hate it when I’m told I look good “for my age.”
    Why can’t they just mix in suitably “old” fashions with the “other” fashions. Don’t you think we can figure out what we can wear and what we can’t? To me, this is a lesson on what NOT to wear! Who wants to look old? We all want to be considered vital, meaningful persons no matter our age. Yesterday I saw a 90 year old woman with extreme sun damage being worked on at the Nordstrom Beauty counter by a 21 year old! I say, “right on”!!

  33. The phenomenon of celebrating grey hair is a relatively new thing so perhaps has something to do with the number of models with grey hair on these (and other) pages. I am growing mine out & am realising my natural colour is silver now….The joy!

    I’m a curvy, gorgeous size 16, not a problem for me & if it is for anyone else tough……don’t confuse me with someone who gives a damn.! We are approaching embracing the more mature woman fashion wise, but the number of tiny sizes, as shown in this show, is not, I feel, representative of mature women,…we still have a way to go. Final thought perhaps these clothes would have looked better on a more normal sized lady……and I’m not body shaming.,

  34. My 3 daughters are 50+, the oldest very near 60. They don’t resemble at all the women who are pictured, whom I would guess are well over 50, and wouldn’t be caught dead in any of those clothes. I’m 80 and wouldn’t choose those outfits either. I’d prefer to dress like Iris Apfel or other hip old ladies!

  35. Big sigh here…now we women can’t even relax into old age. We’re grandmothers but looking like one is verboten. I vividly remember hugging the soft, round body of my grandmother, and it wouldn’t have been so comforting if she’d been wearing spandex leggings and a zippered motorcycle jacket. Still, I don’t want to be overlooked because I’m older so I spend far too much time and energy trying to find clothes that hide, not celebrate, my age and flaws–my shortening upper body from loss of height, my spreading hips. At least these young designers tried to give us clothes might be comfortable to wear without high heels, and that’s a start.

  36. The ladies are very pretty. The clothes are not my taste at all. Shopping is fun if you know a bit about your body and feel comfortable in your own skin. At 62, I am 5’2″, I would look hideous in any of the outfits. To me, less is more.

  37. Whenever I see any “what not to wear when you’re over, 20, 30 ,40, 50, etc”, I get very apprehensive. I never liked “paint by number” kits, and I don’t like seeing “guides” telling me what I shouldn’t do at a certain age. I would love to see older and younger represented alongside each other. I would love to see fashion collections that are not specifically targeted to an age group. I never liked being treated like a number, be it at a doctor’s office, or by a magazine. Yes, having a fashion show with older models in it, is a good step forward. Let’s hope that we will see fabulous women over 40, 50, 60, etc. included in advertising, fashion shows, everywhere, not just because of their age, but because it is recognized that our society does not consist of only 20 somethings.

  38. I loved these gorgeous women and their gorgeous clothes. A little ray of hope for those of us who fear becoming invisible and ‘grey’. No beige rain jackets here. Gorgeous make up and a joi de vivre I would have loved at any age. I’ll never look like any of them, but I can take courage from them all.

  39. I think it’s great that older women are being highlighted instead of marginalized. When I lived in the UK a decade ago, I felt invisible and couldn’t find clothes I liked that didn’t seem frumpy. When I let my hair go grey people looked at me like I was crazy. It’s a little different here in the US where baby boomers were a larger demographic – Americans were having lots of babies while Brits were still on rationing after WWII. Now I’m about to return to the UK and I’m so glad to see that grey-haired women are getting attention and even being thought of as Cool. Now if only I could get my hair to do that Jimi Hendrix look…

  40. While I applaud the concept of fashion designed with the older woman in mind and modelled by her peers, I agree with many of the commenters. The baggy, shapeless designs shown here fall far short of what I would have hoped for.

    While I’m here, I really must say that it always saddens me to see an online discussion such as this one deteriorate into name calling and insulting one another. Surely, as women of a certain age, we should be more mature than that!

  41. Agreed. It’s the labeling I find irksome. Perhaps I’m being sensitive because I will turn 50 in about six weeks, but does that mean “boom” now it’s time to change the way I dress? I just want clothes that I enjoy, which to me means that they are both fashionable and flattering. Obviously what was flattering at 20 is not the same as what flatters me now. But what flatters me at 49 may not be the same as what flatters you at 49. What I want is not “fashion over 50” but fashion for all ages and bodies.

  42. By now I just may be retooting earlier comments, but why single out older women with their own fashion show? I would think the desire is to include all women— all ages, all sizes, all colors. I’ve been to (and been in a couple) fashion shows that do just that—use real women of all ages, sizes and colors who are not models. They are such fun and so well received and make the point loud and clear.

  43. Excellent discussion here. My problem, I think, is that all this is very, very cover-up. I know it is the autumn/winter range but…sandals with tights?! On what planet is this ever good? And I do think that this is a very new fashion dilemma. The baby boomers, who became adults in the 60s and 70s, wore jeans everywhere, chose whether or not to wear bras, sported miniscule bikinis, are not about to turn into Whistler’s mother. We can do absolutely nothing about the aging process – dye, botox, lifts are all just temporary measures and there is no way to reverse aging – but I think it is up to us to find our own way. I would not wear any of these clothes since they scream Look At Me! and I don’t really want people to look at me as I go about my life. What I admire about women in Europe is the fact that they don’t give a toss if they are being looked at or not as they walk on beaches, down streets, sit in cafes. If we are still desperate to have people stare at us at this great age…then we have learned nothing. There: I think that is it. Keep talking. This is good.

  44. I agree with Caroline Barker that it is an era of change. However, like you, I’m perplexed that it’s an us & them mentality to begin with! I don’t see myself as invisible because I’m turning 50 next year although I have long resented being marketed to by 25 year old models. So I guess this “grey pride” beginning is necessary for us older chicks to have our voices heard.
    Wouldn’t it be something if designers were just simply age inclusive?
    Fab post Alyson – Love that winning parka to death!

  45. Good grief! Does anyone else think this event was just a very good, constructive, even joyful move in the right direction. Does anyone agree that the clothes were attractive and some were outstanding, the women doing the modelling are both beautiful and varied. Great stuff. No matter what your style, age, height or weight one of the most attractive features of any personality is a positive, constructive approach and a sense of humour. Not much on display throughout this whole discussion!

  46. I go to a local fashion show twice a year – which features children, women, men, and an age range from probably about 6 to 60 – with some larger models (though, oddly, I realize as I type this, only larger women) – and it works. I can’t see why fashion should be assumed to apply to ANY specific age group. It strikes me that it is more about who is promoting the fashions shown – i.e. those sponsoring it cater for a specific part of the population?

  47. Hmmm that reinforces my theory (which I am sure I have previously banged on ad nauseum about) is that keeping all these fine older women separate indicates what a menace to society we are if we have to be kept away from other women/ real human beings – in that respect I am delighted to finally be considered dangerous and scary, it has taken 51 years to finally get there – but, yeah – brilliant. The clothes – meh, I’d prefer more variation – I am short and dumpy and don’t always get it right but being funneled into certain shapes and colours just isn’t going to work – as I get older I get more bluddy minded and less inclined to do as I am told

  48. I too think the women are beautiful but not a fan of the clothes. I am 58, a grandmother, better than average physic and I have silver hair. I model here in Florida and I love to wear, bright, bold, feminine and sassy/sexy clothes. I look forward to the day when NY starts to use more of the 50+ models at Fashion Week. I hope to be one of them someday. Thanks for this great article and pictures!

  49. I understand your point about how having a show just for over-50 women may emphasize that sense of otherness. But maybe this kind of focus will help create the momentum necessary for inclusion in other arenas. So I say, yeeeeah, bring it on! These women look absolutely fantastic! I don’t see any clown pants, though. Am I looking at the same photos? Where do I get some? Heh.
    There’s a lot of positivity here; that can’t be a bad thing.

  50. I just discovered this website. It’s fabulous! I am standing on the precipice of my 7th decade…and I don’t want to look at “older women’s” clothes either. I just like clothes. If fashion show stylists included women of all ages, they would certainly be expanding their marketability of the line, which I think is the point of the show.

  51. I love all these comments. I wish we could all get together in a room and chat, and maybe give each other tips with how to dress (and dye hair…).

  52. I am so excited about the 50 plus Fashion Week and say it’s about time. I love that someone decided that 50 something models are still beautiful and can still command the runway. Moreover, I love that the models are sporting their gray hair. Power to the gray.

  53. Great discussion and I think reflects that despite hitting 50 we all remain as diverse as before 50. I am ‘lucky’ in that being a red head means my going white looks blond rather than grey – but will never be long flowing locks – whatever my hairdresser achieves it remains a mane struggling to explode – so neat and trim will never be my look. On the whole I like most of the clothes – on the models – but not sure it is where I want to go. I am not slim and willowy – although trying hard to return to that shape, and look dreadful in short dresses – but still want to look good. Most of these clothes look like an old version of teenage fashion – but at 50+ my lifestyle and expectations are different. I do not want to go out for lunch with my daughter and feel like we are competing – I want to feel classy and comfortable. I think grey, kahki, white, black can all look classy with good styling but sometimes I feel the need for a bit of umph to lift my ageing image….

  54. I am 60 and I still subscribe to fashion magazines, although I’m not sure why. I find myself impatiently rolling through them feeling bored and uninspired. Personally, I love the idea of a 50+ fashion show. While some designers will include the occasional more mature model, it’s not enough to pull me in. I throughly enjoyed seeing the array of pictures that you posted and am left wanting to see more. I pored over each image studying the overall styling – colors, proportions, hair, make-up, etc. I am so inspired!

    I agree with the observation that Harper Bazaar’s age issue portrays older women’s fashions as boring an bland, and I chafe at fashion types ageist judgements like “mutton dressed at lamb” or styled as “Madame”. There’s middle ground, and the fashion industry largely ignores it. That’s why a show like this one resonate with me. Thank you for sharing.

    I love your blog!!! Thank you for your contribution.

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