The Old Ladies’ Rebellion

— by Alyson Walsh

How gorgeous do these women look? This fabulous line-up occurred at the finale of The Old Ladies’ Rebellion’s recent catwalk show. No towering heels, just towelling slippers (and espadrilles). Screen-printed silk dresses with sleeves, elegant trousers and neat edge-to-edge jackets. Fashion for all ages. Perfect.  

One of my first ever blog posts was about twenty-something designer Fanny Karst’s label, which is inspired by her admiration for the older generation. So going to this catwalk show – along with meeting Ari Seth Cohen, another champion of Advanced Style – is one of the highlights of my blogging career. The audience was full of elegant women of a certain age, any of whom could have appeared on the catwalk. Before the show I bumped into this lovely lady who told me that she modelled in New York in the sixties and seventies, and helps The Old Ladies’ Rebellion out from time to time:

And I was beyond excited to see 83-year-old Daphne Selfe on the catwalk:

The Old Ladies Rebellion has quite a fan club. A dignified crowd who cheer and compliment the models, and don’t rush off at the end in typical fash-pack-style. Hanging around, instead, to meet the show’s wonderful cast and take a closer look at the clothes. That’s Not My Age was lucky enough to have a quick chat
with the French-born designer Fanny Karst about her latest collection.

TNMA: What should rebellious old ladies be wearing this year?

FK: ‘I’m not a trendsetter, but I would recommend swapping or even stealing items from their daughter’s or granddaughter’s wardrobes. My top Parisian model Monique Rozier looks very cool in her grandson’s bomber jacket. And I’m always stealing my mum’s clothes. But obviously for special occasions, I would recommend that they come and see me.’

TNMA: What considerations do you make when designing for older women?

FK: ‘ There are some easy rules to follow for shape, length (just
below the knee for dresses) and fit. In terms of print, I’ve been
encouraged by my customers to take risks. The wilder the print, the
better.  My Old Ladies want to be noticed – but their main aim is to look elegant.’

 The fabulous ‘See you next year, perhaps!’ bomber jacket.
TNMA: So where does the name Old Ladies’ Rebellion come from – and does it put younger customers off?

‘The Old Ladies’ Rebellion is a name to be taken light-heartedly. It’s
ironic, it says what it says but also hides a lot too. I’m not worried
about what people think, young or old, it’s my first name that’s the
hard one to carry!’

TNMA: Who would you like to see wearing your label?

FK: ‘My mother, Andrée Putman, Jay Z’s grandmother, Joan Burstein and any of Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style ladies.’
TNMA: And what about old ladies like me who can’t afford designer clothes?
FK: We have just opened a more affordable line, Karst & CO , for business. Chic sportswear for ladies who don’t exercise! It’s classic, made in France. Fresh and cool.’

Sounds good to me, think I need to take a closer look.

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How gorgeous do these women look? This fabulous line-up occurred at the finale of The Old Ladies’ Rebellion’s recent catwalk show.