10413420_785675868162678_3574336313385235352_nHooray! The Bay Area screenings of Advanced Style start on October 10th, 2014 in Berkeley at the Rialto Elmwood on College Avenue and in San Francisco at the Presidio on Chestnut Street.

Haven’t heard about Advanced Style? Well, the oh-so-popular Advanced Style was first a street style blog by photographer Ari Cohen featuring chic ladies of NYC who also happen to be mature (60s to 90s). Then it was a book and now it’s a documentary.

The Advanced Style women are creative individuals who are less about current fashions and more about their own signature looks. They use color with abandon and don lots of chunky jewelry. They’re not afraid of hats, they adore scarves, and appreciate a good vintage find. To them, dressing every day is an art form.

Working with filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, Mr. Cohen interviews seven of his cadre of fashionables about who they are and what they do, how they put themselves together and what inspires them. One lady weaves men’s blazers into her ensembles always sporting a lovely vintage brooch on the lapels. Another takes years to assemble a complete outfit head to toe often incorporating ethnic pieces, such as a Japanese kimono. Yet another designs her own clothing using unique and colorful fabric she buys in Africa.

Ms. Plioplyte says of the experience, “I love the inspiration and fearlessness that these women exude – just hanging out with them has changed my personal perception on aging.”

Advanced Style won Best Documentary at the Miami Film Festival and has premiered in London and New York City. Now it’s our turn starting on October 10th, Rialto Elmwood in Berkeley and Presidio in San Francisco. Check the theaters’ website for times.

There’s much to be learned from these fabulous women, not just about fashion but about aging and spirit and … life.

This just in: The filmmakers will appear for a Q&A with the audience at the Rialto in Berkeley after the October 11th 3:30 showing. Don’t miss out.

Liva Firth and Stella McCartney.

Livia Firth and Stella McCartney.

Livia Firth (yes, that would be actor Colin Firth’s wife) is the woman behind The Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative that encourages designers to produce eco-friendly looks for the red carpet. Among others, Stella McCartney has hopped onto this admirable bandwagon and recently designed 13 evening wear pieces all using recycled materials from previous collections.

She told WWD, “The problem with luxury fashion is that it’s so isolated. There’s hundreds of thousands of meters of fabric that’s left over from collections and it just gets destroyed and I cannot get my head around it.”

Such waste but I tip my hat to Ms. Firth and Ms. McCartney and all the other designers involved with The Green Carpet Challenge.

Women choose expensive clothes for three reasons: to feel confident within themselves, to compete with other women, to attract a man.

- Ginette Spanier, ad-hoc fashion house director and fictional character in the BBC radio play, A Bullet at Balmain’s by Marcy Kahan.

Ms. Kahan has written several mystery radio plays set in post WWII Europe and America and featuring the British actor/playwright Noel Coward.

imagesI often take a brand-new suit or hat and throw it up against the wall a few times to get that stiff, square newness out of it.

- Fred Astaire (1899-1987)

Pick a color.

Pick a color.

In college I worked for a dancewear store and was taught how to fit both the ballet slipper and the toe shoe. (They don’t fit like regular shoes, but that’s another story.) I often thought, why should these cute slippers be just for ballet? One day I bought a pair for myself in mauve (they only came in black and mauve) and wore them around the house.

Since then the “ballet flat” silhouette has become a wardrobe staple for women and Linge Shoes is taking a step forward into the real thing. They have come out with a line of what they call shoes that are indeed actual ballet slippers.

Super comfortable and soft, Linge Shoes ballet slippers are made of soft leather in fun, bright colors and I say are a perfect choice for indoor sporting:

  • around the house with silk pajamas – what elegance!
  • at work when you need a break from those heels
  • on a long flight or car ride
  • they would be supper cute at a lawn party

Do you have a no-shoe policy in your home? Keep a basket of Linge Shoes ballet slippers for your guests. I also see these colorful slippers on the bride at her reception and what great bridesmaids gifts. Unlike the traditional ballet slipper they fit true to size, the vamp comes up a little higher and the elastic strap is already sewn on.

I have to say that I don’t recommend these for street wear because they really are made just like a ballet dance slipper with the pleats at the toe and a thin suede sole, which offers no support. I’m hoping one day soon Linge Shoes will put a sole on that slipper and make it a shoe!


51haN2ypgFL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_We were making everything in-store, responding to what was popular and making our own fabrics. We must have made three million garments over lots and lots of designs. You know what’s selling so you can make more, or make ones from a similar pattern. It was like fast fashion but faster.

- Barbara Hulanicki recently speaking to The Guardian about her very popular London shop, BIBA.

Ms. Hulanicki has just published a new book, The BIBA Years: 1963-1975 (V&A Publishing, 2014).

elizabethclineI think expressing yourself through clothes is about knowing yourself and your own personal style and knowing what kinds of silhouettes, colors, or prints that you like to wear. Knowing that means you naturally stop buying things that only get worn once or sit in the back of your closet. Instead, you buy things that you wear all the time and return to season after season. It’s far less wasteful and disposable.

- Elizabeth Cline, author of Over-Dressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012).

(This quote was part of a Q&A with Ms. Cline and Keri Wiginton on the sewing website Coletterie. Click here to read the entire interview. )



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