As regular readers know, we attended the first Fifty Plus fashion show held at London Fashion Week recently. What ever we feel about the ageist labels we’re still subjected too or the narrative that puts the focus on age rather than style at events such as this, we should be grateful to sponsors JD Williams for its excellent work on shining the spotlight on the subject and sparking a debate. They’ve backed it up for two years with great research too, so we’re getting a clearer feel about what we all think it’s like to be a 50 plus shopper today.
I want to mention the fabulous women who were modelling the show from the Mrs Robinson Management agency. They did great work on the catwalk, obvs, but when I was perusing the Mrs Robinson website, I was wowed by the great style they all showed off the runway too. Older women such as these demonstrate that our style can look exciting, edgy and fabulous regardless of age, and that this is the new normal.
The JD Williams research showed that 55% of us still feel under represented in magazines and 50% of us feel TV should be showing more older women. A whopping 72% of us feel we are badly represented in advertising, despite last years ‘thing’ in fashion and beauty ads to use older models.
My totes fav model on the website is Buffy, above, who is now on my style mood board under ‘grey eyebrows/eyelashes’ inspiration….and ‘giant rings’.
I ADORE large chunky cocktail rings, give me a giant fake gem or a lump of turquoise over a tiny diamond any day. I regularly lust over Monica Vinedar’s rings and am currently in love with the Lapis square facet cut ring (£175), exclusive to Liberty and the Siren gold plated onyx ring above right, (£105). I’m also intrigued by the three-finger-covering Chloe Darcey pearl and gold tone ring above left (£215) which is both elegant and dramatic and conjure’s up Buffy’s look nicely.
We all desperately wanted Evon’s beautiful white ‘fro above, at the show, it’s the very best grey/white hair inspiration I’ve seen for a long time. And how fabulous does her white hair look when worn with a simple black T shirt? Hair envy is off the scale here.
On the subject of good black T shirts, I loved the slash neckline on this Finery London (yes I know I said we’d broken up...but it’s complicated) long sleeved slinky-knit T shirt (£39) above, which looks flattering and sexy all at the same time.
It might also be time to drop the no-sleeveless mantra, considering how good Tanya Drouginksa, above left, looks in her sleeveless all-in-one. The JD Williams research says that 33% of us don’t like our upper arms, but we can always chuck a jacket or cardigan over them….We could try a leather biker jacket, like Elsa, above right.
Back at Finery London, both sleeveless and sleeved all-in-ones look like good bets for elegant day wear. On the left, the Lansdowne wrap jumpsuit (think that DVF wrap dress idea with legs….) in black jersey (£79) looks easy. Or you could go sleeveless with the Mitford D Ring version, which would look just as good with a slim T shirt under, too.
Interestingly the research doesn’t cover how we feel about our shoulders, currently having a ‘moment’ in fashion, I rather like mine and I like that Anna’s showing hers, above, maybe we should concentrate on loving our best bits…..
A final look at one of our favourite Mrs Robinson models, Jean Woods, who was in the audience at the show looking immensely stylish, as usual. You may remember from the wonderful Fabulous Fashionistas programme. She exudes style from every inch of her and she’s also lovely to chat too.
Jean buys a lot of her clothes from charity stores, possibly because apparently JD Williams discovered 67% of us 50 plussers like to shop in stores where we feel comfortable and no one’s judging in a thrift store. 60% of us want a better selection of high street retailers for our age group, with 58% of us feeling that the high street is all about the younger consumer rather than us -even though we have more money.
On the subject of denim jackets, I absolutely loved my last year’s denim purchase from Whistles, I’m still wearing those wide legged jeans to death. This season the raw indigo denim jackets look good, in a slightly darker shade of denim than Jean’s one. I am considering the Lucie cropped jacket (£120) as a workwear/utility inspired spring throw-over and the more classic shape (£95) in the darker indigo shade.
Well done JD Williams and Mrs Robinson Management for doing something positive. Hurry up every other retailer in understanding that our new normal is every bit as demanding for fabulous, exciting and stylish clothing as it ever was.
All model images from Mrs Robinson Management