Advanced Style: The Blog-Turned-Documentary That Single-Handedly Redefined Old Age

From Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen

Growing old gracefully, yep that sounds fine - but growing old glamorously that really does sound like fun.

One photographer and blogger captures images of women who have chosen to do just that.

Back in 2009, photographer Ari Seth Cohen created a blog, Advanced Style, which celebrates the style of the older ladies of Manhattan.

With beautiful images showing strong, stylish senior citizens, Ari managed to challenge conventional ideas of ageing while giving us all some new fashion icons.

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Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen

From humble beginnings, Advanced Style has gone from strength to strength - first the blog was made into a book of the same name, now Advanced Style has become a documentary film, which is out in selected UK cinemas now.

Speaking to HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Ari said that he hadn't anticipated the blog making a move to the big screen.

"I knew that the women I was photographing had incredible stories to tell. It wasn't until director Lina Plioplyte approached me about making some videos of the ladies for my blog that I thought about the possibility of making a film.

"It happened really organically. We just couldn't stop filming and four and half years later the film is finally finished," he said.

With neverending pictures of young, svelte models and anti-ageing adverts around every corner, the media has created an invisible age for older women. But this film helps to redefine our idea of old age.

Ari believes young women could also learn from the documentary: "The Advanced Style ladies are confident, bold, expressive, and incredibly vital. I hope younger women are inspired by their freedom and individuality," he said.

The filmmaker said it was a privilege to work with older women, to hear their stories and to learn from their wisdom. The women in the films truly know themselves, and this is the key to true style.

"Lina and I learned so much from each woman in the film. I loved how much access to their lives they gave to us, from filming them with their families, to visiting them in the hospital.

"My favorite scene is when 93-year-old Ilona Royce Smithkin sings with her friend of over 50 years, Karen, on the beach in Cape Cod," he said.

Pictures courtesy of Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen, published by powerHouse Books.