Fashion documentary ‘Advanced Style’ takes a charming look at aging

Thursday 21st, January 2016 / 02:02
By Meaghan Lawrence

CALGARY — We’ve all heard the old adage “respect your elders.” In the case of Ari Seth Cohen – creator of style blog Advanced Style he’s made it his life motto.

From a young age, Cohen found his greatest companions to be his grandmothers – these were the relationships that fostered his appreciation for style, culture and creativity.

When Cohen made the move to New York City to pursue a career in photography, he soon found his muse in the eclectic and glamorous older women he saw roam the pavement. As he began to photograph and familiarize himself with these women, he again felt a uniqueness and connection them as he did his grandmothers. Cohen began putting his photos online, and soon, his style blog amassed such a following that a documentary of the same name was produced. Advanced Style (2014) allows viewers to meet and spend time with a select seven women featured on Cohen’s blog. The women, aged 62 to 95, discuss their individual approaches to style, creativity and growing older, while challenging norms of our perception of youth and beauty. As the women featured discuss their youth – one a former dancer at the historic Apollo Theatre, another a former teenage opera virtuoso – we learn their passions haven’t faded, their zeal for life and being creative is as strong as ever, and they still dream and hold on to their ambitions.

In one of the final scenes, we see two of the women audition to be the new face for famed French house Lanvin. Proving age is irrelevant, Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock, 82, and Debra Rapoport, 70, are chosen to prominently feature in an advertising campaign for Kmart. So Advanced Style is simply that – a story about women who have never let age stop them from evolving and experimenting in an art form they’ve always loved.

Check out Advanced Style at the Glenbow Museum as part of its Fashion Films series on January 28th. Tickets are $8 for members and $10 for the general public. For more information, visit

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