In an interview with Lisa Marie Corso for the GORMAN fashion brand, Cyan Ta’eed was photographed holding our book. The fab Cyan Ta’eed is the Founder and CEO of Envato, Hey Tiger, and Milkshake. Her ethical chocolate range, Hey Tiger, not only addresses the ethical issues around sourcing cocoa in the world, the NFP corporation donates 50c for each large Hey Tiger chocolate block sold to The Hunger Project in Ghana.
by Kerry Cue
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me
………….Jenny Joseph, Warning, Poem, 1961
Do dull clothes make you dull?
Jenny Joseph’s poem has gained something of a cult following. Today there are Red Hat Societies that encourage members to go out in public wearing purple dresses and red hats. They have a lot of fun and raise money for charity – insert applause here – and, of course, the Red Hat ladies don’t go unnoticed in public.
Such societies, however, rather defeat the idea of the older woman as a respected individual by turning her into a red hat, purple dress-wearing stereotype. Jenny Joseph aptly expressed her unique eccentricities in her poem, but why turn yourself into a Jenny Joseph clone?
There is, however, a more insidious problem concerning fashion for older women.
In her book FASHION AND AGE: Dress, the body and later life, (Review: Cheryl Buckley, Times Higher Education, 19 SEP 2014) Julia Twigg insists that as women age they become estranged to fashion and begin to wear “rectangles and squares” in sombre colours with little ornamentation, instead of choosing clothes that fashionably drape and shape our older selves.
Fashion is fun but it’s not for everyone. Moreover, older women can wear what they bloody well like. They’ve earned this right. But fashion also serves a purpose. Dowdy or dull outfits scream ‘I’ve given up’. If you are not interested in yourself, who else will be?
Yes! You do get more respect if you dress smartly in public. You needn’t stop there. Some older women don amazingly zany outfits and they are, indeed, an inspiration for all ages. Here they are, women from the Advanced Style Blog. Ari Seth Cohen wanders the streets of New York taking pictures of fashionable women in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. And they look fabulous, darling!
While riding her bike around the streets of New York and dressed-to-amaze, 66-year-old Tziporah Salamon once had a friend call out when she was stopped at a light, ‘I want to be you when I grow up!’
According to the SMH Salamon has ‘modelled in a 2012 advertising campaign for Lanvin, starred in the 2014 documentary Advanced Style, and has recorded her unique approach to getting ready in a new book, The Art of Dressing: Ageless, Timeless, Original Style’. Her book includes interviews with 10 other women over 50 whom she finds inspiring. Enough said, here is some of Salamon’s zany style.
by Kerry Cue
Looking for a quote to head this post about 63 – year – old New Yorker, Lyn Slater, Associate Professor and Style Icon, I couldn’t find one that fitted the bill. So I made one up. Her Accidental Icon Instagram account has 100,000 followers! Her Accidental Icon blog is equally fascinating.
Style does not depend on age. Look at the images of Lyn (below) taken from her Instagram account. Confidence and flair seem to sum up the impact of her fashion style. May there be more like her.
by Kerry Cue
The doddery Old Age stereotype versus dynamic new old Agers was dramatically apparent in The Australian Weekend Review, (22 Aug 2015. There is a paywall but you can see the cartoon here.) Deidre Macken wrote a thoughtful and lively article about older women, which left anyone over the age of 60 feeling foot-tappin’ good about getting old.
Primarily, Macken paid homage to Iris Apfel a New York fashion icon at 93, who is the star of a documentary titled simply Iris (below).
‘Finally relieved of kids, parents’ stuff, jobs and sometimes partners, women of the first youth generation are in the mood for breaking out again.’ Too true.
But the cartoon accompanying Macken’s intelligent piece dished up the same old shriveled-cold-tripe imagery we mature age readers are fed daily namely a sketch of three doddery oldies on walking frames. The cartoon had nothing to do with the article theme. Even if we see old women bush walking, riding bikes and pumping more iron than that cartoonist (Jon Kudelka. Google him), we are still surrounded with these negative stereotypes. But as Macken noted:
‘You’re only old once.’ And we are not about to beige up and fade away.
We, THE SIBYLS, declare Deidre Macken an Honorary Sibyl for her insightful writing, her independent thinking and her intelligent reporting on the lives of vibrant older women.
Best known as a journalist and columnist, Deirdre Macken wrote on business and marketing for The Australian 1975-1979, worked for The Age 1979-1987 and was a senior writer on The Sydney Morning Herald and its Good Weekend from 1987-1999. She is currently a columnist and senior writer for The Australian.
Photo source: Film Website
by Sibyl Jules
How do you describe the old chemo trip which, incidentally, I finished 2 weeks ago after 6 months of 2 weekly cycles? This is only my experience- everyone has different sorts of chemo and some are much worse than others. My side effects were horrible on one drug, which I was spared after 4 cycles because of weird stuff happening. I never wanted to know what the side effects might be beforehand- then I’d only get them! A useful tip shared by an oncology nurse friend was to keep the literature they gave me as a reference if something did feel unusual or bad, and just read it as you need to. This helped me avoid worrying about things that might happen and to respond appropriately to them if they did.
I can’t say chemo was easy, but when I meet with any of my ‘cancer club’ as my partner calls them, he always comments how happy we all are. We are, after all, alive, and eating, drinking (albeit a modified beverage of choice) and laughing with friends. I think that the last 6 months of chemo has taught me to enjoy and savour every tiny joy- cooking and sharing food and wine with good friends and family has always been an important part of our lives- so when chemo flattens me for a week, being able to eat and drink and meet friends again- or go to WOMAD, the happiest 4 days of the year as I know it- gives me much to be happy about. Every tiny joy helps…Look for them- they make you feel safe and help to stave off the anxiety and fear.
Oddly, chemo has also reminded me how much I love my work. I’ve been able to work two or three days a week, throughout chemo. I found that focusing on thinking and working, surrounded by busy people doing interesting things has helped me to avoid the pitfalls of the ‘poor-me-illness-behaviour mode’, which I might be prone to without the focus! I’m lucky I can choose when I go to work and if I feel too bad I crash and burn, but usually I get some days in each week. I’m also fortunate I love my work. And having a supportive and loving family and partner has helped too of course. I’ve loved having old friends call up out of the blue, and have been overwhelmed by the incredible generosity and thoughtfulness of people around me. Totally unexpected and humbling.
On grumbling about chemo prior to treatment starting, a surgeon reminded me that I am very lucky to be offered chemo- a treatment that may help keep me alive. For some things there is no such treatment and for that reason I knew I’d just have to go with it, knowing that every 2 weeks, just as I’m beginning to feel a bit ‘normal’ again, another bus will run me over.
Jules is a perceptive observer and an irrepressible, positive force as well as director and publisher for the Neuro Orthopaedic Institute, Adelaide, SA. And here is the Chemo Fashionista post of the fabulous Jules at WOMAD, Adelaide.
by the Sibyls
Photo Source: Vintage Fashion pinterest
by Kerry Cue
This is the Funky and Fabulous Jules at WOMAD 2015. She caught my attention because she radiated such a positive vibe. But she had a story to tell. Jules started a Chemo regime of treatment every two weeks – 6 months ago. She was heading back into ‘the chair’ the day after this photograph was taken. She is an example to us all. Grab life now. Celebrate now. Non of us know the future.
We, The Sibyls, thank Jules for sharing her positively contagious spirit and wish her a speedy recovery.
by Kerry Cue
I’ve just been to WOMAD 2015 in Adelaide. The spanish pair, Osadia (Left in action) enthralled the crowd with their hair art. One could only pay homage to the Her Magnificence (Pictured above), sporting one of Osadia’s many magisterial creations at the Festival. Osadia made me think that we are all rather dull with our own creative coiffures. Meanwhile, I wandered around the crowd asking fellow festival goers if I could take their photos for a Festival Vibe post on Sibylesque. Here is the first (There will be two more in posts) of some of the Funky & Fab festival goers: