Advanced Style


Written by Rebecca Fulleylove
Photos and illustrations by Ari Seth Cohen, Lina Plioplyte
06 Monday 06th June 2011

Have you been inspired by any stylish elders in your own lives?

Funnily enough, I am the only extravagant dresser in my family. So for me, these women answer a wonder of growing up and growing old in the society: of never losing the playfulness, the sparkle, and having fun with the clothing, no matter what age.


Where did you guys meet, and when/why did you decide to start collaborating?

We met probably four years ago, when Ari first moved to New York City. I was working at the coffee shop in Brooklyn at the time, and suddenly there was this guy, dressed in Hawaiian prints, he said "Hi, we just moved to town and are looking for friends!". I thought, how weird! No one talks to strangers in New York, so that was refreshing! We became friends, and he started doing his blog. I always admired what he did, so a few years later I approached him with an idea of doing little videos about his ladies, and took it from there. We have a blast: he takes pictures and I film, and these ladies are absolutely marvelous. We sit down and chat with them, listen to their stories and they show us their outfits. Every time it's unexpected and so interesting!

What does ‘style’ mean to you? Do you think style can be taught or is it something you’re born with?

Style is one's individual manner to dress. I think style can definitely be "trained", but you have to have a good eye for composition, colour combinations, and a will to experiment. It's all trial and error!

What’s your process in terms of selecting the women in your films? Has anyone ever said no to being featured?

Ari walks around the city and meets all these wonderful stylish ladies. Most of them are delighted to share some style tips.

Tell us about this upcoming longer documentary? Where can we see it? Any plans to find more stylish ladies over in the UK?

We are planning to release the longer documentary in the Fall, that's all I can say right now. Ari has been traveling around the world lately! He found some wonderful women in France, he's going to Finland and he's been to England a few times. There are timeless beauties in every country to discover!

Do you feel that we as a society should have more respect for our elders?

Yes, I feel that these days society is obsessed with youth and all things young, overlooking the great wisdom that elderly have to offer.

Do you think modern women should take note of the attitudes of the women in your documentary and feel free enough to experiment more with their wardrobe?

Absolutely! That's the message in the documentary. To discover yourself, - what fits you and what makes you feel good, - and be playful. Those are important statements I would like people (not necessarily only women) to be inspired by.

How do you want people to feel when they view your blog/watch your films?

I want them to be inspired by these wonderful ladies just like we are, and understand that there are so many ways to play, to dress up, all you have to do is be yourself and have fun with it.

What have you learned from meeting all the amazing women featured in your work?

Oh boy! I've definitely learned more than one style tip from them. More importantly, these amazing women prove to me that one doesn't have to grow up and become boring at certain age - would it be 35 or 55. Self-expression and individuality doesn't have an age or "proper" attire.

Has doing these films/blog influenced your own styles in any way?

Ladies who are not afraid to express themselves through clothing definitely influence my style and teach me a lot. Ilona, our red head 91-year old finds the use in clothes that don't necessarily fit her but have beautiful textures - she would make them into scarves or bracelets! Ilona also teaches me that any color combination can work, as long as you have it in repeat in your outfit. Lynn Dell, "countess of glamour", as she likes to call herself, adores oversized accessories paired with simple black flowing clothing. She definitely inspires me to put on a hat or gloves, or a huge brooch! Debra loves thrifting, she sets a goal for herself not to buy anything over $5 in thrift stores, and that I think is a fun challenge to have when shopping.

Follow updates on the Advanced Style blog here, and keep up with Plioplyte's own film-making work on her site and Youtube channel.

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