After a weekend of saluting THE Queen of advanced style (how can you fault that sheer breadth of monochromatic pastel get-ups), it seemed fitting that Ari Seth Cohen should roll into town to celebrate his queens of Advanced Style with the launch of his book. Nowness got together with Ari to throw quite a bash in New York, where understandably the turnout consisted of many of his subjects as Ari mostly shoots in New York. I tend to associate Advanced Style with Ari roaming the streets finding Upper East Side doyennes or madcap Soho/Chelsea characters but interestingly enough, the cover of the book is actually graced by a Londoner, an ex-model named Gitte Lee.
Last night, Ari got together with a few of his favourite London ladies to do a book signing and event at Mary's Shop at House of Fraser. It was actually my first time there so I had a bit of a nosy around (very good space in comparison to the rest of House of Fraser… *ouch*) and I couldn't really stay for long so I quickly got a few snaps including this one sweet one of Ari wearing a Bernstock Speirs bunny cap and Thelma Speirs herself (DJ for the night).
The book itself is a pleasing hardback A-5-ish sized tome containing a selection of all of Ari's top shots with a few quotes from the ladies themselves as well as an interview between Dita Von Teese and Ilona Royce Smithkin, one of Ari's star subjects and I believe oldest subjects at the grand age of 90. I've come to take Advanced Style for granted over the years as it's settled in to become one of the streetstyle top guns but I forget how specific a niche this is, finding and shooting stylish women over a certain age and eking out their stories and getting to know them as people. The blog and the book has built up a veritable compedium of characters, whose clothes are an expression of who they are, what they've experienced and what they've done in life. I'm very much excited at the prospect of (should I be so lucky and live that long…) Susie Bubble style at an 8.0 stage of development, preferably with a wise and sagely mentality.
P.S. Advanced Style, the documentary could very well happen as the project on Kickstarter is nearing its end goal of funding. Only $300 to go until it hits the $35,000 project target. I've pledged my support. Go on – give a little and make it happen…