More From Advanced Style

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Don't Try and Look Younger, Just Look as Wonderful as You Can"


Yesterday I went to visit one of my favorite ladies on the Upper West Side. I was thrilled to see Lynn Dell as she has been traveling and taking some time off after breaking her knee. Lynn looked as glamorous as ever in her all black ensemble, accented beautifully with gold jewelry. Since breaking her knee she hasn't had as much time or energy to fix her hair back like she prefers. Lynn told me that people have been commenting that she looks so much younger with her hair down, but she says, "I don't want to look younger. I just want to look as wonderful as I can." This seems to be a common sentiment amongst the Advanced Style Ladies and a very important statement considering our culture's obsession with youth and trying to stay young. Check out the video above to hear what Lynn has to say about trying to look younger.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catching Up With Ilona Royce Smithkin

It's been a busy few weeks for my friend 91 year old Ilona Royce Smithkin. From fashion week events to meetings with international press, Ilona is becoming quite a star. Here are some photos from some of her recent adventures.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fifth Avenue Style


I came across this gorgeous woman walking down Fifth Avenue. She looked effortlessly chic in her trench coat and beautiful shades.What do you think of the pop of print in her bag?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Central Park Red


It is always refreshing to see someone in anything other than the all black ensembles preferred by many New Yorkers. This woman looked stunning near Central Park in her beautiful red blazer and coordinated scarf.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Style Depends on Good Presentation. Not on How Much Money You Spend

Presentation is everything to the Advanced Style ladies. Mary looks great even on the way home from grocery shopping near union square. 100 year old Ruth dresses everyday, even to  check the mail. She says, "You never know who you will run into along the way." I can't stress enough that style is not about how much money you have, but how you put yourself together. These women may look like they spend a lot of money on clothes, but most of them recycle what is in their wardrobes or shop at vintage and thrift stores. The key to their style is presentation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Forever Green


I spotted this lovely lady by the Met and loved how she coordinated her green coat, gloves and the band on her hat. The Advanced Style ladies are masters of coordination. What are your favorite colors to mix and match?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Advanced Style Ladies Take Over Lincoln Center for Fashion Week

During this season's fashion week some of the Advanced Style ladies and I braved the cold and rainy weather to film a TV spot for a Canadian fashion program. They were all such great sports, putting on their finest warm weather clothes for an hour's worth of outdoor interviews and shots. When I asked the group if they were okay they announced, " Of course we are, we're New Yorkers." They weren't going to allow a little bad weather spoil their fun. During our filming journalists and bloggers crowded around to get a glimpse of these glamorous ladies. We had a great afternoon and I can't wait to see the finished product.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Elegance at Eighty

Jacquie looks incredible not even considering her age, but at 81 she's even more of an inspiration for us all to continue to dress up and feel great. She designed this gorgeous striped dress out of material she found at a fabric store. I love getting together with her and hearing about all of her adventures, dancing at The Apollo Theater, and listening to her plans for the future.Over the past 80 years Jacquie Tajah Murdock has never stopped dancing and never stopped dressing.

Friday, February 17, 2012

80 Year Old Rita Has Over 70 Pairs of Outrageous Glasses

Ballard lady

I met 81 year old Rita on a trip to Seattle over the weekend. She walked into the Great Harvest Bakery in Ballard wearing the most interesting pair of alien-eyed sunglasses. I was very intrigued and need to know more about her. I waited until she was finished purchasing her loaves and then asked if I could take her photo for my style blog, based in New York City. She was delighted and told me, "I have over 70 pairs of glasses and I wear a different pair everyday. Meet me here tomorrow and I will bring a whole bag full." I knew that I couldn't miss out on this opportunity!

The next day I met Rita outside the bakery wearing an even more spectacular pair of multicolored sunglasses. She showed me a grocery bag full of glasses that I could choose to photograph her in. We had a great time talking and taking photos and she told me the story of why she wears such outrageous glasses.

Rita says that her tastes are usually pretty simple. She had lost her small vintage sunglasses somewhere in the neighborhood, so her friend Marty accompanied her to a local mall to buy another pair. Marty picked out a big, fun, over-sized pair of sunglasses for Rita to wear and she picked out a smaller, more simple pair. Rita decided to purchase them both and wore the big pair to a recovery meeting sometime that week. Everyone in the group went wild for Rita's big shades. People started sending her huge, outrageous pairs of sunglasses from all over the world, resulting in her collection of over 70 pairs. Rita told me that although she wouldn't normally dress outrageously, she feels that the sunglasses make me people happy. When I asked her how she felt about them she replied, " They aren't really my style, but now I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by not wearing the pair they bought for me. Now I feel lost without them. They have become my trademark."

I loved meeting this wonderfully eccentric and charming woman and hope you enjoy her story and of course her amazing collecting of glasses.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In Memory of Zelda Kaplan



Yesterday 95 year old Zelda Kaplan passed away after collapsing, front row, at the Joanna Mastroianni Fashion Show. Zelda lived an amazing life.When we would get together she would always start by telling me how lucky she had been to have so many great opportunities. She traveled the world and collected hand woven fabrics and worked as an activist to bring the issue of female mutilation into discussion.

Zelda had a zest for life. She loved dancing and was a regular at New York's hottest clubs where she could be spotted dancing the night away in her brightly colored suits and matching hats. When I met Zelda the first thing she asked me was if I liked to dance. When it came to style she told me, "If you look well, then you heighten the atmosphere of a place, but remember to always be yourself. You can't turn marble into silk." Zelda definitely heightened the atmosphere wherever she went. I was lucky to have known her, even for such a short amount a time. I will cherish the advice she gave to me and remember her wonderful spirit always.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 Inspired by Advanced Style


I just found out that Advanced Style helped to inspire the Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 Collection! I am honored that my photos of these wonderful women and their expressions of personal style could be so influential in the work of a designer as important as Marc Jacobs. Check out these articles from French Vogue and WWD HERE and HERE , mentioning Advanced Style's influence on collection!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Outfit Options From Advanced Style

Do you need some inspiration for your Valentine's outfits?Here are some great options from the ladies who do it best.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Side Swept Style

I first saw this woman in a grocery store on the Upper East Side. I admired her gorgeous hair and elegant style, but she left the store before I could ask her for a photo. The other day I was walking on Madison Avenue and I saw her again. I knew that I couldn't let the opportunity pass me by, so I ran up to her and asked if I could take her photograph. She was very gracious and I can't wait until the next time I run into her. Doesn't this make you a little less afraid of letting your hair go white?

Friday, February 10, 2012

100 Year Old Elise Relflects Upon a More Elegant Past

I ran into Elise on Madison Avenue and was shocked when she told me that she was about to turn 100 years old. I asked her about her fashion philosophy and she replied, "I miss elegance. There was a time when everyone used to dress up." I hear this sentiment a lot amongst the Advanced Style set. It makes me think of my  grandmother's, and how we used to watch old Hollywood films, filled with the most glamorous people. As a young boy I was inspired by looking through grandma Bluma's scrapbooks full of vintage photographs.Everyone in the pictures looked so elegant and well dressed.
This is one reason I am so drawn to people like Elise. After taking her photo, we exchanged phone numbers.I can't wait to share some of her collection of over 83 hats with everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Elegant Simplicity


Sometimes the most simple fashion statements are the most elegant. This woman's stunning appearance is highlighted by her pearl earrings and lovely makeup choices. I asked how she would describe her style and she replied,"Elegant Simplicity."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Gentlemen Are Back

For the past year I have been working on my book set for release on May 22. I originally started this blog to share the style and stories of both men and women.When it came to curating the photos for my book, I wanted to pay tribute to my wonderful grandmothers and decided to focus exclusively on pictures of stylish ladies. Now its time to once again add some wonderful gentlemen into the mix. I was excited to run across this dashing fellow on Madison Avenue yesterday. I interrupted his Blackberry chat to take a quick photo of his amazing outfit. He definitely gives me something to aspire towards.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Elegance by The National Arts Club


I ran into Peggy at The National Arts club looking as elegant as always. I loved her gorgeous suit and confident stance. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Surprise Meeting

A few years ago, my pal MISTER MORT shared a wonderful photograph of a woman whom he had met while photo-hunting in New York. Ever since then, I have hoped for the day when I would run into her. By a stroke of pure luck, I saw Suzy walking across the street in Gramercy the other day. I couldn't believe my eyes as I had no idea where she lived and if I would ever spot her. I told Suzy the whole story and she was delighted to pose for a few shots. We exchanged information and I can't wait to meet with her again!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Marilyn Sokol in Polka Dots

My good friend and Advanced Style regular Marilyn Sokol and I got together for a wonderful lunch at Eataly the other day. She was wearing and the most marvelous outfit and I knew that we had to get some great shots before parting ways. Marilyn is always so much fun -- her wardrobe is a reflection of her sparkling personality.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Edith Drake in Vintage Christian Dior


Edith Drake is not only one of the most stylish 90 year olds I know -- She is one most fashionable women I know. She is wearing a Christian Dior suit that she has had for many years and it still looks fantastic. I set up a date to visit her home and I can't wait to see what she had in mind to show me. Edith is proof that you can look fabulous at any age!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red Heart Glasses

Jane Folds is a wonderful artist and master marionette maker. Like many of the Advanced Style ladies she has developed a perfect uniform that works for her everyday: red heart sunglasses, a black slip dress, red lip scarf and a mix of great accessories.Yesterday, Jane and I had a delightful lunch at The National Arts Club. Afterwards we took some photos and she showed me one of her favorite marionettes.

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