The Rise of the Over-50 Fashion Mentors- They’ve already considered the trends, chased the items, and graduated into freedom.
By Carina Chocano,
Feb. 9, 2022
Carla Rockmore, a Dallas-based trend designer, commenced making movies from her closet in the spring of 2020, simply weeks into the pandemic. She had been poised to introduce a rings series — an ornate, Art Deco-ish line produced in India — when the entirety shut down.
People had constantly advised her she must strive her hand like a stylist, and she regarded herself as a herbal entertainer, so she determined to attempt something new. In her first video, the digital camera is low to the ground, providing a broad view of her dazzling closet, which elements two stories, a spiral staircase, and a fireplace.
Rockmore steps into the body carrying a sky blue coat and purple lipstick, bending down from the waist to tackle the camera. “So, coronavirus,” she says. “What the [expletive] do we do?”
Now, after extra than 250 posts and what feels like 10,000 years, Rockmore, who is 54, has received roughly 75,000 followers on Instagram and a million on TikTok, the place she is recognized as “the actual Carrie Bradshaw.” She has been interviewed with the aid of Vogue; her closet has been featured by using Architectural Digest- 50 Fashion Mentors.
She is admired for her fashion (playful, bold) and her character (jubilant), however, what might also be most hanging is the way she highlights her age. On YouTube, her tagline is “Over Fifty Fashion”; on Instagram, “Celebrating the self-expression of 50+ via fashion, fun, & fierceness.”
Nowhere is she sheepish in the way commonly required of ladies “over 40” — a phrase regularly accompanied, in media, via some type of Dorothea Lange-style picture of what seems to be a 90-year-old Dust Bowl migrant.
In her videos, Rockmore builds outfits around themes, thoughts, or decades, experimenting with color, quantity, and texture. She’ll begin with a cowboy boot, or a nostalgic idea about Diana Ross in the 1970s, or an old bag. Then commence speedy cuts, including portions and accessories.
The cloth wardrobe she pulls from is fantastical, stocked with fur hats, patent leggings, and voluminous skirts, and her talking fashion is over-the-top bubbly, at instances oddly comparable to Julia Child’s. The chief satisfaction she exudes is joy; you’re struck by how blissful she seems, how assured in who she is. Our media don’t exhibit us so many examples of female this age who recognize who they are and surely like it.
As Rockmore has said, 50-year-old ladies have a tendency to comprehend who they are and what they want(The Rise of the Over-50 Fashion Mentors):
Now, social media approves absolutely everyone to dig into her dresser and give an explanation for an intimate self to the public. There is, accordingly, no dearth of girls and ladies making jump-cut movies of their outfits. If Rockmore’s years set her apart, it’s now not due to the fact she appears suitable “for her age,” something that means; it is because, at 54, she is very an awful lot dressing for enjoyable and self-expression.
This places her in a class historically left out of narratives about what makes a lady elegant — a class that has produced some of the most remarked-upon trend influencers of the latest years.
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As Rockmore has stated in interviews, 50-year-old females have a tendency to be aware of who they are and what they want. They are no longer alien to their personal lives, roaming around burdened about how the whole thing bought to be the way it is now as if freshly emerged from cryogenic chambers. This is an imaginative and prescient of center age that the inexplicable new “Sex and the City” reboot, “And Just Like That…,” leans into with shocking malice:
Its characters spend the first few episodes being baffled by means of how the world has changed. In the unique series, the fictional Carrie Bradshaw’s closet and dresser had been predominant motifs — symbolizing her innermost self and her gutsy public persona.
In the new series, 55-year-old Carrie varieties via these equal clothes with the useful resource of her buddy Charlotte’s teenage daughter, for whom they characterize feasible future identities. When Carrie meets a neighbor an awful lot like her youthful self, she is initially
scared, decided no longer to seem antiquated and square. However, after the neighbor opens dependent upon her, Carrie has an off-kilter disclosure, putting on an Atelier Versace robe esteemed at $80,000, consuming popcorn with the guide of her window, and understanding “there are a few matters that must not the slightest bit be stored.” You get the inclination she is alluding to herself.
Rockmore does now not warfare towards this epiphany. Rather than mocking her for sticking around previous her supposed sell-by date, online audiences — even on teenager-heavy TikTok — love her for it. She is, in fact, one of a handful of over-50 trend mentors on social media to entice an all-ages crowd.
There’s Trinny Woodall, previously of the TV exhibit “What Not to Wear,” who pioneered this kind of madcap styling advice, live streaming from her closet, or her bathroom, or Zara. There are additionally Grece Ghanem, Lyn Slater, and Nina Garcia, amongst others — all over 50, all with social media followings properly previous the half-million mark, all rejecting the culture’s insistence that girls come to be invisible 50 years earlier than death.
Wealth performs a section in their charm. There has continually been a tendency, as each guys and female age, to substitute the appeals of early life with the enchantment of money; when you may additionally no longer provoke the world through searching sparkling and dewy, you can galvanize with the aid of searching formidably wealthy. Rockmore’s closet is a monument to consumption.
Woodall earned some 27 million kilos in 2021, a few years after introducing her make-up line. And but what they provide is now not sincerely a fable of wealth itself. It is the fable of a well-lived lifestyle — the feel of having reached a location of strength and inhabiting it comfortably. In a panorama the place female their age are portrayed as both powerless and pitiful or effective and despised, this feels revelatory.
This is a special type of aspiration than the one discovered in closet excursions of younger influencers and celebrities — say, the clip of Kylie Jenner’s mirrored purse depository that has been seen over 17 million instances on YouTube. Many of these figures appear centered on stockpiling luxurious manufacturers and reacting to trends.
Part of why Rockmore and Woodall experience so reassuring is that, like all cool older people, they appear easily previous all that, as though they’ve already considered the trends, chased the items, and graduated to freedom. You locate yourself resentful no longer of their stuff but of the carefree, unburdened pleasant they exude: the feeling of having moved previous inhibition and worry of judgment into sovereign selfhood, a region many youthful females are elated to analyze exists- 50 Fashion Mentors.
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