Case study: Advanced Style

Photo: Ari Seth Cohen

It can sometimes seem like the pace of modern life is relentless, especially when viewed through the distorted lens of social media. Let’s be honest, nobody’s normal week is really spent letting loose at a music festival on Monday, climbing up Machu Picchu on Wednesday and sunbathing on white beaches on Friday, despite what their Instagram feed or Facebook page might be telling you.

We live in an increasingly digital age and the pressure of keeping up appearances on social media can lead us to instantly dismiss anything that doesn’t feel cutting edge. Passing trends seem to come and go in days and weeks now, rather than months and years, and not being able to keep on top of all of of this constant, scrolling, auto-refreshing content can get extremely disorientating. It’s all too easy to feel left behind.

Which is why Advanced Style, the blog of photographer Ari Seth Cohen, comes as something of a breath of fresh air. Cohen is a photographer dedicated to showcasing older people (or the “over 60 set” as he’s wittily reimagined them) who have blazed their own trail and have a fantastic, creative sense of fashion.

In Cohen’s own words:

“I feature people who live full creative lives. They live life to the fullest, age gracefully and continue to grow and challenge themselves.”

This approach of accepting and celebrating people of all ages for all their quirks and flaws is inspiring and encourages us to look at the people around us for who they really are, rather than whether they meet the current criteria for what’s in vogue. In its own small way, Advanced Style teaches us that everybody around us is important and, for younger readers, that life actually does go on beyond 40 (or 25!).

The response to this is life-affirming. Cohen’s followers on Instagram – a social platform whose users are predominantly under the age of 35 – are certainly feeling the positive effects of seeing alternative depictions of what we’re used to being told is beautiful or fashionable – read some of the comments left by his readers and judge for yourself!


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