film art

Advanced Style

LiLI film night at KASK

On 15 March 2023, the LiLI film night took place at the Ghent School of Arts KASK, with a screening of the documentary ‘Advanced Style’ and a fashion show by four women living in The Liberteyt care home in Ghent. The women showed the dresses they had made as part of a collaborative process between residents and the care staff. They had transformed old wedding dresses into beautiful works of art, taking inspiration from artists and putting each dress together with extreme care. Each piece took several months to complete. The intergenerational collaboration was a valuable experience in itself.

The show seamlessly transitioned into the documentary film directed by Lina Plioplyte and inspired by a blog by Ari Seth Cohen, in which he documents his encounters with extravagantly dressed older women on the streets of New York. Their cloths are not only a visual challenge to ageist norms, but they also speak of the wearer’s attitude to life. Some of the protagonists are cheerful and passionate, others are concerned about their status. Some are playful and expressive, others keep everything under control. In any case, the style offers an opportunity to assert oneself beyond restrictive norms. And an opportunity to make a statement in public spaces with a splash of colour, an unexpected combination or an extravagant shape. By making a breach in everyday homogeneity with their clothes, they move from invisibility to hypervisibility. Ari Seth Cohen started his photography blog after noticing a conspicuous lack of mature faces and bodies in fashion magazines and campaigns. Since then, his project and the women it depicts have helped diversify the way older women are seen and portrayed in the media and fashion industry in New York and beyond.

Photography: Michiel Devijver

Advanced Style (2014) - Lina Plioplyte (director)

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