Ageing with style: film screening at the Wearable Art Show

Advanced Style will be shown at Cove Commons July 2.

Many of you have seen the current Wearable Art show at the Cove Commons Art Gallery. Amongst the extraordinary col­lection of wearable art are my pieces: a hat made from strong paper towels and two cuff brace­lets, the outcome of two two-hour workshops with Debra Rapoport, New York artist and one of the seven women who appear in the film Advanced Style.

The 2014 documentary is based on the work of Ari Seth Cohen. Cohen took the advice of his recently-deceased grand­mother to go to New York if he wanted to be creative. He was amazed to find a league of women over 65 wearing eye-catching ensembles. (Usually older women are not noticed unless they are drop-dead glam­orous or celebrities.)

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Ari was fascinated enough to start photographing them and created a blog which became so popular it resulted in this film.

I was in Mexico when I saw that Debra was giving a cuff-making workshop. I signed up and met one of the most engaging women I have ever met.

 Everything she was wearing, from her Viva paper towel hat to her toes, was made or adapted by her from thrift store finds. Later she told me that she never spends more than $5 on clothes. “Frugality is fun.”

This year at the hat-making workshop, 18 feisty women worked together gluing our paper towel hats into all sorts of shapes and designs, while Debra sprinkled her innumer­able words of wisdom and encour­aged us to play. As we were in a beautiful boutique, we were unable to spray paint the hats, so for me the painting and embellishments waited until I could work in my garden.

This is not about fashion; it is about having fun with style and what you adorn your body with. Come along to meet these seven New York women who have learned to creative­ly put themselves together when the film is shown at 1 p.m. July 2 at the Cove Commons Art Gallery, after Ines Ortner’s curator’s tour.

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