THE OLD & THE BEAUTIFUL
Never has the allure of the older woman been stronger, with the 6o+ set scoring the coolest of the cosmetics campaigns. HANNAH BETTS can’t wait to catch up...
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen hired iron-haired Linda Rodin, 65, to front their pre-fall ads for The Row. And the notoriously homogeneity-obsessed American Apparel has a new knickers model in the form of 62-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy: All scarlet lips, flowing grey locks, and lacy briefs.
We had become accustomed to Diane Keaton, 68, and Jane Fonda, 76, marketing age-appropriate creams to menopausal females, but—behold—here are older women promoting products to consumers decades their junior. All of a sudden, it is the 60+ set that is the go-to group for the most prestigious campaigns, rather than the winsome teens of yesteryear. Women whose characters we respect as much as their beauty, and who have had time to accomplish something substantial—this is the older woman in all her heady allure.
The ball for this slow-burning trend started rolling a few years ago when style icon Iris Apfel, now 92, was deployed by M.A.C senior vice-president and creative director James Gager in the wake of street-up demand for what the brand termed “real representation”. She remarked at the time: “We have an insane love affair with youth. Youth is beautiful and wonderful, but there’s a lot more. Life doesn’t stop when you’re 30. I think it’s pitiful that people lie about their age. What’s wrong with getting old? I think if you’re lucky enough to get old, you should celebrate it.”
Glamorous octogenarian Joan Collins, who recently gave me a rather brilliant makeover with her Timeless Beauty range for QVC, shrugs off the matter of age. Collins works hard at her looks—keeping out of the sun, exercising daily, and living off salmon, avocados, and the odd glass of champagne. She rolls her eyes when women in their 30s patronise her by declaring that they hope they look as good at her age, scoffing: “Many don’t look as good now!” And she’s right.
The audience that this insouciance speaks to most potently is the baby boomers: Those jeans-clad, post-war flower