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'Advanced Style' documentary premieres at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town

The hit documentary, 'Advanced Style', will make its premiere at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2014 on 25 July at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 1-4pm.
The international fashion documentary chronicles four years in the lives of seven stylish, elderly New York City women, aged 62 to 95. Written and directed by New Yorkers Ari Seth Cohen and Lina Plioplyte, the taboo-breaking film and its unlikely stars have been making waves in international fashion by proudly eschewing the traditional youth-focused nature of the industry

From blog to film

"My eyes have always been drawn to older people and, from a style point of view, I find them more interesting because they are of an age where they don't have to impress anyone and can wear what they want," says Cohen, whose concept for Advanced Style started out as a street-style blog, which then turned into a book, before he teamed up with Plioplyte to create the film.

The ladies of Advanced Style offer their own unique perspectives on overcoming life's obstacles with style and grace, painting colourful and intimate portraits of stylish older women who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, growing old, and Western's culture's increasing obsession with youth

As actress, Ilona Royce Smithkin (93), asserts, "There is no time limit to anything; when you look good, you look good," and she is seconded by co-star, Chanel-toting beauty consultant Joyce Carpati (80), with her mantra, "I never wanted to look young; I wanted to look great".

They have joined fellow fashionistas - former Apollo Theatre dancer Jackie "Tajah" Murdock (81), storied-boutique owner Lynn Dell Cohen (80), beloved NY night club regular Zelda Kaplan (95), performance artist & textile designer Debra Rapoport (67), and vintage-garment-hoarder Tziporah Salamon (62) - in capturing the attention of The New York Times, GQ Online, Huffington Post and Elle and Esquire magazines, elevating them to the iconic ranks of original senior style superstar, Iris Apfel (92), who also makes an appearance in the documentary.

Panel discussion

Preceding the screening, a panel discussion - led by the film's creators and featuring leading fashion, enterprise and trend experts - will table concerns relating to the challenge of overturning status quos about beauty and ageing, along with local issues such as the need to invest in emerging designers and impart the entrepreneurial skills necessary for sustainability in the design industry.

The event also features a conversation with blogger/writer Ari Seth Cohen, executive producer Lina Plioplyte and special guest, Joyce Carpati.

Tickets are R250, which includes the AFI Next Generation Fashion Show, and are available from Web tickets.

For more information watch the trailer: