Saturday, 27 October 2012

All Ages, No Style.



I've told you what I think about the Guardian's All Ages fashion spread before: here and here. The dreadful hair & make-up, the ill-fitting clothes, the 'just escaped from the care home' vibe. Very little thought or attention being paid to the specific needs of older models. These days I tend to ignore the fashion and go straight to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's food pages instead. But the image of Valerie Pain in today's 'Military Precision' photoshoot, is one of the worst ever. The stylist has made Maxmara look like Matalan, a beautiful woman look like a sack of spuds. The £275 designer dress is too tight across the bust and doesn't fit properly at the waist and shoulders. And don't mention the knees. Team Guardian Fashion really need to pay more attention to the wise words of Iris Apfel, who knows a thing or too about looking good at any age, 'All women over a certain age should cover up, no matter what a jock you are - arms are awful. Designers are terrible on that.'

What a shame. This is a missed opportunity to increase diversity in fashion and celebrate the style of older women. No one wants to look like this, at any age.


43 comments:

Babylon Sisters said...

Oh my - you're so right!

Dash said...

Oh that is truly awful, what are team Guardian playing at?

Northmoon said...

A better fitting bra would help! I agree with you though, this is a sad outfit.

Kathy Leeds said...

A missed opportunity indeed, but the dog is awfully cute.

Sparklz and Shine said...

Northmoon, my first thought exactly!

Pushing the boobs down like that just drags everything down further. The dart and fabric then emphasize this even more. Gives a nice hint at her pant line too.

I feel cold just looking at those bare arms. We're heading for winter and they show us bare arms. :(

Emily's Mum said...

oh my goodness this is horrendous. why can they not see. this is why i get deprssed trying to get fashion advice nowadays

the gardener's cottage said...

you know best. the styling is off and could have been corrected so easily.

that being said...i think she is beautiful.

xo

Une Femme said...

Yikes. I'm sure with the right styling and fit that dress would look great, but here it just looks horrible. And agree about the bra. Why is it so hard for designers to do sleeves?? (I know, it's cheaper to produce sleeveless garments, but STILL.)

Jenny said...

so right what a lost opportunity, photographer obviously realised there was a problem by using the cute dog. Good outfit, good model just not styled right, need opaque tights and armouries or t shirt underneath and better bra.

Marina von Koenig said...

I agree about the fit, BUT covering up arms? it should be personal choice, really. If it's about wrinkles and weak muscles, then should women after 50 cover their face as well? I think the model looks beautiful - I am just sorry they didn't make an effort with the dress, as you say.

Highland Fashionista said...

Dear GOD. You are so right. The first thing I noticed was her stunning face. That is a beautiful woman, and whomever is styling her completely lost the rag when it came to enhancing what she has. BEfore I even clicked on your link under the photo, I was thinking...shame about that dress....

Also, the Guardian stylist could use a lesson on picking proper foundation garments to go under dresses. Sheesh!

Donna said...

Ditto to what Marina said. That quote from Iris is ridiculous.

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness this is the worst yet. Honestly, the stylist needs to explain her/him self - completely crazy. And by the way forgot to comment on the previous post that the Joseph website was wonderful... now I just need to find a way to justify buying another navy blue winter coat! S x

lyn said...

I'm always pleased to Valerie on the All Ages page and I was disappointed with the outfit she got this week. She is beautiful and her looks are wasted in this ill-fitting dress. Her arms are great, though - nothing wrong there!

LPC said...

The woman is gorgeous, and rises above her outfit. But why did they put her in something that doesn't fit? What was the point?

Patti said...

She's lovely and I agree, she's been done no favors by the stylist. Surely a better fit could be had! I do love her silvery hair.

Julie said...

Fortunately for her, she's still a beautiful woman.

That's Not My Age said...

Marina/Donna/Lyn - I agree, Valerie has good arms, it's just the overall effect. Feels like there's a wee bit too much flesh on show.

mette said...

I don´t think that the picture is that bad.
The size of the outfit is just a bit too small, otherwise ok.

MyStyle said...

Hi my dear! Valerie is a stunning model, but the dress was a total style faux pas and did not bring out the best in the model or the dress. Have had serious work and health issues this week so my plans of blogging about the exhibition went out the window, but I hope to put up the post soon. Have a good weekend xx

notSupermum said...

That's a missed opportunity with such a lovely model. You should write to the Guardian and offer to do a guest styling.

L'age moyen said...

You do wonder what the point is. This outfit isn't right for her in addition to being ill-fitting. A missed opportunity.

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Spot on - the image is unflattering and makes the model look tired. I had fabulous knees when I was a decade younger but now I have them covered and I avoid totally bare arms if possible despite their lack of butterfly wings. Bisous

Eliza said...

Oh...so....totally...agree!!!

Eliza said...

Oh...so....totally...agree!!!

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

She's beautiful, you're right. This is a perfect example of why we must ignore the so-called fashion pundits (like those at the Guardian) and create our own fabulous style. Don't let anyone else dress you-dress yourself!!!!

Sarah Sá Couto said...

Well said.

Whenever an editorial or ad is sold as an equal opportunity initiative, the result is ALWAYS unflattering.

Beautiful, interesting, brand-relevant women come in different shapes. Ex. Carine Roitfeld for Givenchy or Mark Fast wouldn't be a charitable opportunity for a granny, but a brilliant way of expressing pure raw sex appeal.

In failing to see the appeal of that woman, The Guardian has revealed a great deal of PREJUDICE.

Ha, isn't the paper bankrupt? Makes sense.

http://www.commonromance.com/

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Before I even read your words I thought "what a beautiful woman and what a hideous, awkward outfit"! That poor woman has a great figure and it looks like the stylist was taking the piss, or ON the piss, when they put this shoot together. Make it stop!!

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness - I had no idea this sort of thing was going on! Isn't there a law against it? I don't read the Guardian but I'll certainly skip their All Ages spread if I ever come across one. The model is gorgeous; it's just too bad someone had to wrap her up in this I-surrender-to-nothingness outfit.

Veshoevius said...

That's Max Mara? Could have fooled me!
I'm with Donna and Marina on the arms front here though - I don't think she or any other older woman should be obliged to cover their arms up - I'm with Gok Wan on this who routinely ripped arms off older women's dowdy cover ups in his style workshops, even putting them in halter necks, and I thought the effect was less ageing than having them all covered up.

Vix said...

Sorry, can't see any problem with her body being on show, it's the fact that they've dressed such an attractive woman in a shitty shade of khaki that offends me.
After reading that quote I've gone right off Iris Apfel, I despise any woman who dispenses such crap.
No woman should be obliged to cover up, no matter what anyone else thinks. They are our bodies and wrinkly, fat, scrawny or scarred I can't see a problem with exposing them.
If I'm still lucky enough to be alive at Valerie's age I shall continue to bear my arms especially if it pisses so many of my "sisters" off.

Chicatanyage said...

I so agree. The Guardian should hire a new stylist.

Fashion art and other fancies said...

Very unflattering indeed. And this is from the Guardian?!

Fashionistable said...

Too right. This is an awful shot and styling. Xxxx

BellisVintage said...

Hurrah - I thought I was the only one who thought Guardian's style pages were grim. I applaud the use of older models and they are beautiful but they are sadly let down in these pieces. A black polo underneath, some black boots, more covering up. If journals genuinely want to support the older model may be they need to hire older stylists who understand how to dress them.

J.W. said...

I don't think the outfit is bad, just the styling. Who picked out her underwear? They should be fired. A different pose, proper underpinnings, proper sized dress... this is a lovely woman portrayed badly.

I think that Iris is entitled to her opinion. I agree with her to a certain degree, though that is my own taste. I don't necessarily 'need' to see 'old men' in tank tops either :) However, to each his own.

Suji @beautyland.co.uk said...

I must admit - when I looked at it today I did think a decent bra might have helped. But now you mention it, the knees aren't the best. Poor thing - i think it would have looked a lot better with some decent underwear all round.

JaninJabitt said...

I thought at first that this image and styling might be an attempt at an ironic editorial, but you are right. The poor model looks miserable and badly dressed. Regarding the wonderful Iris Apfel, she's an inspiration, but I disagree that elderly arms should always be covered. As we age, we shouldn't be forced into dowdy or mumsy ... likewise we needn't adopt the often too bright, eccentric and costumy effect that many very elderly are affecting these days. I'd hope we can just be encouraged to suit ourselves with our best personal tastes.

Fashion for Aliens said...

38 comments! Here's 39.
The All Ages spread is useless as is the vast majority of the The Guardian's fashion coverage. Seldom have I experienced such a disconnect between a news organisation's output and readership. Just imagine if the paper's political coverage focussed solely on the House of Lords with the occassional banner piece on Local Govt. That is how out of touch and elitist they are. I love Valerie and hate the crimes against fashion committed against her on such a regular basis.

materfamilias said...

YIKES! And what a shame to let that gorgeous hair almost disappear. The facial expression, the camera angle, none of it suggests a friendly lens, never mind stylist!

WendyB said...

I'm against covering up despite what Iris says. Let your wrinkly freak flag fly, I say. Who cares if it bothers people. Let them suffer.

This outfit is just soooo dreary.

BellisVintage said...

Further to my earlier comment: It is a British problem. In France older women behave and are treated very differently - compare Carine Roitfeld vs Alexandra Shulman. Sadly, there is a tendency amongst the intellectual female set in the UK (in which the Guardian sits) who believe style is trivial/vacuous - and therefore to be taken seriously one must dress frumpily, even editors of UK Vogue - compare with Anna Wintour. Someone once put it succinctly: UK feminism is just an excuse for dressing badly! Intellectual Guardian readers or perhaps editors fall into this category so they are only half committed to representing style at all. Generally on the continent (I worked in the EU for many years and later with Italian and German female board members) women have no problem in dressing well and having brains!

Alex said...

I totally agree, I am a mature model and have just done a fashion shoot with Valerie who is statuesque. This is not a good picture at all