I missed the 12-12-12 concert in New York's Madison Square Garden to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims and I wish I’d missed this vile write-up in the New York Times. Snarkily titled “The Music Is Timeless, but About the Rockers ...”, it sneered at the star-studded line-up of “retirement-age rock icons,” described their “visible aging” as “tragic,” derided “geriatric acts” like Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters for refusing to “accept with a certain grace the ravages of time,” mocked Iggy Pop’s “freakishly impressive” body and Roger Daltrey’s “snare-tight” abs (“a specimen for his age, to be sure”), and called out these “men of Viagra-taking age” for “violat[ing] an obvious dictum for seniors: keep your clothes on in public.”
An excellent scout, my partner returned from London with the current issue of British fashion magazine Dazed and Confused—the one with Iris Apfel on the cover. Editor-in-Chief Tim Noakes writes, “It’s not every month you get to put a 91-year-old on the cover of a magazine obsessed with alternative youth culture.”
Older models (as in a lot older) are getting a lot of attention lately, with 91-year-old New York style icon Iris Apfel on the cover of fashion magazine Dazed & Confused (and rockin’ the look in Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo). As Sarah Ditum comments in the Guardian, this upends some preconceptions in a modeling industry that encourages 20-year-old aspirants to knock a few years off their ages.
That’s the title of a piece in the fluffy Style section of yesterday’s New York Times, the one I turn to first on Sunday mornings. Being 45 puts writer Maria Russo in the “advance guard of Gen-X middle age,” and she describes her pleasure at beginning to encounter realistic exemplars of non-youthful beauty: Ellen DeGeneres, Diane Keaton, the dames of Downton Abbey. The trend is exemplified by MAC Cosmetic’s new line inspired by 90-year-old style icon Iris Apfel, pictured here in Scarlet Ibis, a “bright, high-drama red that approximates Apfel’s signature bold lip.”
Reporter Pamela Paul kicked off a story in today’s New York Times Style section with the declaration that “most young people would prefer to be older and most old people yearn to be young.” Actually, that’s not the case. Aspects of youth do indeed appeal, but these are pangs, not ongoing yearnings.