There are many things I thought I’d be doing in my sixties, but I have to confess, protesting at London Fashion Week wasn’t at the top of that list.
Not that I’m sad about it – not at all! In fact, I was absolutely delighted to be asked by JD Williams to support them and a number of gorgeous older women, including Jilly Johnson to make a stand against ridiculous ageism on the catwalks.
I spent Friday picketing Fashion Week’s main venue on The Strand, because I think its utterly ludicrous and deeply offensive that despite being the majority of ‘true’ designer fashion buyers being 45+ ( as we have the most disposable income) the average age of a model is 17*.
I LOVE clothes, but do designers really think I look at the non-existent hips of a not-fully-formed girl, even if she is gorgeous, and think that the way she looks is in any way aspirational to my generation?
Grow up, once and for all and realise that the lines on your model’s faces can complement, not detract from, the lines on your clothes.
That parading barely pubescent girls is the way to inspire us? That we’re stupid enough to a. think we could look like that, or b. want to?
If so, they’re very much mistaken.
As Jilly said:
“Women don’t suddenly stop wearing or buying clothes after their twenties, so why isn’t this reflected in the models used in fashion shows? We’ve started to be more inclusive when it comes to ethnicities and disabilities on the runway – which is fantastic – but why not all ages?”
There are exceptions. Designer Simona Rocha sent older women down her catwalk, and there are one or two older women chosen, but that isn’t diversity. It’s so rare, that when it happens it causes headlines and that simply shouldn’t be the case.
PR Manager for JD Williams, Suzi Burns, said: “Surely it’s time that the fashion industry celebrates women of all ages?”
JD Williams made history during London Fashion Week last year with its ‘Fifty Plus Fashion Week’ using a cast of models with a combined age of 700, continues to champion the older woman and support their positive representation in the media and fashion industry and that’s wonderful – and why I chose to stand with them on a freezing cold day in February.
But it’s not enough. It should be across the board. We BUY fashion. We WEAR fashion and want to CHAMPION fashion.
Vogue Editor Anna Wintour isn’t in her twenties. Vogue Creative Director At Large, Anna Dello Russo is in her fifties. Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander Mcqueen, is 42. Even Victoria Beckham is in her forties. So why aren’t the women who wear the clothes on the catwalks or in their magazines?
So why aren’t the women who wear the clothes on the catwalks or in their magazines?
It’s not only bad sense morally, it’s poor business to ignore a large portion of your demographic, so for heaven’s sake fashion. Grow up, once and for all and realise that the lines on your model’s faces can complement, not detract from, the lines on your clothes.
It was last year when the idea of a site for other women like me dawned – active, busy and ambitious women who just happen to be older.
Firstly it was going to be just fashion, but very quickly I realised that if I were going to write anything – then it would have to have more meaning than just that.
I decided to incorporate lifestyle and wellbeing and make the whole thing truly interactive and inclusive. I felt that with these issues covered, then there really was no end to what could be discussed and discovered – and who may benefit as a result.