The Silver Age // Personal, Social and Community Identity
The year of magical thinking has begun. In an unpredictable move, Yves Saint Laurent and Céline have both embraced the older woman to symbolise these iconic brands for 2015. In an industry that is obsessed with youth as a proxy for beauty, having these women front their campaigns helps dissolve the notion that beauty and pleasure ends at the ripe age of 25. What makes this even more significant is that both Mitchell and Didion are accomplished in their own right and beyond what you see in these campaigns.
Didion’s incredible literary career began in 1956 winning first prize in an essay contest sponsored by Vogue, with the prize of a job at Vogue. Mitchell’s ventures in music are also undeniable, with accolades spanning the Polar Music Prize to Grammys and eventually an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Both Didion and Mitchell stand apart from Kendall Jenners and Cara Delevignes. They champion not only the feminist movement, but the anti-ageist movement. They sell the idea that you can be an intellectual, a creative, an independent spirit and still be the fancy packaging for the colossus that is modern day fashion. Your taste for $2000 satchels and $700 Louboutins do not need to come at the price of your intelligence.
Caryn Franklin, co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk told HuffPost UK “Older women account for a large portion of retail revenue. Recent studies have supported a large, untapped demographic for brands to invite into stores in an intelligent way. Mature women don’t want to be infantalised or hypersexualised and have said so.” She summed it up by saying “At 55 I, like many other women interested in fashion, think about the bigger picture – I want quality messaging about personal, social and community identity."