“Growing old is a privilege, and it’s an adventure.”
And, for the women of Fabulous Fashionistas, entering the years north of 70 is also a ripe opportunity to challenge conventions and show off an inimitable personal style. Told through the experiences of six very different women, from varied backgrounds, this documentary is as eye-opening and inspiring as its subjects’ attire, offering insight into the link between their fashionable self-expression and the lifestyles that have allowed them to flourish long after many of their peers have retired.
As observed through the lens of director Sue Bourne, one thing that becomes clear is that each woman’s style-savvy appearance is borne more from a determination to remain engaged in life than from vanity (although a love for dressing up is also a factor). Although their approaches to cultivating a wardrobe range from trawling charity store racks, to perusing high fashion boutiques, to browsing catalogues, one element is consistent: their unwillingness to dress for anyone’s approval but their own. Compliments, of course, are simply a welcome side effect of their stand-out ensembles.
For some, their looks represent a coalescence of art and fashion; others simply enjoy following trends usually ascribed to much younger generations. At 75, Jean‘s job at an upscale boutique feeds her street-style tastes, while activist Bridget strikes fashion gold at thrift shops. Both in their mid-80’s, model Daphne and choreographer Gillian are still immersed in fulfilling careers. Meanwhile, author-turned-artist Sue turns heads with her unmistakable style, and 91-year-old Jean Barker (that is, Baroness Trumpington) exhibits a mischievous streak even in the halls of government.
In every case, their individual styles are paired with indisputable substance, and an optimistic ability to embrace new phases in their lives – ones that are enriched, rather than diminished, by age.
FABULOUS FASHIONISTAS PREMIERES MONDAY, JAN. 20 AT 10PM ET/7PM PT.
– Kate Shepherd