Recently, in a busy bookstore in the middle of London, Ari Seth Cohen sat behind a book-signing table dressed in an ornate sequined coat. Lining up to meet the man in question was a flock of men and women dressed in spectacular colour, sparkle and general razzle dazzle. I was one of them (though I was not dressed for the occasion, having come from work and having run through the rain to get there).
Ari Seth Cohen, as I see it, is the man we have to thank for making aging something to look forward to; representing old age as a time when you’ll give less hoots about what any other person thinks, and really come into your own. Ari, you might be surprised to learn, is not an old man. Ari is the photographer and writer responsible for discovering inspiring eldery people – his books are a compilation of these discoveries, which share stories from the people he meets. (Think 97-year-old yoga enthusiasts and 85-year-old artists.)
His second book, stemming from his wonderful website, first book and documentary, is Advanced Style: older and wiser. It’s also the reason I was excited to find my first grey hair. It later turned out to be blonde, but I feel there’s some exciting things on the horizon.
At the event, Ari was flanked by his dear friend Sue Kreitzman, who says:
‘Be bold, be adventurous. Do profound things, dazzle yourself and the world. Don’t wear beige: it might kill you.’
[Advanced Style, 2016]