Images by Ari Seth Cohen
London College of Fashion will be hosting, Mirror Mirror: Representations and Reflections on age and ageing, a two day conference later this month designed to provoke people to look at and re-think perceptions around ageing, fashion and beauty. If you were to google ‘fashion’ and ‘ageing’ you will be faced with a long list of links which will tell you all about anti-ageing secrets or ‘how to’ defy the ageing process. We are a society obsessed with youth and fashion plays a powerful role within this obsession. Fashion is not often associated with ageing, instead constantly relies upon new generations to push forward the latest trend. Advertising tells us that getting old is something we must all defy and makes us believe that youth and beauty are one of the same. There are now more over 65s in the UK then there are people under the age of 16, so it makes sense that now is the time that fashion’s conventional aesthetics begin to shift. The rise in our ageing population also means a change in consumption culture, for example people spending the largest proportion of their income on clothes now are women between the ages of 55 – 74. Fashion markets will have to embrace their older consumers if they wish to thrive in a future where the population is dominated by older age groups.
Mirror Mirror will feature the work of London College of Fashion students, artists, academics and even a theatre performance from Small Things. New York blogger/photographer/filmmaker, Ari Seth Cohen will also make an appearance to talk about the wisdom and style that older people can offer to new generations, I’m sure most of us have at least one piece of clothing that we have been given, borrowed or taken from our grandmothers or grandfathers, a piece which we love and cherish. It is these conversations which will begin to break barriers which traditionally tell us what forms of dress are suitable or unsuitable for people as they age, as now is the time for industry to respond to changes in our communities. Mirror Mirror29 – 30 October London College of Fashion