Written by Cat Morgan 26/04/2015
Through Untitled Streets
I want to celebrate age, diversity and style in older women. When I watch or read articles where older women talk about fashion and how they feel the key word they use is ‘invisible’ so I set myself the task of documenting the older fashionistas of Leeds.
Joan: “Well I’m 82, and I don’t give a damn if people don’t like my hat or what I wear.”
I'm interested in the connection between style, personality, and identity; how we express ourselves as we get older is a positive aspect of our lives. Fashion and older people should be celebrated in the same way as it is with younger people.
Mary “I always think senior fashion isn’t shown enough, I’ve always thought that. I’ve been in hairdressing for 52 years and still going! I think this all the time."
When I was growing up I was always influenced by colours and loved to mix random colours together to make an outfit so people always commented on what I wore. Fashion is a form of expression and, as a shy kid, expressing myself through clothing was the only way I felt I could be myself. Mufti Days
at primary school were my favourite, It would take me weeks to plan my outfit because I loved the idea of making an impression. Which sounds silly because now, as an adult, I realise I never had to impress anybody; but choosing what to wear made me feel good.
Twins Sheila and Maggie.
Sheila: "I like to feel comfortable and have clothes fit nicely but that’s about it!” Maggie: “Yes, I agree, comfort is key”
My interest in the human form means that portrait and street photographers have always inspired me. I like to see how people behave in the urban environment and the beauty you can capture when people are just being themselves. In the media more older people are being recognised in the fashion world and Untitled Streets is about building on this change in how we view ourselves. I want this project to be a celebration of women in their sixties, seventies and eighties and encourage more changes in the fashion industry to help women feel less invisible as they age.
Valerie: “Ooh it’s not the first time someone’s asked me to do this, I didn’t think I would be asked this at 72!"
The feeling of growing older is a daunting thought to most people, but it shouldn’t have to be. We should be able to wear what we love no matter how old we are. I hope that by celebrating older women in Untitled Streets they can be an inspiration to aspiring young creatives. So to whoever might be reading this, whatever your age, I just want you to remember that you are not invisible anytime soon.
Untitled Streets will be exhibited as part of the Leeds College Of Art degree shows at Blenheim Walk 12 - 19 June 2015.
Lead image: Sisters, Valerie and Audrey.
Valerie: “Oh yes we both follow fashion a lot, I love to dress up” Audrey: “I love designers like Julien McDonald, there’s plenty of shops in Leeds I go into. Not afraid to buy whatever”