I am turning fifty and the fashion industry as a whole from marketing and advertising to the styles and cuts on offer is still largely geared towards youth. It is hard going here in Italy to pitch myself as a fashion influencer. In their own words, the fashion boutiques are seeking a much younger market.
This is insanity for me, for the simple reason?
Now, we have to ask how much longer this can last when statistics show women over 55 are buying a higher proportion of clothes than ever before.
Me today at Hotel Excelsior Venice, Lido. This is the famous dock where the film starts do their catwalk for the Venice film festival.
According to recently released figures from Euromonitor, 50 to 60-year-olds in the UK spend nearly four times the amount twentysomethings do on fashion, while those in the 60-plus bracket spend about three times more. Men and women aged over 55 contributed over a third of the total spend on clothing in the UK in 2019 – £12.2bn out of a total of £34.6bn. Read about Iris Apfel the ninety-seven years old American style icon.
When new dawn arises. The reality is the future of fashion is in the palm of our hands too.
This is my terrace view from Venice Lido.
What is the new fashion renaissance here in Italy?
Don’t be afraid to wear yellow at fifty.
Why Ignore The Confident Cash Influences Of Fashion?
I wear what I want and I am not followed by trends. it is how I have dressed all my life. I find that fast fashion clothing is boring as hell. Or should I say, every woman and her dog are wearing the same clothes? I have seen the same oversized dress here in Venice worn by all ages. And I can assure you that when it comes to turning heads regarding niche street style. I stand out like a sore thumb.
The dress I am wearing, I bought in Bangkok in 2019. Notice its unusual shape. This style could look fabulous on any woman at any size.
This is the exquisite Sala Stucchi ballroom, at Hotel Excelsior Venice, Lido. It featured in the Oscar-winning movie, Once Upon A Time In America starring Robert De Niro. He booked the ballroom to impress his lover.
The ironic part of my current style is that the playsuit, maxi dress and or wrap dress. I am wearing are five years old. Quality fabrics last years and never go out of style.
This maxi dress covers my bulging stomach. It feels and looks amazing. Fabulous for hot summer resort days. The deep v neckline softens my large shoulders. The butterfly wing sleeves cover my huge arms.
This maxi dress was given to me in Bali, in 2016 and it still looks brilliant.
Playsuits At Fifty
This can be very challenging to take on and off when nature calls. This playsuit I bought in 2018, looks and feels wonderful.
But not good for walking around Venice for an easy take off when I need to find a toilet. So I choose to wear it at resorts and or when I know I can get access to a toilet fast.
It happened to match the 100-year-old decor here at Hotel Excelsior Venice.
The famous hotel that hosts the Venice film festival since 1932.
It looks fabulous at a five-star resort. The earthy colours match the Italian decor. Well, actually the hotel is Morrocan inspired. I have been to Morocco and the terracotta colours are very much like my outfit.
This Pucci Pyjama on the other hand made for me this year. Was created for a quick take on and off nature calling episode. Being the trendsetter in fashion. It comes as no surprise that Pucci has teamed up with Supreme for a menswear collection launching next month.
Did you know that beach pyjamas were launched here in Venice, Lido?
Turban Summer Trends
Once again in January this year, I felt to get some turbans made. Due to lockdown, my hair needed some glamour. Turbans right now here in Venice are everywhere on shop fronts. At fifty, our hair can always be unruly. Watching the movie called Cruella, the baroness played by Emma Thompson. Take inspiration from her as she wore many turbans. Let me know, as we can make you your own turban. They are not easy to wear as one may think.
I Am Commanding My Street Style At Fifty
No one dares to style me. I have worn clothes of many sorts and the art of doing so. Is all about dressing up and experimenting.
That is why we women should be taken notice of as we know what works and what does not for our body types.
This peacock belt I had made for me In Venice with leather from Tuscany. It is a great belt for fat tummies like mine.
Body Confidence At Fifty
If body confidence is what you are after. You are looking at it.
I could be slimmer, more toned and work my body harder. But I do walk around five kilometres a day here in Venice. My legs are in tip-top shape.
My peacock belt was made to hide my bulging tummy. I wear it when strolling around the resorts. I love showcasing my personal style.
Wear colourful printed swimwear it hides the imperfections of a fifty-year-old body. If it is bothering you. Try to trend a retro vintage bikini.
When on summer travels. make sure you trend the most outrageous oversized sunglasses. Gucci and Prada are the iconic brands that started it first way back in 2014. That included me wearing them from the onset.
Resorts are all about showcasing your personal style. Prada eyewear I bought in 2012.
The message for brands is clear: ignore this age group at your peril.
Except that ignoring them appears to be exactly what most brands are doing. Many fast-fashion retailers can’t seem to work out how to strike a balance between attracting younger millennial and Gen Z shoppers while also designing collections that appeal to older customers, so they bet on youth; designer brands moving towards an increasingly casual and streetwear aesthetic are doing the same thing.
I took this image last week in Venice. Seen the same dress and trainers everywhere.
The labels that do target the fifty-plus women, often play it too safe, releasing clothes that stylish women of all ages find dull and shapeless. The crotchet dress covers my bulges but is elegant and not too large. It is a masterpiece of bespoke art. Very rare to find in the world of fast fashion today.