“I don’t think that an older woman can look younger. The moment she tries to downplay her age, she will look anything but younger”, or so Joyce Carpati explains while Ari Cohen takes her picture in her own apartment. “But she can look elegant! And I assure you – she will get noticed!”

Joyce still remembers the very first time she realised that others admired her style. Aged 17, she returned to New York from a stint in Italy with a tweed suit and suede oxford brogues. “Everyone was looking at me because no one else would wear such a thing”, she gushes. “It was sheer, understated elegance and felt simply wonderful!”

Almost 60 yeas down the line it was this particular elegance Ari noticed about his model muse. “I spotted Joyce because she has a unique and characteristic style of her own. At the time, she was wearing a trench coat, her pearls and her signature braids.” Ever since this first encounter, the two have become firm friends and Joyce has become a popular and recurring fixture on Ari’s Advanced Style blog.

The photographer’s protagonists invariably exude a sense of elegance, yet also use their exterior as a means of creative expression. Besides Joyce, “the embodiment of beauty and grace”, according to Ari, Advanced Style also features plenty of bold, eccentric characters – from 90-year-old artist Ilona Royce Smithkin with her long, orange lashes to the 71-year-old Beatrix Ost who is not averse to matching a turban to her hair colour (or even the other way around?).

Joyce adores Advanced Style and appreciates the blogosphere’s democratic approach. She loves the way it brings attention to a generation often ignored by mainstream magazines. “Ari has done a great deal for us and compiled a wonderful book. Many will wish that they had come up with the idea instead.”

In the preface to Advanced Style illustrator Maira Kalman asks: “So, what is it about style? What makes someone beautiful, no matter what the age? No matter the wealth?“ Joyce shares her idea. “Accessories like gloves, pearls or a hat – but most of all the right attitude! If you are happy and enjoy what life has to offer … that also helps a great deal.”

For behind the scenes and making-of impressions of Ari’s photo shooting, please click on the image above.The photographer’s regular stream of street styles is available from: www.advancedstyle.blogspot.com

Further information

Advanced Style will be released by powerHouse on May 22nd: www.powerhousebooks.com.

Ari is also working on a film, together with Lina Plioplyte – view the trailer here.

A close-up look at Cohen’s sartorial portraits will be on show at FLUX Laboratory in Carouge (Switzerland) from May 11th to May 25th.