Advanced Style: From Blog to Big Screen

I have read Mr. Cohen’s blog since it was first started; it captures a slice of that New York in which I grew up, that slice which included women d’un certain age who frequented galleries and parks and avant-garde dance openings at Dance Theater Workshop, and with whom I often had interesting and long conversations, usually at an Upper East Side hotel bar. In the beginning of the film, Mr. Cohen mentions his close relationship with his stylish grandmother as the inspiration for his blog. It is evident, both in the blog and in the film, that he is committed to celebrating the zany, the elegant, the colorful, the original, and most of all, the authentic. I think that I and the others who follow his blog appreciate style divorced from trend and view individual character as the mark of style.

The film, wisely, captures a bit of Advanced Style’s origins, then highlights just a handful of women who are “repeats” on the blog – women who represent different ages and styles, backgrounds, and temperaments. As with many street-fashion blogs, to make a documentary of all the women (and men) who have graced his blog would entail a whole series; the curated selection of the women—a former dancer, an entrepreneur, an artist, and more—speaks enough to Mr. Cohen’s interests in personal history and creativity. But I did miss the greater variety of women and men which are featured on this blog and, concurrently, the variety of US and international neighborhoods, each with their brand of peacocks. However, the filmmakers capture Mr. Cohen’s light and breezy style as well as the spirit of the women: advanced age is the best time of life.

 Advanced Style, dir. Lina Plioplyte, 72 min. Dogwoof, 2014. In English and New Yorkese.

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