Winter Transformed. Trend #4 ELDERS.

07Mar15


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As the wintry, snowy mix in #‎NYC‬ this week ebbs…we found our own mix + warmth as usual in fluff from flashy awards + fashion shows, and snarky media to nature and the esoteric.

We’ve spotted 9 trends, c’mon follow our series for instant transformation of the deep chill of 2015,

*from group sleepovers at the home of a dominatrix to astonishing tinder surveys to star-shaped snowflakes to…*

#4   venerating ancestors, grey elders of ‘un certain age,’ now a ‘plus ultra trend’ playing everywhere!

Winter is always about tucking in to the Time-honored, an homage to roots buried deep in the snow. While the Elder Demographic this winter was suddenly chicer than ever… I am dedicating this post to my own living elder ancestor, my mother, now recovering from surgery, and below her stint as Snow Princess in a wintry parade, circa 1950’s.  Here’s hoping this trend towards ELDERS continues, even as the earth warms to Spring.

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Call it a modern form of Ancestor Worship. We like it.

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Every winter in NYC, we sail through the gates of the majestic Armory to join the parade of princesses and princes of Young Collectors Night at the Winter Antiques Show. It is a cold-snap tradition, an homage to the elders of design.

Inside the vast, stately Park Avenue Armory, this year I was most transfixed by a late 17th/early 18th century pair of carved Bath stone armorial hounds, on duty above, oddly wise and laughing in the naive style. I kept petting the pups’ moss, feeling like it was the oldest, realist energy in the space and touching it might connect me to timeless Celtic Druids or even the elder hotness of Madonna/Annie Lennox at the Grammys, as if these were the energetic guardians of the gates of 2015.

I somehow managed this little elder ecstasy while also strolling the show with our client, designer Scott Sanders and Austin of Fremont Blue Events. Other worship-worthy elder statesmen and women paraded about, those royal guardians of design, emerged from their winter lairs, including curators, Tracy Stern and Renee Vara (seen below with me); publicists Michael McGraw and Stacy McLaughlin; designer, Geoffrey Bradfieldeditors, Newell Turner, Wendy Goodman; and curator, Liz O’BrienLegends, Ivanka Trump, Nate Berkus and Isaac Mizrahi were also strolling through, testifying to this growing passion for antiques, a sort of ELDERS worship.  The lure and intrigue of ancient relics in our lives, re-purposed, taps us into the Timeless. (And can you spot the vintage frocks below?)

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This season the trends at the show included naive, Early Americana, and I love it for the simple, wise, soothing vibe. To wit, look at this wise ‘ole owl. I love him/her as a reminder of what the grey gardens of Winter and Elders can reveal. You can see it paired in a well-lit modern barn or warehouse adaptive -reuse abode with something cooly modern and fluffy, like a light orange Creamsicle or lavender velvet chaise, yes? Those all-knowing, sneering, put-you-in-your-place-eyes, …hmmm…

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…I think they are something akin to The Elder Prince‘s knowing, creamsicle-covered, wise King-sneer, yes? As truly the most exciting thing at this year’s Grammy Awards, you know it’s because he is the King Elder of music, having taught everyone…everything!

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Pop culture has been rife with Elders Rule evidence lately.  Now we see that Prince rules the music world, as does Tom Jones’ woo-woo-ing again at the Grammys, and of course, Lady Gaga’s teaming with Tony Bennett. In fashion, among many examples, there was the recent hot Father Time guys in Goth gear for Rick Owens’ Fall/Winter 2014 look book, featuring no less than a sprite 93-year old model.

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And you saw legendary musician, Joni Mitchell’s appearance on a recent cover of New York mag which followed designers Celine and Saint Laurent crowning as muses, Joan Didion and Joni, respectively, yes? We all know gals like Joan and Joni, elders gifted with piercing eyes, words and hearts.

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“Yes, Spring is coming,” said my friend Lucy Raubertas, who is one of THEM, and whose age 59 looks more like yesterday’s 33, on a winter’s evening visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art...and she should know.  She has created a portal to the immortal lady Clarimonde, based on the 1908 story, a compendium of historical artifacts for modern lives desiring to dip and dive into the past at will. Lucy is a self-proclaimed hedonist, so many wise ELDERS are for good reason, so let drip the icicles, time to get back in the flow.

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Like Pandora’s box, ancient people, places and things as libraries, museums, and portals of ancient wisdom are opening via Pinterest to Fountain of Youth-worthy breakthroughs, such as scientists’ recent freezing of light, the fastest traveling ‘thing,’ itself.  Still, the equation remains the same. We are between Earth and Sky. The earth still rolls in the sky, even while we practice ancient arts like yoga and stop our breath and thoughts with meditation. This veneration of elders is more likely a return and remembering the roots of everything. We can go deeper than venerating sporty, older legendary pop stars or cool antiques alone. Let me lead you through a couple of layers plucked from 1000’s of years of ancient trends re-surfacing. Here, just let your inner wise person nod your head and say,”y…e…s…”

The art of the past two-thousand years opens The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky this Spring at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Below, a man’s shirt, easily imagined on a Brooklyn hipster. YES.

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Seen on runways, kids sporting fringe reaching to the earth like roots, is sure to proliferate as hipsters roam the earth as she thaws. How many of those elder-worshipping beards, trapper caps, vintage furs and seventies fringe will be among us this Spring? More ancient than human ancestors, finding ways to honor the animal brother and sister elders is an Original People concept we have yet to explore. YES.

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Our hipster might also be touching further on the elder-kinship wheel of life, drinking the hot, juicy Winter tonic of elderberries found in new kinds of age-defying elixirs, such as Komucha probiotic beer from Beyond Brewing Company. Anthropomorphising of nature’s plant world is a form of ancestor worship we as a culture still have as a vast plains to explore, way beyond Disney characters.  Can any of us identify a medicinal plant as easily as a Mid-Century chair? NO. (I thought not.)

TREND SPOTTING LEAN: We have a ways to go my fellow Earthwalkers. Get to know snowy owls here or bone up on botanicals here. Chat up these elders today!

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BUY IT: If you are more inclined, get a pair of stoned dogs from Barbara Israel Garden Antiques or a 1860’s folk owl oil painting at Jeffrey Tillou AntiquesPrince, I know we all want him, but HIM, honey, money can’t buy, he’s priceless.

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  by Jade Dressler, images happily credited.




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