Fashion has been in a state of suspended adolescence for decades, but there are signs that the industry may finally be maturing.
In a new wrinkle, a noteworthy number of high-profile designers used models over the age of 50 in their fall shows. Michael Kors closed his collection with ’70s stunner Patti Hansen, 62, Rachel Comey spanned the decades in her casting, Deveaux tapped more than a few gray-haired “girls,” and Naeem Khan wrapped up his ready-to-wear parade with a trio of golden-ager Halstonettes, the nickname for the late designer’s house “faces” who ruled the runway in his Studio 54-era heyday. Marc Jacobs saved the best for last when radiant runway veteran Christy Turlington Burns, 50, sashayed out in a black feathered gown, and 65-year-old Christie Brinkley had the last exit at Elie Tahari.
“People like to know that fashion is for everyone,” 68-year-old legend Pat Cleveland told The Post after the Khan extravaganza. She and fellow bombshells Alva Chinn, 70, and Karen Bjornson, 67, had just slayed in silver sequin evening gowns, smiling at the crowd and soaking up the applause.
Casting director and producer John Martinez, who worked on Khan’s presentation, says iconic models bring an experience and sophistication that their younger counterparts haven’t yet acquired. “They know how to be beautiful, they know expensive clothing, they look amazing and they have opinions. I think everybody was in awe of them.”
The seasoned pros also bring a joy to the job that’s uplifting to the audience. “You could see that we were having fun out there,” Chinn told The Post.
Martinez believes that the grown-up shift is in line with the general move toward inclusivity in fashion. “There’s a broader spectrum now in terms of ethnicities, sizes and ages. I think, overall, people just want to see a little bit of themselves on the runway and designers are listening to that.”