Most of us are aware that there are two types of old these days. There is baby-boomer old, an audacious, aspirational sort of old. Common depictions include couples sky-diving for their 40th anniversaries; Richard Branson doing all manner of macho rich-guy nonsense; and the woman of a certain age on a seashore holding a fluttering piece of voile toward the winds of freedom.
Then there is old old, a realm often belonging to the parents of the baby boomers. This is nursing-home old. This is prunes-for-breakfast old. This is “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” old.
Yet a few months ago, arriving on my desk like so many pounds of zeitgeist, an unlikely third way appeared in the form of a coffee-table book called Advanced Style. The book features old people, often very old people, mainly women, photographed on the street, dressed up lively for the winters of their lives.