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If the only constant in this rapidly-moving world is change, then who better to document it than our elders? For Volume 4 of SUITCASE magazine, the Metamorphosis issue, photographer Nadia Sarwar captured four ageless chameleons from international fashion blog Advanced Style.
Stylist and Founder of RODIN Olio Lusso
– How old are you?
How old do you feel? About 20.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be? Don’t be so insecure. Believe in yourself.
What’s the biggest change that you’ve been through? Adapting to a new reflection in the mirror and not feeling as agile.
What’s the best invention of our era? ‘Google.’ I meant that all we do now is Google everything and all information comes so easily. No one reads books, goes to the library or acquires any knowledge the old-fashioned way. It’s all too easy and everyone is now so lazy. Sad.
What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe? My small gold heart necklace, by Soraya Silchenstedt, which belonged to my deceased sister.
What was the best decade for fashion and why? The 60s. It was revolutionary and so unique and fun to wear. Such a totally creative time.
Where is your favourite place to go on holiday? A secluded beach, with tonnes of seashells.
What do you pack in your suitcase when you go on holiday? My entire product line, RODIN olio lusso.
Blogger at Idiosyncratic Fashionistas
How old are you? Short answer: Not telling. Long answer: I’m probably going to have to work for the rest of my life because I don’t have a pension and if I only rely on my social security check, then I’ll be placed way below the poverty line. After I retire, ask me again and I’ll tell you. I’m very comfortable with my age, but I have a feeling it’s seldom advantageous to tell. If I’m still working when I’m 90, I hope people think I’m 75.
How old do you feel? I’d say I feel like I’m in my 30s. My body still behaves pretty well, and I’m mentally and physically active, so I feel fairly young. But I’m over the angst of youth and peer pressure, so that places me past my 20s.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be? Travel more now, because after they’ve finished paving over the planet, what you want to see won’t be there anymore. Find a job that pays you to travel to interesting places.
What’s the biggest change that you’ve been through? The biggest mental change I went through was when I first moved to Japan and got lost because I couldn’t read the street signs. It was like learning to navigate the world from scratch. The biggest physical change I went through was the change of life. For several years, all the old rules went out the window. Then I had to learn to navigate my body from scratch.
What’s the best invention of our era? Long answer: That so depends on your perspective: on a human level, advances in medicine; on a global level, maybe solar cells. If you’re asking what invention has had the most efect on me personally, it’s interactive Internet. I have been able to do many things for free and on my own schedule that I would never have been able to do thirty years ago without a vast home library, an endless budget, a full time personal assistant, and a publicity agent.
Blogger at Idiosyncratic Fashionistas
What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe? Everything is replaceable except the ring my grandmother gave to my mother, and my mother passed down to me.
What is the best decade for fashion and why? The 20th century beats the other centuries because the manufacturing industry democratized clothing so everyone could participate. In the 20th century, I think the 80s narrowly win out. It seems like designers of the 80ss took what was best about all the previous periods, rolled them all together and unleashed them all at once in an amazing burst of creativity. Honourable mention has to go to the 60s, during which all the rules were broken, and don’t seem to ever have come back. Now we have suggestions and common practices, but we no longer have the rigid, unbreakable rules that previous generations were subjected to.
Where is your favourite place to go on holiday? Someplace I’ve never been before. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the best.
What do you pack in your suitcase when you go on holiday? I’m usually roughing it a bit, so the standard for a one-week trip is two pairs of pants [trousers], two pairs of shoes, two jackets that match the pants, and four shirts that ideally go with everything. At least some of those should be things I can wash in the sink that will dry overnight. Each thing gets its own plastic bag so as the trip progresses, the dirty can be packed next to the clean, the wet next to the dry. Leave a bit of empty space. I carry a Victorinox Swisscard mini-tool kit if I can, and a pocket-sized package of wet hand towels.
How old are you? I’m in my mid-60s.
How old do you feel? I feel my age because of my life experiences.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be? Disregard what your parents say about what to do with your life. In my case, as an Irish immigrant child, it was important for them that I have a profession. Waste of time. I was fired from my first teaching job, and gave it up.
What’s the biggest change that you’ve been through? Living through the AIDS holocaust changed me irrevocably. I lost all my friends. For years it was hard to give a wonderful dinner party for everyone I knew who was creative, funny, handsome, trail-blazing had died. I’ve never gotten over it.
What’s the best invention of our era? Global Entry – a US Customs and Border Protection programme that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved US citizens upon arrival back in the States. Meaning I no longer have to stand in line.
What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe? A battered tweed men’s jacket that I bought in a Dublin junk shop about 25 years ago. I think about him as it protects me from the rain.
What was the best era for fashion and why?
Today, because of the variety of vintage clothes to be had online or in shops. Though, I’d love a silken gown worn by Roman women during the reign of Caesar.
Where is your favourite place to go on holiday? Lebanon for their fantastic food and lovely people.
What do you pack in your suitcase when you go on holiday? I carry very little. If I can’t carry it on the plane I don’t take it. I use a vintage Mark Cross tote bag that I fill (depending on the season) with two cashmere sweaters, two white men’s shirts, two Marks & Spencer black trousers, one huge silk shawl, one linen or cashmere dress and three pairs of underwear.
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