Defying rules and challenging convention is something that Stanley Carroll has so often done in his career.
If one were to look at any runway in most fashion weeks the average age of the models used to present the most recent collection, one will find the ages to be in the late teens or early 20.
When Stanley started to scout for models to present his latest collection for Western Canada Fashion Week the mandate he started with is that models had to be from 45-80 years old. It really was a bit about throwing the whole rule book out the window, as opposed to consider people from 15 to 30 as our primary faces. We decided to choose those are at least twice that on average.
When asked about the reasoning behind the decision, he named a great many factors that contributed to this.
Where ever I travel one of my favorite things to do is observe the street style of people, and more often than not it is the women and men of a certain more mature age that fascinate me with their unique individual style.
I also read in a trade publication recently that said almost 80 percent of people in the 16 to 25 year old will shop from the same store or brand as all their peers with many of them choosing the same style product with only colour as the variation (not what you would call a group that celebrates individual style).
On an overall age marketing perspective sometimes you get the impression that nearly every corporate boardroom discussion is focused on how to appeal to millennials and that nearly every other market segment is taken granted.
There is also to some extent a social commentator in me, in that I recently read a book ,that was the diary of a senior in his mid-80’s it was written with a great humor, however it did address the issue of loneliness among seniors , how no one has time for them how they are often ridiculed for not being tech savvy enough, and yet they can contribute so much with their wisdom and life experiences.
If recent events tell us anything it is that if we are not careful we may well repeat some great mistakes humanity has made in the past, and it may well be a good thing to spend some time listening to some of the stories our elder have to tell us.
What I also think is exciting about this runway presentation is that in many ways it has been one of the hardest we had to prepare for.
In “conventional “ show we would deal with standard size models that are trained to essentially reflect the attitude the designer dictates to them ,truly mannequins if you will. But in this situation when we use people with their own character we needed to take that very much in consideration creating 30 unique looks that take the model wearing them in mind.
And as we use a lot of strong personalities such as well-known authors, academics ,artists, lawyers ,physiologists actors etc etc. it is important to reflect that .
Show: Thursday, March 23 at Western Canada Fashion Week, Doors at 7:00pm, Shows at 8:00pm. Information at: www.westerncanadafashionweek.com
Studio Openhouse: Saturday, March 25, Noon to 5:00 pm, Stanley Carroll Studio, 9807 – 79 Avenue.
Information at: www.stanleycarroll.com