Tuesday, May 3, 2016


photograph by Denton Taylor

This past Tuesday Valerie went to the rare book room of Strand's Book Store for the launch of Advanced Style: Older and Wiser.  (Jean, unfortunately, was away doing Important Work.)

Yes, we're in the new book.  Not only did we have the distinct honor of having our photo chosen for the poster advertising a book signing at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, we were also featured in the online version of New York magazine.  From left to right, Valerie, Jean, Debra Rapoport, Diana Gabriel and Carol Markel.

That's Simon Doonan, who wrote the book's forward, on the right, and author Ari Seth Cohen on the left.  There were brief remarks, followed by two lovely readings by Beatrix Ost and Lana Turner, while the finale featured Ilona Royce Smithkin doing her very own rendition of Que Sera Sera (with a new stanza about long eyelashes being better than shorter ones).

We'd like to show you just some of the people who attended the standing room only event.  Below, Judith, The Style Crone, and Carol Markel (who made her necklace and hat and has made some for us, as well).

From our previous posts, some of you might recognize vintage maven Amanda Dolan (you might know her as the owner of Spark Pretty) on the left, with her mom on the right.  Say it with us, now: the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The Baroness, holding her copy of the book, in a latex suit of her own design.  Notice the wonderful contrasting purple insets in the jacket and skirt.  If you know even just a little bit about clothing design, you know it takes a lot of precision work to add insets, so this suit is a marvel.

Bill Webb and Eva Kobus Webb, dressed as they appear in the book.

Bliss, Beatrix Ost, Valerie.  The hem of Beatrix's skirt is hand painted.  However gorgeous it looks in the photo, it's more gorgeous in person.

Blogger ArtfulCityStyle, Diana Gabriel, and Lydia (who made her own necklace).

Spectators in spectacular spectacles.

Fabulous milliner and RISD graduate Heidi Lee, wearing one of her 3D printed hats (and a Moschino jacket).

Joyce Carpati often wears black to offset her gorgeous braids and pearls, but for this evening she wore a rich dark blue dress.

Maureen Gumbe left, and Debra Rapoport, right.

Left to right: Ms. Pink, Ruthie Darling, Sue Kreitzman and doll maker Nita Angeletti.

Budding designer Nyorh Agwe, wearing one of her own designs.

The ever-fabulous Patricia Fox, with suitably handsome man.

Theresa Taylor, wife of Denton Taylor, who took the opening photo, as well as many others of us on other occasions.  On this evening, they shared the camera duties, sending the results back to 40+ Style.

We think men need more encouragement to dress like the individuals they are.  Here are two gents who could be in the forefront of a gents' fashion movement.

Valerie von Sobel in an amazing creation.  The 'halo' is an art piece composed of very fine threads, which she attached to a hat.  The entire outfit is exquisite, but all our readers know what we would want.

The inimitable Tutti Bennett and her husband Paul Bennett, Merle Schwartz Weismer between them, and Antonia Hemgesberg on the right.

And a chorus line at the end of an amazing evening.  Old dull?  Not if we have anything to say about it!


  1. It looks like such a wonderful evening - I hope you had lots of fun. Very best, Alyson

  2. A wonderful review! I miss NY already. Thank you for your generosity and the great time!