Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gray Pride

Since we started the blog (two years ago next month! OMG!), we have been photographing women with unapologetically gray hair, and decided it was time to have our first gray hair photography exhibition. Even so, never ones to do something the easy way when we could do it the hard way, we ventured out like mad dogs and Englishmen yesterday in the noonday sun to capture just a few more. We checked out the Museum of Arts and Design (appropriately abbreviated as MAD), the newish Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, and finally Barney's. Here, in all their glory, are some ab fab gray-haired ladies - some from yesterday's outing and others from events over the past two years.

Strutting down Park Avenue. We would have liked to photograph her from the front, but we're not Ron Galella (remember him?), and we lose precious seconds by not keeping our cameras at the ready. Still, what a great spokeswoman for gray hair!

When met Sandra in Eileen Fisher at Time Warner Center and told her why we wanted to take her photograph, she was instantly on board. She's a New Yorker and says she gets lots of positive reinforcement from total strangers complimenting her on her steel gray locks. She said that when she had finally decided to stop dying her hair and let it grow out gray, she had found a wonderful website about women who had embraced their silver wholeheartedly. Her approach to going gray was amazingly simple. When her gray roots were growing in, she found a top notch hair stylist who added gray highlights to her dyed hair. After three cycles, the real gray had grown in sufficiently to negate the need for additional gray highlighting. She had the best comments: "I should have done this 20 years ago" and "It makes me happy every day"! AND she said her husband encouraged her to do it.

You'll notice one of Sandra's feet is bandaged, and she wondered out loud whether we'd want to take a full length photo under the circumstances. She recently broke two toes, and now has a stress fracture. We could easily have swapped war stories, or anyway foot stories, so we encouraged Sandra to show off her war wounds. So to speak.

Sandra's black glasses and gray and black wardrobe highlight her sleek gray hairdo. She agreed with us that a simple cure for looking washed out is lipstick!

Later that same day, while in Barney's, we ran into this glorious lady - also a New Yorker. Although she was at first reluctant to let us photograph her fabulous silver mane, we were somehow able to convince her that we really weren't as crazy as we look. Luckily, and to our great delight, she finally acquiesced. She was wearing a great pair of black pants which turned out to be from my favorite Montreal store, Kaliyana. We've noticed that she, like so many of the ladies we photographed, favored a classic, minimalist look. We thought you might like to check out Kaliyana’s lip-smackin’ website, so click on the link provided.

Later, when we were outside of Barney's, we saw her exit the store and walk north on Madison Avenue with a dapper silver-haired gentleman.

A little aside. This has nothing to do with gray hair, but as we left Barney's we stopped to admire their window displays. We loved this one featuring mannequins simultaneously ascending and descending a sideways staircase, with everything completely covered in newspaper, and had to share it with you. We presume this is another of Simon Doonan's witty creations. One of the mannequin's skulls prominently featured large typeface Japanese lettering.

We met Gwen at Time Warner Center. Although she lives in Colorado, she had just returned from Istanbul the day before and was in the city visiting her son. Needless to say, her hair looked none the worse for wear. It was a magnificent halo of shiny, nearly white curls.

Everyone responds to the camera differently. Gwen was so comfortable that it was she who suggested the back shot of her hair, as if she were reading our minds. Often we'd LOVE to take a variety of pictures of our subjects, but don't want to invade their space or take more time than they appear willing to give.

Gorgeous gray stones. A long swath of these were laid out just inside the windows at the Eileen Fisher store. It was interesting to see how much of their merchandise came in shades of gray, too. Some people say they think gray makes them look washed out. We say they haven't found the right shade of gray for them. (Or the right lipstick???)

When we met Alamelu at Time Warner Center, she was on an up escalator (just after we'd gotten off the down escalator) looking wonderfully crisp and cool, despite the heat and humidity of the day. Her hair was amazingly smooth and shiny. She graciously consented to allow us to take her picture. She hails from Montreal. (Interesting how the city of Montreal worked its way into our consciousness yesterday! We are really hoping to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition featuring designer Jean Paul Gaultier before it closes in October. Wish us luck.)

Lois Alsop is living proof that gray hair doesn't have to be short. Oh, for waist length hair!

We HAD to bring back this picture of the time we ran into legendary model Carmen dell'Orefice, who has no bad angles and whose great hair is her trademark.

No telling where great looking women will pop up. Here's gorgeous Lynn McClain at Tender Buttons, the best button shop in New York.

We met this gorgeous lady at Cooper Hewitt. (Her husband is equally gorgeous.)

Lee Chinalai always has great hair, great glasses, and great outfits. How's that for a triple threat?

Here are some other wonderful heads of hair we just had to share:

Israeli goldsmith Sara Basch has the most striking face and silver mane, set off by her fabulous handmade cork necklace, which both of us covet. If she's ever found mugged in an alley, sans necklace, we'd be the prime suspects!

Yet more fabulous gray-haired ladies:

This woman was out parading shortly after completely chemotherapy.

And how could we possibly resist a silver haired dog named Salty?

In the spirit of saving the best for last, this is our mutual favorite. When we met this lady last year at a gallery opening, we were equally struck by her stunning gray hair, her wonderfully fun heart-shaped glasses, and attitude to spare. Her look spins the Lolita look on its head. You go, girl! We don't know enough Photoshop to put this halo around her. It was a fabulous touch the camera added all on its own.


  1. I love the look of a close-cropped head of silver hair, and at some point I will probably stop colouring mine and embrace the gray, but I'm not ready to go there just yet. I love the woman in the Lolita glasses and Sandra's grey bob!

  2. Fabulous!!!! I need a source for wonderful eyeglass frames like you show so often...I live across the country from New York...

    Love your blog!

  3. Just go back from a honeymoon in Montreal, where my husband (who happens to be wonderfully indulgent) accompanied me to the Jean Paul Gaultier show. You MUST see it!!!

  4. I love this blog! I love this article! I am 43, and while I still have a long time to go before I could be included in your collection, I too have embraced my grey. A demi-permanent color brightens my hair, but allows the grey to show through within a week or too. I'm proud of my grey, I have earned very darn one!
    Keep up the amazing work ladies, I look forward to your new posts!

  5. Found your terrific blog via Ari, happily! I am about four haircuts into letting my hair go to its natural colour which seems to feature various shades of grey. Nearly there. I figured it was about time! This blog post just reinforces my attitude. Thanks for the boost I needed, ladies! Oh, and for directing me to that fabulous store in Montreal!
    jill in Ontario

  6. This 59-year-old so loves your blog. THANK YOU!

  7. I also found your blog through Ari's site. I've been gray for along time. Love the uniqueness and freedom! Just started wearing bright lipstick. Wow. How about doing a blog on bright lipsticks and how they can change and enhance your whole look.

  8. Thank you...I've also been gray for a long time. Check me out: