Delighted that London Fashion Week has kicked off and the show that seems to have had the most press is for the over 50’s market. FINALLY. So designers are slowly catching on to the fact that us middle aged women are one of their key target markets. A recent YouGov study, on behalf of online fashion retailer JD Williams revealed that over half of all British women over 50 do not feel confident about their bodies and feel ignored and unrepresented in TV, magazines, and the fashion industry.

In an attempt to change this way of thinking, last night saw launch of Britain’s first ever ‘Fifty Plus Fashion Week’. The evening showcased fashion designed by second year design students from the London College of Fashion for the older woman and it got loads of press. I wish I could attach some photos of the women that were at the 50th birthday party I went to last night. A spectacular array of beautiful women all looking “gorgeous and fabulous” (that was the theme), but my friend will probably kill me.

The models, with a combined age of 700, made London Fashion Week history as every model on the catwalk – from Marie Helvin to Daphne Selfe – was aged between 50 and 87. Don’t they both look splendid? Although I did read that Marie spends an awful lot of time keeping herself looking like that and I can’t frankly be bothered to do that:-

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CREDIT: PHILIP TOSCANO/PA

Sarah Shaw, one of the students and five finalists who saw their work on the catwalk said designing for older women was a lot easier than she’d anticipated: “It wasn’t as much of a challenge as I thought it would be. Well what did she expect? We’re not freaks. “It was really clear that older woman just love life and it made me realise that fashion doesn’t actually have an age limit.”

In the YouGov study, older women highlighted the areas of their body they feel most negative about, something Sarah says she never had to give much thought to before. Well I could have helped her. Here’s a list:-

We don’t like our bingo wings
We don’t like our cleavage
We don’t like our floppy bottoms
We don’t like our feet
We don’t like our wobbly stomachs
We don’t want to wear things that are too tight or too short
I want to wear black
I don’t want to wear ridiculous coats
We want to keep it simple
I don’t like my knees
I don’t want to wear high heels

As this show was hitting the headlines, so was the truly beautiful Daphne Self – at 87 she is still a catwalk model and she says that women should “never let their age get in the way of what they want to achieve.” And don’t settle. Find yourself again and do the stuff you want to do. Good advice indeed.

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