Added: Clarrissa Osborn - Date: 30.09.2021 10:58 - Views: 13647 - Clicks: 7124
I wish I'd known Mrs Exeter — stylish and in her 50s, she sounds like my kind of woman. When she was "born" on the s of Vogue magazine in she was introduced as a woman "approaching 60 … a fact she accepts with perfect good humour and reasonableness". She was also something we deperately need today — an older woman's voice in an iconic fashion magazine.
Mrs Exeter is particularly interesting because her tour of duty on the glossy s of Vogue coincided with an ageist schism, brought about by the relentless rise of youth culture in the s, which ultimately laid the foundation for our present predicament. And by that I mean the conspicuous absence of older voices out there in the wider world. This is a problem right across the board and lately there have been noises in the broadcast media about making efforts to introduce more diversity and redress the balance.
This can't come soon enough. However, when you get in among the big shiny magazines.
They resolutely and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that a good deal of what goes into their fashion shoots is of great interest stylistically to older readers and not only that, the older readers are frequently the customers who can actually afford what they put on their s. Why would anyone not, therefore, wish to see older generations represented here?
Vogue is on record as saying it is an aspirational magazine and that "people want a dream". Well, we aspire and dream too, and not necessarily about being 25 again. In the s Mrs Exeter appeared on two Vogue covers.
Can you imagine that happening in ? Some liberties had been taken with "smoothing" her face, but she was recognisably an older woman with white hair. She was also slender, with a 33in waist and no suggestion of middle-aged spread. We know that slim was deemed chic decades before Kate Moss uttered the immortal words, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", because Wallis Simpson had already announced, "you can never be too rich or too thin".
Mrs Exeter was living in terror of an upward movement of the needle on Listen up older women bathroom scales too, but personally, I could live with "slim" on glossy s if the faces reflected some life and experience because that at least would be a small step in the right direction. While I was digging around for information on Mrs Exeter and there isn't much I came upon a piece by Alexandra Shulman, the editor of Vogue, on How to look fantastic over 50written for F in In it Shulman says that she is often petitioned for the return of Mrs Exeter but says: "I am not bringing her back to the s of Vogue because Mrs Exeter nowadays would simply not work as an idea.
Shulman goes on to explain that, "far from wanting their own fashion commentator, most women over 50 do not wish to be thought of as living in a different shopping cosmos to the rest of the world. We want to be included! But hang on a minute … doesn't "the rest of the world" also include Vogue?
It seems we need to spell this out: we want a Mrs Exeter for We want a Mrs Exeter in the s of most if not all glossy magazines. We need a Mrs Exeter to explain the problems and pitfalls of older style and how to deal with them. And we would like to know which deers work best in the kind of shapes and styles we now are. All the rest is generic and we can work it out for ourselves.
We want to be included, which is, I think, what Shulman was saying in that piece but is apparently also deliberately failing to understand. Perhaps the root of the editor's problem lies in another, more negative statement from her in Julia Twigg's excellent book, Fashion and Age : "Nobody wants to be fat and nobody wants to be old. So I say bring back Mrs Exeter — poor Mrs Exeter who was killed off by the swerve to youth culture in the s and who has remained coned to the archives for almost 50 years.
This is her moment. Vintage years Fashion. Listen up Vogue and the rest: we want a Mrs Exeter for InVogue introduced a new cover star — the elegant, good-humoured and nearly 60 Mrs Exeter. Why don't today's fashion magazines find space for older women? Mrs Exeter, also known as Margot Smyly.
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