I once read an article in W Magazine in which artist, Jeffrey Vallance, has a postmortem interview with Salvador Dali. I read it expecting a laugh. What I got was inspiration for an existential makeover curtesy of the spectre's parting lines:

You need to get off your lazy asses and create beauty and love and joy.
There needs to be a World War of Love.
A revolution of the Aesthetic.

     Some will argue that the material does not ultimately matter, and that we should strive to disassociate with the aesthetic in order to become our highest selves. To those I say: We are here and life is beautiful. Let us have a good time. The aesthetic can be a gateway to our highest selves, serving as inspiration, to motivate and remind us of what is most important. Even vanities associated with fixation on the aesthetic can be, when re-imagined in their most basic forms, celebrated as tools for understanding joie de vivre: Beauty (the dazzling effect of emerald tree tops against the expansive cerulean of a cloudless sky), Luxury (a bubble bath with a glass of wine), Class (taking care to be kind, even to the underserving), and Style (a plain, store-bought lampshade thoughtfully lined in a delightfully contrasting fabric).

     The ghost of Dali's words were a call to action for me to cultivate and share "beauty and love and joy" in the best way I know how, through my joie de vivre: style. And so I started What's Her Secret so that any woman can live stylishly, because style can make us feel beautiful and luxurious, and does inspire us to carry ourselves with more class; but mostly, because style carries the wonderful, infectious enthusiasm of all of these into the rest of our lives.

     And, while we're on the subject of Dali's posthumous admonitions, if you want to talk about a revolution of the aesthetic, look to the striking senior citizens below. These ladies not only challenge our conventional concepts of beauty, but also inspire us to believe that a long life can truly be enhanced by the joy of living stylishly.

Quotes and pictures below are from Lucky Mag article, "12 Fashion Tips from the World's Chicest Grandmas".
Pictures courtesy of Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style.
JOYCE, 80:
The real secret is being in love with life and realizing what you have.

RUTH, 100:
The reason why she dresses up all the time:
You never know who you will meet along the way.

ROSE, 100:
If everyone is wearing it, then it's not for me.

MARY, 72:
You get treated nicer if you are well dressed. I don’t want to go around like a dreary old lady.
Yes, you can break the rules sometimes.
I’m not ready for a convent or anything, so I can wear leopard glasses.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post..!


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