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Flamboyant Old Men: Where are the Role Models?

Style writer Simon Doonan had a good piece in Slate, “Should Old People Wear Sassy Underwear?” Headline aside, underwear wasn’t Doonan’s focus. As a man approaching 60, he was meditating on how he should respond, style-wise, to his new “oldster” status. His point: Now that older people no longer get the respect that age once conferred, why dress the part?

Since nobody is going to give you any props for “growing old gracefully”—let’s face facts, nobody is going to give you props anymore for anything!—you might as well let rip and crank up the volume on your leopard-print mankini.

Problem is, while women don’t have to look far for role models of flamboyant older “geezerettes,” male role models are hard to find. Doonan mentions only one: Nudie Cohn, a Ukraine-born tailor who never stopped superstyling himself as a rhinestone cowboy.

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photo: Raeanne Rubenstein

So we went in a search of role models, and here’s what we found:

Keith Richards, Rolling Stone and author, definitely isn’t trying to “age gracefully.”

Salvador Dali,  Surrealist — enough said.

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Ken Russell, film director

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Photograph: Pal Hansen, the Guardian

Big Youth, reggae superstar

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Jean Pigozzi, art collector, photographer and creator of the Limoland fashion line originally dubbed “Street Wear for Rich Old Men.”

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Who are we missing? Tell us in the comments box below.

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