Age no barrier to looking good, say grey-power queens of the catwalk

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 July, 2011, 12:00am


Who says 60 is too old to strut down a catwalk wearing the latest fashions?

Certainly not those who will take part in a fashion show for the 'silver-haired generation' or the fashion student designers who produced their clothing.

Masters students from Polytechnic University joined forces with the Brotherhood Charity Foundation to put on the show, which will be held on Saturday at Kowloon Technical School in Sham Shui Po.

The 48 new designs will be modelled by 20 people aged from their late fifties to their seventies, four of them men.

'There aren't a lot of clothes that are attractive, comfortable and suit our bodies,' said Yau Koon-ying, 69, who has two adult children and will be modelling for the first time in the show. 'They're either very old-looking, or cater for young people and are too small for us.'

Leung King-foon, 64, who modelled in a similar show last year, said: 'I think deep down inside, all women love being beautiful - no matter how old they are. Looking good gives you confidence.'

Jade Gao Yan, one of the 24 young designers, said she learned a lot from the project.

'[Design for the elderly] is not a conceptual piece of art, but the production of a practical yet still beautiful piece of clothing. I learned about [older people's] needs, saw their zest for life and was inspired,' Gao said.

Denise Yeung Yin-lai, who made two garments for 'grandfather-like' elderly men also learned a lot.

'The biggest challenge technically would be the measurements. Elderly people have different body measurements than the usual 20-year-old model,' Yeung said.

Rita Xu Lai, said it was like designing for her mother or grandmother. 'My mindset has changed, after meeting our models - why shouldn't they look fabulous?' Lai said.

Charity Foundation executive director Elton Lam Wing-ngor said the show was about more than a pretty blouse or a flattering dress, it was about dignity.

'It's just a different phase in life - [the elderly] should still have fun, look good, embrace life and do new things,' he said. 'The fashion show is one way of providing older people with a way to try new things, and to tell them they are still worth a lot.'

Lam hopes the show raises social awareness of the needs of the elderly.