Posted on June 6, 2021


Life in the Boomer Lane is about to say something positive about something that is happening in Russia. Contrary to what some readers may believe at this point, Donald Trump, Former Guy and Loyal Russian Supporter, had nothing to do with this post. Russia, for all it’s megalomaniacal intrusions into the US presidential election and into the politics of 27 countries in the last 20 years, has managed to do some great things. It created Dr Zhivago, LBL’s mother, and a never-ending supply of hot babes for the young American men of “90 Day Fiancé.”

Several years ago, a Moscow modelling agency named Oldushka was created, only representing models (men and women) aged 45-85. The founder of the agency is Igor Gavar, a photographer, who had already had a long career photographing older people on the street, much like the US photographer Ari Seth Cohen and his Advanced Style blog. The agency now has 18 models from all parts of Russia. The youngest is 60.

LBL will admit that she was startled to see the first Oldushka models. All of her facial products, billed as “for aging skin” are displayed on models who have only recently graduated out of retainers. When considering whether to keep coloring her hair, she looked at hundreds of photos of “women who look great with grey hair.” They did, indeed, look great, as most of them looked to be in their thirties, with flowing manes of silver hair. Because she is still relatively fit, she is used to seeing the clothing she likes worn on models that are her daughter’s age.

LBL has always been a devoted fan of the TV show Project Runway. She can find nothing insulting about the show, even the episode in which the contestants had to dress their mothers, rather than the 5’10” twenty-somethings that they usually had to drape their creations on. But she did always take offense when a designer did something the judges disliked and they described it as “Granny wear.”

We’ve had older models before, of course. But there have only been a few, and they haven’t been mainstream. Oldushka has gone mainstream. The models model everything, not just clothing appropriate for seniors. They don’t do the predictable at-home entertaining outfits, wine glass in hand, or snuggled in a cozy chair, book in one hand and cup of tea on the side table. Oldushka models drape themselves on furniture or stand in atypical settings, wearing all kinds of clothing (high end designer to funky streetwear) and staring at the camera. Whatever they wear, and whatever the setting, they are gorgeous and they are fierce and they are absolutely older with absolutely no apology.

When LBL now sees an Oldushka model, she breathes a sigh of relief. She also looks at the clothing in a way she never does when twenty-something models are wearing it. It’s simply one more affirmation that she, herself, has made the right choice in wearing clothes that make her happy, as opposed to clothes that the fashion industry normally portrays for women her age.

In case you were wondering what Oldushka means in Russian, LBL doesn’t know and can’t find a definition. She does know, however, that “dushka” means darling. Maybe Oldushka is a sort of contraction that means older darling. That would work for her.

Posted in: aging