Just in case you missed her yesterday on the blog (and Instagram and YouTube!) I want to be sure you take a good long look at the new face of Wendy Brandes Jewelry: Judith Boyd, aka the Style Crone. Behold — and click to see the full horizontal image on my website)!
In this photo, the jewelry she’s wearing includes my 18K gold Memento Mori skull cufflinks.
I think a tuxedo shirt with gold skull cufflinks on a woman — a 76-year-old woman with a mullet, no less! — is the very definition of chic. And these are just the first two images from a lookbook centered on Judith. There’s more to come.
I’ve known Judith since 2010, which was when she started her blog, Style Crone. (For silver sisters going for the #grombre while growing out their dyed hair, be encouraged! Judith grew out her red years ago.) Judith has always been gorgeous and boldly stylish, with a special flair for hats; she was even an owner of a hat store in the 1980s. If you’re a fan of Advanced Style — Ari Seth Cohen’s blog devoted to “capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set” — and/or the related books and documentary, you might recognize Judith from there, keeping company with the likes of famous “90-year-old” ingenue Iris Apfel.
I first got the idea to shoot with Judith over a year ago, while I was scrolling through her Instagram and noticed some particularly “editorial” images of her. I was, of course, familiar with the beautiful smile that lights up Judith’s whole face in so many of her photos. But a big, friendly smile isn’t the first thing a fashionista thinks of when she uses “editorial” as an adjective. “Editorial” is stylized. It’s artistic and dramatic. It’s inspiring and aspirational. It’s not about selling one particular product; it’s about telling you a story and setting a mood.
In the photo that caught my eye, Judith looked regal, elegant, powerful, and even timeless. She looked like she could have been about to walk the runway for Alexander McQueen in the early 2000s, but she could just as well have been posing for a glossy fashion magazine’s 2020 September issue. That’s a quality I try to capture in my jewelry designs. In 2012, on this blog, I wrote:
“If you put my Empress Wu dragon earrings next to a lot of modern pieces, you’ll think the earrings are antique. However, if you put the earrings next to an actual antique piece, my work is clearly modern. I’ve always felt that if you can’t quite pin down the era a piece belongs to, the jewelry looks timeless. It becomes a forever thing … like red lipstick.”
Or as French designer Yves Saint Laurent said far more eloquently, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”
I decided I wanted — no, needed — Judith for that and other reasons. It took a bit of planning, seeing as she lives in Denver and I’m in New York. Watch my latest video to find out how the shoot finally happened this February and learn more about what I look for when I cast a model. My requirements are quite different from those of a lot of other designers.
Also, see what Judith has to say about the meaning of our collaboration in her Instagram post.
View this post on Instagram
I am honored to have been chosen to face @wendybrandesjewelry’s latest campaign, where she explores immortal themes of jewelry – especially snake and skull motives – and lifelong style. By choosing myself, a 76-year-old blogger and influencer who is reinventing myself every day, our collaboration also examines who jewelry and style are created for. We both feel that these forms of expression are for everyone. #wendybrandesjewelry #jewelryforwittypeople #stylecrone Creative direction + styling by Shannon Sense Assisted by Jade Mayo Photography by Courtney Moore Makeup by Beau Derrick Hair by Sean Christopher Fears Nails by Yuko Atrie Post finished in comments. #whitehair #silverhair #styleover70 #representation #skulljewelry #newcampaign #editorial #fashionphotography #advancedstyle #advancedstyleolderandwiser #40plusstyle #spotmystyle #proage #ageisnotavariable #styleover60 #disruptaging #stylenotage
By the way, Judith patiently waited months — till yesterday, as a matter of fact — to see the finished photos. That’s almost as long as it took to turn her pixie hairstyle into a mullet on shoot day! Ha! Thanks again to hair stylist Sean Christopher Fears (and Judith) for working so hard on that particular aspect of the shoot.
Full photo credits:
Creative direction + styling by Shannon Sense
Assisted by Jade Mayo
Photography by Courtney Moore
Makeup by Beau Derrick
Hair by Sean Christopher Fears
Nails by Yuko Atrie
Model: Judith Boyd, the Style Crone