Fashion label Helmut Lang challenges status quo, casts Welsh women in their eighties in new campaign

Ciara Sheppard
·Contributor Yahoo Style UK
Dilys is an 86-year old skydiver from wales. [Photo: Helmut Lang]
Dilys is an 86-year old skydiver from wales. [Photo: Helmut Lang]

Fashion has an age-old obsession with youth.

It’s the norm to see the pages of our favourite magazines, the campaigns of our most-loved brands and the catwalks at fashion week dominated by girls on the brink of adulthood.

Despite some recent improvements, older women are still underrepresented in fashion.

Challenging the status quo with its latest campaign is Helmut Lang. For the brand’s autumn winter 2018 campaign, titled ‘Women of Wales, the brand cast a series of badass over-80s.

These include Dilys, an 86-year-old Welsh woman who holds world record holder for oldest female skydiver.

There’s also Margaret, an 86-year-old Welsh woman, and former funeral director who says she is proud of being from Wales, despite the weather.

Finally there’s Puleng, a 66-year-old Welsh woman. Born in South Africa, she met her husband while nursing in London in the 1960s.

The pair lost touch during the apartheid, but were reunited six years ago and married. They now live in Merthyr together.

All three women wear pieces from the Helmut Lang fall 2018 collection – and don’t they look amazing?

While it’s fantastic to see brand’s like Helmut Lang championing age diversity, these instances come few and far between.

Despite this, recent years have seen an improved attitude.

Take modelling legend Lauren Hutton who walked Bottega Veneta’s spring summer 2017 show, 71-year-old Joni Mitchell who modelled for Saint Laurent, or Joan Didion who fronted a Celine campaign in 2015.

While it would be easy (albeit cynical) to put this down to clever marketing moves, it’s still amazing to see this kind of representation.

We’re all going to be 80 eventually so why not celebrate the women we’ll one day be right now?

As campaign girl Dilys puts it: “The one fact is we’re all born and then we’re all going to die. I know that I have to live life until the day I die.”

Hear, hear to that.

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