The Silver Women: All that Glitters is NOT Gold!

Linda Fargo
Photo: New York Post

Most everyone begins the New Year with a list of resolutions. Sometimes they are introspective and lofty. More often than not, they focus on one’s appearance: lose weight, exercise more, get a nip and tuck, find a new hair color, and cover that gray. Maybe it’s time to rethink that last one?

Valentino Spring 2022 Couture
Photo: theimpression.com

“New Year, New You” is the much clichéd mantra. Maybe it should be “New Year, Old You.” With the world’s most celebrated style icons championing a more natural hair tone and fashion designers such as Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli proudly sending gray-haired models (and refreshingly average body sizes) down the runway. Gray is now a fully established trend for women and is slowly making its mark in men’s grooming.

“It’s a sign of the times that graying hair, once a mark of distinction, now carries with it a frisson of rebelliousness. Simply letting nature take its course feels like a quietly revolutionary act.”

Chris Elvidge, Marketing Editor, MR. PORTER
Saint Laurent Spring Ad Campaign Featuring Pedro Almodóvar
Photo by David Sims

Coincidentally, Saint Laurent’s latest men’s campaign features legendary silver hair filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar, Jim Jarmusch, and Abel Ferrera. The images are shot in black and white by David Sims.

Some of the most celebrated (and my favorite) style setters are women who either ditched the dye or have found a way to perfect what they already have. They prove that silvery gray, platinum, or white hair can be “badass.” Case in point: Vivienne Westwood, the environmental activist British fashion icon, who died at 81 on December 29th.

2014 Dame Vivienne Westwood Unveiled a New Short Silver Hairdo
Photo: Daily Mail.co.uk

The “Queen of Punk” was always boundary-pushing and at the more experimental end of the fashion spectrum in her designs and personal style. While Vivienne was known for her bright orange mane, in March 2014, at the age of 71, Westwood unveiled a dramatic new do that was much more staid: short, sharp, and gray!

At the time, a spokesperson for Vivienne’s fashion label told the Telegraph: “Vivienne cut her hair as we must all wake up to Climate Change. Secondly, she wanted to cut the red out for a while and have it white – to show she’s proud of her age.”

Diane Keaton at the 2014 Golden Globes
Photo: today.com

Diane Keaton, 76, started off as a blonde and being one for years, she has accepted her gray hair with age. At the 2014 Golden Globes, Keaton nonchalantly premiered a perfect head of natural-looking silky smooth hair covering the entire gray spectrum from steely charcoal all the way to nearly white, and she’s never gone back. Diane told People Magazine: “My hair is now white. It’s better to have light around your face- I think it looks better on older people.”

“I think I have an unorthodox relationship with my age because of my hair. I’ve been fine with this gift of nature all along. I’ve embraced it as a signature, adding red lips and a smile.”

Linda Fargo
Linda Fargo
Photo by Caroline Owens

Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman’s Senior Vice President, Women’s Fashion Director, and Store Presentation is known for her fashion authority, chic wardrobe, perfectly manicured red nails, radiant smile, brilliant red Chanel lipstick, and her perfect, every hair in-place bob. Alber Elbaz “lovingly” proclaimed Linda’s hair color “Pearl,” which she much prefers over silver, white, or gray.

Linda Fargo
Photo by Caroline Owens

“I have a long history with my signature hair color, starting with the first 3-inch long white strand I plucked out and taped to an index card at 10 years old! They kept coming, and by my early 20s, I was an unusual blend of chocolate brown and silver,” says Linda, who only entertained dying it once with unsettling results, and she said, “never again.”

Fargo says that her hair has granted her a kind of “knowing authority” that she may or may not have deserved, and it’s provided an “interesting perch” from which to observe and experience the allure of appearances. Fargo also notes that her hair is, perhaps, her lowest maintenance feature.

She gets a great sharp cut every six weeks by her go-to Scissorhands- Edward Tricomi, and that’s about it! “No dyes, no purple shampoos- just a simple acceptance, which is more than I can say for the rest of me” .

“I don’t think dying your hair makes you look any younger. I think it actually makes you look older”

Linda Rodin

Linda Rodin is widely recognized for her distinct personal style: oversized glasses, bright red lipstick, and silvery gray hair. The 74-year-old beauty entrepreneur, boutique owner, designer, model, former stylist, and Instagram star started going gray at 35.

Linda Rodin and Winks
Photo by Martin Thompson Studio

She has never thought about dying it, even though she was constantly urged to do so. Linda also remains adamant about never having plastic surgery. She tried fillers once and hated it. Bravo, Linda!

Linda Rodin and Winks

I have known Linda since my Harper’s Bazaar Days (Rodin freelanced for Bazaar in the 80s), and I’ve long been a fan of her highly consistent, ultra-cool, individual style. In fact, Rodin made my 2014 “New Best Dressed List.” For the record, Linda Fargo and Diane Keaton have been on one of my previous “New Best Dressed” Lists.

Linda Rodin wearing her denim flared legged jeans
Photo: lindahopp.com

I admire Linda’s individuality and tenacity. She does not care to look like anyone else or meet societal expectations of what a woman of her age should look like. A dedicated denim wearer who has faithfully worn Levi’s since 5, Linda has recently introduced a small, concisely edited denim collection, www.lindahopp.com. And yes, she is her own best model.

Lauren Ezersky
Photo by Ruven Afanador

Fashion journalist Lauren Ezersky has been described as a combination of Cinderella, and Holly Golightly with a little bit of Fran Drescher and Cher mixed in. She is known for her trademark dark smoky eyes and a fabulous mane of salt and pepper hair, which, through the years, has morphed into a chic natural gray.

Lauren Ezersky
Photo by Francesca Sorrenti

The former cable TV host (Behind The Velvet Ropes) started going gray in her late 30’s. Lauren colored it for a few years but stopped because of the time and expense. Lauren says if she gets bored, she might dye her hair green or purple someday — but likes the gray, and it suits her. Indeed it does!

Meanwhile, for the past several years, the beautiful and stylish fashion provocateur has been represented by IconicFocus Model Agency. Before that, it was the Grey Model Agency. They were responsible for Lauren’s participation in an iconic L’Oreal ad campaign, among other stints. Ezersky was recently hired by Francesca Sorrenti to appear in an ad for Marni.

Allyson Rowen Taylor Wearing a Dries Van Noten Blazer
Photo: Instagram

Allyson Rowen Taylor, 69, the New York-raised, LA-based interior designer and painter, stopped coloring her hair 6 years ago and says it was very freeing. Even though Taylor reports that her New York friends, and sister, hate it, most like it. More importantly, Allyson loves it.

Taylor and I first connected through Instagram. I admire her style and the way she presents herself. We bonded over many things, including a disdain for plastic surgery, fake boobs, the Kardashians, and all those older women who are turning into plasticized ‘Barbie’ dolls as they desperately try to turn back the clock and find the elusive “Fountain of Youth.”

Latest Comments:

  1. Great reporting, once again, by Marilyn, not to mention her critiques. Perfectly spot-on and correct.

  2. Yes, Ackerman: “So the more and more we can restrain each other and be quiet and silent- I think that’s…

  3. Hello Marilyn, At last we have Haider Ackerman, providing clothes that are beautiful, becoming and wearable. Yes, believe it or…

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

5 Comments
  1. Needless to say, I REALLY enjoyed this article. Are you thinking about joining your Silver Sisters, Marilyn?? xoxo

  2. Thanks for all your responses..

    I am a little gray here and there but not quite silver yet.

    have to see what the color looks like but of course I am tempted by the idea of joining my Silver Sisters…

  3. My husband, Paul Hands, went from dirty blond as a teenager to white hair at 19 years old.. spending his entire adult life as a silver fox…. Like the gorgeous Linda Fargo ( and the late Ellen Levine of Hearst Magazines) Paul has made his thick white mane his signature. My gray hair is taking forever to come in… I can’t wait to join him!

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