The red carpet is no longer the purview of starlets: 2018 gave rise to a new set of designer muses over the age of 50 who proved that style only gets better with time. The dramatic runway pieces once limited to twentysomething newcomers looked even better on the backs of women whose accomplishments have made them icons of their respective fields. Whether they were lifelong fashion devotees who hit their stride thanks to revamped wardrobes or A-list talents who embraced their ability to transform, the women who stood out had fun ignoring outdated ideas about age-appropriate outfits and demure dressing.
If there was a rule to be followed, it was to enjoy the spotlight, and each adhered to it in her own way. Angela Bassett shook up this week’s Bumblebee premiere in a fringed Alberta Ferretti look that defied every stereotype about how a 60-year-old should dress, while Monica Bellucci broke out the Azzedine Alaïa to close the Marrakech International Film Festival, taking her penchant for power dressing into sexy new territory. Eternal risk-taker Cher promoted her latest album in leather and lace worthy of “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and no one caused a stir at Milan Fashion Week quite like the Gucci-clad Jane Birkin.
Their styles may have been different, but each brought a fashion moment that felt refreshing. In an industry where models are often teenagers and cool girls barely out of high school are praised for their wardrobes, a look back at the best in ageless style underscores the importance of experience. When Jane Fonda steps out at Cannes wearing Mary Katrantzou or Cicely Tyson dons a custom piece from longtime collaborator B. Michael, it isn’t the result of a single meeting with a stylist. Hollywood’s doyennes know exactly what they want and how to shut down a red carpet by wearing it.
This article first appeared on Vogue.com