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Photos: Sara Rosen for Advanced Style

Fashion and Beauty Secrets From LA's Most Stylish Older Women

Although joining Taylor Swift's girl squad and Beyoncé's trusted circle of stylists are our current goals, our long-term objective is to age as gracefully and stylishly as the senior women who grace the pages of Ari Seth Cohen's essential coffee table book, Advanced Style. As a follow-up to his hit 2012 tome, the blogger-turned-champion of senior style has just released Advanced Style: Older and Wiser — a 272-page book filled with street style photos of fashion-inclined men and women over the age of 60.

To celebrate the launch, we exclusively sat down with four of Cohen's Los Angeles-based stars to soak up all of their wisdom on statement dressing, vintage shopping, beauty, and happiness.

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Name: Colleen Heidemann

Age:  67

Found on page: 134

Previous occupation: Wife and mother

Current occupation: Consignment store owner at Re-Deux (71598 CA-111, Rancho Mirage)

Favorite West Coast shops from the past and present: The past was filled with lovely memories of Alan Austin in Beverly Hills, and Georgio and Gucci. My present today consists more of the resale and consignment stores located in the Palm Desert and Palm Springs area.

Best beauty secret you've learned through the years: Always wear a long-lasting lip color, sunglasses, and a smile. Never forget to smile and say hello!


Name: Valerie von Sobel

Age: 75

Found on page: 102

Previous occupation: Interior designer; member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

Current occupation: President and founder of the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation. I'm also an artist.

What advanced style means to you: There is my perpetual love for the ceremony of dressing. If you don't make your life a bit grandiose, who will do it for you? I always had the pluck to dress as I wish, and now I do it more than ever. I dare! But disregarding convention is accidental. Fashion has a transformative power; it's self-expression and if it's genuine, it totally intertwines with other creative manifestations.

Best advice for bold dressers: Never think that everything has been done. If you give ten people with a modicum of passion for fashion, seven diverse pieces of clothing and accessories, they will produce from the identical elements combinations that are gloriously different.


Name: Audrey Stein

Age: 80

Found on page: 213

Previous occupation: Founding Executive Associate Director of the UCLA Center on Aging

Current occupation: Screening documentary films at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCLA and for the LA Giving Circle. I also take courses at UCLA with matriculating students through The Longevity Center's Sr. Scholars program.

Favorite local activities: Attending Disney Hall concerts, spending lots of time with friends as regular visitors to art openings, enjoying Annenberg Space for Photography Iris evenings, visiting LACMA, visiting UCLA's Fowler & Hammer Museums, going on discount shopping adventures and—most precious of all—spending time with my two daughters and their families that include four grandchildren.

Favorite LA shops: I loved the treasure hunt adventure that Loehmann's provided for so many of us for so many years. I always went with a special friend; we were two kindred spirits with a good eye for fashion and unstoppable stamina.

I also always circle the date when Nadya will be in LA doing a trunk show of her extraordinary, Indonesian-made clothing.  I actually met Nadya in India many years ago and we've become good friends.

Best beauty secret you've learned through the years: For me, it's getting lots of sleep—I almost always sleep eight to nine hours each night—and lots of exercise. I'm devoted to Pilates; going twice a week to Pilates was my 70th birthday present to myself, and I continue that regimen today. I also love long walks and/or hiking and do that five to six days a week. What better place to fulfill that passion than Southern California!

Most prized possession in your closet:  My most prized wardrobe possession is my ethnic jewelry that I've collected for many years in some of the most remote parts of the world. Each piece spoke to me and I consider the clothing I wear a canvas to display the artistic expression of a culture that I highly regard and felt privileged to visit.


Full name: Roberta Haze

Age: 79

Found on page: 148

Previous occupation: Dancer and costume designer

Current occupation: model and actress

Known for: Costume designer for The Facts of Life and Veronica's Closet; dancer on The Dean Martin Show; played the original role of Tintinabula in the Broadway show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Favorite LA boutiqueDecades

Best beauty secret you have learned through the years: Always try to be in a good mood, and exercise!

Most prized possession in your closet: My Alaia dress that I can still fit into from the '90s! And all my Vivenne Westwood pieces.

Angelenos! Meet Ari Seth Cohen at his two LA book signings taking place soon. There's one taking place this Saturday, April 30th from 3 to 6pm at the MOCA Los Angeles store (more info here), and another on Wednesday, May 4th from 7 to 9pm at Book Soup in West Hollywood (more info here). The Book Soup event will also include a panel discussion moderated by Merle Ginsberg and featuring Ari alongsideValerie Von Sobel, Joy Venturini Bianchi, Colleen Heidemann, and Irene Coyazo.