Fabulous after 50

The Courier enlisted the help of Carmen Ruiz y Laza to demonstrate just how fabulous women can look after 50. Ruiz y Laza is host of CarmenTV broadcast on JoyTV, a division of Zoomer Media.

Ruiz y Laza chose three looks from her wardrobe for the fashion shoot, which took place at the elegant Private Residences at Hotel Georgia. Tanya Tasselaar from Blanche Macdonald provided hair and makeup with photography by the Courier’s Dan Toulgoet. Clothing: J Brand Jeans, Oak + Fort coat, Ted Baker London blouse, Browns’ boots, Zara suit and sweater, Chanel necklaces, Prada boots, Catherine Regehr gown, Jewels by Alan Anderson and Prada shoes.

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Q: Describe your job.

A: I work with Moses Znaimer at Zoomer Media. Being the man that coined the phrase “Zoomer,” he is absolutely committed to reinventing the way we look at aging. I am also deeply involved in CARP: a New Vision of Aging. We’re Canada’s largest advocacy group. I’m at the perfect company.


Q: Describe your fashion sense.

A: I was born and raised in Spain so my style has deep roots in traditional, understated and stately pieces. Having grown up in school uniforms, I’m accustomed and rather fond of easy dressing.


Q: Who or what influences your fashion style?

A: Always influenced by my love of cinema, I like the drama created on the screen for some of the leading ladies. Who can forget the elegance and flair of old-school glamorous Hollywood icons? Moses is my executive producer and he suggested I dress in “approachable glam” so he’s influenced my look on CarmenTV. I went from wearing elite designers, Dior, Versace, Prada, to a more affordable wardrobe. My viewers have responded very positively to this change.


Q: Any advice for women after 40 when it comes to style?

A: Trends can be a downfall if you don’t adjust them to your age. I think the goal is not to look like a younger version of ourselves, but rather a hipper version of our age. The trick is to incorporate the “It” pieces into your real life. Be age-appropriate and that means how it feels on you, not how it looks on another woman. I have older friends who wear rock star clothes and they fit the style perfectly and though I admire their look it would be awkward on my personality type. I am inspired to use elements of fashion yet not be a slave to it. Finally, tread carefully if you and your daughter shop at the same store!


Q: Any favourite/signature pieces you can’t live without?

A: Cashmere sweaters, T-shirts, scarves and wraps, I have them all in colour-coded sets and I absolutely depend on them. Like most European women I walk, a lot, so have a great collection of sensible heels and flats shoes and boots (love Prada) and ultra-comfortable high heels to take me out on the town – Dior and Dolce & Gabbana fit me perfectly. My go-to everyday bag is actually a tote from Louis Vuittoncalled Neverfull MM that incredibly lives up to its name, my navy Birkin also works well. At night my go to bags are my classic Chanel flap bags, they’re surprisingly roomy.


Q: What do you think of Vancouver’s fashion style?

A: I see plenty of fashion lovers on our streets and many times I am compelled to randomly say, “You look great.” This bad press we seem to have because of our love of sports clothing is not the style I focus on – I wear it too but only at the gym. Casual elegance is all over our streets, especially in fellow Zoomers. There’s so many gorgeous fashion boutiques in our city that one can’t help but think they inspire us all to not save that special piece, just wear it today – just because.


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