We’re not sure if you’ve caught up with Girlfriends, ITV’s six-part series written by Kay Mellor, which began in January.
But in case not, as the fashion website for fabulous 50-somethings, we thought that we’d flag it up since it seems to have been written for and about fabulous 50-somethings… potentially signalling a new attitude to 50-somethings and 60-somethings in mainstream TV and film in 2018.
We really admire Girlfriends’ creator, Kay Mellor. She is the prolific and genius writer who created and wrote the recent BBC 1 series Love, Lies and Records, as well as having created and written some of our favourite series over the last 25 years or so, such as Band of Gold, The Chase and The Syndicate.
So, she has a track record for writing and creating dramas which are of their time and which capture the zeitgeist. And she has definitely done that with Girlfriends, starring Phyllis Logan (below, right) as Linda, Miranda Richardson (centre) as Sue, and Zoë Wanamaker as Gail.
The story-line of Girlfriends is this: Linda, Sue and Gail have been chums since childhood. Their
friendship becomes closer following the sudden death of Linda’s husband Micky. The circumstances of Micky’s death raise some awkward questions for Linda. The plot also weaves in the issues the women face, such as divorce, ageism at work and being a member of the ‘sandwich’ generation.
Girlfriends, to quote Radio Times: “…follows Linda, Sue and Gail as they struggle with the changes and responsibilities that come with being a modern woman of a certain age.”
“Of a certain age” is, of course, code for “older,” but for once, older doesn’t mean crinkly-haired and frumpy.
Mellor has again created a drama that captures the zeitgeist and highlights issues that will be familiar to many of us. But the best thing is that it reflects the reality of being over-50 and over 60, today; it allows the three leading actresses to look fashionable and glamorous – at least some of the time. Instead of being dressed and made-up to look old and frumpy, Phyllis Logan, Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wanamaker are allowed to be well-dressed, coiffed and beautifully made up, reflecting far more accurately the reality of how 50-somethings and 60-somethings look in 2018!
So, despite the plot going a bit bonkers, that is like a breath of fresh air in TV where women over 45 are usually forced to play frumps or grandmas… (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a grandma. Jan and Cyndy are both grandmas, and most of their friends are, too). It’s just that, until now, grandmas have invariably been portrayed as crinkly-haired and frumpy. But that is not the reality today and we think the makers of TV dramas (and films) need to catch up… So, let’s give three cheers for Girlfriends and hope it really does signal a new era and a new attitude to 50-somethings, 60-somethings (and grandmas) in mainstream TV (and film) in 2018.
Let’s also steal some style from its three stars, Phyllis Logan, Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wanamaker…
Let’s start with those three fabulous hairstyles. We suspect that could be how these three “women of a
certain age” wear their hair off-screen. But whether those are their real styles, or were created by the production team, doesn’t matter: they are three terrific hairstyles. Having admired Phyllis Logan in Lovejoy all those years ago, and admired her acting, (if not her look) in Downton Abbey, we love her with that mane of auburn curls. A woman with natural curls can achieve the same look with a great cut and colour and a product, such as the Curl Company Shape & Define Gel or Bumble & Bumble Curl Defining Cream.
With her delicate features, Zoë Wanamaker has always looked good with short hair. We like her haircut in Girlfriends, which remains quite short but offers a little curl and volume which would be flattering to all of us not built like the very slender Wanamaker… Again, the essential is a great cut and a product, such as mousse to create curl and volume.
As for the gorgeous Miranda Richardson, our fondest memories are of her roles in Blackadder, usually in period costume. We love this slightly ruffled blonde bob, which can also be achieved with a great cut plus highlights or bleach (best done by a professional, TBH) and a blow-dry using smoothing products such as Umberto Giannini No More Frizz Curl Serum.
We love their clothes, too. Zoë Wanamaker’s sleeved dress in black with shimmery stripes is very on-trend and can work for casual daytime and the office if worn with opaques plus flat boots, brogues (or some other chunky flats) to offset the ‘pretty’.
We also love Phyllis Logan in that print-dress-and-biker-jacket-combo. Modern, insouciant and playful, we think a well-cut dress paired with a black biker jacket – especially a well-cut maxi dress paired with a biker jacket – looks a bit edgy without looking as if we’re trying too hard.
Miranda Richardson, playing the co-founder of a glossy magazine, wears lots of fabulous outfits throughout the series, mainly consisting of really great structured dresses, often with bold necklaces. She looks particularly sensational in the purple shift dress, with a shimmery scarf draped around her shoulders – an excellent solution for any woman who isn’t confident about showing her arms but doesn’t want to wear a jacket…
Have you been watching Girlfriends? Tell us what you think below!
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