Image consultant Monica Flaum, center, offers personal style tips to a resident.

Fun and fashion took center stage at the “Advanced Style” event on Feb. 8. A full house of guests settled into the Wintergarden at Brickstone by St. John’s to view the documentary “Advanced Style,” presented by St. John’s in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Rochester, NY, as part of the Lane Dworkin Jewish Book Festival.

Attendees laughed along as the documentary followed the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal styles and vital spirits have guided their approaches to aging. The inspiring women featured in the film shared words of wisdom throughout. “I never wanted to look young. I wanted to look great,” said Joyce Carpati, age 82. Debra Rapoport, 71, said, “I feel the same as I did when I was 18, but I have fewer cares!”

Once the film concluded, image consultant Monica Flaum discussed personal style and her relatable sources of inspiration, including her mother and grandmother. Flaum then unveiled the complete makeover of St. John’s resident Esther Smalline. The audience was shown the “‘before” picture and then Smalline herself walked down the middle aisle to enthusiastic applause.

The event concluded with Flaum providing audience members personal style tips. She was then pleasantly surprised as she was joined by event guest and past area fashion writer Eve Elzenga, who showed off her own personal style.

The key messages from the inspiring afternoon are that confidence is key and you are never too old to look and more importantly, feel your best.

St. John’s serves nearly 1,000 elders and their families annually.

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