As we look to inspirational fifty-plus women over the seas, artist and iPhoneographer Allo Greer, known by the moniker Motorcity Mystic, reminds us that life is too short to play small.
If you are one of the growing number of women over fifty looking to social media for inspiration — advice on how to dress, where to shop, how to find or refine your style — you will be aware of how challenging it can be to find a truly unique voice. Allo Greer is that shining exception to the rule that makes all the scrolling worthwhile.
The embodiment of one of her favourite hashtags #thefierce50, Allo’s appeal lies far beyond mere fashion, her expressiveness and authenticity are contagious, are likely some of the many reasons she was spotted by Ari Seth Cohen and snapped for Advanced Style. And despite turning 60 recently, it’s clear this fly ageless ‘possibilitarian’, dreamer, has no plans to slow down — she is only just getting started.
Born in Detroit, Allo made the pilgrimage to New York City in the late 1980s where she nabbed herself a Bachelor in Fine Art from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, before the Motor City called her home.
The artist and producer has garnered quite a social following with her vibrant fashion portraiture, which she says really took off in about 2011 when she got her first iPhone and started experimenting with various photography apps and tools. Initially using it to exhibit travel photography and some of the changes happening in Detroit at the time, Greer then turned the iPhone on herself, to document her love affair with independent fashion labels under the Instagram handle @motorcitymystic.
‘I remember the first outfit photo I posted, back in April 2015. I just felt good about what I was wearing and wanted to show it off. Of that first outfit, the hat was Ella Issac’s work – Living In Perfect Style (LIPS). The top was from Jimi King, a Nigerian textile artist, and the leather bag from Aakofii who make one of a kind handcrafted jewellery and leather fashions.’
‘Everything else I bought from Flo Boutique, a fun, funky store in what is now called Midtown in Detroit. I guess, that’s where it began. When I put something together I liked, I had to get a picture taken. It was fun. Almost a game. Oh, I have this, what if I put it with this. Most of the time it works. If it doesn’t I just try something different. You should always experiment.’
‘I would use the word expressive to describe my style. And I like comfort! I think, often we bind ourselves with rules that don’t always suit. Things like women of a certain size should wear this; women of a certain age shouldn’t wear that; this season is about certain fabrics and not others, etc.’
‘My thing is if it makes sense do it, if it doesn’t don’t. I’m really into boots these days, booties, ankle, cowboy – you name it! I just wear them all year ‘round. They’re fun.’
Allo laments that often, we talk ourselves into buying something because we think we ought to, or because trends tell us to. And then
sometimes we buy even when we aren’t convinced – we love the color but the fit is not quite right. Or it’s by a designer you like and you think
should have something of theirs. Her advice in those moments?