Omara Portuondo and senior glamour

Years ago – probably the late 1990s I was working at the BBC and I caught sight of Omara Portundo in the ladies loos at Bush House. I asked if I could take her picture and she kindly obliged. Her grace, glamour and style are evident – almost a surreal juxtaposition with the utilitarian, dull backdrop of the Bush House toilets!


This got me thinking about another glamorous mature woman I’d photographed in 2009; this time in the loos of a North London Adult Education Centre. This woman is  a visual artist – I think she’s a ceramicist or sculptress. She was actually in white protective gear. I feel she has the retro elegance of a Contessa!


Yesterday I had the privilege of seeing the Buena Vista Social Club at the Royal Albert Hall; the London leg of Adios – their farewell world tour. I thought it was a great concert and was moved, immersed and entertained. One of the highlights was Omara Portuondo’s performance – she is still in fine voice at the age of 84  and an incredibly powerful, charismatic and beautiful performer. She is also effortlessly stylish from the top of her head wrapped  head to the soles of her feet (which seemed to be in comfortable decorative Birkenstock-type sandals). Here’s a picture I took of her with my phone:





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