It's not just about dressing outlandishly, although a distinct look helps anybody stand out on the streets of New York, Cohen said. It's more about how they carry themselves and the aura they project.
"All the women I come across -- and some men -- share this confidence and inner peace with who they are," he said. "Many of them will tell you they never felt as good about themselves as they do now, and for them, style is just one thing that keeps them going."
The fashion and beauty industry is starting to notice them, too. The baby boomers are getting into their 60s, and have a game-changing reputation and money to spend. High fashion and the beauty industry have tipped their hat to women older than 50 in recent years with campaigns such as Lauren Hutton for Alexis Bittar jewelry and Gitte Lee for French apparel brand Celine. MAC Cosmetics launched a collaboration with 92-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel, perhaps the style movement's best-known representative.
"People get bored seeing the same thing all the time and big luxury brands are trying to push the envelope from an artistic standpoint," said Zan Ludlum, a casting director who has seen modeling opportunities for women on Cohen's blog. "They're using them to raise the point of conversation that these women are beautiful and worth being celebrated."
It's a risk not all brands will take, Ludlum said. But when an older woman arrives for a shoot, the bustle of the room stands still for her.
"Everyone is quiet and interested in hearing what they have to say," she said. "The biggest art director in the world takes a step back from the rush, the machine quiets and everyone's just like 'Wow, we're so lucky to be in this amazing woman's presence.'"
It's a feeling 24-year-old Brianna Hurley knows well. In some ways, she feels like she has acquired a life's worth of wisdom through her work at Off Broadway Boutique with owner Lynn Dell, New York's self-styled "countess of glamour."
It's a message that's starting to resonate with some of her peers, she said, as her generation embraces the idea of style as personal and unique instead of simply something you follow.
"It's about the freedom to dress and wear what you want, and that's what Lynn and these women are all about," she said. "It starts from style but it flows into all aspects of their lives. They've taught me to take care of myself and be kind to people, with simple things like saying hello and treating people with respect."
"It's humanity at its most dramatic," Hurley said. "These women go through a lot, deaths, illnesses, personal health, but they're classy about how they deal with it."
For many, that's where blogs come in, as a means of working through the kinks of aging within the framework of style. After 33 years together, Judith Boyd's husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2005. Throughout the stress of Nelson's treatment, Boyd realized that piecing together outfits seemed to help her and her husband.
"He loved it when I walked out the door dressed to the nines," Boyd said in a recent phone interview from her home in Denver, Colorado.
She launched her blog, Style Crone, in 2010 inspired in part by Advanced Style. It began with a series of photographs that were part of the couple's ritual during her husband's treatment.
"Nelson would take a picture of my chemo outfit as we were waiting and I would blog as he was receiving chemo," the retired psychiatric nurse said. "It was a way to lighten the experience and to talk about it."
Nelson died in 2011, and her grief poured into her clothes and onto her blog. In a post titled "The Color of Grief," she wrote how disoriented and confused she was three months after her husband's death; she couldn't even choose an outfit.
"It's been healing for me to continue to express myself during my husband's illness and death and during the grieving process," she said. "The feedback I get from friends and followers on the blog also helps get me through. We hold each other up."
In her lighter moments, there's her biannual "hat room transition," in which she takes out her spring and summer hats and tucks away those for fall and winter. She wore a lilac-print dress and a felt hat, a little spring, a little winter.
"In the middle of the hat room transition, in the middle of the seasonal transition, in the middle of the [Style Crone's] transition," she wrote, "an outfit of transition was created with the inspiration of lilacs."
The realities of age aren't lost on these women. They've had time to grow up, to experience life's emotional extremes and still wake up the next day. Those twists and turns have not only infused their personality but also the way they dress and see themselves as they age.
"After my 50th birthday, I saw a picture of myself and it startled me, the wrinkles in my face," said Salamon.
"In that moment the reality of my age became apparent. Do I love my wrinkles? No. But I don't dwell on them. I look at my smile, my neck, my shoulders, other parts that are beautiful."
Judgments around ageism are part of why the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas prefer to conceal their last names and their actual ages. Both have full-time jobs and don't want the "frivolity" of their extracurricular activities to undermine their professionalism.
"If I didn't work for a living I wouldn't care," Valerie said. "I'll never be a spring chicken again and I'm fine with that. I just wish all these things weren't attached."
For some of the muses of Advanced Style, society's renewed fascination with aging gracefully has given them a new starring role, their last chance to leave an impression on the world.
"I'm amazed at how in this late stage I'm getting all this attention," 92-year-old Ilona Royce-Smithkin said.