Old Money - the elite style, gaining popularity

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015, she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod nnstories.ru, after which she created the author's course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" on its basis. More than 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by training, she is very quick to master new fields. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in films/series, about which she writes in the blog of her project.
What is Old Money? At the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, this question has become frequent in photographic circles. Everyone wants a photo shoot in Old Money style, some invent Old Money style processing, and there is even a neural network girl living in this style!

Let's understand what this style is, what is the "old money" lifestyle, in what TV series it can be found, and how to transfer it to photography.
So, Old Money. It 's the money you didn't earn, but inherited. That is, you are from some very rich family, and your family has so much money that you no longer need to earn it.

What does a real Old Money person do? Sails yachts, plays golf and tennis, attends horse races and safaris, goes to parties with Old Money friends. And when he posts pictures of his life on the net, he creates a certain aesthetic that everyone understands as Old Money.

From what century should we count the really "old" money? Each country has its own periodization, and while in Europe there are very rich and old clans like the Vanderbilts that date back to the Middle Ages, in America you can find an old family from the late 18th century.

Old Money is often contrasted with New Money or Selfmade. This is a lifestyle where a person achieved everything on his own and "made himself".

And here we come to my most interesting recent realization.
Despite all of Instagram's success, everyone actually wants to be Old Money!
I personally have never understood the aspiration to become aristocrats and the difference of money earned. Well, money and money, and if earned legally, that's superb. So, for example, in the series "Gilded Age" when some aristocratic neighbors don't want to go to a party with other, railroaded neighbors, was not clear to me at all. And referred back to "Atlas Shrugged," where I also didn't understand how you could hate people who work so much. They work, the money has to come from somewhere, doesn't it?
In "Mildred Pierce", the main character's daughter blames her for getting a job as a waitress. With two small children. After divorcing her husband. In 1930s America, during the great depression. Because working as a waitress from the little pianist's point of view is not aristocratic, it is shameful.

Or in "Good Doctor", Dr. Morgan Resnick's mother called her a hard worker for working as a surgeon, whereas her mother is a bohemian, an artist.

And it's everywhere! Including real life, it's very common to find people who speak dusrespectfully of businessmen and go to symphony concerts to maintain their aristocracy, even if they are actually poor.

It's amazing.
Remember "Gossip Girl"? Blair Waldorf acted very arrogant, like she was Old Money, when in fact, her mom was a self-made designer. And Dan Humphrey and Jeannie weren't poor - judge by the apartment in Brooklyn, how much is it worth? - but they just didn't rise to the heights of aristocracy. So, Blair just had a twisted view of life and people.

The popularity of Old Money style nowadays stands for various reasons

First, people are tired of diversity. Too bright advertising campaigns over the last 15 years have become tiresome, and excessive tolerance has led to population decline in many countries, which is very undesirable to their rulers.

Secondly, there is a lot of instability and fear going on in the world right now - wars, climate change, the effects of the pandemic. And people really want something stable. We want to consume less, which means we want to buy better quality and more expensive things. We like expensive fabrics, minimalist design, timeless shapes.

These are all signs of Old Money.

What is Old Money style photography?

First of all, this is a photo that represents Old Money lifestyle. Beautiful young people dressed in expensive brand clothes, doing aristocratic things. If sitting at a bar, it's on top of a mountain; if reading a book, it's in a lavish library.

Secondly, it's a photo with a specific filters for the 90s and early two-thousandths. A bit of grain, muted tones, such a retro flair.

And, by the way, all the photos in this article were taken by AI, but the neural network itself understands old money promts too literally - it gives out old money, and that's it. So, if you want to make such photos in Midjourney, I advise you to pay attention to the stylistics and promts related to Ralph Lauren.

And if you want to understand neural networks, come to my course.

But how to cupture such a photo?

There are two other concepts very similar to Old Money - Timeless and Quiet Luxury. And you'd better shoot in the Timeless style. Because it is very difficult to find really watches or a yacht on which representatives of ancient dynasties ride.

But to dress your model in some calm and stylish thing that could be worn in the 30s, and in the 60s - really possible. And you will make good shots and get into the trend.
Old Money is an important phenomenon that came into our lives not for a day or two, and therefore it is important to understand it now in order to meet the demands of society in the next decade.

Have you heard of Old Money style? Have you already seen it in today's culture or life around you?