Archive for the ‘Style Inspiration’ Category
Carine Roitfeld, despite her age, is definitely a smouldering sex kitten, and she really is one of the most stylish women in fashion. She invented luxe grunge glamour, being famous for flashing cleavage and legs, wearing sexily staggeringly high heels, and having smokey eye makeup and an Iggy Pop hairdo. No matter what she’s wearing (which by the way, is always stunning and stylish), you are always struck by her presence, and there’s no way you can forget her…that’s why she is the highest paid stylist in the world.
Roitfeld, who edited Vogue Paris for ten years, starting from 2001, earned a reputation for bold photography, and an aesthetic that favoured the erotic. Initially, the public gasped, but now the boundaries have been pushed, and Roitfeld’s style has become ingenious. The buzz she created pulled Vogue Paris out of decline, and now the magazine’s circulation is at an all time high. She resigned from her position at the end of 2010, and she was a free spirit until the end.
Eva Longoria is a pint-sized style icon; her cute petite figure shows all tiny women over the world how to dress for their size, and look sizzling. Honestly, she is a pocket rocket, and after seeing all her amazing outfits from the Cannes Film Festival (photos will be up later) this year, and then going back to see all the outfits she’s worn to red carpet events over the years, I’ve realised how stylish and stunning she really is.
Eva hasn’t always been the popular and stylish woman she is now; she used to be an ordinary girl from Texas, who wanted her life to be more interesting and exciting. It wasn’t until she shot to fame with her role in Desperate Housewives that she really developed as a beautiful and successful woman and actress and her impeccable red carpet style has evolved through the years through a lot of trial and error.
Wrong colours, unflattering designs, and accessories that didn’t match were norms for Eva from 2000 to 2005, in particular, and most of her wardrobe choices on the red carpet were absolutely ridiculous. Later on, her red carpet style improved, and she started wearing better-fitting dresses that accentuated her thin waist and curves. She adapted glitzy frocks to her style, and made her makeup more effortless. That’s not to say, however, that she didn’t make any mistakes, but the whole point is that she has learnt to stop trying to satisfy fleeting trends, and from 2006 onwards, she has learnt to not try too hard. She instead realised that she looks more beautiful when she wears outfits made to fit her, as opposed to changing herself to fit outfits. She looks infinitely better when her looks are more effortless, and that’s what’s most important, and that’s why I think that she is a source style inspiration.
Although punk does get its fair share of representation as a fashion trend, all the body piercing, bondage, and bad DIY attempts with safety pins stopped it from ever becoming a serious fashion movement. Punk has generally been viewed as being too grubby. Debbie Harry’s tough girl femininity and fashion-forward look has made her the pin-up girl for not only punk music, but also punk fashion. Although she looked a bit “top shelf”, with her bleached hair, black roots and sexy pout, her gritty style put a glamorous and cool spin on artsy New York streetwear. Harry became iconic for her platinum blonde hair, that she soon became the name of her band, ‘Blondie’. She certainly was an icon for the emerging pop video movement, and rarely a season goes by without Parallel Lines and Blondie being referenced by a designer.
After Blonide met Chris Stein, and after they formed ‘The Angel and the Snake’, a band which later became ‘Blondie’, a distinct look, and attitude began to emerge as a fashion. In contrast and defiance to the hippies of the 60s, these early punks of the 70s wore dark, tightly-fitting clothes. Instead of being open and friendly, punks had a more wary, cool sensibility.
I think Debbie Harry’s popularity and iconic status are partly due to her inscrutability. We know her, but we don’t really know her. So much of her appeal is her aura of mystery. She’s admirable in that she always keeps us wanting more.
Grace Kelly definitely had ‘It’, as well as everything else. Arguably, the original American beauty, she had great movie roles, amazing model proportions, glacial sex appeal, and a truly fairytale marriage to a Prince of a minor monarchy. She also had a Hermes bag named after all, which, five decades later, still has a legendary waiting list. Most importantly, Grace Kelly had style.
Whatever she wore, on or off the screen, she adapted to her own unique look of uptown preppy-meets-smouldering siren. She got amazing pieces, and made them her own, giving them an individual spark. Kelly’s best onscreen fashion moments definitely include The Philadelphia Story, Mogambo, and To Catch A Thief. Everybody wanted her, and Alfred Hitchcock hired Edith Head; Hollywood’s most elite costume designer of the time, to lure Kelly away from doing a Broadway show with Marlon Brando, in order to star in his film, Rear Window.
Off the screen, as with on the screen, Kelly never looked less than perfect. She looked absolutely beautiful, even when she was just wearing white shirts and jodhpurs. Even at her most casual, she looked fabulously elegant. Princess Grace is the girl we all want to be: beautiful, stylish, talented in her own right, yet still married to a prince, and live like a princess.
No one ever suited androgyny more, or wore it better than Marlene Dietrich. Although she towered over most pint-sized actresses, and although she had fabulously long legs, she felt that her legs weren’t great. In response, she came up with a style that would make her stand out, and keep her legs hidden. Unfortunate as it was to see her lovely legs covered, her trend-setting style is what makes me love her so much.
When she first appeared in a severe masculine suit and beret, Paris society booed her. But it wasn’t too long before people started copying her, and eventually, androgynous dressing became a trend, with wide shouldered masculine suits became a signature. Many of Dietrich’s suits were designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, who exaggerated the shoulder line, starting yet another new trend. “Her masculinity appeals to women, and her sexuality to men,” British theatre critic, Kenneth Tynan said. Feather boas, plucked eyebrows, lip gloss, black satin and sweeping floor length coats are still considered “very Marlene”, and she really was a beautiful woman being a man, being a woman.
Surely everyone has heard of Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel; the French fashion designer who founded one of the most famous designer brands of the 20th, as well as the 21st century. She was the only fashion designer to be named on Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and she was considered as one of the most important people of the 20th century, for what she has contributed to the world of fashion. Throughout her life, she always thought modern ideas, she consistently pursued practicality, and she adored simplicity over eccentricity.
Coco left this world full of beautiful linens, but she was not laid down to this world the same way; she was born into rags. Her mother was a laundrywoman, and her father was an itinerant street peddler, and Coco’s amazing rags-to-riches story makes her even more special, and even more influential as a great role model.
Her creativity and great imagination brought the fashion industry a charm, and she certainly redefined feminine elegance and sophistication. It is not just her sense of style that people admire, but also her pursuit of making people more admirable as well. Though she is not here anymore, her words are so powerful that they stay with us forever. I, for one, always turn to Coco quotes to make me feel beautiful, inside and out. One of my favourites is:
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
Audrey Hepburn really was the picture of pared-down elegance, but on the screen, as well as off. No one who has seen her in her wonderful films can possibly forget the belted menswear button-down, worn with a long skirt and flat sandals she wore in Roman Holiday, or her capri pants and ballet flats in Funny Face, or of course, her oversized sunglasses and LBD in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I for one, love Audrey so much because she was still universally seen as beautiful, at a time when curves ruled (Marilyn Monrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Mae West…) She was the physical antithesis of “beauty” at the time; she had gamine features, a slender boyish physique, and a graceful gait born of years of ballet raining.
Every woman surely knows the signature style of Audrey Hepburn. Her style choices were always about comfortable, casual elegance, as opposed to sex appeal. She did not always catch your eye, and she was not always in the spotlight, but she certainly always looked classic and lovely. She defined femininity in the 50s and 60s, and she still stands as a chic role model for women today. From glamorous dinner parties, to a casual off-duty day, her style was always carefree and wonderful.
Michelle Obama is perhaps the first First Lady since Jackie Kennedy to be able to hold the world in such awe and admiration. She was originally just the wife of the Presidential candidate, and then President, Barack Obama, but it wasn’t too long before she became a world-renowned style icon. There is rabid fascination in all the outfits she wears; she is lauded for subverting rules, and for letting her individual style show. Michelle proves to generations of women that style and substance are not mutually exclusive, and that a combination of both is actually highly respectable.
She certainly has perfected the mix between high fashion and intelligence, and by all accounts self-styled, she exhibits the confidence in her own taste, which is lacking in many celebrities these days. Like a true fashion lover, and the highly accomplished professional woman she is, she has taken risks. Not all of her outfits are universally adored, but they certainly could not be ignored. Michelle is a Princeton and Harvard-educated corporate lawyer, who commands a sex-figure salary, which she obviously enjoys spending a portion of on fashion, from designers including Thakoon and Azzadine Alaia. She is famous for saying, “it’s fun to look pretty”, but I don’t think this quote sums her up sufficiently: Michelle makes it fun to look pretty and smart.
I perhaps should have posted about Marilyn Monroe months ago, but for some reason, I kept postponing it… Marilyn was more than your standard style icon. She was and still is an international sex symbol, a representation of Old Hollywood at its finest, and a pop culture phenomenon. Like other immortalised legends of her time such as James Dean and Elvis Presley, Marilyn fascinated the masses with her sensuous, glamorous good looks, and her classic movie star appeal. She tragically died young at only 36 years old, but even decades later, she still has an immeasurable influence over pop culture.
Films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and How To Marry A Millionaire were Marilyn’s most famous, and with her voluptuous curves, full lips, flirtatious eyes, and iconic beauty spot, it wasn’t too long before her spot in international stardom was immortalised. Films like Some Like It Hot and Let’s Make Love were also greats, and Marilyn’s performances in all of them were so moving and captivating, you could never look away.
Marilyn was also an icon due to the string of high-profile public figures she dated during her time. She’s been linked to Joe DiMaggio, President John F. Kennedy, and even Elvis Presley. Since her death, countless celebrities have admired and emulated her over the years, some even transforming into pop culture (most famously, Andy Warhol’s pop art pieces of her). Madonna and Christina Aguilera are only a few of the many modern celebrities who were inspired by her platinum blonde locks, red lips, and sexy aura.
I used to love Zoe Saldana for her amazing acting and dancing (Center Stage had the perfect combination of the two), but now I love her most for her style. Her husband is the CEO of My Fashion Database…I don’t know if this plays much of a role in why she always dresses so elegantly, but I think Saldana was born with effortless style. Apparently she used to love watching her mother dress up in bold colours and prints; her mum’s style definitely rubbed off a bit on Saldana, because she too is always in bright, eccentric looks. It could also be a mix of that, and her obvious body of a dancer and ballerina loveliness, but I hoenstly can’t remember seeing her every dressed in anything that wasn’t 10 out of 10.
It’s probably obvious by now that I love Saldana for her expertise in pairing fantastic prints and bold colours; mix-and-matching until she hits red carpet, and even off-duty gold. Her outfits are often wholly unique and fashion-forward, but most importantly, they always reflect her mood, character, and personality. “I look to find myself in [my clothes] and not to get lost in them. So if I see an outfit from a designer that I really feel will compliment my personality and I know that I would wear it well, I will definitely fight for it”. Although she does not buy designer clothes for the sake of it, she does have a wardrobe to kill for. I highly crave so much of what she’s worn; from the older iconic ones such as Lanvin, Givenchy, Versace and more, to newer, fresher ones such as Jason Wu and Isabel Marant, I must have it all!