Today I want to give you a glimpse of a few of the women that influence my style, but as I pondered what I like about them, I realized that too often when we look to others for style inspiration we end up focusing on lack: I wish I had hair like that, I have to have those clothes, I can't afford any of it! And it hit me that it is not so much the clothes, the makeup etc. that I admire in these women but a certain attitude, each with a distinct brand of joie de vivre that is communicated through style. Thinking about what qualities you most admire in your favorite fashion plates and what moods they convey that are so appealing can get you thinking about the same aspects in yourself --how can you express these attitudes, themes, feelings through your own personal style? How can you find & cultivate your inner fashion icon?
Here's a taste of what these women convey to me:
In recent years, pin boards have gone the way of scented candles: fancy schmancy and overpriced. So recently when I wanted one (in another bid to be better organized) I decided to make my own. The plain cork variety just screamed college dorm --so not my scene. I used some decorative push pins and la-di-da decorative paper I had to jazz up a $10 cork board from Walmart:
I use the folds created by the diamond-placed pieces of paper for tucking notes and what-not in addition to pinning items.
Today I salute pin-up artist Alberto Vargas, an illustrator who was instrumental in shaping the "vintage pin-up aesthetic". Sexy, sassy and spirited --that's a lot to convey with pencil and paint but he did it. And when it comes to pulling off the breezy sex-kitten-next-door styles of the 1940s & 50s, nothing's better than channeling your inner "Varga Girl"!
I kept it pretty clean here...but Vargas also did illustrations that, um, left less to the imagination, so to speak. But sometimes leaving a little more to the imagination is far more exciting --especially when it comes to fashion. So remember that next time you nab a slinky vintage cocktail dress or hit the beach in a suit that evokes Esther Williams, Betty Grable, Hedy Lamarr or Marilyn Monroe: a peek-a-boo attitude is what's key, not necessarily peek-a-boo clothing!
Back we go to fashion land to look at one of the most famous style icons of our time: Audrey Hepburn. She is perhaps the ultimate role model for women who long to look chic but don't make much money: her wardrobe was so basic, so simple, all clean lines and wardrobe staples that can be got at any price. A black turtle neck or long-sleeved T, ballet flats, a tailored white button down, just to name a few. Even now, almost 20 years since her death, she remains as inspirational as ever. But I am troubled by what I observe to be a disconnect these days between what she looked like and who she was. It is as though she has been reduced to a paper doll, a commodification, an image young women buy without little thought or awareness of the inner beauty and admirable life of this woman. An entire generation of consumers now walk the earth that have never known Audrey Hepburn as real, a living person whole and three dimensional beyond the charm and polish of Holly Golightly. Thus, I see co…