Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Style Icons

Lauren Conrad had a blog post today about her favorite fashion icons.  This got me to thinking, of course, who are my fashion or style icons?

I would say I have many, but the Top Six are:  Bette Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tina Chow, Greta Garbo and Jackie Onassis and her sister, Lee Radziwill.

I love Bette Davis specifically in her "All About Eve" performance.  She plays a diva, a star of the stage, and she does it brilliantly.  I love the nipped-in waists of her dresses and suits in that film, and the structured silhouettes.  Beyond that, I love her temperamental, insecure, all-too-human portrayal of a woman at the top of her game, with the wannabes nipping at her heels.  True love and Bette emerge triumphant!  
Gwyneth Paltrow always looks radiant.  With her long blond hair and slim, erect figure, she always shines out from the crowd of celebrities, even when she wears neutrals.  In addition to that, I think she's a very talented actress and she takes roles that I find intriguing, such as her roles in "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Possession," and "Sylvia."  She diversifies her talents as well, not being satisfied merely with acting:  She sings, she dances, and she's an excellent cook, in addition to being an author.  She is truly multi-talented!
Tina Chow, nee Bettina Lutz, died in 1992, from complications related to AIDS.  She became one of the first heterosexual women in the media to bear that distinction.  She was 41 years old.  However, in the short time she was alive, she influenced many artists, designers and photographers.  She had her own style, which bucked the trends of the 70's disco era, and the big hair and neon-bright  colors of the 80's.  Her usual work uniform was a pair of jodhpurs and a men's white high-quality cotton t-shirt, or a white t-shirt, black Kenzo pants, and a gray cashmere cardigan.  She designed her own jewelry line for Bergdorf Goodman (see photo above), using crystal and bamboo.  She wore her short black hair closely cropped and slicked back.  New York Magazine did an article on her some years back, titled, "Lost Angel."  It is unfortunate that her creative spark was extinguished too soon.  
Miss Greta Garbo, nee Greta Gustafson.  No one ever did menswear as well before or since.    Garbo had a quiet elegance that came across no matter what costumes she wore for her movies.  I don't think I need to explain her charms, do I?  The picture says it all.  
I love this photo of Lee Radziwill and Jackie Onassis at the market in Capri.  Both ladies were icons of style, and you can see their simple, casual elegance in this photo.  It's relaxed, but not sloppy; youthful, but not trendy.  Just classic, simple lines.  
All  of my style icons have a certain simplicity and austerity in their personal style.  This suits me.  You'll notice three of the photos are black and white - I favor neutrals over colors (except pink and blue, can't get enough of those!) and I dislike elaborate or fussy designs.  I know, this is very "white bread and mayonnaise" style, but I crave simplicity, structure and clean lines.  Probably because life is so unpredictable and complicated!

*I got the photos in this post from the Internet, specifically Google Images.  Copyright wasn't clear, so if you own the copyright to these photos and want me to take them down, just let me know and I'll comply.  If you wish to be credited, let me know that, too.  I respect copyright laws.