“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves St. Laurent
Sorry, I know 11 is an odd number but I just couldn’t keep this list to ten.
1. Anna Wintour – I thought it appropriate to mention her first in my list because there is no one on this list who she has not influenced, and many of them are where they are because of her. Not only was she the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, but you can see her in another movie, The September Issue, a more real-life picture of her influential role as editor of Vogue. And hey! I was scrolling down her Wikipedia page and guess what her first Vogue cover was! The same one I’ve been using as inspiration for my outfits and fall fashion trends. Here I was blogging about that Vogue cover and little did I know it was Anna Wintour’s first cover from 1988!
2. Coco Rocha – My taste is similar to Coco Rocha’s street style, so I love getting ideas from her. She’s classy too – not all models would have the fortitude to turn down paycheques like Victoria’s Secret’s, and other skin-baring ads, but Coco keeps her standards higher. It’s refreshing in a world where someone like Lady Gaga is supposed to be a fashion icon but walks around wearing next to nothing.
3. Lana Del Rey – She brings the retro to us. Jackie Kennedy (as in Lana’s music video for National Anthem) is a style icon who we have no access to in our generation, but Lana brings her and others back into our view. Del Rey is exploring many personalities as young person and, that gives her character. As a young person in world of fashion, it expands my world to try on new looks through someone like her. Also unlike Lady Gaga, the “fashion icon”, she wears clothing anyone could imagine themselves wearing.
4. Kate Moss – Kate Moss exudes easy, uncontrived style. She’s like those ancient British mansions that have ripped corners on chairs and modern furniture that is out of place but doesn’t look it. It really is one thing to be fashionable but another entirely to have style, and Kate does. She also has unique beauty unlike everyone else around her. Her teeth are imperfect, she has a different face, she’s shorter, but she never looks like she tried too hard. Maybe that’s why we cant get enough of her. It’s insouciance.
5. Karl Lagerfeld – He changed classic Chanel, and revolutionized it in a way that would keep it alive as fashions changed. What would Chanel do without him? Karl’s one of the only designers who won’t leave to start his own line, and that makes him even more valuable. Style icons since the 20s have worn Chanel. For example, Jackie Kennedy (brought back to life in the Lana Del Rey video above) was known for wearing the iconic Chanel. Every year Lagerfeld’s wildly imaginative take on classic style is one of fashion week’s most talked about shows.
6. Barbie – Barbie brings the fashionista out of little girls. Also she is ultra-feminine, but anything is possible in her world. Barbie’s life choices are only limited by the imagination of the child playing with her, not by the fact she is feminine, and to me that is the ultimate style inspiration.
7. Lara Stone – When Lauren Hutton went to modelling agencies, the feedback she got from them was, “Get your teeth fixed. Get braces, then come see us.” Lauren Hutton said no. Guess who ended up having the most American Vogue covers of all time? Lauren Hutton. Like Lauren, Lara Stone has a gap between her teeth, and was often told that to have any modelling future she would need to get her teeth fixed. She didn’t, and that unique feature, like Cindy Crawford’s mole, is what made her stand out from all the other faces out there. Also, she changed the whole shape of models because she had more curves than anyone else in high fashion and that is embraced by the industry far more openly now because of her.
8. Taylor Swift – In music as well as in fashion, she reaches to the princess in in every girl, not to the trollop. She wears things you could be proud to wear and you could feel beautiful in and yet your grandmother would still like you. Pop gives us lots of images that can make girls and young women feel like they are only worth what their bodies are to men, but Taylor Swift goes against that current.
9. Gisele Bündchen – The one and only Gisele. She can change the direction of the stock market by endorsing a product. Yet the story goes that when she first approached Elite Models, they sent her away because her nose was “too big”. There is nothing about her face that’s ordinary, yet by breaking the mould she became the top-earning model of all time. She is an inspiration because her legendary presence and unique strut embody the confidence of a woman who knows just how good it is to be different.
10. Cindy Crawford – Try to move like this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B02DGmkqDDU If you could rock a tank top and cutoffs like that, how would the rest of your clothes look? Cindy Crawford was a supermodel who reached outside of the bounds of high fashion to become a universally understood force. There is nobody who can connect with the camera like the woman in the Pepsi commercials. She embodied the All-American girl with her charismatic presence. But in case you didn’t know, she didn’t go into modelling just because she couldn’t do anything else: Cindy was the only woman in her first year class of nuclear physics at Northwestern University when it became obvious that modelling could bring her an even better life. Brilliant, beautiful and hardworking: no matter what course her life took it was clear she was going to do great things. She became a household name and is now an entrepreneur with her own line of furniture.
11. Naomi Campbell – She was just straight up SEXY. You don’t have to be sexy to be fashionable, but she brought something to fashion with her over the top attitude that nobody else could. I strive to wear my style with the chutzphah of Naomi and Cindy.
Here is the video for George Michael’s Freedom! 90′. The models in it are Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz,Cindy Crawford, and male models John Pearson, Scott Benoit, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Formby and Todo Segalla.
So, what’s the common thread here, if any? Is it the fact they all embraced their individuality and brought that to the world of style and fashion in their own unique way? Their leadership?
Who is your favourite style icon?
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