Posts Tagged With: Canada

Ottawa Fashion Week

The week now ending has been an important one in the world of Canadian fashion.  Designers release their newest collections for the season six months ahead at Fashion Week, and Ottawa is the first Canadian city to hold its fashion week, giving us a taste of what is to come from our local talent.

This season, I walked for Canadian designer KLATT on the Thursday night of fashion week.  It is difficult to describe the positive energy of preparing for these shows and being a part of this event.

Klatt runway show

Klatt

Klatt’s styles are knitwear:  comfortable, imaginative and yet very wearable.  I enjoyed working with this talented new designer.

black dress

Klatt runway show 2

See if you can spot me prepping backstage:  Video

Wine and refreshments were served to guests who came dressed to kill or not dressed up at all and a gala dinner was available for those inclined to further celebration.  My time available for this event was brief but I was inspired by the designers, hairstylists, makeup artists and all the creative talent that went into it.  “Fashion Week” sounds intimidating to lots of people I think, but what a great night out.  I really recommend getting out to one of these if you haven’t been!

Challenges of this job:  how to get your hair back to normal:0ec68414-618a-40b4-8213-d4c1f942dbba 98215a59-25df-4b13-8490-9b3c97e858c7

Klatt show finale

Can you spot me in the finale “lineup”?

Have you been to fashion week in your city?  Would you wear this hair?

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Cat on Queen

Anyone who has spent any time in Toronto knows that there is nothing more typically fun for a fashionista to do on a sunny day than to walk along Queen Street West taking in the sights and unique shopping. I was out and about in the beautiful city and that is just what I did.

And when I discover something truly fantastic, it is my implicit promise to share it with my readers, so here it is:  Elle Hardware.

Mostly jewellery with a few other accessories and a few pieces of unique clothing, the style vibe of the store just captured me. Completely different from other jewellery and accessory stores, it as not too run of the mill but also not a cliché punk-rock look with your typical same old studs-everywhere look that’s been so trendy.

elle hardware store

inside elle harware

elle hardware necklaces

necklaces elle hardware

elle hardware jewellery elle hardware store

I spent a lot of time in this store, falling in and out of love with many things as I tend to do with jewellery, but then one item took my breath away. I had to have it.

cat and ring from elle hardware

Can you see its beautiful green eyes? Everyone knows I’m a bit of a cat lady ♡

Best of all, this ring allows me to nurture that inner cat lady even when I’m not with my cats.

When it comes to unique shopping, there’s no place like Queen Street.

You can find Elle Hardware:

Website: www.ellehardware.com

Facebook: Elle Hardware

Twitter and Instagram: @ElleHardware

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Bojana Sentaler: The Designer’s Road to Success

Bojana Sentaler

To be a designer – a dream for many including Bojana Sentaler, who decided to make that dream come true no matter what it took.

Bojana was uncertain as to what she what profession she wanted to go into when she chose Schulich School of Business, but says fashion had always been part of the unofficial plan.

“I always wanted to be in the fashion industry. Getting a business education at Schulich helped me get there.”

She takes a different attitude towards a career in design than some would expect, explaining that it takes more than just art and design skills to make a successful line. “Fashion seems to be glamorous and only about design, but there is a whole business behind it. I always wanted to have my own fashion line, it was a matter of finding the right opportunity to start”, she reflects.

Shortly after she graduated with a business degree, an opportunity arose for Bojana to travel the world, which inspired the birth of her own line of coats.

“I was greatly inspired by fashion, art and architecture that I saw in different countries. I had a vision of creating something unique and different that did not exist in Canada. The focus was on quality, elegance and timelessness.”

She learned about the fashions and cultures of places like Europe, Asia and South America. In South America she fell in love with the texture of alpaca fur, and began to see herself designing a high-quality line of outerwear from the rare fur, and when the time came to move back to Canada, this idea was what motivated her.

It was not easy for Bojana to get to where she is now but by planning each move she made carefully, she has overcome and avoided many difficulties.

“Like in every business, you face ups and downs. This is normal. However, I have always been very confident that Sentaler will make it and I have never given up.”

Extensive background learning in everything business and marketing, along with having a fashion and design-oriented mind has helped Bojana become successful in her field. “It is the combination of my business acumen, my sales and marketing experience on a national and international level, my pattern drafting education, my personality and love for fashion and keen sense of aesthetics that helped me to create Sentaler.”

As an entrepreneur, it is important for a designer to get into many diverse marketing events. Many young would-be entrepreneurs find it difficult to get themselves involved and begin contacting organizations to market themselves, but those who will make it most importantly have to like working with people, as Bojana does.

“I love being involved in different events and organizations,” she says. “This is what I’m good at.”

Because of this and because her line is so phenomenally well-designed, Bojana has not found it too difficult to have her line carried in stores of her choice, though for now it is sold mostly in the Sentaler Studio and online.

4 Sentaler Alpaca White Fitted Coat with Large Collar 2_0

“The Sentaler flagship store is Sentaler Studio in downtown Toronto, where the entire collection is available for purchase. Sentaler is also carried in selected boutiques.” Understandably, the designer places great value in keeping in contact with her clients, which is something she will not be able to do as her business expands and is carried in more stores. “However,” she says, “with Sentaler growing, it will be necessary to give Sentaler to more retailers.” When her line does get to the point where it is sold more in retail stores than by the designer herself, she will have to give up that personal connection with the clients. After all, she says, “the next step will be to expand in other stores across Canada and US.”

Thanks to online sales, the line of coats can be purchased from anywhere in the world, which means that Sentaler is an international brand. “However, for now, the biggest market is still in Canada,” she says, never getting excessively carried away by her own successes. “I am excited to see what the future will bring.”

Bojana is, as any good salesperson would be, concerning herself with details such as her target market, “women who have a love for elegance and an appreciation for high quality.” Right now she’s finding that that market is reached best through word of mouth, as one client will tell her friends about the amazing alpaca coat she just bought.

She keeps track of how her growth goals compared to her actual sales, which helps keep her business on course for success and lets her know what she can do to improve her sales for next year.

“Like with every business, it is very important to set sales targets and measure them regularly,” she explains. “This allows you to see whether you are on track and if not, what action plan you need to put into place in order to catch up.”

Overall, Sentaler is doing very well but as Bojana shows us, a salesperson’s work is never done, especially if that salesperson is also the designer. Bojana’s line is currently only for fall, winter and spring, but she’s working on giving clients something to covet in the summer. “I am currently researching lighter fabrics that are of equal high-end quality [to the alpaca winter line] for a summer line.”

Many reviews and websites call Bojana Sentaler “one of the top up-coming Canadian designers, which must feel good after all the work Bojana has put into her work. “I have worked very hard since the beginning so it is great to get recognition.”

Overall, Bojana has every right to be pleased with how far she has come, but she doesn’t let it get to her head. She wouldn’t go back and change anything she did, even if she could. Wouldn’t everyone like to be able to say that? Well, here’s how she got to that point: “Every decision I made and every step I took had a strategy behind it.” And that is how you can live with no regrets.

The hard-working designer has a few words of advice from her personal experience for would-be fashion designers.

She has learned that being different is not all there is, and that the best is not always the far from the norm. The trick is designing clothes that anyone would love to wear, at a better quality than anyone else.

“Don’t get so caught up in trying to be different. You have to understand that at the end of the day, people want to wear good quality clothes that complement their figure and make them feel beautiful, so stick to the basics.”

“Also, don’t start a fashion line without having a well-round business understanding or a business-minded partner.”

And in closing, “follow your dream and don’t be afraid to just go for it!

Keep up with Sentaler via twitter @Sentaler and on Instagram @Sentaler and like the brand on Facebook! Also, check out her WordPress blog here.

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Click here and here for past posts about Sentaler

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Spring Classics for Transitional Weather

Every spring, the red, white and navy of nautical style reappears in the world of fashion just as surely as daffodils reappear in the garden.  This year, another trend amps up the look: bold stripes.  The stripey trend is all over the fashion bibles, in bold black and white including vertical stripes on both loose-flowing pants and skinny jeans.  At the same time, navy and white or off-white vertical striped pants are a casual version of the trend that blends perfectly with nautical style.

photo_1photo_4

I combined my new navy-striped jeans with this navy nautical shirt from Joe Fresh for this look to wear to the mall with my friend.

A well-known advantage of vertical stripes is that they give the illusion of being slimmer, so wearing them on your bottom half is good for almost everybody!

elizabeth16

Photo from my recent photoshoot with Michael Ho. Kindly do not reproduce this photo without consent of the photographer.

On this warm, late winter day, with snow melting and sun shining, this outfit made me feel like spring is really coming!

photo_7

So where is my red?

red

photo

All classic and no glitz would make for a dull outfit.

All classic and no glitz would make for a dull outfit.

In keeping with the idea of lines and shapes, I added this geometric bracelet.

Pants: Forever XII (it’s true!)

Top: Joe Fresh

Jacket: Joe Fresh

Scarf: Sentaler

Bracelet: Forever XXI

Shoes: Aldo

Nail Polish: Essie “5th Avenue”

Spring:  Can you wait?  What’s your favourite way to “get the feeling” at this time of year?

Happy daylight savings time, and don’t forget to follow me by email by clicking “follow” at right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

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Top Ten: Spring 2013’s Best Fashion Trends

Off the top, the purpose of this article must be clear. You can go anywhere and find out what the big trends are according to who has thought them up, who is marketing and promoting them, or according to major magazines that carry the ads. This is not one of those lists.

This is a curated, personal, wearable and hopefully real-life version of matters for those who actually have a life they need to dress for. So no, Céline’s brightly dyed Dr. Seuss-ish fur sandals will not be mentioned here. Having said that, don’t come here hoping for tips on how to wear your old sweats. The magazines have been read, the stored inspected and the collections studied. I have consulted with philanthropists (who think I should forget about it), real girls and fashion lovers. I have nixed the ridiculous, even if Louis Vuitton says it’s the latest and greatest, and I have considered the far-out to see whether it really is realistic. I have even embraced things I don’t personally like but which I do believe have legs in the world of great trends.

So, without further ado, my list of what will make any wardrobe so much better this spring, and what will stay a while (not just a season) and what will work with an existing wardrobe.

3. Black and white graphic, photo from French Vogue

3. Black and white graphic, photo from French Vogue

1. Emerald green. If there is just one thing you can do to let the world know you’re up-to-date with your spring style, it’s to wear some serious green. Even an accessory can get the point across if you don’t feel like going for something as bold as a bright green top. Seldom has a color been hailed with the fanfare of this trend which, in truth, really began last spring. In China, it is the Year of the Snake. In fashion, it is the Year of Emerald Green.

2. Snake Motifs. Thank China. You can also thank China for a lot of overpopulation and small, lead-filled toys that should be banned, but today let’s thank them for one of the best trends of spring 2013. This trend really started in fall 2012, but it’s only been growing in popularity since then. Find this trend at stores with lots of accessories: a great way wear this is on bracelets.

3. Black and white graphics. Bold and striking. Probably the best trend to put your money into just because it always looks good in some form. Black and white graphics means that you put bold black or white stripes and other strong shapes against the other color.

Capture

4. Rachel Sin’s fall 2013 collection. Photo by Philippe-Olivier Contant

4. Polka-dots. A part of me started to cry when I saw the new fall collection of Canadian designer Rachel Sin. It’s not too soon to get polka-dots for yourself though, and you will be able to wear them into fall if you pick your colors right. For instance, goldy-yellow and black are in for spring and will be in again for fall (left).

5. Water motifs. Not sure yet if this is a result of global warming and reflects the threats to the environment like so many other recent trends. Designers have been showing these swirling watery designs in blue and aqua, often on a white background. Wear this trend as an environmental statement if you like, it’s your choice.

6. Low heels. Don’t expect everybody to wear this trend on the runways, but many tall girls will be happy to hear about this, and so will people who walk a lot. Don’t throw your high heels away though, because nothing will make your legs look as good as the perfect pair of high heels, but low heels can be a welcome sight after years of serious impracticality in shoe trends.

7. Hothouse flowers. Think of oversaturated photos of crazed garden tea-parties (below). Overscale flowers on everything from shorts to dresses, pants to blazers. Wear it head to toe for highest impact or just one piece to let the world know you have style.

hot-house-flowers-1_120504796008

8. Poppy motifs on clothing by Prada, photo from Vogue

8. Black and red and poppy all over. Prada, thank you. I can’t wait to see what you do with The Great Gatsby. Like me, many people probably have a lot of black and red to start with, but you might have to get poppies. Pins, bags, t-shirts and jewelry are all great ways to slip a few poppies into your life without looking back and feeling like Dorothy on her way to Oz, and wondering why you have such an overabundance of poppies in your life. Make sure the poppies you pick (pun intended) are “mod” in style or shape (see above photo), because realistic-looking poppies aren’t quite the look.

Dress from The Free People

Dress from The Free People

9. Denim. Lots of it. Denim comes back on a regular basis, but not this much. You can wear denim head to toe: baggy or loose, flowing or tight. Skinny jeans, jackets, shorts, dresses – every possible incarnation. This year’s denim isn’t really dark or patterned, it’s just washed blue denim, the classic style.

10. Crochet fabrics. Similar to lace but heavier, this look is feminine but can be worn a little more edgy if you add leather jacket. Crochet shorts, skirts, shirts and dresses all work well, but make sure you get a creamy off-white. My “covet” in the crochet department is a dress like in the photo to the right.Now that spring fashion is coming into stores, all I’m waiting for is the snow to melt so I won’t freeze to death. To be honest, I’m more or less ready for summer clothing now.

What about you?  Is your closet ready for Spring?  

What’s the top 2013 Spring trend that you intend to wear?

For more opinionated but instructional style posts, follow me by clicking “follow” at the right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

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Portfolio Update

If you have read my “About” page, you know that I require updated professional photos from time to time.  These photos need to capture different “looks” that could be useful in showing a designer that I would be able to reflect the mood of his or her clothing, or an editor, photographer or other person that I could be right for some other work.  The photos could show work that I have done, or can do, sort of like a resume.

Recently, I had a photo shoot with up-and-coming Toronto fashion photographer Michael Ho which resulted in some “soft and natural”  looks for my collection.  You can click “People” on his website for a few more pictures from this shoot.

I enjoyed doing this shoot, and these are from one of my favourite sets of photos:

blue dress shoot elizabeth8 elizabeth10 elizabeth11

Kindly note that these photos may not be reproduced for any purpose other than in connection with my own advertising or that of the photographer!

Is he talented or what??

Favourite dress:  Zara (where else?!)

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Party Dressing: Pretty with an Edge

I am in full-out exam and assignment mode, and am helping my mother prepare for holiday festivities at home, but I cannot neglect sharing my excursions with you as is my implied promise!  So this will be a very quick post to show you a different look that I wore with the dress featured in this recent post.

Last Saturday night was the date of a beautiful birthday party and dinner for a friend at school, held at the lovely King Valley Golf Course clubhouse in King City.  Happy birthday, “B”!!  Some people know how to throw a party, readers!

B's party outfit

For B’s party, I decided to go soft and feminine with this dress.  I switched over to nude pumps and bare legs.  I added this pink cameo-type necklace with the dark grey hematite necklace that you must realize by now is a favourite of mine, since I keep throwing it into every other outfit!  Pale pink or nude, with black and/or dark grey are one of the huge trends for holiday dressing, and also very, very feminine, yet the texture, weight and black leather details of this dress reference business wear and a little edginess as well.  I feel the dress is “ladylike” and that is the perfect note to hit for parties at golf course facilities, IMHO.  I didn’t have a soft and girly purse for this outfit, but adding burgundy to this colour combination makes it a little sultrier and less “sweet”, so I wore this vintage evening bag that I pilfered from my sister, and matched it with OPI nail polish colour “Susie Says Da” (can anyone explain that name?!).

Clutch and necklaces

Dress:  H&M

Shoes: Steve Madden

Cameo Necklace: vintage Holt Renfrew

Purse: Maurizio De Giacomi, from my sister’s closet

Nail colour:  OPI

 

Style Tip #1:  If you wear nude pumps and bare legs, your legs will look miles longer.  

Style Tip # 2:   Edgy WITH “sweet” is a great trend that won’t suffocate your inner feminist in pink fluff.

Check out my previous post on this dress per this link, and tell me:  Which way would you wear the dress?  Which of the two looks do you prefer?

Necklaces

At dinner

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Catwalk with a Conscience

Every year, my school holds a fashion show, “On the Catwalk, raising funds for a worthy cause in the GTA.  Area retailers contribute beautiful clothes to support the cause and showcase what they have in the pre-Christmas shopping season.  Past causes have included such things as medical research and organizations providing support for troubled youth.

This year’s event was held on November 29 in the school’s Performing Arts Centre and raised funds to support the upcoming service trip of a group of students traveling from the school to Kenya with Free the Children, to participate in building a school in that country.  This is part of an initiative intended to give “a hand up, not a hand out” to the people of that developing nation.   This trip is through Me to We.

The Performing Arts Centre was packed from top to bottom with fashion-conscious, charitable-minded show-goers.

Trend

Clothing from Trend boutique

Tuxedo Royale, Want

Clothing from Tuxedo Royale and Want Boutique

Over the Rainbow

Clothing from Over the Rainbow


Injoy

Clothing from Injoy boutique

Lancaster Rose

Up and coming local band Lancaster Rose performed at the event

Band

Another local talent performed as well

Your host, far right.
All clothes in this scene from The One and Only boutique

OneAndOnly


Thank you to participating area retailers, GraficInjoyLemonberryGirls and PearlsWant BoutiqueCrossingsTrendFlipsideTinge Boutique, The One and Only Clothing Store, Old NavyTuxedo Royale and Over the Rainbow.

If you are shopping in the GTA, I recommend checking out these global-minded stores, which are definitely a cut above in the style department.  Happy Christmas shopping and good luck with your holiday preparations!

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Vintage, Classic and Christmas Shopping

I went to the mall (again, sorry) last night to start working on my Christmas List!  Yes, to get ideas for others and tell Santa all about what I see.  Santa, are you reading this?

For my most recent malling, this is what I wore:

Vintage suede pigskin jacket from my mom’s closet

Leopard print top from Dynamite layered over my red tank top

Black jeans are from a store near where I live called Flipside

Combat boots are Bear Traps

Looking through the mall and trying things on for hours, I fell in love with this Classic British-style houndstooth jacket with elbow patches at Zara.

I really could use a blazer, and this one is just casual enough for my lifestyle, but I could also use a warm, casual coat for winter because mine isn’t so . . . “fashionista” anymore and I just have my dressier one.  I am looking at this gorgeous one from Zara, but I can’t find it in my local Zara store.  So help me:  which one?!!  What’s your advice–tell me below in the comments.

This is the only winter coat I currently have.

Which do I need more: a casual winter jacket or the houndstooth jacket above?

And as always, follow me on Instagram @something_cliche

44 days until Christmas!!

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Top 11 Style Inspirations

“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.

photo from Polyvore
http://www.polyvore.com/anna_w intour_pictures_rotten_tomatoes/ thing?id=17770967

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!

photo from Coco’s Facebook

2. Coco RochaMy 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.

I NEED these yellow pants
photo from Coco’s Instagram @cocorocha

photo is a screenshot from Lana’s video for National Anthem

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 MossKate 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.

source site unknown (blocked by virus protection)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

first and last photos from momlogic
http://photos.momlogic.com/galleries/barbie_careers#171801
center photo from “Una Vitrina Llena de Tesoros” (A Cabinet Full of Treasures)
http://unrinconenmivitrina.wordpress.com/tag/nutcracker/

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.

Lara Stone: photo from Vogue April 2011

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.

photo from Gisele’s Facebook

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.

photo from Cindy’s Facebook

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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