There have been countless fashion icons over the years and there are still many living today. Fashion Icons are defined as people who lead in fashion circles. An icon could also be someone who, while dressing trendily, is able to be true to a look that celebrates their own unique style and taste. It might also be seen as someone whose “look” is simply timeless and unaffected by trends. I tend to see a fashion icon as having that inescapable confidence that can make anything they wear….simply desirable. Here are just a few of my old favorites:
Jacqueline Kennedy (Onassis) is known as the most stylish First Lady in office and one of the largest fashion icons in history. With an air of ladylike formality and youthful grace, Jackie’s style still draws the inspiration of women. When her husband became president of the United States, she brought an era of high-style and glamour into the White House with the help of famed courtiers, including Oleg Cassini. Her good taste was influenced by her being born in the high society of New York and a distinct admiration for French couture. She remained strong during and after the assassination of her husband. When she mourned him, she wore Valentino. Throughout the Sixties, she became known for her impeccable style and grooming, and had a tendency to wear clean suits by French designers like Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior. Women all over the world today still try to achieve her glamorous fashion style.
Twiggy was a 1960s model who is known for her large eyes, long eyelashes, and thin physique. She is regarded as one of the most famous models of all time. After her rise in the modeling career, it was believed that the “Twiggy craze” would die down within a month; however, she became an icon and a supermodel. Known for the high fashion mod look, Twiggy changed the world of fashion. With her waif like figure, boyish hair cut and striking eye lashes she created an image that would epitomise an era. Twiggy became the idol for millions of teenage girls of the sixties revolution. She was also famous for drawing long, fake eyelashes under her bottom lashes. By the age of 17, Twiggy was one of the most famous faces on the planet: her photograph was even encased in a time capsule and sent into space. Twiggy was the world’s first supermodel: a skinny kid with the face of an angel who became an icon.
Marilyn Monroe After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early roles were minor, but as her career progressed, she became known as a major sex symbol and fashion icon. Marilyn Monroe never ceased to surprise people with her many photo shoot scandals. Even though she was a voluptuous woman, she never looked vulgar. In films, she deliberately had the stiletto heels of her shoes adjusted. One heel was made shorter than the other so that she swayed and sashayed as she walked. Her swaying hips helped make her appear more vulnerable, increasing her sexual appeal. Marilyn’s perfect natural hourglass body was perfect for the 1950s where womanly curves made for the desirable body image of the fashion era.
Grace Kelly was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress and major fashion icon. She was the first to wear casual sportswear, simple white shirts, white-stone Capri pants, flat loafers, shirt dresses, safari wear, jeans, headscarves and turbans and make it instantly and effortlessly fashionable and glamorous. She understood that, to wear casual well, she had to have understated make-up, squeaky-clean, shiny hair and be flawlessly groomed. The main lesson we can all learn from Grace Kelly, herself a former fashion model, is how to look ladylike: she made every single one of her outfits chic and classy. Unlike her blonde bombshell contemporaries (Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot), Kelly wasn’t overly sexual. In fact, while she was working as a model, one photographer complained she had “no oomph, no cheesecake”. Vogue called her “too wholesome to be mysterious”. But that’s what makes her such an icon: she was different than any other women of her time. Her look was clean, classic, and simple.
Audrey Hepburn was an English/Dutch actress. This Brussels-born beauty is one of the biggest style icons of our time. Perhaps it was the elegance and wit she possessed, or that little black dress, diamonds and pearls, and white gloves in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” she made every woman want to have, or quite possibly a combination of both. Like Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn kept it simple. She too loved clean lines and clothes that emphasized her tall and slim figure. Her physical attributes were very different from other actresses from her time, like Marilyn Monroe. She had a thin waist and was built like a ballerina. Her main fashion designer was Hubert Givenchy, who designed her wardrobe for films such as Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Paris When It Sizzles, Charade, How to Steal a Million, and others. The thing about Audrey Hepburn was that she also gave back to the world. She was appointed goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Grateful for her own good fortune after enduring the German occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the poorest nations. Audrey Hepburn’s incredible style lives on in women all over the world. The simplicity, the men’s inspired clothing, and the femininity make its way in the collections of some of the most well known designers of our day. We try to resemble our favorite style icon through her films, her elegance and wit.