Monday, July 15, 2013

Something about claiming a style icon that everyone knows, especially with all of their recent exposure seems cliché.

When you work in fashion, a very common question that you hear time after time is, “who is your style icon”?

Style is so subjective. Part of it is nature, like the environment you grew up in influencing you. The way your mother dresses, or someone close to you that you admired growing up.

Part of it is nurture, like where do you live, what’s around you? What did you do to cultivate your style. I was a designer before I even realized that’s what I was. Making clothes for my dolls, changing my clothes around. Wearing oversized blazers before that was cool mixing the closest thing to high fashion I could find with vintage and things I made. Studying fashion and learning how to make couture garments took that to a whole new level. Paying attention to all the details in constructions and handwork.

I remember loving fabrics growing up. My grandmother was a seamstress and she had jars and jars of old swatches. While everyone else was playing with toys and games, I would play with her jars of buttons and swatches for days and days. Summer after summer. Sewing little patches onto my dresses. Adding pieces of lace. Changing buttons. I could envision garments in my head just by holding a fabric in my hands and seeing the drape.

Then there’s actually putting on a couture garment. The way it feels, the exact precision in the fit. The hundreds of hours in the make. The feeling that your walking around in a piece of art. Something that took a team of people months to create from the inception of the design to the actual production of the idea.

Of course, last but not least there are the influencers.

For me, one of those has always been Brigitte Bardot.

Her playful, feminine beauty and effortless confidence has always been charming to me. That killer cat eye, and volume that seems to go on forever in her hair. Tousled but perfect at the same time. She knew how to be sexy without showing too much, an art that feels like it’s fading in todays world.

Hanging out in the south of France, making the bikini a fashion statement before it was a statement. It seemed in her era that she was totally free and adventurous.

I can’t say that I’ve studied her style, but every image I’ve ever seen of her has inspired me. There was always a playful look on her face, but you can see that there is so much more to her in the photos. She seemed to be ahead of her time, setting a style revolution.

Let’s just admit that the gorgeous Guess campaigns with iconic Claudia Schiffer must have been directly influenced by Brigitte Bardot, no?

The ballet flat, the pedal pusher, striped t-shirts, wide headbands, I could go on and on for the things that she made iconic.

In the photos you see of her, you feel that she was utterly fearless in front of the camera.

My French friends have told me of her home in St. Tropez. Photographers and fans would camp outside the walls just to try and get a glimpse of her, decades after she stopped acting!

She got her start in 1950 on the cover of French Elle at the age of 15, and left the spotlight in 1973 to pursue other interests, when she was at the height of her career.

Can you imagine that to this day, almost 50 years later, BB continues to inspire generations of women? If there was one person in the world I could chose to learn how to make the perfect cat eye, it would be her~~

Who’s your style icon?

image courtesy of pinterest

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