If the key to personal style is knowing yourself, identifying with someone whose style you admire is a great way to figure out whether something is “you.” Even Princess Grace’s off-duty dog-walking style (above) captured in 1969 shows why she’ll always be one of the world’s fashion icons worth emulating.
Of course, style inspiration can – and should be – found anywhere and everywhere. Art, books, the colors of a sunset, even the innocence of a little girl’s hand-assembled school outfit that caught my eye recently is fodder for sartorial creativity. Her back-to school denim blue dress paired with red-wo0llen tights sparked an idea to revisit the fresh combination of color and textures as soon as the weather gets cooler.
In light of the news that the industry’s most forward-thinking designers are deciding to opt out off the traditional fashion calendar this season, and that the best of the rest sent models down the catwalk in thousand-dollar crop tops, finding inspiration outside of traditional fashion media seems well, sane.
Choosing looks from icons from the hallowed halls of style history provides a solid reference for putting together outfits with balanced proportions or recreating an inspired use of a belt or scarf. Taking inspiration from the style greats is more than opting for vintage glamour, it’s identifying with an attitude that icon had towards getting dressed. Whether its classic, eclectic, bohemian or a minimalistic approach, choosing your style inspiration is all about making it your own.
Classic Style: Grace Kelly
Was anyone more appropriately named than Grace Kelly? Her perfectly cut clothing in demure pastel shades set the standard for graceful, ladylike style that remains an inspiration more than 50 years after she first burst on to the Hollywood scene in High Noon.
If you want to emulate Kelly’s always-calm-and-collected demeanor, take a look at Rachel Comey’s nude Olto dress (above) available at Beklina. A classic staple, modeled after a timeless trench-coat silhouette, it’s sleeveless and fully lined and features a double button wrap front with panel flap detail, a collarless boat neckline and delicate pintucks at the waist. Worn with a long-sleeved turtleneck for season-proof style, it’s a solid investment in an enduring classic style.
Eclectic Style: Kate Moss
Mixing references is the genius of Kate Moss’ much-coveted cool-girl style. While a leopard print may intimidate most of us, Moss knows that introducing a slightly offbeat element punches up neutrals and turns basic skinny jeans and boots into a glamorous, but laid-back look.
Image: Amour Vert
Amour Vert’s Grace Peasant Top in leopard printed silk (above) is made in California and instantly creates an eclectic sense of style with simple separates—and if you fancy taking a walk on the wide side, it also pairs brilliantly with red and green.
Bohemian Style: Stevie Nicks
Along with her raspy voice, Stevie Nicks’ iconic bohemian style is part of her sultry allure. A free-spirited outsider, her signature hippie beads, fringe and billowing sleeves revealed an individualistic and romantic take on fashion.
For the dreamers among us, Ryan Roche’s stunning 100% cashmere cardigan sweater (above) injects some bohemian luxury into an everyday look. Warm and cozy, the cardigan doubles up as the perfect early fall coat. A detachable braided belt and hidden buttons secure the front.
Minimalist Style: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy
The 90s are fashion’s latest craving, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was the decade’s ultimate minimalist muse. A gift for taking avant-garde design and wearing in an effortless way endeared her to the era’s designers and style commentators. Her taste for wearing all-black outfits with clean lines and sleek styling means that photographs of her look as relevant now as they did then.
Maiyet’s Full Sleeve Short Jacket with hand hooked ari embroidered detail on the cuffs of the sleeves (above) is striking for its high concept and sophisticated cut. Made in New York, it’s a surprisingly versatile piece. Teamed with jeans or a pencil skirt, its understated simplicity doesn’t scream for attention, but rest assured, everyone will notice how you are inspired by fashion icons like these.
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Top Image: Wikipedia