Before we get into the nitty gritty business of fashion icons, I want to relate a very disconcerting story.
I just caught my cat (Mirko, the boy one_ trying to smuggle a dead mouse in from the porch (in his mouth). So I grabbed him and carried him back out- but somehow between getting him from the kitchen to the porch he dropped the mouse. And now neither of us can find it. He’s looking a shard as I am. In fact, as I’m typing this he’s still wandering around somewhat bereft.
I can’t imagine that being a situation Grace Kelly ever had to deal with.
Call them my sartorial inspiration, if you like.
The fact is, every period of my life and ‘stage of my style identity’ has had a different mascot connected to it.
Some more embarrassing than others.
- Blair Waldorf, 2009: I told you we were going to get embarrassing. Well, here we are. On a serious note, Blair Waldorf’s obsessive perfectionism and struggles with friendships and her eating disorder really resonated with a 14 year old Connie in the throes of anorexia. Her frequently maniacal and villainous, but nonetheless admirable ability to control circumstances, scheme, and connive to get her way was also really… reassuring (?) for me, at a time when everything was feeling quite effed up. So head bands, cardigans, pleated skirts, proper frocks, pussy bow blouses, etc.
This was mostly aspirational- because of money and my unwillingness to spend money on myself at the time. Still, I had a lot of headbands.
- Grace Kelly, 2010: I got seriously into films around the same time as I got seriously into fashion (if you can excuse me for describing any trivial, largely feminine pursuit widely derided as frivolous as serious). My favorite movie, and the one that really got me into movies to begin with (are you tired of me saying that? I think it’s necessary exposition) was (is, perhaps?) Hitchcock’s Rear Window. As much for Grace Kelly’s effortless cool elegance as for the sweat gland-exercising, paranoia-inducing thrill. All about natural waists cinched with belts, pencil skirts, and straight leg pants. There was a time when I pretty much never wore jeans. Even in freezing weather.
Similar style icons include: Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, and Lauren Bacall. But Grace Kelly was always tops for me.
- Hanneli Mustaparta, 2011-2012: I was obsessed with Hanneli for a few years, which is super understandable because not only is she gorgeous, but she also has very unique pulled-together-but-unique style. I don’t know if she still keeps her blog, but you can find plenty of photos of her online to see what I’m talking about (she also has a not very active Instagram). This was also very much aspirational. Back when I was emulating the future Princess of Monaco, I didn’t know what a Chanel bag was and I could make do with thrifted and vintage essentials for an All-American slightly retro look.
When trying to perfect the MOD/style blogger look, things get a little more complicated. And my adorable 15 year old self was very sweetly out of her depth (so is my 22 year old self and so will I be until I die).
Here’s a profile of Mustaparta on Coveteur.
- No one, 2013-2015: And then college hit me like a ton of bricks, effectively tearing my mind away from anything that wasn’t studying or general survival. Or ballroom.
- Yasmin Sewell and Taylor Tomasi Hill, 2016: This would have been around the time I signed up to Pinterest, which led to a resurgence in my exposure to CLOTHES and a reawakening in my desire to wear them (not that I was a nudist in college, I just had lost interest in what I wore. Lots of jeans and sweaters and riding boots or flats. I had a uniform). Yasmin Sewell and Taylor Tomasi Hill were oft-pictured, and I really enjoyed their respective ways of interpreting and reimagining the trends of the day and starting some of their own.
Here’s an installment of Vogue’s Inside the Wardrobe, which I’ve talked about before, featuring Yasmin Sewell.
- Jeanne Damas, 2017: Drank the Kool Aid. It was summer and Kool Aid looked very refreshing. So sue me.
I will defend myself and say that part of the reason i fell into this one so easily was because my wardrobe was already very much leaning in a Seventies-via-France direction. I just leaned into it a bit more. 😛