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Jul 3, 2010

Jackie and Audrey: Style Icons for the Ages


Dress them up...



or dress them down.


No one embodied true Fifties style better than Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows.  Simplicity itself -- inspiring!

And then there's Grace...


Folks, it seems we're stuck in a rut when it comes to female style icons.  Are you with me on this? Maybe it's just the women I hang out and/or blog with.  It's all about these three, again and again and again.


Is it just the historical moment we're in and all the "Mad Men" hoopla?  It seems these women have never really gone away, not in my lifetime at least.  I say, Enough.

I brought this up with my cousin Cathy after our photo shoot on Wednesday and I asked her about her own style icons.  You know, she never once mentioned Jackie, Audrey, or Grace?

Cathy's style icons -- and there are many -- include:

Suzanne!

Valerie!

 Mitzi!


OK, they're pretty much all from the Seventies, but at least we've moved up twenty years.  They embody casual chic, with a little Bob Mackie oomph from Mitzi of course; glamour for a more democratic age.  More separates, less satin.

Cathy wears Charlie.


Audrey wore L'Interdit.


Need I say more?

Readers, who are YOUR style icons?  If you had to eliminate Jackie, Audrey, and Grace, could you still find someone to admire?

Is your style icon truly someone whose style you seek to emulate?  (I mean, how many Givenchy-inspired gowns can one person wear?)

Does she (or he) have one classic look you could describe and/or share with us?

Do tell! (You too, men.)

38 comments:

  1. My style icon is Giovanna Battaglia - search Google images, you'll see why. I feel that so many people considered to be "fashionable" have a "hipster" style, which doesn't appeal to me. GB just seems to want to look beautiful - she doesn't wear crazy makeup or hairstyles, and wears classic pieces but in different shapes and prints. It doesn't hurt that she's a former Italian model...

    I also like Natalie Massenet's style (former owner of Net A Porter.com).

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  2. Been watching the first season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and love the clothes on Mary. I also so Lucille Ball chiffon and bold color statements of the 60's, Katherine Hepburns tailored but casual style, and Ann Margarets sex kitten style.

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  3. Who can forget Carol Burnett, in Bob Mackie. She looked great in EVERYTHING. Wish there were more zaftig icons: Conchata Ferrell, anybody?

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  4. I love Sophia Loren, and yes, she may be not current, but even now the lady is gorgeous and stylish in her 70's. I remember watching Pret a Porter and thinking "When I'm her age, I wish I could look half as good."

    ~Kelli @ Smidgens

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  5. Carolina Herrera. I know she wears black and white to death, but she always looks fabulous.

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  6. Oh, yes Carolina Herrera! She's about the only current one I can think of right now. As for the past, Doris Day was an icon for me. Also, I love the clothes Lana Turner wore in "Bachelor in Paradise." Casual elegance, very 60's as well.

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  7. Nancy Drew and chums, Cherry Ames, etc. naturally (hence my blog's name).
    Kate Spade (http://thetrendsetter.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/katespade.jpg) She wrote one of my favorite books, Style.
    Claire McCardell, Scarlett Johanssen, almost all of the Bond Girls. I need to make up a more comprehensive list, one that is less on the fly.

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  8. I have always loved Ali MacGraw's look from from Love Story: preppy, classic, bohemian. A modern icon for me is Gwyneth Paltrow. She also has a classic look with a bit of rocker chic thrown in.

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  9. my style icon is the working woman in the 1940's. Any ordinary woman that dropped her iron and picked up a riveting tool to help the war effort is the woman I want to emulate. Oh, and Bette Davis and Joan Crawford if life were a fantasy and I was one tough broad ;)

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  10. Ack! You made me think...I can't say I have a particular style icon, but I have developed a sense of style. I like bold, warm colors. I like a 50's silhouette in dress, but I also like Michelle Obama's cardigan and shift dress look. I am big on top and I like to see curvy women showing off their curves and emulate that. Queen Latifah has worn some very classy dresses for red carpet events. I also liked Brooke Shields in the 80's and still kind of dig the retro 80's preppy look.

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  11. Laura Petrie (those perfect capris, that clever flip), Charlie's Angels (but especially Jacqueline Smith),Laverne DeFazio and Elizabeth Taylor.

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  12. Well, I don't exactly emulate her style (I'm just not tall enough), but I've always been in awe of Bea Arthur's Golden Girls era fashions. Bold and sometimes astonishing, her outfits never cease to amaze.

    http://www.celebgossipz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/bea-arthur.jpg

    At times glamourous and regal, occasionally jaw-droppingly C.R.A.Z.Y., always remarkable.

    http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/2009/04/27/BJ2sWjAqcHWIsQT.jpg

    Cathy could definitely pull off some of her looks, with her similar stature and *ahem* handsome beauty.

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  13. I really like Gwyneth Paltrow. She always has a simple, natural look. Maybe it's the way she carries herself... understated and elegant, not bold and in your face. Ladylike.

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  14. I have always loved Jean Seberg in Breathless. She has a good range, looking so cute in jeans and a Herald-Tribune t-shirt and so lovely in a striped sundress.

    And then Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. The outfit with tie and trousers is iconic of course, but throughout the movie she seems both modern (for the 70s) and nostalgic in her dress.

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  15. Queen Latifa for sure! and Bea Arthur, though more the Maude look. I love those long vests. I'm really not tall enough for them, but they do slim you!

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  16. I would say that my style icon is Jaclyn Smith in the Charlie's Angels days (not Kmart days). Sleek, sporty, slim.

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  17. Lately I've been loving Helen Mirren.

    No one ever notices her clothes because she isn't up staged our out shone by her 'look', and that's something I appreciate and strive for myself - I want people to notice ME, not my clothes.

    Plus, she's got a rockin' REAL body for her age, and looks fantastic.

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  18. Love that you mentioned Suzanne Pleshette - she actually is one of my style icons, especially on the Bob Newhart show. I made a plaid hostess skirt to imitate one of her looks on the show (still need to get on the blouse with the giant neck ruffle to go with it!) I'll echo Mary Tyler Moore (seems I'm stuck in a bit of a 70s moment too!)I love the looks Doris Day sported in the 50s and 60s, and going further back I adore Rosalind Russell - fab in her suits as a girl reporter, and even more fabulous as my hero Auntie Mame.

    Thanks for the question - I love seeing everyone's style icons!

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  19. I like Zooey Deschanel. She dress young and hip, but with a lot of vintage or clothing inspired by vintage. I absolutely adored her wardrobe in 500 days of summer. It's cute but with a personality.

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  20. It's easy to eliminate those three from my list because they've never been on it. Grace Kelly is especially boring to me. Ingrid Bergman is my ultimate.

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  21. Very clever, Peter!! I still hold to the theory that many of us have icons that were actually close to us. My best example is Issac Mizrahi, who has spoken about his mom and aunts in the 50s. If you look at his designs (even the ones for Target), that period just screams out at you. That man is a guy who just loves a dress with a big skirt. My style icon for years was my own mom - I remember thinking when I was little that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She was, for her generation, tall (5'10"), athletic (not thin, but she had a small bust and a definite waist), wore clothes well and was very clever with knocking off things she saw in expensive stores. I remember our shopping in NYC in 1960 and her looking at what she thought was an outrageously expensive cocktail dress (sheer navy dress with sleeves over a wildly printed strapless strapless sheath - a cocktail dress type that still exists though not in necessarily that formulation). We went to the Lower East Side, where she picked up practically the same exact print and sheer, which she made up when we got home and wore for several parties. She looked like a movie star. (as a matter of fact, with her features and red hair, she actually DID look like a movie star: Lucille Ball, when she was young). It's not as if my mom always dressed like the 50s - as a matter of fact, she was 'of the period' all time time.

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  22. I am my own Style Icon.

    And Alice Cramden is my hero. So is Katharine Hepburn

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  24. God, can't spell for the life of me!

    I think the big three have been beaten to death, and Audrey the most. Yes she was stylish and charming, but every time I look at her I want to shove a cookie in her mouth. That's just the overbearing Jewish mother talking in me. Please don't roll your eyes, mine is Diane Keaton. Yep. The menswear. Turtlenecks in the summer. White gloves. Geeky glasses. All of it! I think she looks just a chic as she did when she was young. I love that she's bold and puts her personality into her clothes. Personally I can't pull off the Annie Hall chic without looking like a waiter, but I'm definitely into tailored shirts, slacks and bold skirts that she mostly wears. :D

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  25. Zooey Deschanel. Her style, her songwriting, her voice.

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  26. I was mulling over this last night. As far as design for the female body I just loved everything Gianni Versace. When it comes to the modern day for someone dressing beautifully for her age it's Meryl Streep.

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  27. Louise Brooks some days...
    http://missmardinowak.blogspot.com/2010/05/hair-inspiration.html

    Ida Maria other days when I'm feeling a little punky!
    http://missmardinowak.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-style-icon.html

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  28. I like redheads - Toni Collette, Katherine Hepburn, Rita Heyworth, I'm sure there are more but those are the 3 who spring to mind. Also, I have a similar body shape to SATC's Kristin Davis, and I often look to her for style inspiration.

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  29. Like Melbourne Belle, I would say Katharine Hepburn. In her time, she had a unique sense of self and style. I love her attitude. "F#%& You World! I will wear (and say) what I want"

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  30. I've got no style. My husband told the dog to leave the room and make no comment on my wardrobe yesterday. He also recommended I giveaway a few articles of clothing I was attempting to wear.

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  31. Crissie Hynde. Everything from a black and white striped t-shirt with skinny jeans and Chucks to a ruffly shirt and tailored jacket. Bangs just long enough to be a little punk rock, a little cooler than everyone else. And she's a girl that can rock harder than most guys around. She's an animal rights activist trying to make the world a better place for those without a voice and she does it with class and style. Love her.

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  32. Katherine Hepburn (the early years) and Barbara Stanwyck. Now of course I'm going by their movie costumes but I believe Babs did wear the same stuff off-screen too.

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  33. Sorry, I forgot the more recent one; Diane Keaton, I love everything she wears and the fact that she obviously has a say in every costume she wears in a movie. Best clothes - Manhattan Murder Mystery. I loved everything she wore and I was only 24 yrs old then!

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  34. Rita Hayworth - (I have her hair)
    Liz Taylor
    Off duty Marilyn - I love her in casual clothes more than her "costumes"

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  35. Today, my style icon is your average four-year-old girl. I have red shoes, blue earrings, a brown shirt, a purple sweater and blue jeans. Yeow!

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  36. It isn't moving up 20 years (more like moving back quite a few). I loved the victorian and edwardian clothing before it was cool and "steam punk". If I had a style icon, it would be the female, tomboy version of Johnny Depp. Or maybe just Johnny Depp since I like three piece suits. =)

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