On Fashion And Fashion Icons – My Top List
Anyone who goes to the cinema or reads knows that one of the most important things in creative literature is setting the scene for all the events that happen, such as the landscape or the score for a film. What makes a period or contemporary piece work is the authenticity of the costume design. If the fashion is not properly represented , nothing works. The glaring exception is anything Shakespeare, whose plays can be done in any period of history, with costumes appropriate for the time , and make perfect sense.
Fashion conveys many things, some cultural, some personal. It defines function (ie: pockets, zippers) and certainly the way we feel about ourselves. It relays messages and motive(s).
It can also be frivolous and accused by some of being a distraction due to its ability to mesmerize, but it’s the subtext and the underlying messages it conveys about the society , individually and collectively, that make it most interesting to me.
Four women of the twentieth century stand out as the greatest conveyors of fashion, probably of all time. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any men who had as much impact on fashion as these four women. The last one is the woman I consider the number one icon.
Katherine Hepburn deserves this attention simply because she wore pants at a time when “women just didn’t wear pants.” It was unthinkable. Too “man-ish” and a very (often for men as well as women) overpowering statement. Time has somewhat softened that attitude. She made pants her trademark long before maturing into the acting legend she became later in her life.
Princess Diana of Wales was reluctantly catapulted to the fashion public eye marrying into the “Royal” family that made “thrift shop frumpiness” a fashion statement in its own right. Chic, soft spoken, young, pretty, she became the polar opposite of her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth ll, by recognizing the attention and interest she could attract, simply by dressing up. On the other hand, whoever designs or picks the Queen’s cloths should be banished to live the remainder of his or her life locked in the basement of a hand-me-down flea market.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis defined the word Elegance at a time when first ladies were, to be mild, old, plainly dressed, with special podiatry -designed shoes. She quickly became America’s fashion statement overnight. Her classy style, grace and simplicity is what makes her so fashion important, unforgettable and memorable.
Audrey Hepburn – there is nothing that I can possibly add to what has already been said about her. She was voted by the American Film Institute as the third greatest Screen Legend. On almost every fashion designers list of The Greatest Fashion Model for all time, she succeeded in becoming legendary as well as one of the most beloved women of the twentieth century. Her thin, almost anorexic frame, was perfect for almost anything she wore, from elegant dress to black leotards. Although her feminine class and elegance were visible in her acting, in fashion, she also conveyed a model’s androgyny.
The question about fashion now is: What is the most popular enduring fashion statement of all time by both men and women?