Fashion Icons in History
There has always been an interest in what everyone around you is wearing, especially the elite – the celebrities, the movie stars, royalty. We look to them for inspiration and can still spot their influence, decades later.
Here are a few big names that just might sound familiar, and the fashion influence they brought to the table:
To say Grace Kelly influenced fashion is equivalent to saying Leonardo da Vinci painted a few pictures. This actress-turned-princess was one of the first in Hollywood to really develop her own “signature style” and became well-known for her uncluttered, clean-cut look. She appreciated simplicity and elegance and was a firm believer in wearing pieces you love more than once, which is why she has been photographed wearing the same dress at multiple events. Almost unheard of in the entertainment industry!
Grace Kelly is also one of the first to inspire fashion houses – does the Hermes Kelly bag sound familiar? That’s because it was designed for Grace herself. When she married into Monaco’s royal family, she continued to play by her own rules and set trends each and every day.
Audrey Hepburn is another style icon known for her clean lines and crisp look, and if you’re still not entirely sure why, maybe the words “Little Black Dress” will jog your memory. That’s right – we have Audrey Hepburn to thank for making the idea of a versatile little black dress fashionable again, even decades later after Coco Chanel initially introduced the idea. Audrey made the look fresh again, and as evident in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the public really took to it. That, and her infamous black capris.
While many of her outfits had the look of men’s fashion, there was no doubt of her femininity even during a period where bold patterns and wide skirts were the norms. Audrey kept her look clean and simple, and many still emulate her today.
Everyone knows Madonna, and unlike Grace or Audrey, it’s not because she kept her outfits simple. She changed the pop music game starting in the 1980s, and it’s never been the same since, and neither has fashion. Her outfits have spanned styles from punk, western, androgynous, military, even geisha and a touch of S&M, and no one really knows what she’s going to wear next, even now. Her outfits often reflected the tone of her music – for “Material Girls,” Madonna channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe. For “Vogue,” she drew from Horst P. Horst’s famous 1939 photograph. Her influence is alive and well today, too. If it weren’t for Madonna, who knows if crop tops would have taken off nearly to the extent that they have?
Whatever Madonna was wearing, people were taking note. Whether that meant a cone-shaped bra and pink corset, or simply befriending and wearing a new designer, all eyes were on Madonna for the next trend.
Originally published at marissaelman.org