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Over the years, there have been a few key female figures who have firmly held the title- style icon. These women were true trailblazers in fashion during their times, setting trends and creating movements. The true marker of a style icon is their lasting inspiration to women of all ages and periods. We have selected a few of our favourite style icons over the decades.
An actress who shunned the press in favour of staying out of the spotlight, Katherine Hepburn was the original wearer of androgynous clothing. While her peers wore sequins, curve hugging clothing, Hepburn chose wide leg trousers and loose, crisp shirts. Her style was one of comfort and practicality and fashion houses followed her embrace of traditional menswear with designs for the modern woman. Her style is still referenced year on year on fashion catwalks around the world.
An actress renowned for her beauty, Ava Gardner lit up television screens effortlessly. She was famous for making the neckerchief popular as well as the belted waist for a cinched in look. Her style was all about the glamour of Hollywood and her dresses and love of blue hues were immortalised in fashion history.
Perhaps the epitome of a style icon is Audrey Hepburn. Actor and celebrity fashionista, her simple and classic style burst on to the scene in the 1950s and since then she has continued her legacy as a symbol of classic, elegant style.
The wife of an American president, Jackie Kennedy became a fashion icon with her feminine and poised looks. Her two piece suits became the rage at the time as well as carefully coiffed hair and dark sunglasses. Her style was mimicked across the United States and spread around the world in popularity.
A French model and singer who the world was enamoured with, Jane Birkin became famous for her cool, off duty dressing. It was a simple and effortless sense of style that was truly a diversion from the 70s flower power era and for this it was refreshing and alluring look for the period. Her classic jeans and a white tshirt have continued their legacy into present day.
One of the most controversial style icons is Madonna, singer and actress who challenged norms and always caused a stir!
From conical bras to patent leather boots and controversial references to Catholicism, Madonna has influenced trends and made huge statements in the fashion arena like no one else!
Model Kate Moss defined the 1990s with her pared down and minimalist style. Her thin frame was the perfect base for the simple slips, leather jackets and tailored blazers. She is as much a style icon today as she was in this period with many looks coming back into circulation!
SJP had a number of fashion titles under her belt in the 80s and 90s, but in the 2000s she truly shot to stardom with the Sex and the City tv series. Her on-screen character had an addiction to fashion and a shockingly large shoe collection which mirrored the real life woman’s love of fashion. Her style embraced experimentation, the mixing of textures and colours all with a strong feminine streak running through it.
The jury is still out on who will be our favourite style icon of the 2010s. In an era of social media with platforms like Instagram, we have so many more sources of inspiration for fashion and style. We’ll be back with a closer look at our current favourite style icons soon.
Who are your favourites?