constantly refers to today's celebrities as fashion icons, but how
do we truly define the commonly used term "fashion icon"?
When I think of
the term "fashion icon" it's not Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who come
to mind— nor is it
Paris Hilton, Chloe Sevigny, or even
Jessica Parker. When I think of style, elegance, and the term
"fashion icon," I immediately think of former First Lady
Renowned for her
large black sunglasses commonly referred to as "Jackie O" glasses,
this woman was the epitome of fashion. Photos of this legendary lady
portray a timeless sense of style—one of simplicity and femininity.
With a focus on the understated, Jackie effortlessly presented an
impeccable sense of style, which highlighted tailored looks and
A-line dresses. A simple three-strand pearl necklace and a crisp
pair of gloves often accented her look.
French designers such as
Christian Dior. She also popularized
American designers such as
Oleg Cassini. Although Jackie loved
clothing, her "fashion icon" status was not limited to her
appreciation of apparel and accessories. With her entry to the White
House, Jackie ushered in an era of style and elegance. This was
portrayed by the menus she carefully selected for the State Dinners
and the restoration of the White House. With the help of society
decorator Sister Parish, Jackie aimed to make the family quarters
attractive and suitable for family life. She certainly had an
appreciation for the art of fine living.
ago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art recognized Jackie's icon status
with a fashion exhibit called "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House
Years." Through the exhibit, the public gained access to the inside
of Jackie's closets. More than 70 garments were on
display, including the fawn coat and signature pillbox hat Jackie
wore at the 1961 inauguration, the red dress she wore for the
televised tour of the White House, the beaded gown in which she
dazzled Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, and more. Decades after her
exit from the White House, Jackie is still remembered for her iconic
status and sense of style.
considers grace, elegance, and a classic sense of style key to
achieving this "fashion icon" status. We believe former actress and
Princess of Monaco,
Grace Kelly is also worthy of the title. Her
classic beauty and sense of style continue to influence American
women even years after her death.
The "Grace Kelly Look" emphasizes simple
lines and soft, pastel colors. French haute couture fashion house
Hermes even named a handbag—the "Kelly Bag"—in her honor after she
was seen carrying the rectangular, crocodile bag. Unlike today's
sought-after style, which often highlights the "bling," Kelly's look
was soft, subtle, and understated. A true classic.
also points to
Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in Breakfast at
Tiffany's, and the way it has
influenced the fashion. Hepburn's character gracefully
wore pearls, ballet flats, over-sized black sunglasses, and
over-the-top hats, which presented an elegant style that is still
mimicked today. Years after the 1961 movie debut, women still hold
onto the notion that the simple black dress and a set of pearls is a
chic must-have ensemble that never goes out of style.
Clad in a chic
black outfit, old footage of Hepburn was recently featured in a
commercial for the Gap—evidence of the continued influence of her
they have passed away—years after they faded from media
attention—the fashion icons mentioned here are still remembered for
their classic sense of style. In years to come, when selecting a
wardrobe for a significant party or function, will we remember Paris
Hilton, Chloe Sevigny, or the Olsen twins? Who will we think of when
we set out to recreate the perfect and always appropriate ensemble?
Written By Regina Cooper