Weekend Style Inspiration

The Trench

With spring’s arrival I can’t help thinking of the trench coat. According to Women’s Wear Daily, it was Greta Garbo in the 1928 film, A Woman of Affairs who began the trend for women when she wore a tartan wool lined trench on set. Though I live in Los Angeles, where unfortunately it seldom rains, this doesn’t impede my ownership of several trench style coats. A quick scan of my closet reveals four: one in black cotton, another in tan heavy weight cotton, one in moss green wool, and a classic water resistant trench in beige. The ultimate age appropriate coat, the trench imparts a sophisticated tomboy air that is forever chic.

Greta Garbo on set in 1928

Greta Garbo on set in 1928

Lauren Bacall wearing Bogart's trench

Lauren Bacall wearing Bogart’s trench

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling

Loulou de la Falaise; image Peter Lindbergh

Loulou de la Falaise; image Peter Lindbergh

Diletta Bonaiuti via Harper's Bazaar

Diletta Bonaiuti; image Tommy Ton

via Harper's Bazaar

via Harper’s Bazaar

 

Sofia Sanchez de Betak; Tommy Ton

Sofia Sanchez de Betak; image Tommy Ton

Costanza Pascolato

Costanza Pascolato

via Blueisinfashionthisyear

via Blue is in Fashion this Year

Tommy Ton

Tommy Ton

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Weekend Style Inspiration

Denim

Although denim fabric has recently been traced back to the 1650s in Northern Italy, rather than to the French town of Nimes, as previously believed, it didn’t become a popular fabric until the Gold Rush in the 1870s. This Spring, denim is a strong trend in either a baby blue or traditional indigo wash. And with a raw hem, the American classic looks completely modern.

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Charlie's Angels

Charlie’s Angels

Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling

Kirstie Alley, 1981; image Brad Elterman

Kirstie Alley, 1981; image Brad Elterman

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, 1996; image Lawrence Schwartzwald

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, 1996; image Lawrence Schwartzwald

via Tommy Ton

image Tommy Ton

Heilburg; via Tommy Ton

Veronika Heilbrunner; image Tommy Ton

via Iconic.o

via iconic.o

via The Sartorialist

image The Sartorialist

Joanna Hillman; Harper's Bazaar

Joanna Hillman; image Harper’s Bazaar

Viviana Volpicella; image Tommy Ton

Viviana Volpicella; image Tommy Ton

image Tommy Ton

image Tommy Ton

Liu Wen; image Harper's Bazaar

Liu Wen; image Harper’s Bazaar

Christine Centenera; image Harper's Bazaar

Christine Centenera; image Harper’s Bazaar

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Personal Style

Marie

Marie works as a sales assistant in Burbank at one of my favorite vintage stores, Playclothes. She’s a gamine from Brittany who has a knack for effortlessly mixing vintage pieces with contemporary clothes in a playful chic way. Here are her answers to my seven essential style questions.

Target sweater and vintage leopard pants

Target sweater and vintage leopard pants

What do you find glamorous?

Glamour for me could be a low cut bias satin gown with barely any jewelry, or jodhpurs with a white shirt. It’s really about an understated elegance.

Who are your favorite designers?

Oh, I have a few! Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel and I will add Vivienne Westwood to keep things fair with all the French.

How would you describe your style?

I usually mix contemporary and vintage pieces, so I would say my style is eclectic. I like whimsical or unusual costume jewelry. I particularly love the look of the 1960s’ New Wave. My favorite hobby is to go thrift store shopping; it’s like a treasure hunt. Lots of my favorite pieces come from these outings.

What scent/perfume do you wear?

I have been wearing Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal. But for an evening out, I like to wear Jardin de Bagatelle by Guerlain. I love the scent of vanilla. Occasionally, I’ll wear Eau Sauvage by Dior; although it’s a men’s cologne, it brings back memories…

Is there anything in your wardrobe that you are purely emotionally attached to?

I actually have a lot of things! When I fall in love with something I usually keep it forever. But there are two things in particular that I’m attached to. I have a pair of black cigarette pants I bought in France about twenty years ago. They have kept their timelessness and go with everything. I also have a collection of Breton striped shirts. It is rather an embarrassing addiction because I’m from Brittany.

Who are your style icons?

I really admire Jane Birkin for her casual androgynous style. There is nothing better than a good pair of blue jeans with an oversized white shirt or sweater. I also love Charlotte Rampling and appreciate how gracefully she is aging. Lauren Bacall is forever a great source of inspiration.

What have you learned about style over the years?

To be daring. I don’t believe in following trends and think using your imagination is so much more interesting. It’s important to know your body and what works with your shape. Clothes are a means of self-expression; I see getting dressed in the morning as my little art project.

Elbow details on Target sweater

Elbow detail

Flea market find

Necklace constructed from flea market find

 

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Essays and Musings

What I’ve Learned from Charlotte Rampling

circa 1970 - Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

circa 1970 – photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

photo, Woman's Wear Daily

circa 1984 – photo by Michel Maurou/WWDaily Archive

For some years now I’ve been interested in the process of aging and in dressing appropriately for the part. This could be a direct result of having turned forty, three years ago. As I write this, forty-four is only three months away. But if I’m honest, I’ve always been curious about age. My childhood relationship with my grandparents is most likely to blame. I was fascinated by their customs and manner of dress far more than I was by the youth culture of my peers. When I think back to the older women who I admired and with whom I forged friendships in my twenties and thirties, they all seemed to have in common a certain kind of aura. The disparity in our ages lent them a knowledge and sophistication about the world, that was as yet, inaccessible to me. And so in a strange reversal, I saw older age as full of potential, while regarding youth as the state you tolerated in order to arrive at actual living.

In photos, the iconic actress Charlotte Rampling seemed to be the kind of woman who held the answers to so many of life’s questions. In her early career she wore dresses and was famous for often wearing nothing at all. She’s the kind of woman of a certain age who’s okay with imperfection, turning it on its head into an allure. I’ve learned from her that a tuxedo can be both feminine and sexy if it suits your personal style.

It seems to me, there’s a privilege and a power in aging gracefully. Unfortunately, in most of the Western world women are encouraged to hide the signs of age through injections and plastic surgery. But Charlotte Rampling has continued to be successful in her career by consciously choosing not to alter her appearance. Aside from her most recent TV role as Dr. Vogel on “Dexter,” Rampling, at sixty-eight, is also the face of Nars cosmetics. I’ve learned from her that the decision to forgo a youthful physical perfection takes great self-awareness and not a small amount of chutzpah. In her words:

This is the face that I’ve earned. This is the face that is me now. And if I’m going to carry on in the film business, I’m just going to watch my face grow older. I’m not going to change it in any sense. I said to myself, “The challenge now, if I want to stay in films, is just to watch your face growing older. That’s got to be damn interesting. That’s got to be quite daring, because you can start to do things.”

Here’s to beginnings…

Read the full conversation at Interview Magazine

photo Getty Images

photo Getty Images

Photo Nars

photo Nars

 

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