I like to think that if only I had the clothing budget, I would most certainly be devastatingly chic. I would have all sorts of edgy $3,000 blazers and no end of over the knee boots (the cool kind, not the Pretty Woman kind). Instead I must make do with the odd sample sale score...my best find being my Henry Duarte leather jacket which gets a lot of use when I feel like upping the tough-but-feminine vibe. But mostly I live vicariously through sites like Garance Dore and Jak & Jil Blog, admiring the look of those who have either more money or innate style (or sometimes both) than I.
As I troll these sites I've gotten to recognize the characters that inhabit the impossibly chic worlds that are being documented. There are many beautiful people, but only a few who really stand out to me, who stick in my mind even after their images are no longer in front of me. Emmanuelle Alt is one of those I just can't get out of my head.
Whether she is being ladylike...
or distinctly edgy...
...the Fashion Director of French Vogue is always compelling to watch.
I love this punk-yet-ready-to-take-on-the-world aura she has going here. I am officially obsessed with the shoulders on that jacket and the idea of the strategically ripped t-shirt.
And I point this image out only because I adore this Balmain jacket (one of the ones I would own had I the budget of course).
The most beautiful image of this woman is over at Garance's site, I trust you agree she is stunning?
Anna Dello Russo, the fashion director of Vogue Nippon, is another one of these hopelessly cool woman that I just cannot get enough of.
Carine Roitfelt, the editor of French Vogue, falls into this category of effortless, smart cool as well I think. I love her roots.
As I pored over images of these women, I stopped for a moment to consider why I was doing so. What made them so interesting to me (and also, apparently, to the loads of bloggers who document their movements)? The closest I could come to an answer is that, tempered with a clear intelligence, they project a stunningly high level of comfort with themselves, which is incredibly rare to see.
They obviously care about their appearance, and they like how they look. They are happy to wear outrageous or unusual outfits, unafraid of the reaction. They show off their bodies without fear (although frankly, with legs like those there's not much to be afraid of). They go out without much makeup and with undone hair and look better than those who've spent hours in hair and makeup. And most importantly, they haven't fallen prey to that terrible affliction that has befallen so many New York and Los Angeles women of a certain age, a reliance on various facial fillers and other injectables. Their faces look like their own and it makes them absolutely irresistible.
As does the luminous Tilda Swinton. I could gaze at her face for ages.
And Cecilia Dean, one of the founders of V Magazine, is totally fascinating to me. She's gorgeous but I've never seen her with a spec of makeup or her hair in anything other than a bun or ponytail, and she seems totally unconcerned with her innate coolness (which she has in spades).
And last but not least, the fabulous Daphne Guiness. If nothing else she challenges us all to get a little more creative with...well, everything.
So, a very belated New Year's resolution. I will be daring, I will be unconcerned, and I will somehow, someway, find a way to get that Balmain jacket in my closet. Are you with me?