Style icons: Harley Quinn

I was pretty rapt with the Suicide Squad movie.  Even though the critics have kinda panned it, I really enjoyed the film. There can be no doubt that a huge part of my love for the film came from the presence of one of my favourite DC characters, Harley Quinn.  After seeing the film, I was so inspired by Harley’s awesome sense of style, and I wanted to dedicate a Style Icons post to the mad clown queen of Gotham City.

 

 

Mod Harley

 

There can be little doubt that Harley is the queen of colour blocking.  She likes large panels of bold colour, usually in a half-and-half style.  Her favourite combos are red and black and blue and red with splashes of white thrown in for good measure.  Her two-tone look even extends to her hair, often worn in pigtails with dip-dyed tips for dramatic effect.
Casual Harley

 

Harley’s outfits are usually form-fitting or scandalously brief.  She loves being the centre of attention so eye-grabbing pieces are a must.  But although you might want to touch, you’d better keep your mitts to yourself.  Harley’s relationship with The Joker is anything but open.  He keeps her on a tight reign, and while their relationship is pretty dysfunctional, there are also strong elements of dominance and submission present.  I really liked the way that bondage gear and winks to Harley’s BDsM relationship with Joker were woven into her costumes.  Her “Puddin” collar, ”Yes Sir” cuffs and “Property of Joker” bomber jacket all speak to her submission to Mr J.
Daddy's disco princess

 

It’s the tiny details that are key to Harley’s outfits.  She particularly partial to diamond shapes, which harken back to her harlequin-inspired costume in the original cartoon.  Jagged edges and circus-goth finishings are also perfect for a girl who is more at home on a tightrope or aerial silks than with her feet firmly planted on the ground.
Rev her up

 

Interestingly, a large number of items in Harley’s wardrobe are inspired by sporting apparel. From her triple stripe sneaker stilettos to her baseball tees, Harley likes to blend a bit of activewear in with her outfits.  This possibly has to do with the fact that her weapon of choice is a baseball bat (when she’s not wielding her comically-huge mallet).  Harley likes to match her baseball jacket with teeny tiny shorts and a liberal application of bling.
I’m head over heels in love with Harley’s look, and it’s so tempting to sprinkle a bit of madcap circus-gal fun into your own wardrobe.  You could quite easily add a few small touches, or go for the full-shebang in two-toned gear, a collar and booty shorts.  It’s up to you how far you take the look, but once you get going, it’s hard not to go a little bit nuts.
Are you a fan of Harley’s look?  Which parts would you like to incorporate into your own wardrobe?
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Style icon: Miss Piggy in Muppets Most Wanted

I took myself on a me-date last week to see Muppets Most Wanted.  I was utterly blown away by Miss Piggy’s wardrobe in the film.  Now, Piggy has always been one stylish lass, but the most recent offering from The Muppets has taken her personal style in a more sophisticated and vintage-inspired direction that looks amazing.

This new direction has a lot to do with the fact that Vivienne Westwood designed many of Miss Piggy’s costumes.  One of my favourite Westwood-designed outfits included a floor-length tweed coat with a matching beret.  In typical Piggy style, it was accessorized with lashings of pearls and a pair of gloves.

Piggy in London
Piggy’s new style direction is also possibly inspired by her job in the previous Muppets film, where we saw her working as the plus-sized editor for French Vogue.  Piggy’s costumes in Muppets Most Wanted are infinitely more polished and posh than anything we’ve seen her wear before.
Glorious, 40’s-inspired up-dos are topped with an array of breathtaking hats.  I couldn’t get enough of the fedora that Piggy wears to take a tour of Berlin.  The beautiful hat is worn with a stunning suit and silk tie.  In typical Piggy fashion, she adds a smattering of diamond jewelry and her ever-present silk gloves to make this ensemble ultra-feminine. I thought  this outfit was extremely reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich.

 

Piggy in Berlin
Another of my favourite costumes from the film was a gorgeous brocade cheongsam topped with a vintage-inspired pancake hat.  I adored this look not only for it’s sophistication, but because it beautifully encapsulated Piggy’s confidence and poise.  I adore the stylish cut of a cheongsam, but they are often worn only by women with petite, slender figures.  It was so wonderful to see Miss Piggy rocking this look with all her curves on show.  Piggy is the ultimate plus-sized style icon, and she works her curves to perfection in this number.
Cheongsam Piggy
Of course, no Muppet movie would be complete without Piggy gracing the stage in a show-stopping gown.  Her on-stage outfits are more diva than showgirl this time around.  There are plenty of deep plunges, slits, sequins and lush colours on offer.  My favourite on-stage dress is the emerald green number that Piggy wears in Dublin.
Piggy in Dublin
I was so impressed by Miss Piggy’s costumes in Muppets Most Wanted.  I loved the way that her style has progressed and changed as her character changes, but the essence of her show-stopping style is still maintained.  There is still plenty of frou-frou and excess present in her outfits, but I love that the costume designers have allowed Piggy’s style to develop in this film.  Moreover, I actually wanted to wear most of her outfits.  If they put out human-sized versions, I reckon I’d be very tempted to snap them up for myself.
Have you seen Muppets Most Wanted?  What did you think of Piggy’s outfits?

My style icon: Penny Lane from Almost Famous.

Today I’m teaming up with a number of my favourite bloggers for another outfit collaboration.  The theme for this post was “My Style Icon”.  I found this kind of tricky, because I am inspired by so many different people and characters.  I could list dozens of people, both real and imaginary, who have influenced my personal style.  So choosing just one was kind of tricky.  I decided to select a fictional character, who has had a profound influence on my style, but who I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on my blog before.

That character is Penny Lane from Almost Famous, played by Kate Hudson.  Penny is a groupie, and her style is very sexy with a hippie feel.  There’s a good dose of rock-and-roll blended in there as well.  The film is set in the late 1970’s in America.  Although there are a huge range of vintage styles that I adore, I think that this late 70’s era is my favourite to emulate.  I feel very comfortable in jeans, peasant blouses and other folksy styles.  I love the relaxed and laid-back feel of this time.  This flowing, free-wheeling manner of dressing has a very sexy edge to it that really appeals to me.  There’s something so alluring about a peek of skin, bare shoulders, flowing hair and arms loaded with bangles.

DSCF8908I vividly remember watching Almost Famous for the first time and being drawn to the look of Penny Lane and the other Band Aids.  All of them were dressed in bright colours and sheer fabrics with a liberal amount of flesh showing through.  Their outfits always had a tactile element: feathers, fur, lace or beading which made it look as though they’d feel amazing if you were ever lucky enough to touch one of them.  The whole look was so fun and free, with a bit of a dress-up box feel to it.  You can imagine how that appealed to me!  At the time I was obsessed with Janis Joplin’s late 60’s fashions, but somehow these 70’s inspired looks were more my speed.  They had a sexier edge to them, and incorporated a lot more colour and fun elements that I loved.

DSCF8909For my own Penny Lane look, I borrowed heavily from the first outfit you see Penny wearing in the film.  It includes high-waisted jeans with massive flares (these ones are vintage 1970’s) and towering platforms.  She wears a little lace top and a delicate necklace.  Over the top of these, she has a huge fur-trimmed coat.  The one I’m wearing in these pictures belonged to my mother in the 1970’s.  She bought it when she was just 16 and gave it to me as a gift for my 16th birthday.

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DSCF8915I decided that it was only fitting that I take my Penny Lane-inspired photographs on my bed.  I don’t think she’d have it any other way.

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Even though I first watched Almost Famous more than ten years ago, I still find a lot of Penny-inspired elements in my wardrobe.  My love of bohemian and folk styles paired with jeans and cute skirts harks back to my teen years.  I also like to include tactile elements and rich colours in my outfits, which are a definite staple of Penny’s wardrobe.

DSCF8929I also have several items in my wardrobe which are directly inspired by Penny, such as my sheer button-down blouses and my fuzzy cossack hat.

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Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers who are participating in this link-up!

Jenny from Magic Cat Jenny

 

Who are your style icons?  How have they influenced your style?

My top 5 male fashion icons.

I write a lot about the people that I draw fashion inspiration from.  Most of the time, these people are women.  That makes sense I suppose, because I’m a woman and I wear women’s clothing.  But upon closer thought, I’ve decided that it’s about time that I focussed on some of the men that I find stylish and inspiring.  There are so many gorgeously-dressed men out to choose from, but these are my top 5 male fashion icons.

1. Johnny Depp

DSCF5837(Disclaimer: this isn’t the real Johnny Depp.  But he looked so close to the real thing that I was pretty excited, as you can tell)

Johnny Depp and I have loads of things in common.  We both love Tim Burton, we share a birthday and we like putting crazy shit in our hair.  I honestly think that if I were a dude, I’d dress like Johnny Depp.  He has this perfect mix of bohemian dustiness and dapper gentleman going on that I just adore.  His eclectic style mirrors my own in many ways.

2. Noel Fielding

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Image from http://www.zimbio.com

Noel’s style is just so much fun.  He doesn’t take himself too seriously and is just as likely to appear on stage wearing a flannie and jeans or a sequinned bodysuit and a bowler hat.  His style is a real grab-bag that’s heavily influenced by punk, glam rock and hipster stylings.

3. RuPaul Charles

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Image from Cool Fun Pix

Werk!  I’m not talking about RuPaul when he’s in drag, I’m talking about his day-to-day fashion.  Ru is always impeccably styled, and is a living example of what a difference a well-fitting suit can make.  He’s fearless with his fashion, choosing bright colours, striking prints and even bow-ties sometimes.  My favourite thing about Ru’s wardrobe is his fantastic collection of glasses.  He’s got a different pair for every occasion.

4. James Franco

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Image from The Guardian

There’s nothing groundbreaking about the way James Franco dresses.  He tends to stick to classic items that have a touch of vintage appeal.  What I love about Franco’s style is that he’s always perfectly groomed without looking overdone.   He’s not squeaky-clean and plastic, but he always looks freshly-showered and gorgeous.  He’s perfected the designer-stubble and bed-hair look so that it never appears grungy and dirty.  I love that “done but not too done” look.  In a way it kind of reminds me of Audrey Hepburn, who always looked so gorgeously groomed, without ever looking like she was trying too hard.

 

5. David Bowie

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Image from here

I’ll always be a fan of the glam-rock look, which is synonymous with David Bowie.  Bowie’s style has always been cutting-edge and his look has evolved as he’s gotten older.  He’s not fallen into the trap of getting boring with age.  Rather, he continues to push the envelope and dress in a gorgeous style that suits him brilliantly.  He’s a shining example of what you can achieve by experimenting with new things and not being afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  By allowing his style to change with time, he’s evolved into a timeless fashion icon, rather than being known for embodying a single style era.

Who are your favourite male fashion icons?  Is there anyone that I’ve left out?

Style icon: Coco Chanel.

If one were to make a list of the top five women who are thought of as being quintessentially stylish, Coco Chanel would certainly be on that list.  Her style philosophy has influenced many of the ‘fashion rules’ that are still in play today.

Although it is supremely different to the way I dress, I adore Coco’s style.  I started studying her as a muse when I was researching 1920’s style a while ago.  It struck me that she might be the perfect style icon for women who want to in corporate vintage styles into their wardrobe, but who don’t like clothing that is too fussy.  Chanel’s looks are classic and sophisticated, but they do have a decidedly 1920’s feel about them.  They’re perfect for women who are trying to add a bit of personality to their professional wardrobe, or ladies who want vintage style without the frou-frou or pin-up vibe.

Coco

If I were to choose just one word to describe Chanel’s style, it would be “clean”.  Her look was blissfully uncluttered and simple.  She stuck to a basic colour palette of black, white and beige.  While this might sound a little dull, I assure you that the absence of colour can truly make for a striking statement.  Prints were fairly sparse in Chanel’s style, although she did favour the classic look of a wide Breton stripe.

Coco in pants

The garments which Coco favoured where rather boxy.  The shoulders were emphasised in blazers and dresses with sharp angles.  The waistline tended not to be very defined, with the lines of the garment draping over the waist and hips.  Coco did sometimes wear pants which were cinched at the waist.  Skirts fell to the knee and had a lot of movement.  Coco was the woman to pioneer the idea of the “Little Black Dress”, and her wardrobe contained a liberal quantity of this style staple.

Black with pearls.

Accessories were a key part of Chanel’s style.  She was famous for wearing long strands of pearls, sometimes looped over and worn double or triple.  She also liked large stud earrings.  Usually, a single piece of jewellery was chosen to adorn an otherwise simple outfit.  However, if you’re emulating this look and you feel like layering your jewels, you can do so by pairing a stack of bracelets and a long necklace with a simple black outfit.  Coco liked small hats with petite brims, ladylike gloves and large sunglasses.

The makeup worn by Coco was very defined and quite sharp.  The brows were very defined and the lips tended to be coloured with a red or rouge shade.

Coco’s style is quite easy to emulate, because it does not require items which are specifically vintage.  Many of the items are classic and similar garments can be found in modern stores.  The muted colour palette also makes it easy to copy, because these colours never go out of style. It’s easy to find black, beige or white clothes to use as the basis for your outfits.

Do you consider Coco Chanel to be one of your personal style icons?

Style icons: Katharine Hepburn

A few months ago, when I was researching 1920’s style in preparation for the Murder on the Puffing Billy Express party, I stumbled upon some pictures of Katharine Hepburn.  I became totally fascinated with her personal style.  I’ve only seen one movie with her in it, and that was Little Women.  I was so smitten with her portrayal of Jo March because she seemed to completely become the character.  It was the most accurate depiction of the character that I’ve ever seen in film.  After doing some research about Katharine Hepburn, it made me wonder if the reason she made such an excellent Jo March is because she was actually remarkably similar to the character.

Like Jo March, Katharine Hepburn seemed to be remarkably clever and extremely tomboyish.  She was athletic and even enjoyed skateboarding.  Her tomboy tendencies were apparent even in her dress.  She utterly perfected the androgyne look, and was well-known for wearing trousers well before it became fashionable for women to do so.

Although she generally dressed in man-style clothes, her outfits always had a decidedly feminine edge.  Her trousers were usually wide-legged and tapered at the waist, to highlight her slender figure.  Her blouses were never slouchy or sloppy, but perfectly tailored.  Many pictures show her fresh-faced, but when she did wear makeup, it beautifully highlighted her strong features.  She seems to have preferred to keep her skin uncovered, and her brows and lips defined.  Red lipstick was a common accompaniment to her outfits.  Her hair was worn long and beautifully styled in tumbling curls or towering up-dos.  Brogues, blazers and berets were a regular part of her look.  She didn’t wear much jewellery at all, preferring to remain unadorned.

Me in a Hepburn-inspired outfit.

Her look is relatively easy to emulate.  It’s perfect for women who want to wear vintage styles, but don’t like wearing skirts, dresses or anything too frou-frou.  Katharine Hepburn’s look is also an ideal match for women who would like to work vintage styles into their professional wardrobe, because it’s so tailored and polished.  The types of items she wore are readily available, so you won’t necessarily have to scour vintage stores to find appropriate garments.

Katharine
To get the look, start with a pair of tailored trousers.  Choose a gorgeous blouse with a high neckline and tuck it into your trousers.  To avoid looking like you’ve borrowed your brother’s clothes, make sure that your garments are fitted, to show off your feminine curves.  Flat shoes are a must with this look, so choose brogues, oxfords or loafers.  Keep your colour palette fairly neutral.  Browns, blacks, creams and greys are ideal.  A pop of berry colour or jewel tones works well with this look.  Make sure that your hair is perfectly styled and your brows and lips are defined and filled in.  If it’s cold, slip a vest or blazer over the top of your outfit to finish off the look.
I just adore Katharine’s androgynous style.  She’s the perfect example of how a woman can wear man-style clothing and still look like a woman.
Is Katharine one of your style icons?  Have you dabbled with the androgynous look?

Style Icons: Twiggy

I clearly remember the first time I ever saw a picture of Twiggy. I was thirteen years old and my history class was looking through a bunch of magazine articles about the 1960’s. I was paying close attention during this class, because only a few months earlier my obsession with all things from the 60’s had blossomed after a visit to a costume museum. I was fascinated with the music, the films and the events from the 60’s, but more than anything else, I was drawn to 60’s fashion. As I flipped through a book about this monumental decade, the pages fluttered open to rest on a page of a strikingly beautiful woman. She was stick-thin, with a tomboyish haircut and the heaviest eyelashes I had ever seen. She was wearing a pair of coloured tights, a micro-mini dress and flat silver shoes. I was instantly entranced.

I’ve always been very slim and quite short. My physical proportions made it tricky for me growing up in the 90’s and noughties, when big breasts and tall frames were all the rage. I felt pretty inadequate when most of the models and actresses of my teen years were significantly more buxom than I. That’s part of the reason that I was so blown away when I saw Twiggy. As a thirteen-year-old girl, my own figure wasn’t too far removed from Twiggy’s waif-like physique. She shared my lack of breasts and hips, and yet she looked amazing. Her look was so striking that you couldn’t help but stare at her. For me, Twiggy gave me a wee bit of confidence that perhaps my surfboard-shaped figure, which didn’t gel with the preferred shape of the time, might still be something beautiful.

As I got older, I began to experiment more and more with fashions from the 1960’s. The mod look suits me well, because I have the flat-chested figure to pull it off. That first glimpse of Twiggy was what gave me the push to start experimenting with clothing from one of my favourite eras in fashion. 60’s fashion has left an indelible imprint on my personal style. I am a huge fan of graphic prints, shoulder-duster earrings and opaque tights. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve dabbled in dramatic eye makeup, and have a penchant for extreme mascaras. The mod fashion which Twiggy championed has become a prominent feature in my wardrobe, and is one of the styles that I feel happiest in.

I have that initial picture of Twiggy to thank for introducing me to one of my favourite fashion eras. It’s true that I have many fashion icons from the 1960’s- Janis Joplin, Edie Sedgewick, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe- and that each of these icons has influenced my style in different ways. I wouldn’t say that Twiggy has influenced my personal style any more heavily than any of these women, but she was the first from this era to work her inspiration on me, and for that reason, she holds a special place in my heart.