Real Style shopping fashion bomb tv Style File Look for Less Breaking into Fashion Claires Life What to Wear Trends Designers Fashion News

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Signature Style: Lessons from the Pros

If you look at the styles of some of the most important personalities in the fashion world, you'll notice that each and every single one of them have a definitive, unique style that withstands trends.
Their signature 'look' can be as simple as a hair cut or as extreme as a uniform.
Let's take a look at a few examples:

Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue (aka the Fashion Bible)...
...dresses beautifully at all times, but Anna wouldn't be Anna without her sharp hair cut or large sunglasses.
Her buddy, Andre Leon Talley (Vogue Editor at Large)...
...makes his mark in suits of navy or black, donning sunglasses on occasion. Andre Leon Talley's signature would be his plush coats and capes. I heard he once had a Balenciaga dress made into a cape for a fashion show.
Karl Lagerfeld, designer extraordinaire, fabled for his collaborations with Choe, Fendi, and Chanel....
...has a look that is so extreme that it's hard to miss. His 'uniform' comprises a white shirt, and a sassified variation upon a traditional suit. Neckwear can be a bowtie, tie, or cravat but his sunglasses and white ponytail remain mainstays.
Patricia Field, costume designer for Sex and the City and most recently for The Devil Wears Prada...

...doesn't always wear the most fierce of frocks (surprising, huh?). Her only distinguishing detail is her loosely curled mane in firy red. Really, that's all she needs.

Lastly, Betsey Johnson, fashion designer... make the cutest dresses, but it all goes to poo when it comes to her personal style. But, you can't say that she's easy to forget! The thought of her conjures up a very specific image...

Fraggle Rock anyone??
OK, my point: Even the bastions of fashion don't waste their time (or money) getting the latest, hottest jeans, tops, or ponchos. The ones who set the trends are fierce enough to have one signature style, accessory, or full on uniform. Experiment with sunglasses (a la Elton John):

or new hairstyles/headdresses (a la Erykah Badu):

until you find a comfortable space.

I'd call my style classic preppy chic. I'm preppy during the week and usually wear Lacoste, J.Crew, Collared Shirts, and Argyle!

I also love classics. I can rock a LBD (little black dress) any day:

I like to chic it up using accessories (wide belts, jewelry, shoes).
I'm still looking for a *wow* factor that will help me stand out. Maybe I can cape it up like ALT:)
So what's your signature look?


PS, For all y'all not in NY, here's an early holiday gift:

PSS For those in NYC, Botkier is having a sample sale (Thanks Val!)

PSSS David Moins, writer for Women's Wear Daily, has the following quote in his story from today titled, 'Retailers Hope Cold Warms Up Holiday Sales": "Around the 17th of December, retailers are going to start marking down in order to stimulate buying, since they haven't seen the momentum they were anticipating," says retail analyst Walter Loeb, "Because of the weakness of apparel, the season has not met expectations." The 17th, you say?


Anonymous said...

Hi love love your blog as well as your style but in order to have a signature style, it should be timeless(meaning it shouldn't depend on what is hip or hot at the moment) so your use of "right now" when describing your signature style undermines the statement. From what i see on your blog, you follow fashion what is that piece of clothing or accessory that u can't do without?!? That would probably be your signature style!

Huey P. Langston said...

When Andre Leon Talley wears a cape he's actually channeling a one-time fashion staple amongst black men. Back in the 70's, guys like New York Knicks point guard, Walt Frazier would wear capes. Back in those days, a cape was to a black man, what a fur coat is to today's black man. That was definitely a pimpin' post, Claire!

Luvvie said...

Ok, I had an argyle vest almost identical to the one you're wearing in the picture today. And I certainly agree w/ your stipulations. I don't do trends, b/c I actually want to wear the clothes I buy for more than...1 week.

sloane said...

i just have to say that i am totally loving that lbd you have on. it really compliments your decolletage. i like classic clothing and shoes, mostly in black, white, or beige. to split the difference, i get creative with accessories. if i purchase something overly trendy, i try not spend too much, because it'll probably be out of style soon.

NelidaRoca said...

...and the hair extensions call hair infusion by Rodolfo Valentin, the best accesory to look great!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Ms. Wintour may not be the warmest out there, but her style is simple and sharp, and can be easily adapted.

FashionitaO said...

Okay I was sooo just discussing this with one of my girlfriends...but anyway I am in the process of coming up with a signature style and actually sticking to it but it gets kind of hard with all of the new trends...but my question for you Claire or anyone else I want to buy a nice watch it has to be timeless but this cute preferrably with diamonds but it can't be ridiculously expensive...can any one give me some suggestion or could you (Claire) one day do a post on nice watches Thanks