Iconise me

What is a fashion icon? Who decides about that anyway? Why are some women universal style icons while others remain iconic on the individual level of unknown women? And what does it take to be an icon anyway?

“An icon (from Greek εἰκών eikōn “image”) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism. More broadly the term is used in a wide number of contexts for an image, picture, or representation; it is a sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it either concretely or by analogy, as in semiotics; by extension, icon is also used, particularly in modern culture, in the general sense of symbol — i.e. a name, face, picture, edifice or even a person readily recognized as having some well-known significance or embodying certain qualities: one thing, an image or depiction, that represents something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meaning, usually associated with religious, cultural, political, or economic standing.”

This is the explanation from wikipedia. The last sentence says it all: “one thing… that represents something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meaning…” When speaking of fashion icons these are obviously women whose style resembles something we all hope to accomplish, perfect sense of combining the items in order to get the polished, recognisable and unmistakable aesthetic perfection. It is also important that the woman has her own style that she is recognised for and that she continually develops it. But how can we say that someone’s style is iconic? It’s more or less like any art, you either know its special the moment you see it or not. It either arouses your senses and curiosity or not.

I have my own icons that speak to me with their unique aesthetic vision. From my personal point of view, fashion icons are women whose style impresses me because it brings out a certain attitude, it evokes curiosity, it draws attention and it stays remembered. There are numerous books written about the elements of style, style strategies, fashion must-haves etc. There are also numerous women who are commonly accepted as fashion icons thorough the world like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O., Kate Moss, Grace Kelly, Rihanna, Madonna, Victoria Beckham, Emanuelle Alt, Brigitte Bardot… I could go on for pages and pages. My favourites would be Jackie O., Samantha Jones (of SATC) and Rihanna. Each is special in her own way.

When choosing a fashion icon, we definitely think about what this woman represents and why we admire her. There are icons of classical, grungy, powerful, boho, sexy, pin-up, 60s and many other styles. So it’s basically still a personal choice. If you are looking for a fashion icon to inspire you, you should first take a look inside and see what kind of style impresses you most. What kind of clothes and editorials attract you in the magazines or on TV? What kind of woman you would like to be? Choices are many and it depends on you mostly.

It is important to remember that style doesn’t come from copying others’ ideas. You can get inspired by someone’s wardrobe but it is not admirable to simply copy-paste it to yourself. You should take it as a starting point and see what are the bases and the background of her style. It has a lot to do with body and figure. Also, pay attention to her statement pieces and pieces that she repeats. Maybe she loves gloves or bohemian hats, or transparency, or jeans, or smart jackets, or sequins, or certain colours and shades… Pay attention and study her look thoroughly, there are many details and things to consider. Once you have defined it and what it is built of, you can start making a plan and create your own wardrobe in accordance with your icon. Don’t forget to give it your own spices and touches so it would in the end be your own personal style.


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