Wednesday, January 17

Style file

I thought it would be fun to do a posting on style icons. When it comes to classic style, I usually take my cues from women like Diana Vreeland, Elsie De Wolfe, Coco Chanel and Jackie Kennedy. Each had a unique ability to transform the vulgarity of existence into a living work of art on a daily basis.

I especially like Babe Paley. During the 40’s and 50’s Babe Paley was the high priestess of the social arts, beauty, fashion and entertaining.

Barbara Cushing Mortimer Paley was one of the four stylish and beautiful women that Truman Copote referred to as his “swans”. The others included Slim Keith, Gloria Guinness, and C.Z. Guest. Of all four, Babe was the most exalted.

No one could entertain with the grace of Babe Paley. Guests who were invited to join the exclusive "Paley" club were treated with the luxuries only offered in the grandest of hotels in Europe. Servants were bountiful; food was spectacular, and the surroundings breathtaking. It is this legendary entertaining that made the Paleys the most sought after couple in New York.

In addition to this lavish entertaining, Babe maintained her position on the best-dressed list fourteen times before being inducted into the Fashion Hall of Fame in 1958. Her personal style was inspirational to thousands of women who tried to copy her, but as Bill Blass once observed, “I never saw her not grab anyone’s attention, the hair, the makeup, the crispness. You were never conscious of what she was wearing; you noticed Babe and nothing else.”

So, who are some of your favourite style icons?

C.Z. Guest, Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness


The Peak of Chic said...

Just discovered your fabulous blog!
I too admired Babe Paley's style, and I esp. loved her taxicab yellow living room designed by Parish Hadley.

Also am crazy about Diana Vreeland's style, although it was far more "unusual" than that of Babe or C.Z.

Michele said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if current, young celebs looked to the style icons for inspiration (yes, Britney I'm talking to you!)? I love love love Grace Kelly, Jackie-O, etc.

kstyle said...

I always loved Lee Remick. I thought she had that crispness that you describe Babe Paley as having. She was so gorgeous and always looked amazing. k

the preppy princess said...

You mentioned all my favorites!