We're More Than The Sum of Our Closets

A few months ago, designer Hedi Slimane posted a series of pictures he'd taken of Frances Bean Cobain. She was decked out in grunge attire, tattoos, and a dense layer of smoke. To me, the images looked like a girl trying to connect to this god-like figure the public has made of her father, Kurt, who died while she was still very young. But that's not what other people saw. Other people were excited that she was "bringing grunge back" and were a-buzz about her potential as a fashion icon.

Most fashion icons are icons because people noticed their styles while they were busy being good at their other jobs. Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn were both fantastic actresses who had distinct fashion senses. Coco Chanel was a good designer who pushed her vision onto the masses. Jackie Kennedy's purpose was more than looking nice. But now we make people fashion icons because they model nice or because they paid a stylist to push them and their fledgling careers into the limelight.

I'm not saying Frances Bean Cobain is trying to get attention (in fact there haven't been anymore photos since), nor am I saying that she doesn't have style (although I think the photographer styled these). I am saying that I'm sick of "fashion icon" being a thing to create and aspire to instead of it being a side effect of a woman's own awesomeness.


becca said…
This is what bugged me when Gossip Girl first premiered. Everyone was calling Blake Lively and Leighton Meester fashion icons because they'd landed the roles of fashionable teenagers, but neither of them had enough of a career at that point to warrant being icons of anything.
Cait Throop said…
Yes! Agree, agree, agree!!!
Jennifer Wells said…
To me, Prince is a fashion icon.

Perhaps you will laugh at me. But he is always different, and always interesting.
Catie D. said…
But what about people who society perceive as "good at their jobs?" Everybody's all giddy over Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, and, while I do appreciate Gaga as an artist, they're both just pop singers. Sure, Gaga has some great lyrics, but let's face it, she's no John Lennon. No one's worshiping astronauts, soldiers, presidents, or authors. J.K. Rowling created one of the most famous book series, and, as one of the most wealthy women of all time, she rarely winds up in fashion mags.

I have this problem with the Kardashians. Kim has a big ass=Fashion icon, Khloe looks a little like Shrek=fashion icon, and Kourtney has the last name "Kardashian", so she's a fashion icon, too. Who cares? They are famous for possessing money they didn't earn, yet they are fashion icons.

And when I do see a celebrity in a beautiful dress, or a model posing in vogue, I have to remember that SHE didn't pick that clothing out. More often or not, she went to a stylist. She didn't design the dress, she didn't choose the accessories...she's just a hanger, and that's a little sad.

I do think that, for the mass of society, the days of worshiping a "fashion icon" for something other than stardom are over.

But yes, good post =D
Jennifer Wells said…
Why are we bringing grunge back? Why are we bringing anything back?

Look forward, not behind. As a child of the 90s, I have very fond memories of my teen years, etc., but I am already sick of this trend. I don't believe that any decade is better or worse, inherently, than any other. Few things annoy me more than making the past a holy, blameless thing. It's fine to enjoy a things from a certain time, but I hate "because EVERYTHING was better back then," or longing for the "good old days."

Nothing ages you faster.
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