We all take style inspiration from different sources. Everything from politics and culture, to fame and the media has the power to change what we wear — but who are the female icons that have truly transformed how we dress?
Pinpointing the moment a style leapt from the side-lines into mainstream fashion is near impossible. However, sometimes, all it takes is the drive and power of a single female icon to create a revolution. Check out the leading women fashion influencers and find out how to bring their iconic trends into 2018.
Mary Quant and the miniskirt
The miniskirt is one of the greatest icons of the Swinging Sixties and British designer, Mary Quant, was the sole driving force behind it, taking it from alternative to mainstream almost immediately.
Although experimenting with the short hemline much earlier, it was around 1964 that she started creating miniskirts — named after Quant’s favourite car — in her London boutique. Sitting around six or seven inches above the knee, the style was revolutionary at a time when young women were still expected to dress like their mothers.
Soon, the garment went global and was worn by 1960s’ icons including Jean Shrimpton, Goldie Hawn and Jackie Kennedy. During the 1970s, the popularity of the miniskirt waned. However, rock legend, Debbie Harry, brought it back in true PVC style, before Madonna put her own tulle-embellished stamp on it at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards and 1990s’ girl Britney Spears took it in a fresh direction with barely-there cropped tops.
The miniskirt came at the ideal time — during a decade hallmarked by emerging youth culture and sexual freedom for women. Often considered a symbol of female rebellion against the status quo of fashion, the miniskirt is still causing controversy today in certain religions and countries.
Get the look:
Skorts are big in 2018 — so why not go for this style and infuse your current wardrobe with the 1960s? Alternatively, try a frill mini skirt with a cute cami for an interesting outline, or rock an embroidered denim number with a cold-shoulder top when the spring-summer season gets underway.
Audrey Hepburn and the LBD
There are hundreds of famous film costumes, but few carry the legendary status of Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s number. Released in 1961, the opening scene depicted Hepburn in a stunning, black Givenchy dress with elbow-length gloves and pearls eating a croissant on the morning after a big party is a beloved part of Hollywood history.
However, the LBD was first launched in the 1920s by Parisian designer, Coco Chanel. Featuring on the front cover of Vogue in 1926, it was labelled ‘Chanel’s Ford’ which was testament to its simplicity and accessibility.
“Black wipes out everything else around,” said Chanel about the design, and it appears that fashionable women feel the same. The vision of Holly Golightly — Hepburn’s character — revived the high-fashion style and brought it to the attention of fashion-conscious, 1960s’ women who wanted to look effortlessly elegant at a time when women were beginning to be encouraged to think that way.
Interestingly, Hepburn’s original LBD was much shorter, but the film bosses of the time felt it showed too much of her leg. Consequently, costumer designer, Edith Head, amended the design, which sold at auction for £467,000 in 2006.
From the frenzy-creating LBD worn by Princess Diana in 1994, to the LBD donned by Kate Moss to mark a decade with Rimmel London; this symbol of simple sophistication is an obligatory part of female fashion — and Hepburn propelled it into mainstream consciousness where it remains.
Get the look:
This look is timeless and no matter which style you go for, you’re going to look incredible. This is your opportunity to rock whichever cut and length you feel most comfortable in. Love figure-hugging styles? Get a bodycon occasion dress. Prefer undefined silhouettes? Go for a tunic LBD. Need something truly sensational for a special evening? Opt for a floor-length, fishtail design for classic glamour.