In this, the second and last part of the highly unscientific survey on women who have or had such indelible style, presence, charm and allure that their impact remains perhaps forever the platinum standard for impeccable elegance.
The icons have shown us that clothes are more than adornment, they are the outward expression of personality and creativity. They proved that beauty is highly subjective, that they understood what they wanted to communicate about who they were (are) in this most revealing and amusing medium. None seems to be all about facade and presentation. The way they appear was an extension of their character. There was in the vast majority of theses choices, substance beneath the surface.
The icons were mentioned so many times that I’ll simply show you the photos of the ones you didn’t see last week, which include: Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Catherine Deneuve.
(Ed. Note: Please excuse the back and forth use of past and present verbs, but you understand why.)
Of course my sample respondees are all French women. At the end I’ve included some of your choices for these accolades from your comments to Part One last week.
This is what they said:
Jeanne-Aelia (my Transatlantic Parallel partner): Lee Radziwell and Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister.
Morgane: “It” girl, Alexa Chung and Spanish actress, Marisa Paredes.
Anne-Françoise: Ava Gardner and Princess Diana.
Anne: Carolyn Bassette-Kennedy, Cate Blanchett, Diane Lane and my two grandmothers who were great friends — even after my parents’ divorce — both were tall, thin and tres chic, but I can’t find the pictures.
Danielle: Claire Chazal (the French TV anchorwoman, see yesterday’s post please), Michelle Obama.
Françoise: Katharine Hepburn.
Catherine: Diane von Furstenberg.
Michele: Kristin Scott-Thomas.
And this is what you said:
Carolina Herrera, Jane Birkin, Fanny Ardant, Tilda Swinton, Babe Paley, Helen Mirren, Sophia Loren. (Pictured above: Mirren, Swinton, Herrera and Paley.)
The photograph at the top, in all its sweet, nervous innocence, was taken backstage at the 1956 Academy Awards as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, both Academy Award winners, waited for their turn to present Oscars at the 28th annual ceremony. Look at their perfect posture.
One month later, Grace Kelly married her prince and became Princess Grace of Monaco.