1.Karl Lagerfeld.I have spent the last few months slowly eliminating colour from my wardrobe, and it was the best decision I ever made. Nothing says “I used to be slightly rotund and now I’m thin and severe and maybe just that little bit too resentful about my flabby past” like an entirely black and white ensemble. This statement may be just as true of myself as it is of Lagerfeld – frankly, you’ll never know – but his predictably smart silhouette has made a definate impact on my taste. Most notably he has taken Coco Chanel’s foolproof formula of a black dress and a mountain of costume jewellery to another slightly bonkers level by adding skulls, crosses and – Lord love him – enough plastic surgery to make him look stuffed. I might refrain from channelling his chin.
2.Jean Shrimpton. Less boyish and plain than Twiggy and less petulant than Edie Sedgwick, Jean Shrimpton lent a shabby air to her waifish frame with too-large sweatshirts and trenchcoats held tightly closed with tiny wrists. Her heavy, eye-skimming fringe and long hair often look as though they have been artfully tousled by a fairly tame and uneventful roll in the hay. At this point I am so desperate for my hair to grow out of its passé Mary Quant bob that I have googled “make hair grow faster” more than once in the past week. Shame on me.
3.Andy Warhol. The little albino homo that could, Warhol’s signature style of striped t-shirts, dark glasses and leather jacket looks good on almost anyone, and being deathly pale myself I have no choice but to follow his lead. Warhol was something of a foot-fetishist and kept many worn-out pairs of his own shoes, some of which were drizzled with paint from his iconic portraits. I would love to have some Jackson-Pollack style shoes, but despite being at art school I am a terrible painter, and would rather not spatter them on purpose for fear of looking like an affected twat.
4.Brigitte Bardot. A woman with all of the sex appeal Jean Shrimpton lacks, I find her signature makeup – the bubblegum lips and heavy, feline eyeliner – the easiest way to turn from scabby to glamorous, or at the very least halfway between the two. Her style of dress was typically French – stripes, capris, loafers and the ubiquitous fag – but she knew how to make it appear feminine and give it va-va-voom in the way that only a true sex icon can. One of the reasons I chose to put her here is that she taught me that having slightly goofy front teeth can be extremely sexy. Of course, it helps that not many of us can fill out a boat-neck sweater like Bardot (without the help of a very good bra, some very good knickers, or both at the same time and a great deal of vision).
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you’d rather look at the pictures. To recap, you have learnt that I may or may not have been a chubby child, that I have goofy front teeth, that I am incredibly pale and that I can’t paint. Brilliant.
Images:The many faces of Karl Lagerfeld; The Shrimp; Andy Warhol's "Style"; The "Bardot neck" 's namesake.