A Matter of Style

A new book has found its front place on my bookshelf: A Matter of Style: Intimate Portraits of 10 Women Who Changed Fashion. When I received it I couldn’t leave it off my hands until I’d taken in all the beautiful photography it contains, some seen for the first time, and all the information, inclusively and accurately evoking the stories of the lives and the heights of style of each of these influential women who made fashion: “the intense courage of Coco Chanel, the independence of Katharine Hepburn, the nonconformity of Lady Diana, the seductiveness of Marilyn, the mischievous ingenuity of BB, the sweet beauty of Audrey Hepburn, the sophisticated beauty of Grace Kelly, the elegance of Jackie Kennedy, the progressivism of Mary Quant, and the bubbly energy of Twiggy.” (quoting Anna Molinari in the preface)

I highly recommend this book as an indispensable manual every woman should own. It’s not about following certain rules, but about breaking them and making your own rules, both in the way you live and in the way you dress, it’s about a rare quality and an innate sense of style which transcends decades, fashion and generations of women. And because the book is loaded with great quotes by or about these ten leading figures of the 20th century, I’ll leave you in the company of them and a few favourite photos I’ve selected. Wishing you a fabulous weekend!

“[In film] there had been this real drought, when along came class.” Billy Wilder on Audrey Hepburn

“I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much appeal fully clothed, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” Audrey Hepburn

“I’ve been accused of being cold, snobbish, distant. Those who know me well know that I’m nothing of the sort. If anything, the opposite is true.” Grace Kelly

“I mostly daydreamed about beauty. I dreamed of being so beautiful that people’s heads would turn when I walked by.” Marilyn Monroe

“I think every actress in the world looked up to her in a kind of reverence and a sense of, <Oh boy, if only I could be like her.> We never looked at her with envy or jealousy, because she worked with such a grace and wit and charm.” Elizabeth Taylor on  Katharine Hepburn

“Brigitte remains inimitable: with her ballet shoes, jeans, low necklines, the blonde bangs…she tried everything to destroy her own legend, but she couldn’t do it. ” Alberto Sordi

“I always felt she really understood how to use fashion as a silent language and let clothes do the talking for her when she couldn’t, the way a movie star in the silent films did.” John Galliano on Lady Diana

photos: scanned by me from A Matter Of Style: intimate portraits of 10 women who changed fashion: 1-Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn at the 28th Oscar ceremony,  © Allen Grant/Time Life Pictures/ Getty Images, 2-Condé Nast Archive/Corbis, Audrey photographed by Bert Stern in 1963/ 3-Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos/Contrasto, 4-Baron/Getty Images, 5-Interfoto/Archivi Alinari, 6-Clarence Sinclair Bull/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images, 7-Cattani/Getty Images, 8-Tim Graham/Getty Images

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