In the final instalment of The Fash Pack's month-long series about first fashion influences, Jezebel writer Sadie Stein pays tribute to her grandfather, a partial hoarder and full-time bargain hunter who gave her the confidence to experiment with style.
Grandpa Moe, with his marked lack of fashion sense and his bottomless curiosity, is one of the most sartorially inspiring gents we've heard about in ages. And if he beat out Faye Dunaway for Stein's top spot? Must have been something significant in those French Resistance-fighter suits and dingy furs.
When I was asked to name my first style influence, my mind went to those women whose style I've admired over the years – Isabelle Adjani, circa-'Locateur'; Sylvia Beach, neat and bookish; Faye Dunaway's '70s career woman in 'Network' – and knew that there was one person I had to name: my grandfather.
To those who didn't know him, this might seem an odd choice. To those who did, it's inexplicable. While my grandfather, Moe, might have been called many things – eccentric, crazy, crackpot – "stylish" was not one of them. He spent his life in a series of flight suits he obtained at the resale shop that gave a discount to ex-military, his shock of white hair perpetually uncombed. And few can forget the period when, after his front teeth fell out, he'd superglue them into his mouth for special occasions.
Welcome to the fourth instalment of 'My Muse', which sees well loved fashion bloggers recount what they learned from their first style icon. We've seen Kelly Kapowski, Cher Horowitz and a Vietnam-era "Donut Dolly" honoured, and now...drumroll...we bring you Posh Spice.
Coco from Coco's Tea Party, a 3-year-old site that brings all the necessary doses of the Olsens and Anja Rubik, explains why Victoria Beckham spiced up her life back in the '90s.
It was the mid-'90s and it was love at first sight; she was wearing a little black dress and I was probably wearing pyjamas. It was the first time I’d ever seen The Spice Girls, who were performing on 'Top of the Pops'. There was Baby (I liked her bunches but she was too childish), then there was Ginger (too tacky), Scary was scary, and I had no intention of ever wearing sportswear. That left the one on the end pouting in the black dress: Posh Spice. We were a match made in heaven.
Welcome back to "My Muse". You're three weeks into a five-part series of guest columns, in which well loved style bloggers recount memories of the first person to influence their fashion sense. We've already thanked Kelly Kapowski and Cher Horowitz, and now it's time to get personal with a good old dose of mama.
Couture Carrie, an East Coast girl who tracks down the latest trends from YSL, Thakoon and all your other favourites, tells us why her mother still has her wearing bell bottoms and vintage synthetics, and how it all started with wartime slide shows.
My earliest true fashion icon was my mother. By the time I understood the intrinsic power of fashion - subscribing to Vogue at age 12 and saving my babysitting money to buy clothes - my mother’s style had (d)evolved into a fairly utilitarian soccer-mom sort of chic that I had no desire to emulate. My inspiration derived, rather, from her past.
My mother was a Donut Dolly with the Red Cross during the Vietnam War, and she and her fellow Dollies would often put on "fashion shows" for the soldiers in Vietnam to entertain them...
Parsons grad Julia Chesky, a self-described "obsessive" photographer who documents New York window displays on the blog Modelizing, had the same style fixation many of us did growing up: Cher Horowitz from 'Clueless'. Alicia Silverstone's white-feather boa and red mini dress from the movie's cover seemed a bit dressy for a girl who compared her life to a Noxzema commercial, but as the results of Tai's makeover prove, she and Dionne always knew how to make an impression.
For Chesky, peeking into a new life led to more formal studies of fashion. And in the process, that video got plenty of use because she had few people who shared her fascination. But let's hear it from her.
Anyone who saw Zack Morris' return to TV on a June episode of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' likely felt more than a hint of nostalgia for a certain class at Bayside High. In The Fash Pack's first instalment of a month-long series on first fashion influences, writer Ceda Xiong of This Is What Adults Wear shares why Zack's girlfriend, Kelly Kapowski, was the Kate Moss of the Aaron Spelling TV dynasty.
Here, Xiong explores the high points of Laura Ashley shorts and acid-wash denim, and tells why, as an immigrant to America, she took an instant liking to the girl who could land the leader of Zack Attack.
I grew up in China and was ignorantly fashion-free until my move to the US around the age of 8. After two solid years of soaking in American television, even I could discern that the ultimate cool girl was Kelly Kapowski from 'Saved by the Bell'.
Even though Jesse Spano was probably closer to my bookworm soul than the picture-perfect head of cheerleading, I disliked Jesse's menswear shirts and the way she was easily flustered by Slater. Lisa Turtle was definitely too fashion-forward for my pre-teen taste. The only approachable model seemed to be Kelly, and if my dream boyfriend was going to be Zack Morris, then it made perfect sense that dressing like Kelly was going to get results.
Countless fashion-lovers would probably say this lady from Croydon. Tomorrow, The Fash Pack will begin a five-week 'My Muse' series asking other well loved bloggers the same question. Each Friday for the next five weeks, we'll explore how everyone from a certain 'Saved by the Bell' star to a hamburger-rationing grandfather helped shape a woman's sense of fashion for the better.
To get the discussion flowing, who was your first style icon and why?