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Lauryn Hill, An Icon To Style

 

Lauryn Hill has a style one watches from afar, admires, throws a party to the eyes that want to see for, yet could never imitate. It comes from her inside and the inside is just as personal as style is.

Style is not about super original combinations, more than three colours mixes or constant thrive for exposure or expression. Think of Emmanuelle Alt. It can be Hill, it can be Alt, it can be both, it can be whatever as long as it’s yours.

Browsing through the official fan page of Lauryn Hill’s Instagram account – only! – feels like observing a piece of art. A movie, a song, a video, a picture, a painting, a poem, anything that inspires the heart to be creative about. She’s inspiring, but she inspires without making a purpose out of it and Instagram can not even come anywhere close to who Lauryn Hill has been over the years or to who we have been privileged to get a glimpse of throughout the years.

I remember being a kid in the nineties, my brother always turning on the volume when The Fugees were on tv and myself staring at the always fabulously dressed trio running around the town that then seemed as if from another planet in Fu-Gee-La or throwing popcorn at each other in Killing Me Softly. It was 1996.

You grow style in life just as you grow in life. You grow yourself just as you grow your style. That is if you want to grow and subconsciously have been doing it anyway.

Lauryn, baby, use your head, but instead I chose to use my heart, Jay-Z quotes upon Lauryn Hill’s Zion.

In 1998, when Everything is Everything aired, I remember feeling content of already having known Lauryn Hill from her Fugees years and also being in awe at her sight. She was wearing bright pink and blue jeans. To the day, 20 years later, whenever I see the bright pink and blue jeans combo I think of the video.

Her attitude in Doo-Wop (That Thing) while dancing and rapping in a pale yellow mini dress and jeans shirt as opposed to the 60s’ look. No matter the clothes, accessories and hair, her eyes and presence are all about something that always came from within in the first place, and only after from the anything that has ever covered her. Just as with Emmanuelle is.

Lauryn’s rhythm and silhouette in gracefully flowing whites, deep blues and (those!) brown leather super-flared trousers in Ex-Factor come up in looks that are timeless. Style is timeless.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was her first solo album and when I saw on MTV, yet later on in 2001, the MTV Unplugged 2.0, I felt, yet again, the impact art can have on us throughout our entire lives and the beauty of us – us and the artists we love – growing together. Of experiencing life. Of, one day, getting to live the Ex-Factor, but also the Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, something we fantasised about when being children and, now come to realise, when being adults also.

In 2017, I wrote about her 🥁 here 🥁. Life, it gets you places.

One can see how Lauryn enjoys clothes and you can see how Emmanuelle does it, too. In both their personal and professional lives. Style. Elegance. In both personal and professional life.

 

Can I Be Me?

The Whitney Houston documentary on Netflix, Whitney – Can I be me, is a reminder for us all to assume the risk and just be ourselves no limits whatsoever and to just let go of the ones who don’t. While being kind with everyone.

Can I be me? She used to say in the most unselfish way possible.

Uniquely, she just wanted freedom. She obviously liked what she was doing, but she also wanted to believe in everything she did. To have fun and to love. The greatest love of all.

Raw.

She had elegance. The filthy gorgeous rawness comes from elegance or it is rawness precisely that creates elegance. She refused to pretend at any time or say even the tinniest, most innocent lie neither through eyes nor through words. Nothing. Raw at all times. The courage and the trust.

Furthermore, without ever getting any kind of advantage from any kind of love or manipulating through love.

Dignity.

Elegance.

She could wear anything and still look elegant: from high waisted, baggy jeans and tank top to a sparkling, fringed skirt to a pink dress to an oversized hoodie and leggings. It is something that can not be faked and this is the beauty of it. Elegance only exists if it is true. Elegance is raw. Just like pure love is. It says something.

Elegant: graceful and stylish in appearance or manner. Synonyms: stylish, graceful, tasteful, discerning, refined, sophisticated, dignified, cultivated, distinguished, classic, smart, fashionable, modish, decorous, beautiful, artistic, aesthetic, lovely.

She didn’t have to follow any rules, she was just being true to herself and this gave her freedom and ultimately the love she shared.

She might have seemed crazy at times, but it takes a little bit of crazy to confront the world to just stick to your own core. She was rebellious in the most kind and loving way for a greater good. For that special extra something she chose to feel and live. For something greater than us she refers to as God. Within yourself. For love.

Love.

Can I be me? She knew she was the love, she was true to herself and it made her love herself in a way she never put herself first. Love was. Nothing of what she did seemed like the world to her. She loved what she did, but most of all she loved love. She used love only and solely for the greater good, for love.

Kindness.

Sweet love.

And wait till you hear the mom! at the end of 👇🏻.

Or till Bobbi Kristina comes in 👇🏻. The way Whitney just lets her baby be and the way Bobbi Kristina loves that, the way the baby looks at her mom, the way they dance, the way Whitney stops the band, the way Whitney teaches her daughter the rhythm on the stage is exactly the way she teaches her baby to love.

Freely.

Or till Whitney melts when hugging her baby and then just can’t get enough of hearing her baby 👇🏻.

Not in “my baby is everything to me” way, but rather in a “I am just melting this is how much I love her” way. This, too, comes from elegance and free love. My pride and joy she would say.

In the long run, there is just one love, one Whitney and yes, we can!

The Moss In The No Moss, No Foss, Kate Moss!

 

#neverbasic

January the 16th. A special day in our calendars to mark the birth of someone who ever since appearing in media, has not ever owned any social media account and who just sits in a coffee shop at a table, enjoying her coffee without any phone or laptop (and is taken for a crazy person, according to a tweet a while ago, there!) and is, nevertheless, one of the most wanted individuals in the fashion world. In spite of the new comer Gigi Hadid and her millions of “followers”. Nothing wrong with that.

It is true that in the early ’90s, when Moss appeared in the Calvin Klein commercial, Facebook and Instagram didn’t exist. But even when they did, there was still no sight of Kate on it. One of the most used hashtags probably – #katemoss – and still nothing! The only certified account (all of the rest are fake) was made last year in September – @katemossagency – for her agency. I followed, have been stalking ever since, but there’re only 64 posts there.

Kate Moss does covers, not Insta.

She did 37 Vogue UK covers, the first one in 1993 and the latest in 2016, each time in her own style. A style she managed to genuinely flaunt and transform into a British trademark.

The dyed-blonde-always-chicly-undone is a hint of the partying nights. Moreover, it is a hint of her character, humour, love of life (ignore the cigarette from picture below), looseness, good mood, honesty.

This is what Moss fabulously gets beyond her famous cheekbones, the full of confidence, but always warm stare, emblematic hair, sylphid allure, pure energy.

A sort of candour that is not even “intended”, it is real from inside out. Out to her 170 cm, a height so atypical for her launch back in the ’80s, when Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell were referred to as “supermodels”.

Kate Moss is the definition of effortless. She does not struggle to feel effortless, for sure. If she does, though, and wanders naked in front of the mirror for long minutes just to be able to get of the house looking casually and at peace, I would feel better myself. But I don’t think she does, anyway.

Or does she?

Howsoever, she must be easing her life by owning some key pieces in her wardrobe she feels good in and then mixes all the time. Only to feel good in them. This is it.

Good!

One can see that she loves fashion. The deep way. She does not only gets it so well, but is also aware of what clothes might do to one and seems to believe in clothes’ power to become one’s confident to share feelings and memories with. Moss has this thing for high-end vintage gowns rather then for the freshly out from the fashion weeks’ catwalks.

And wears them with a nonchalance that rivals with the “weight” most of the fashion world usually forces itself to impose and wins every time while toasting with vodka drinks with “the tough ones”.

Without even realising it.

Because she just lives and loves it.

To live!

#neverbasic

The Fabulous And The Ever Inspiring Lauren Hutton!

 

You just can not skip the video from above. It is our tipping point in getting to know a woman alike very few on the planet.

In fact!

Do they make them anymore? A divine force makes them for sure, they are amongst us and they, most probably, are our moms and girlfriends or women we secretly admire.

Beautiful women who not only are beautiful, but own this je ne sais quoi which one can not put one’s finger on, but it is what makes them even more je ne sais and turn the quoi into everything one imagines a fabulous woman should be (not just look) like. They don’t call it “je ne sais quoi” for nothing, anyway. It’s everything.

You can not touch it, but you, most certainly, can feel it. Sense it. Scent it, hello!

I mean, of course there is Beyoncé, there is Lena Perminova and Julia Sarr-Jamois. Each of them fabulous in each of the categories they belong to, duh.

But. But! There is a type of woman, like my mom, for instance, is, who has this thing I feel surrounded by when in their presence. It’s like the stars filter on Snapchat. I just put my face into the filter and – boom! – stars come out of my head. I can not touch the stars, but I can see them above my head when I do the thing with the app on my phone.

Model and actress, a record of 41 Vogue covers, starred in films like American Gigolo alongside Richard Gere and Little Fauss and Big Halsy alongside Robert Redford, is still a model at IMG Models, is that kind of woman, ladies and gentlemen, the icon…

Lauren Hutton!

Prior to a motorcycle journey to celebrate The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit in 2000, alongside Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne and Jeremy Irons, Hutton informed the Las Vegas Review-Journal: I love the feeling of being a naked egg atop that throbbing steel. You feel vulnerable — but so alive.

Born in November 17, 1943.

Now you know.

In South Carolina. Went to University of South Florida, moved with a boyfriend dj to New York, worked as a waitress at the Playboy Club, got her bachelor of arts degree and became one of the most successful models in the USA, using her job both to make money (in 1973, she landed the landmark contract with Revlon and earned her status as the first $1 million-a-year girl) and to see the world.

Whenever I came back from Africa or the Antarctic, head swelling with the beauty of it all, I found I was loving life again. You look different because of everything that has gone on inside of you…, said Hutton on her thus far travelling and exploration in life.

***I feel you, Lauren.***

The All Movie Guide stated that the gap in her teeth gave her on-camera persona a down-home sensibility that other, more ethereal models lacked. Now I don’t know if you have to necessarily have the gap, but you most definitely shouldn’t be afraid of your sensibility. But rather embrace it. Just be kind and it will, eventually, turn into your power.

Lauren Hutton is not only powerful, but real, alive and honest.

The most beautiful thing about this beauty of these kind of beautiful women is that one doesn’t feel the pressure of their beauty. They either don’t know or forget about the magic they create around them and smile. Their eyes smile. A magic which is, in fact, the real deal. A magic that makes you feel beautiful, you whoever you are.

You with me?

The more I see her pictures and read her interviews, the more I can hear the stars tinkling around my head.

Can’t you?

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P.S.: this is a super inspiring interview of Lauren Hutton, by Jenna Lyons.

If George Michael Has Faith, We Should Have It, Too.

 

Have you ever asked yourself what music could you listen to day and night, not like on and on again, but – let’s say – like if I would wake you up on a Monday night at 3 a.m. and put some music for you and you wouldn’t – let’s say – throw the pillow at me?

You would, most probably, anyway, but still. What would it be?

I’ve been asking myself this for some time now just to see if the answer would be the same. And it is. George Michael all the way.

What is the first image of him that comes to mind? Your mind. Fast, fast, fast. First!

Exactly!

The cross earring, the biker jacket and that hair. Or would you have said just “the cross earring”? No, of course not. The image flashed a couple of seconds ago and it was it all. It was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou a.k.a. George Michael, born in London to a Greek father and an English mother.

Not to mention those aviators and that look! Hey, but that’s just me and Father figure is one of my all time favourite songs. Flamenco dancing emoji.

Iconic.

He was so into singing that he didn’t care about what he wore – or at least he pretended not to – and kept on wearing the same style (!) which, eventually, turned into iconic. It was his music first! It was him first! Yet, that kind of style can only be pulled off by someone who enjoys fashion. And George does for sure. He is the only one to have had 5 supermodels in one video alone and take the day of the shooting off. That’s right. ⬇️

Freedom! Directed by David Fincher.

He had to show up in Too funky (directed by Thierry Mugler), though, just to show to the world what Beyonce’s bodysuit will look like twenty years later.

Faith not only became one of his greatest hits, but also Giorgios witnessed the birth of the 501, God bless that day!

The next song is now playing in my background and it is the proof that style must be sustained by something else. A whole lot of else. One more try.

But then there he is in an all leather. Fast love.

And in an all white. A different corner.

No, you are Amazing, George!

And you sang with Whitney and that is that!

Few men…

Emmanuelle Alt and The Army of Lovers

 

She says she doesn’t want to become an image and, yet, her signature look is one of the most recognisable (often imitated, never duplicated), not to say COOL in the world. Emmanuelle Alt is the definition of cool and the fact that I say it now is probably not so cool in her eyes.

You know?

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“First, I think a good attitude for a woman is to be confident, and to be confident is to be natural. I don’t want to be an image.”, via vogue.com.  And this is where she got me. At “is to be natural”. Alt caught the worldwide eye when she replaced Carine Roitfeld as Vogue Paris’ editor-in-chief after being fashion director for over 10 years. And then the world widened its eyes. Yes, I am emphasising here.

“Hm!”, I thought to myself then.

“Wow!”, I say to myself now.

It took me a few interviews (“I don’t want to open my mouth every 10 minutes, you know? It’s just not me. I’m not shy but I’m not pushing myself forward.”, telegraph.co.uk), a look at her smile and the fact she likes music so much to virtually know her and like her. She is all “that” style, but she is so much more!

“I love to dance, I love to sing,” she says, and while she demurs at the thought of ever wanting to get up onstage, she’s not averse to a more select audience. “After a shoot, I like to do karaoke. David [Sims, the photographer] likes it, too. And Kate [Moss]. In the studio, when you’ve been working hard all day, it’s such good energy to just play around.” Via vogue.com

You know?!

Her style, her “the-whole-planet-knows-about style”, is all about the tee, the jacket, skinny pants and pointed shoes combo. “Topshop black skinny jeans are the best!”, Alt says. No muss, no fuss. As for the shoes… Saint Laurent!

“Because the heel is perfect. I mean, this” – she proffers the dinky heel of the black ankle-strapped shoe – “it’s like walking on flat shoes, which is a gift. I don’t want to suffer in my clothes. I don’t think it’s sexy or attractive someone walking like this…” She mimes a totter.” Via telegraph.co.uk.

Well, good luck with that, girls. And boys. Wink.

She doesn’t feel the need to pull out all that circus, but, boy, does she know nonchalant or what?

She is the definition of nonchalant! She invented the word! Inside out nonchalant. Charmant. It’s like “Look at me or don’t. I’m doing my thing. I love what I do. I feel what I do. I’m having fun. Can’t wait to kiss my lover and hug my kids tonight. George Michael in the background. Mm, can’t wait. 🙂 🙂 :)”, while walking through the cameras on Rue des Tuilliers. Oh, and this is the first time I am using “:)”. Yep.

This is how Alt relaunched the Vogue website.

You know?

Never try-hard, always fun!

“I don’t look after myself. I don’t do yoga, Pilates, those things. I hate physical effort, I don’t run anywhere, but I am super-energetic. Make-up? I just black my eyes and that’s it. My hair? I get it cut on set (fashion shoots), I never go to a hairdresser. I’m not sure I’m French. You think I’m not smart enough?”. Via telegraph.co.uk.

I want to go to Paris. Today.

“I don’t get blasé easily. Also I feel very lucky. When you’re in good health you can deal with the rest. I appreciate the simplicity of how life is beautiful. No,” she considers, “I don’t get my happiness from collecting shoes.” Via telegraph.co.uk.

If the whole planet would wear the Alt uniform – you know the drill: tee, blazer, jeans and pointed shoes – the world would be forever at peace.

Now you know!

Peace and love!

Oui, l’amour, mon amour, toujours, Paris, croissant, chocolat, merci, ma cherie. Oui, oui, oui!

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Written by Cristina Pavelescu

Viviana Volpicella Is So Good!

 

Another day, another fashionista, another Italian. You know what I mean? I bet you don’t. Or you do? Naughty you! When in search for “What to wear tomorrow?” I always turn to my Instagram folder. The images saved there do the talking when turning my closet up side down. Talking, walking, dressing, eating. Pizza?

You cannot think of Italia and not think of pizza, right? Right.

Right, but this is about fashion. And Viviana Volpicella. Ai caramba! That’s Spanish. Ciao bella! Italian!

Viviana Volpicella in a Panda Print Suit

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First, it’s about the smile. This Italian smile which goes with everything. On her with, literally, everything. She just has to smile and you’d think everything on her happens to be so right. She could pull off anything from bold mixed prints to neon to all white to bold mixed prints back again! To everything! Like the ingredients on parmigiana. Or pasta. Or pizza. Nope. Everything won’t do on pizza, too.

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Even Viviana herself says “Si!” to the above on her daily-checked-up a.k.a. stalked by me Instagram account: “Freelance Stylist & Fashion Editor, Fashion Counsellor, Smiling White Witch, Proudly Architect, Fashion Director of LaDoubleJ.com”.

Via @vivianavolpicella:

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And then there’s the hair. Perfectly undone done.

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And how she carries a short skirt. A short, short skirt. You go, bella!

Watching that much “Italia” makes me want to go to Italy. Still, I think Greece will be it. Vacay destinatay. Tzatziki, souvlaki… Am I hungry or smth?

Elena Perminova. The Cool In The Russian Roulette.

Instagram became the extension of my hands these days. It is about following cool, fresh, funny, talented people and interesting media channels, rather than only posting stuff myself. Can’t deny though, it is getting to me. One from my “following” list is this nowadays cinderella, the bad girl gone good, the fierce cheekbones and legs going by the name of Elena Perminova.

You can see her everywhere.

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I wanted to know who she is from the first picture I saw her in. Yes, she has this flamboyant style, almost impossible to reproduce. And no, it’s not only about the expensive clothes she wears. One can not put a finger on the fashion style that would describe her best. It’s in her flair. The colours, the textures, the prints are always swirling perfectly with the hair, the accessories and, most importantly, with the attitude. Yet again! Maybe it comes from the easiness she mixes them all with, maybe from the fun she has in the meantime. Or better yet, from both. It doesn’t matter since she is throwing out a party for the eyes each time she gets under clothes. Enjoy!
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The story behind her is almost as exciting as her style. Born in Siberia, went to prison at the age of 16 for being an exctasy dealer in clubs with the twice-her-age-then boyfriend, freed by her “angel” (as she calls him now) Alexander Lebedev (a former KGB agent, a billionaire media magnate who is in open opposition to Vladimir Putin and, moreover, runs the UK’s London Evening and The Independent), whom she married and has 3 children with. Next thing you know she is one of the “It girls” right now, part of the hottest paparazzi frenzy, the Russian “It girls”, that is. Uh! I know.
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Giovanna Battaglia Rules.

 

When it comes to having fun while dressing up and enjoying the style you made up for yourself just like for a role you’re going to play in, Giovanna Battaglia is the answer.

The way she gives a twist to the latest trends and mixes pieces in the most unique, yet clean way is always fresh, interesting to observe, inspirational and most important, fun! I would say “When in doubt, do the Battaglia way!”. But! Since the attitude is the key, you’d better feel it when you do it. Otherwise, the role is not yours to have on the stage.

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Giovanna Battaglia is contributor fashion editor for Vogue Japan, Vogue Italia, W magazine.