Over the years, a number of faces in the fashion world have come and gone – in great outfits- without making too much of a splash. This post is a shout out to the strongest and boldest female personalities who left a lasting impression in our minds and set the bar for originality that imitators have been trying to recapture ever since.
She pulled off sequins on a Tuesday afternoon. She reclaimed the definition of the word bitch to mean a ‘powerful, confident woman’ as opposed to a patriarchal slur against the female gender. Joan Collins is perhaps most widely recognized for her embodiment of Alexis Carrington in the 1980s hit soap opera Dynasty, where she reigned as the highest paid woman on TV.
Trademark Look: Joan and her co-stars coined the definitive 80s millionairess look of fur stoles, puff sleeves, big hair and shoulder pad dresses, but in her private, a more demure Joan was the queen of smart tailoring and big hair.
First emerging as part of the husband-wife duo Sonny and Cher in the 60s, a post-divorce Cher shifted off the double-act synonym to emerge as a powerful icon of out-and-out feminine sexuality. Her glittering belly-bearing outfits designed by Bob Mackie throughout the 1970s cemented her trendsetter status and in connection with her musical behemoth role.
Trademark Look: Skin- and lots of it! Cher’s glorious midriff (and refusal to ‘cover up’) has been a permanent staple of her aesthetic throughout the decades and her full-on persona and undeniable career success has helped cement her status as a feminist figurehead and style icon.
The First Lady of Fierce is known to pair high fashion with music and essentially pioneered the female shaved head. Her looks paired androgynous cool outlines with a feminine beauty and alongside a back catalogue of successful hits and collaborations with some of the film and music industry’s finest, Jones really broke the mold. Her unique sense of fashion style relayed an ‘aggressive’ femininity that refused to conform to the opinions of others, often depicted in wide shouldered silhouettes, dark sunglasses and draped layering over her statuesque frame.
Trademark Look: Outlandish head gear. With her signature short hair, Grace Jones very much plays up to her angular facial symmetry, with an array of designer hats and headpieces. For us mere civilians, picking up a pair wide frame sunglasses from retro-style designers such as Michael Kors are an easier place to start in capturing the inimitable legend’s style.
She shot to renown as the definitive tough girl heroine in Russ Meyer’s (now) classic low-budget exploitation movie, ‘Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ Amid a flurry of cheesy one-liners and questionable acting skills, the sassy Satana fight boys, wins drag races and gives the world a figure of bold womanhood via her unashamedly perceptible bosom teamed with a style that rampaged against the idea that being ‘womanly’ meant submitting to the patriarchy.
Trademark Look: Apart from her most obvious ‘assets’ Satana set the bar for bad girl realness way before the rest in her super tight all-black ensembles. Her long raven hair with short bangs was the iconic antithesis to the wholesome, all-American ideal woman of the time.