When I was a boy the Red Carpet was my religion. I remember praying to my television set to deliver me visions of stars with high fashion and glamour, for better or for worse. It was the 1980’s, and it was all deliciously fun because in those days women took risks. Jaws dropped when Cher arrived looking like a Vegas showgirl or Geena Davis flashed across the screen in a Can-Can dress that screamed “no-no” to the fashion gods. Yet these were the imaginative, character-building moves that made stars into legends.
Today I make my living in fashion and, sadly, I no longer look to Hollywood for inspiration. In truth, Hollywood’s A-listers are not creating their own looks—they all employ stylists to primp and prep them for their appearances—and so most of them have no personal style to speak of. Young starlets are still leggy in mini dresses, and more established actresses are so predictable I practically know what they’ll be wearing before they do. They are all on-trend, and they are all, for the most part, boring. Poor Joan Rivers barely has material to work with these days, and I’m convinced that Richard Blackwell left this earth because he no longer had the makings for a great Worst Dressed list. First Lady Michelle Obama and journalist Diane Sawyer have invigorated the fashion industry more than any of the homogenized looks sported by today’s celebrities.
Yet, a few rays of light still shine through the stained glass of my temple. A handful of actresses still dress themselves and look amazingly original. Here are some of my divine fashion inspirations:
1. Diane Keaton From Annie Hall to Something’s Gotta Give, her menswear inspired minimal neutrals have inspired generations to embrace comfort and simplicity.
2. Tilda Swinton This actress will wear the clothes that no one else understands, and she does it with her head held high. Design team Viktor and Rolf dedicated an entire collection to her androgynous, edgy look.
3. Lauren Hutton She is famous for her gap-toothed smile and her use of crutches as a fashion accessory (post-motorcycle accident), and women love her. Her tomboy-chic style has made her an icon for all ages.
4. Ellen Barkin She has some of the most exquisite taste in clothes (and especially jewelry). Her body-conscious dressing never looks vulgar or “too young” because she knows where to draw the line.
5. Madonna Some think her yoga-tastic arms and use of fishnets goes too far, but she continues to inspire legions of women the world over. I give her lots of credit for taking chances, and for looking so good…at 50!