Fashion Heroes

by Kristina S.

I am by no means a ‘Fashionista’. I pay no attention to the latest runway shows, I don’t buy the latest issue of Vogue, and I don’t care about what Karl Lagerfeld just did. In fact I try to avoid ‘fashion people’ as much as I can, fearing they might speak a different language and I won’t understand a word even if I tried.

But there are some things about fashion that I DO like. It has a this strange power to change how you see the world because it is a strong medium for self expression. And that’s just what I absolutely LOVE about fashion! I am in absolute awe of those who use it as a vehicle to take their creativity and self expression past the boundaries of what society deem as normal. They show me that ‘Hey, this is FUN! This is creative! This is LIFE! You are free! Stand PROUD and wear your heart on your sleeve! You are YOU!’

And when I see/meet someone like that I want to jump up from my seat and clap my hands and say ‘Bravo!!!! You have shown me that life is joyful!’ and shower them with bright colored petals and confetti as a metaphor of my gratitude!

I have been lucky to have found such people who have ignited that kind of fire within me. I call them my Fashion Heroes. They are not afraid to embrace their indivituality, to stand apart from the crowd, and they are not too worried about pleasing other people.

My Fashion Heroes aren’t always celebrities. Sometimes it can be that girl that I see regularly on public transport who wears her colours proudly like a bird of paradise. Of course, I don’t really find it appropriate to take some snaps of my everyday Fashion Heroes. But nevertheless, I want to share with you some of these wonderful people. Below are some of the more famous ones:

IRIS APFEL
Interior designer, businesswoman
She has a collection of stuffed animals that she accessorizes with jewellery. Although she claims that they take her jewels from her jewellery box themselves. As a wearer of glasses myself, I adore her huge spectacles! Also, she would not pay more than $15 on a pair of jeans!Watch this interview, and you might see why I look up to this woman.
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Photograph: Martha Camarillo
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ANNA PIAGGI
Fashion journalist for Vogue Italia
She definitely loved her hats. Her carefully planned haphazard style reminds me somewhat of an urban mad hatter. If there was ever a boundary set to define averageness, Anna went a thousand miles past it.
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FRIDA KAHLO
Artist
I love that this strong woman was always seen in full dresses with flowers in her hair. It’s everything that power dressing of the 80s isn’t. She’s shown me strength in being a woman.
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Frida Kahlo in a Tehuna costume, with her pet hawk, 1939 © Condé Nast Archive/CORBIS
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ba024b9c-7f13-4529-a86f-63267cd2a824“Frida on White Bench,” photograph by Nickolas Muray, 1939

ERYKAH BADU
Soul singer / songwriter
I love love love her large colorful headwraps that I’ve almost wanted to wear one myself. I also absolutely love her huge hair when she’s not donning her signature headwrap. I think what I love most is the earthy eclectic look that she dons so comfortably. She’s my soul queen with swag.
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Image via last.fm
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Photography by Alan Foreman for Nylon Mag
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Image via last.fm

GRACE CODDINGTON
Former model, Creative Director of American Vogue
Probably the least colorful Fashion Hero I have in my list, but just as out of this world! What I love about her is the way she proudly embraces her mass of flaming red hair. It’s beautiful! I’ve just read her biography and I am humbled by her hard work and passion her vocation.
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Image via Jackie Gloves
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Image via Gooshness
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Photograph by Danielle Levitt via guardian.co.uk
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Photographed by Arthur Elgort for i-D

YUNA
Singer / songwriter
Yuna is a young singer hailing from Malaysia. Her voice is like warm spiced cinnamon chai with honey on a winter afternoon. When I first discovered this songstress I was blown away by her style. While most starlets are competing to see who can get away with showing the most skin, she remains modestly dressed. Yet her style is infused with personality. And oh the colorful headscarves (I seem to like colorful head gear a lot, I see a pattern here)!!!!!
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Image via Tongue In Chic
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Image by photographer Larry Hirshowitz via KCRW
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Image via Okay Player
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Image via Global Grind

MINNIE MOUSE
Actress, show production manager (House of Mouse), owner/executive president/head clerk of Minnie’s Bowtique
Last but not least, is a well known and well loved public figure, Minerva Mouse! She always appears in her white bloomers with an enormous bow atop her cute head. She got sass and style that has lasted through generations. I can say that Mickey’s got himself a real lady!
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I naturally notice female Fashion Heroes whom I refer to as aspirations. They have the qualities that I wish to cultivate in myself – uniqueness, individuality, courage, staying true to oneself, etc. It astonishes me every time when I see that those qualities can be communicated through, well, fashion.

x

ps: Writing this list down I realized that I have yet to find a male Hero. That is something for me to go and think about. After all, it seems a bit sexist to limit my list to just females.