1. MARILYN MONROE - The Top Blonde
What is there to say about Marilyn that hasn't already been said. The critics have even started to give her credit for being more than just stunning. But very few have her power over the lens. I find myself channeling her on the days when I feel my most sexy. High heels...check, bullet bra....check, pencil skirt....check
Ex - wife of Jazz Musician, Miles Davis and all around funk goddess, this woman put her mojo on the best of them. She is credited for being the muse of Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton. Her first record, Betty Davis, was released in 1973. It had impressive lyrics and funky grooves on songs such as "Anti Love Song." I love this woman for her free - spirit and earth mother beauty.
3. ELIZABETH TAYLOR - Them There Eyes
No doubt this screen gem is just gorgeous, but what I love most is her taste in fine and exquisite jewels. She makes excess look adorning and elegant. And those eyes are by far the most stunning!! I look to Liz for the "aspirational" (this is not a word, more a feeling) and inspirational.
4. DOROTHY DANDRIDGE - The One and Only Carmen
No matter how many re-makes there are, no one will ever be able to emote the raw carelessness and sexuality of the famous screen vixen Carmen, played by Dorothy Dandridge. She literally re-invented Bizet's character and made cinematic history. Rose in hair and red all over and I know I feel every bit the Carmen that Dorothy created and conquered.
5. AVA GARDNER - Gentleman love Brunettes too....
What can I say, Frank Sinatra had great taste when it came to the famous and infamous Ava Gardner. Not only was she beautiful, but she was one tough broad!!! She was known for her candor and even played down the mass reaction to her looks. I often think of her when I grab for my classic pieces or pieces that make me feel confident and unflappable.
“Because I was promoted as a sort of a siren and played all those sexy broads, people made the mistake of thinking I was like that off the screen. They couldn't have been more wrong.” Ava Gardner
6. JOSEPHINE BAKER - The First Ambassador
Angelina Jolie has nothing on this magical lady!! She adopted 12 children and became an American expatriate at a time when it was not so fashionable. I adore this funny lady who changed the world in a banana skirt. I loved her zest for life and her adoration for culture. On the days when I feel my most consumptive of all things fine and artistic I know that I am influenced by her drive and fierce independence.
7. WONDER WOMAN - not Lynda Carter
Lynda Carter is wonderful, but this character inspired me to be physically strong and defensive for myself. Everything on TV before Wonder Woman and Charlie's Angels made women beautiful, witty, and sharp. But those shows helped me believe that not only could you be beautiful, but you could be strong and fashionable at the same time. Style influence retro moment: I owned a pair of red rain boots and Wonder Woman underoos as a child. lol!
8. PAM GRIER - "A Whole Lotta Woman!!"
I adore this woman!!! There are no words. When I have to conjure up my inner warrior woman, I imagine myself with an afro, dashiki, and bell bottoms; hips swaying, gun-toting, kicking down the door of the man!!! Coffy, Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, and Sheba....she was and is still "a whole lotta woman"..."shut yo' mouth!!!"
9. FARRAH FAWCETT - Queen of the Wings
Who didn't want to be her at least once? This poster graced the walls of every teenage boy and girl in the 70s. She was the look of the disco age and the prelude to the 'big hair" 80s. To tell you the truth, I would still have big hair if I hadn't "pixied it". Although impractical for me right now, I still love BIG HAIR. These wings will never be out of style and neither will that smile. RIP Farrah!!
10. GRACE JONES - Pull up to my bumper...
Before there was Tyra or even Naomi, there was GRACEEEEEE!!!! Wild woman and nubile goddess, no one mastered the art of the spectacle like the magnificent Grace Jones. A regular of the Studio 54 crowd, this velvet gem was known for a creativity, strong presence, and cutting edge fashion sense. When I want to push the envelope or really "go there", I ask myself, "what would Grace do?"
11. CARMEN MIRANDA - Chica, chica, boom..
My inner drag queen has a wee tiny teeny thang for floral and fruity prints. This mambo queen, is the last in my list of influences and by far one of the deadliest. On the days I dare to wear leopard prints or vibrant florals I find myself having to pair it with something simple and chic to pull it off effectively. And oh, how I love a wonderful puffy sleeved peasant shirt.
I know its a bit schizophrenic, but there you have it. Tell me, who influences your day to day fashion choices?
Monique, Twirl Vintage Co.