So with the fashion world abuzz at the opening on the UK’s very first J Crew store tomorrow, all eyes are on the brand’s legendary creative director who took it from zero to hero in the blink of a boldly bespectacled eye.
Yes, I’m talking about none other than Jenna Lyons. The blogosphere is awash with fashionistas proclaiming her to be their ‘style icon’ and ‘girl crush’, so like the contrary little madam I am, I’m stepping up to be the lone voice of dissent.
Actually, that’s not fair, I do admire her style and I have A LOT of respect for any high-profile unabashed glasses-wearer. She is also evidently a pretty savvy business woman, who certainly knows what people want. However, the madness has gone too far.
My copy of Grazia was waiting on the doormat when I got home last night, Jenna as cover girl, promising to disclose her style secrets within. Oh yes, such gems as ‘dress for your body shape’, ‘nick your fella’s jumper’ (I’m paraphrasing, natch) and ‘try and stick to a limited colour palette when travelling’. I mean, god love her for trying, but it’s hardly new material, is it? I know we’re all reinventing the wheel when it comes to fashion, and yes, I concede, Jenna does a better job than most, but she does have the slight advantage of being over 6ft tall, extremely well paid and with one of the world’s most celebrated clothing brands at her disposal.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my own girl crushes – Kristen Stewart, for example – I bloody love her. Never afraid to be seen without make-up and wearing a hoody, she’s a girl after my own heart. She refuses to get tarted up to nip to Starbucks, but when she does the red carpet, man, does she rock it? But the fact still remains that celebrities have it easier than mere mortals.
The people I most admire are the ones who don’t get sackloads of free stuff everyday or have an army of hair and make up artists trailing in their wake. Like my fabulous friend L who dresses entirely to please herself in a mish-mash of bright prints and textures that should never work but always do, on a primary school teacher’s salary. Or the lovely K (*waves to Germany*) who always looks effortlessly beautiful and chic in her blues, greys and pinks. Or my colleague E, whose style could not be further from my own – think pastels, pearls, tidy chignons – who looks so sleek and immaculate she makes me feel like Medusa. I know so many stunning, stylish women that this list could go on for the rest of time, so I’ll leave it there. My point is the women I really admire are the ones figuring out their own style everyday, without any help or fanfare. So pay it forward folks, if you see a woman at the bus stop in a fabulous coat, tell her! If there’s someone at work you think has great taste in shoes, let her know. I know nothing makes my day like an unsolicited compliment, especially from a relative stranger (shallow? Me?)
P.S. I do love Jenna really, I just know that if I tried to dress like her i’d be like the Danny DeVito to her Arnold Schwartzenegger (Twins, great movie).
P.P.S. can someone let me know when it’s safe to go to J Crew on Regent St? I have kids to think of so I don’t want to die in a stampede like Mufasa (Lion King, also great movie).