Liz Jones, a columnist for the U.K.’s Daily Mail thinks our generation has a problem — we don’t have any style icons! Sure, we’ve got women like Michelle Obama and Kate Moss to look to for style inspiration, but, according to Jones, not one woman in the twentysomething age bracket really deserves the title of “Style Icon.” And she’s got an extra special bone to pick with those who claim model Agyness Deyn DOES.
“Maybe I am old and jaded, but I don’t think she has a clue about style at all. I hate that this messy, un-put together look is deemed somehow ‘London’. That Agy has now joined a long line of cutting edge Brits (Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse and the lamentable Peaches Geldof) who demonstrate how non-conformist they are by dressing like tramps. But what is even more galling is that Agy and her ilk have created so many young female doppelgangers. If I see another twentysomething in black cutoff tights under a mini-skirt worn with ballet flats, I will want to kill myself.”
I like Deyn, but any person whose style is so obviously and consistently copycatted bugs me. But what is a style icon anyway? Someone whose latest outfit we can’t wait to see? Someone whose appearance in even the most mundane of looks immediately results in similar items selling out? Whatever the case may be, I am usually far more inspired by regular women I see on the street, women with amazing personal style, who manage to take the mundane, like a white t-shirt, and make it special. Women who have an ease in their style and never look like they’re playing dress up in someone else’s closet. Personally, I’ve always loved the way stars like Zooey Deschanel, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Bilson dress, but would I call them style icons in the vein of Audrey Hepburn or French Vogue‘s Carine Roitfeld? No, I suppose not. But I also don’t think lacking a style icon is nearly as big a tragedy as Jones does. Really, lacking a prominent, famous style icon has made regular women indulge their own fashion whims, without the instruction of trendsetters. And that is always a good thing.