Posted by admin | Posted in Events, Fashion, Nantucket, Vintage, currentVintage, travel | Posted on 01-09-2009
As I wrote about Talitha Getty in the currentVintage newsletter this week, it was apparent that given the era and her brief life, she was spared the kind of ridicule that today’s iconic fashionistas have experienced. Why, exactly, was she so admired? What, exactly, has she contributed to the human race besides her beauty and wealth? The answer may be very little, but so what? I’m not saying that teachers, nurses and Greenpeace workers don’t deserve praise, fame and fortune; only that the stylish are interesting to me and I have no issue when they are celebrated and adored for making the world a more visually interesting place. But Talitha died young and thus permanently beautiful, albeit in a very ugly and unglamorous (heroin overdose) way. How cliché, yet still lovely that the legacy of a single photograph continues to inspire today.
If Talitha is the poster girl for 1960s Boho-chic, Rachel Zoe is the modern one. I loved Rachel Zoe before she was popular. She was on my radar for awhile and then, in 2006?, there was an article on RZ in Vogue or somewhere that featured photos of Rachel in various Halston Grecian column dresses lounging poolside in platforms and dwarfed in her awe-inspiring closet. Her Boho-chic meets Studio 54 Glamour aesthetic was/is precisely my idea of cool and I have watched in awe as she has so successfully branded the look and made it practically Stepford in Hollywood.
Some say her style is irrelevant now—and some have been saying that for years. But, guess what, it’s not. I love it when the public refuses to roll over on a style they like (Carrie Bradshaw, anyone?). Usually by the time a trend has hit mainstream America, fashion has long moved on, but sometimes, it just keeps coming back because people like it and designers have no choice. I skipped the Sex and the City phase alltogether, but as long as young girls are still buying crinolines, I am happy to sell them.
Where Talitha had the benefit of being a beautiful & rich heroin addict pre-internet, Rachel has laser-sharp scrutiny 24/7. Rachel’s suntan & cigarettes look is frighteningly unhealthy, yet perversely attractive. I met her at a party of Sienna Miller’s a couple of years ago. It was the Twenty-Eight-Twelve Launch Party on the roof top of the Gramercy Park Hotel, and there was RZ in a terrific little leopard vintage number. I complimented her dress, she praised my palazzo jumpsuit. I said I owned a vintage clothing store in Nantucket, she said that she wore only vintage. At that point, when I should have had the sense to hand her a business card, etc, I proceeded to talk about anything and everything else, then eventually mosey on, having just met the most influential stylist on the planet and being too obtuse to make something of it…
That’s another reason I admire Rachel. It is great to have great style, but style plus savvy is what really counts. I don’t really care for the idea of the made-in-elsewhere line of “affordable” looks she has developed for QVC and I have yet to see her reality show, (although I would probably love it if I watched much tv), but I don’t blame RZ for trying to milk every dime of her celebrity ride. She’s the first to admit she’s not saving lives, just being style guru to the red carpet and now, the masses. Even if she is effectively over tomorrow, she’s more than made her fashion mark. Personally, as a stylish-but-sans-savvy business woman, I think that is very cool.