Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stealing Style and Smart Ideas - Who are Your Icons?

Recently I was asked who my style icon is, and combined with my recent post about Amal Clooney, it got me thinking about who's style I really admire that I can also relate to. I've always liked the way Eva Longoria dresses, because 1) at 40, she's a grown up, 2) she is not tall and neither am I , 3) she has deeper coloring like me and 4) she's displays a lot of sexy, vibrant confidence in her clothing choices, which I would like to do. I don't have the glamorous life Eva Longoria has, but if I did, I'd dress like she does. Although there's no way I can handle those super high heels!
Images of Longoria via

The process of selecting a style icon got me thinking about the importance of having role models in our lives. Do we need them? Shouldn't we be expressing our true selves, not copying the choices or lives of others?

But I recently read this fun book on creativity called "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon, (actually, I stole it from my mom) and he believes it's our job to be influenced by the ideas and work of others. "Nothing is truly original," he writes of the creative process. "Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by."

So who you and what you choose to imitate, when filtered through your unique point of view, becomes new and original! Being influenced by others is not lazy or uninspired, it's art. If I copy Eva Longoria's style I'm actually taking deliberate steps to creating my own. Honestly, when I think of my most prolifically creative friends, they are constantly on the lookout for cool ideas to shamelessly use for their own purposes.

So, when it comes to stealing from icons, why should I stop at fashion? I can have a Humor and Wit Icon (hello Tina Fey) a Writer Icon (obsessing over The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, but who isn't?) a Leadership Icon (Jimmy Carter standing up for women's rights is a thing of beauty) and a Life Coach Icon (Martha Beck, you just get it.) I can have icons for cooking and organizing and exercising and presenting and being a good parent. I can copy anyone I find worthy or hip or inspiring or hot. How liberating it is to not have to be original!

What about you? Who is your style icon? And once you've figured that one out, who else is worth stealing from? Share here so I can copy from you.

Image via

Monday, April 13, 2015

Amal Clooney shows women can have it all - or at least more!

She's a brilliant international human rights lawyer and speaks three languages.  She's stunningly beautiful and impeccably dressed.  She has captured the heart of one of the hunkiest, most elusive movie stars of all time. Amal Alamuddin Clooney, a woman of intellect, sophistication, style, and character,  proves what women have been longing for - we really can have it all. Hooray!

Image via the LA Times
But also, ugh.

I'm fascinated by Amal, as is the rest of the world. There's even a blog completely devoted to analyzing her style.  The photos of her are incredible - her exotic features and luxuriant hair, those amazing designer clothes, her confidence and ease. I've seen plenty beautiful women in the media, but they're models or actresses - their job is to look good. Amal looks ravishing heading to teach a class at Columbia's law school. It's impressive and, I gotta say, intimidating.

Photo via
Of course women can be successful and beautiful, but Amal's dazzling display of both qualities leaves me feeling like a slacker. Amal is a defender of free speech and women's rights across the globe. I can sit at my computer in my pj's and write about relationships and sex for 35 minutes straight. Last weekend Amal wore a feather trimmed Giambattista Valli crop top out for drinks at The Monkey Bar in New York. Last weekend I wore a black t-shirt and Gap boyfriend jeans to World of Beer in Evanston to watch the NCAA basketball playoffs.

See why I'm feeling like a slouch?

Although she sets the bar high, I'm glad Amal is having her moment. Her looks may be gaining her attention (apparently Vogue's Anna Wintour is her fashion advisor) but her accomplishments are truly impressive. I  need to know about more multi-dimensional, multi-talented women like her - they'll motivate me to up my game.

And if they happen to be wearing Gap jeans, all the better.