Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who is your style icon? (And why this is not a silly question...)

One of the silliest things I've ever seen was an entertainment reporter (oxymoron?) asking some flava-du-jour starlet, "Who is your 'style icon?'"
Let's think about this for a minute. You're asking this question of an insipid twenty-year-old with a handbag budget larger than the GDP of some foreign countries. You're asking the star of "Scary Movie" and a grainy sex tape who she looks up to in the style department.
It started me thinking, though. I'm an old-fashioned girl. Sit me down with a black-and-white movie and a champagne flute and I couldn't be happier.
Jane Alice Peters -- you might know her as Carole Lombard -- is one of my style icons.
Sure I'm a Hepburn fan (Katharine, mostly but Audrey too) -- and I love Bette Davis, and Isabella Rossellini before her Prince Valiant haircut, and I'll watch Cary Grant and George Clooney any ole time.
But Ms. Lombard is in a category all her own. Maybe because she left us so young, I don't know. But I could watch her in "My Man Godfrey" daily for the rest of my life and never stop admiring her style and wit and grace, the way she gazes at William Powell or glowers at sister Cornelia, somehow managing to both sparkle and smolder against the Art Deco set.
You can watch this 1936 classic movie any time you want, on You Tube. I recommend that you stick with the black-and-white version.
Today is in color. But yesterday, and forever, is in black and white.

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