Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc may be a prominent figure in history--she did, after all, lead France to several important victories during the Middle Ages--but muse? It's true: elite fashion houses, including Yves Saint Laurent and Versace, referenced the peasant warrior-turned-patron saint in their fall collections, rendering her a true style icon. This season, we noticed chainmail accents, armor-like silhouettes, and weaponry-influenced accessories that point to Joan's storied spirit, and offer a welcome hard-edge contrast to the season's more romantic trends. Accordingly, today's Look We Love pays homage to the heroine with a roundup of inspired-by picks.<br
On the Runways
Joan might not have been the most common reference on the runways-that honor would go to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander-but the two are certainly stylistic counterparts. Think about it: both chose traditionally male professions (soldier, in Joan's case, hacker for Salander), embraced androgyny as a survival mechanism, and are associated with a certain cropped-bangs haircut. As such, it can difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. For example, Salander was mentioned at Versace, but it was the collection's dresses with chainmail panels paired with thigh-high netted boots that hinted at a modern-day Joan. Meanwhile, over at Yves Saint Laurent, metal mesh translated the idea of an armor-clad uniform to a contemporary evening look for a take-no-prisoners sort of woman. That contrast of heavy metal against feminine silhouettes illustrates our muse most effectively and gives us clear instructions on how to adapt these ideas for everyday dressing.
On The Streets
Joan of Arc's influence has extended well beyond the runways too. As seen on Stockholm Street Style, one civilian channeled the patron saint of France with a layered outfit consisting of a long velvet jacket over a gold-embroidered red dress that looks straight out of the Middle Ages. The addition of gold and silver jewelry gives the ensemble its regal feel.
Get the Look/Clothing
First things first: we don't expect you to wear full-on armor-that would be a little weird-but we'd like to assure you that there are stylish pieces on the market with an inspired look. For example, Alice + Olivia's Double-Breasted Wool-Blend Cape ($495) features a small diamond, wool-blend pattern reminiscent of chainmail; it won't protect you from weaponry, but it will certainly arm you against winter's chill. The same could be said for Catherine Malandrino's Pleated Leather Ponti Skirt ($425); just be sure to style it with a feminine blouse for a striking contrast. For a less literal interpretation, grab Rebecca Taylor's Mesh Top ($85) or Raquel Allegra's Butterfly Shred Dress ($446, 310.230.8882). The latter, with its moody, oxblood hue, speaks to a modern-day Joan's more formal side.
Get The Look/Accessories
Once you have your clothing sorted, you'll need a few accessories to finish the look. Now, we can't imagine Joan would step out onto the field of battle in a pair of stiletto boots, but perhaps she'd appreciate the military-inspired details, maybe even the silhouette, of Rachel Zoe's Dylan Over The Knee Boots ($695). If you're looking for the perfect clutch to accompany your ensemble, Whiting & Davis' Crystal Classics Clutch ($165) manages to be at once severe and elegant, thanks to its metal-mesh overlay and bejeweled closure. Of course, if you want your jewelry to do all the talking, there's Topshop's Chain Drape Cape Necklace ($70), which will add an industrial element to your basic tops and dresses, or BCBGMaxazria's medieval-esque Mask Armor Ring ($118), which will lend some drama to any fall look.
Get The Look/Beauty
Joan of Arc might have worn makeup, but go ahead and enhance your natural assets with Stila's Eye Shadow ($18) in Java. Use an angled brush for a smokey brown eyeliner, or swipe it across the eyelid for a subtle shadow--your looks may not actually kill, but they will certainly mesmerize.--Jessica Baker
Street style photo, courtesy of Stockholm Streetstyle.