Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about personal style: How do you cultivate it? Where does it come from? While pondering all these questions, we’ve come to realise that style isn’t always on purpose, and it definitely doesn’t live in a vacuum. Whether you consciously realise it or not, your style is likely shaped and influenced by what you see others wearing.
Whether it’s your mum, your favourite celebrity, or even a fictional character, there’s bound to be someone (or multiple people) who have shaped your taste into what it is today. It’s been said that we only understand ourselves in the context of how others see us, and as far as fashion is concerned, that’s a pretty accurate assessment.
Because we were curious to see which women have played a major role in influencing our style, we decided to compile a list of women who have inspired the Who What Wear Australia team over the years. It was certainly a trip down memory lane, and funnily enough, it turns out the same names popped up time and time again. Chances are, you’ve been inspired by these women too at some point. Lesson learned: style is personal, but there are some definite trend-setters. To see a timeline of the women who’ve inspired us, and to ready about our favourite style icons, keep scrolling.
Pre-2000s: Audrey Hepburn, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot
Could it get any more classic than this? Whether you find yourself going for a French-inspired wardrobe or “blonde bombshell” type of look, chances are you’ve found inspiration from these ladies somewhere along the way.
Early 2000s: Kirsten Dunst, Britney Spears, Kate Moss
Low-slung jeans, crop tops, and spaghetti straps… these are the women who introduced us to some of the biggest early '00 trends. Let’s be honest, we still try to replicate Kate Moss’s outfits on the daily.
2005-2007: Olsen Twins, Nicole Richie, Gemma Ward, Joan from Mad Men
With their baggy boho bags and studded-leather, these style stars inspired us to think outside of the box. Not to mention, Joan gave us a taste of the corporate world that looked so much better than anything we could’ve imagined.
2008-2009: Sea of Shoes, Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast, Blair & Serena from Gossip Girl, Effy Stonem from Skins
Enter the blogger: A completely new phenomenon was born. With Sea of Shoes and Fashion Toast gobbling up a majority of our web-browsing, we found ourselves lusting over extravagant footwear and leather mini skirts. Another major source of inspo? Gossip girl, of course. It made us believe we could pull off headbands and coloured tights—word on the street is both these accessories are back though, and we’re not mad about it.
2010-2011: Elin Kling, Eleonora Carisi, Whitney Port
In coming years, bloggers continued to shape our style (as they still do today). Some of our favourites during this period were Elin Kling and Eleonor Carisi with their higher-fashion approach to dressing. And let’s not forget Whitney Port who proved to be a major inspiration in her own right after winning our hearts in The Hills and The City.
2012-2013: Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo
Speaking of fashion icons…who could forget these two? Granted, we still look to them for inspo today, but they were the epitome of style during this period mastering looks that seemingly no one else could pull off.
2014-2015: Sienna Miller
We always love Sienna Miller’s glamorous boho vibe, but 2015 was definitely a sartorial heyday for the actress. Remember her embellished Miu Miu dress at the Golden Globes? We’re still dreaming about it.
2016-2017: Giovanna Battaglia, Sincerely Jules
Obviously, the stylist has always had good taste, but Battaglia’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress is what really sold us in 2016. Meanwhile, our everyday outfits were inspired by blogger Julie Sariñana (Sincerely Jules). If you weren’t following her on Instagram… what were you doing?
It’s no secret that we’re still inspired by Instagram stars. Right now, we’re feeling particularly inspired by Anne-Laure Mais (Adenorah) and Lucy Williams. Celebrities continue to shape our style, with Dakota Johnson’s seemingly effortless taste really standing out at the moment. And how could forget: The Hadids are starting trends followed by other celebrities, models, and fans alike.