One of my earliest memories is of sitting at the foot of our baker's rack, staring at my mom's record collection. We kept our ancient record player on the bottom section of the rack, along with the small collection of records that my parents had hobbled together over the years. It was my mom's records, though, that fascinated me the most, especially one in particular... Stevie Nicks' Bella Donna. Stevie looked like a mythical princess to my eyes, wearing a gorgeous dress and holding a bird with the same doe-eyed enchantment of a Disney character. I wanted to know more about her and vowed to myself that someday I would find out where she'd come from and go there, since obviously it was a magical place.
Stevie stuck with me as a point of inspiration throughout my life. She's enigmatic and powerful, a songwriter to rival all songwriters, and she's not married. Something about that has been hopeful for me, the eternally single, career-minded writer with a taste for dresses and magic. Her song, "Juliet" is one of my favorite songs ever, because every strange, poetic and mysterious word of it relates in some fractured way to my life.
And I'd still love to raid her closet.
Around 18 or 20, I remember picking up a copy of a fashion magazine at the library, and Kate was the cover story. She said something about how she would go to school without makeup, with zit cream on her face. At the time, that was revolutionary for me. I’ve always struggled a lot with self image and weight issues and whatnot, and still do even now (see: yesterday), but that was so inspirational. Here was this successful woman saying she didn’t have to always look 100%, she could admit to NEEDING zit cream… I mean, it was a crazy thing for me to read. It stuck with me, though, and I’ve been TeamKate ever since. She gets so much crap for a number of things, namely her personal/romantic life and her weight, and I’ve always thought it was unfair. She’s chipper, optimistic, funny and likes food and great clothes. I can get behind that! She’s pretty unapologetic about herself, and maybe that’s the problem people have with her… she’s a woman who’s not afraid to say she likes guys... a lot! She’s not afraid to say she’s weighed 185lbs. She’s also a killer cool mom and has dabbled in making kickass dresses (see: my Ann Taylor dress) and athletic wear and all kinds of other cool stuff, while not making fabulous movies. To me, that’s awesome.
Kate was also the one who introduced me to my love of designer fashion. Her iconic dress, eleven years ago now, stopped me in my tracks in a grocery store while I flipped through a magazine. From that moment, I paid more attention to designers, red-carpets and fashion in general. That dress still stands out as one of my favorite red-carpet moments.
(The legendary 2003 dress!)
Much like Stevie Nicks before her, Florence Welch is an enigmatic, mysterious, gorgeous creature who seems to have flown directly out of a painting or a fantasy novel. Her songs are about love and life and death but they're also about magic and lights and spells. I was fascinated by her since she was first featured in Q magazine, and started listening to her waaay before she became popular in the US (there's my hipster moment for you)
On top of being all of those things, she's also the same age as me and has a similar eccentric taste in clothes. Whether she's wearing a dress from the 1930s, a peasant blouse, a short short skirt, a flowing dress made for a queen or a bathing suit with giant flowery shoulders, she's always a spectacle. And her voice could shake the foundations of the world. What an incredible woman!
Much like Kate Hudson, Heidi Klum is a positive influence with a lot of ambition and power behind her. I've always admired her open-minded approach to life, arms open and a big smile on her face. She's not afraid to say what she thinks about things and she's not afraid to have fun. She's also a mom to four kids (FOUR!) and has a career that most of us would die for. And hello? She's WAY gorgeous. Because of my opportunities to know so many lovely people from Project Runway, I've heard stories about Heidi from behind the scenes. She lives up to the hype, and she continues to inspire me on so many levels. This is a woman who still did her own taxes until a few years ago, revitalized the Victoria's Secret brand, helped create Project Runway AND saved her children from a riptide. Respect.
(One of my all time favorite Heidi looks!)