Most things that spawn from celebrities aren't always so pretty: Lady Gaga's heelless shoes, Ke$ha's blue lipstick, and even a certain socialite's penchant for putting her chihuahua in her purse. Yet, every now and again, a tastemaker comes along and really ignites a craze, inspiring a whole group to follow in his or her stead.
Sure, they may have had their fingers on a sort of pulse or caught a glimpse of something cool in the fashion crystal ball, but each of these looks didn't really take off until one of these women truly made it her own. Fortunately, it's good to know that not every style-star trend involves putting a pooch in a bag.
Audrey Hepburn & Cropped Slacks With Ballet Flats
Sure, her Breakfast At Tiffany's look might be the most recognizable, but no ensemble has inspired such a relaxed revolution as Audrey Hepburn's revival of the ballet flat. Thanks to both Funny Face and Sabrina, the starlet created an ankle sensation, taking the long-forgotten flat and giving it a chic revival with the slimming black pant. (The exposed leg adds a cheeky wink to the all-black ensemble.) Today, the ballet/fitted-capri combo is just as smart and dapper as ever.
Everett Collection/Rex USA
Diane Keaton & Menswear
Today, anytime we see a woman wearing slouchy slacks, a loose button-up, and a bowler hat, we can't help but equate her to Annie Hall. While Annie as a character had spot-on style inspired by the typically masculine, all of the clothes in the movie came from Diane Keaton's actual closet. Thanks to Keaton, low-slung belts, lapels, and collared shirts suddenly became the stand-in for effortless cool.
Photo: SNAP/Rex/Rex USA
Courtney Love & Babydoll Dresses
Before Courtney Love, babydoll dresses were for, well, babies and dolls. Actually, their popularity crested during the late '60s, but the alternative music scene of the late '80s and early '90s latched on to them in an a way that was both ironic and genuine. Playing with and upturning preconceived notions of femininity, alt fans and groups wore the babydoll while moshing, sweating, and screaming their way through concerts — things Courtney Love excelled at. For a moment there, she was queen of the alts and her royal garb was, iconically, the babydoll.
Photo: Brian Rasic/Rex USA
Gwen Stefani & White Muscle Tees
Hey, remember when sleeveless T-shirts were for aerobics classes and plumbers only? Yeah, we can barely recall either. See, since No Doubt crashed through the top of charts with "Don't Speak" 18 years ago (yes, 18 years), it's become perfectly normal for an otherwise luxe-dressed young lady to rock a ribbed tank or other sporty tops along with her statement accessories (questionably appropriate bindis included). Hey, our managing editor has about 20 of them. And, yes, even though she's gone on to much frillier fashions with L.A.M.B., whenever we see a fit female in a white top with her belly and arms exposed, we're always going to think of Gwen Stefani...or aerobics.
Photo: Rex USA
Sarah Jessica Parker & Manolo Stilettos
Yep, Manolos! From the 1970s all the way up to the turn of the century, the arching, dead-sexy stilettos created by the Spanish designer were, indeed, the toast of the Upper East Side, Monaco, and anywhere else money and high style flowed. But it was only when Sarah Jessica Parker's Sex And The City character fell into ecstatic fits over them that these works of footwear art — once primarily familiar to Vogue readers and the Bergdorf-set — became mainstream fetish objects. Now "Manolo" is a byword for sexy, flashy, often outré femme style, tied forever to the woman also known as Carrie Bradshaw.
Photo: ERIK C PENDZICH/Rex USA
Kate Moss & The Leopard Coat
Yes, yes — the leopard print is, quite literally, prehistoric. But, honestly, toward the end of the 20th century, coats made out of the print were more associated with senior citizens and rich women of questionable taste. The secondhand stores were filled
with them. But then Ms. Moss slipped on your grandma's old leopard-print coat, and it became dangerous, deadly, and decidedly young again. Also, given how much she wears them, we kind of feel that if leopard-print looks hadn't already existed for centuries, Kate Moss would have had to invent them
. That or go naked half the time.
Photo: Beretta/Sims/Rex USA
Mary-Kate/Ashley Olsen & Hobo-Style Boho
The tabloid press used to call them "bag ladies," and for a moment there, we were right along with them. But then we warmed to this luxe, oversized take on the old-boho style, realizing that these young ladies were playing with their physical size and financial might in a particularly fashionable, amusing way. Suddenly, we looked around, and everyone's coats were scraping the pavement...even ours. To this day, whenever one of our staffers saunters into the office with hangover-blocking shades on, a two-sizes-too-big cardi, and a Venti latte, we say, "Good morning, MK!"
Photo: Flynet Pictures, Inc.
Nicole Richie & The McQueen Scarf
Perhaps no one in our little circle of beloved fashion notables has risen so high from starting so low as Nicole Richie. Let's remember it wasn't all that long ago that she was wearing Wet Seal looks and palling around with Paris Hilton. But then the lady went boho — and we're not talking just any kind of boho. No, her casual pieces — from torn jeans to hippie dresses to her ever-present scarves — are always impeccably sourced. It's become a sort of dreamy, intelligently flung-together Cali style that has turned her into a serious fashion commodity, and the rock-'n'-roll scarf is the linchpin.
Photo: Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages
Alexa Chung & The Peter Pan Collar
Dating back to at least the Renaissance — centuries before J. M. Barrie was even born — the Peter Pan collar has been favored by the fashionably demure. Somehow, though, none of the many chic women who've worn it over the centuries have ever owned it like Alexa Chung has. For someone so brash and bold, somehow the collar makes her simultaneously more girlish and more laddish — a neat trick. She even uses them to add a wink to even the most dramatic dresses — so much so that it's hard to imagine her neck without one.
Photo: Joseph Kerlakian/Rex/Rex USA
Jenna Lyons & Daytime Sequins
Fittingly, the maven of J.Crew is also the harbinger of well-heeled daytime glam, or the pairing of opposites, if you will. Boyfriend jeans with heels, button-ups on the red carpet, and toning down sequins for a bit of sunlight-ready flair. Thanks to Lyons' lead, we've got a new paragon of effortless, comfortable style.
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
Rihanna & The Flat-Brimmed Hat
Her hair seems to change by the hour, but the hat remains the same. Rihanna looks good in just about everything she wears, be it haute couture or simple street wear. But her strongest sartorial connect to her hip-hop roots, however, remains her flat-brimmed, always-sharp lids. More to the point, as her look becomes more and more refined and feminine, the hats point to her boyish charm (and make us want to invest in our own). Honestly, if we went a week without seeing her in one while stepping off a tour plane or into a club, we would start to worry about her.
Photo: Brian J. Ritchie Photography Ltd/Rex/Rex USA