Joan of Arc
‘It was for this that I was born’
Joan of Arc - or Maid of Orleans as she was also known - is the original feminist icon. In 1429, aged 17, Joan - with no military training and wearing men’s armour - led French troops to victory in a battle against the English. As the war raged on, Joan’s influence over strategic military decisions was palpable. When the battles were won, and Charles VII was crowned King of France in 1499, she was by his side. However, after being captured and sold to the English, she was tried for crimes, including dressing like a man, and was burnt at the stake. She was 19 years old.
Joan’s fearless approach to life and disregard for gender norms make her an icon off and on the battlefield. Our Joan range is inspired by the strength and intricacies of her chainmail armour.
‘True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul’
A legend of stage and screen, Audrey Hepburn is one of only 15 people to have achieved the elusive EGOT trophy quadfecta - being awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony. Through her career, Hepburn sprinkled her special kind of cinematic magic in many movies including Roman Holiday and My Fair Lady. However, she is possibly best remembered for her role as Holly Golightly in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A muse of Hubert de Givenchy, the pair collaborated on her costumes for the movie. The outfit she wore in the opening scene has been endlessly referenced and is credited with creating the concept of the ‘little black dress’ in one vignette.
Hepburn’s classic aesthetic is truly iconic. Our pearl infused Audrey collection aims to reflect the feeling of a champagne cork being popped and is inspired by the playfulness of Breakfast at Tiffany’s along with the chic Hollywood style the actress is synonymous with.
‘I think Sebastian, therefore I am’
Whilst Daryl Hannah is undoubtedly an icon in her own right - an acclaimed actress and passionate environmentalist - it was her stand out role in the 1982 dystopian hit, Blade Runner that inspired our Hannah collection. Whilst Daryl wasn’t the first choice to play punk replicant Pris (Blondie’s Debbie Harry turned down the opportunity, something she has described as her ‘biggest regret’) she made the role her own and cemented herself as a female icon of the sci-fi genre. Pris emblematic sprayed-on black mask and choppy blonde bob has inspired many imitations throughout the years, including on the catwalk at Jean Paul Gaultier in 2009. Pris is an iconic cocktail of sexuality, strength and rebellion and our Hannah collection was created with her futuristic, punk style in mind.
“I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.”
Despite living in chronic pain, and being bed-bound for much of her life, Frida Kahlo became one of the most pivotal artists of the 20th Century. Her dynamic and colourful self-portraits captured the energy of her native Mexico. She also used her work to explore difficult topics integral to her own female experience, including miscarriage and infidelity. Her willingness to embrace her supposed flaws, pushing against stereotypical beauty ideals by highlighting her monobrow and upper lip hair, is part of the reason she has been deified as both a feminist idol and an emblem of the body positive movement.
Frida’s iconic image and style have become a source of creative inspiration for designers and fellow artists alike. Our Kahlo collection was inspired by the plants of the Mexican desert, that continue to grow and bloom despite harsh conditions - just like Frida.
‘I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that’
The epitome of Hollywood glamour, Lauren Bacall’s distinctive, husky voice and disarming sultry stare, elevated her to legendary status amongst fans of cinema and beyond. Whilst she enjoyed high profile relationships with some of the most eligible bachelors of the time - she was married to Humphrey Bogart and briefly engaged to Frank Sinatra - she was far more than her romantic interests. She was once quoted as saying ‘I think I’ve damn well earned the right to be judged on my own’ which encompasses her bold and independent approach to life. She was also incredibly politically active - sometimes controversially - in an era when it was not common for celebrities, especially the female ones, to take a public stance on American politics.
Bacall will go down in history as an iconic screen siren and a strong woman never afraid to speak her mind. Our Lauren collection pays homage to her glamorous, elegant style and acts as a time capsule for the Golden era of Hollywood she embodies.
‘I am big. It's the pictures that got small.’
The queen of the Silent Movie era, Gloria Swanson shot to fame in 1919, in pictures such as ‘Don’t Tell Your Husband’ and ‘Male and Female’. But she not only made an impact on the world of cinema. Swanson was a style icon of the 20s and 30s, thanks to her glamorous costumes and boundary-pushing aesthetic. She was known for her haute couture gowns and lavash visual feasts of feathers and heavy beading. Though her clothing was elaborate, the public constantly tried to imitate her looks. She is credited with helping to popularise rising hemlines and coloured gems in jewellery and was one of the first women to prove that fashion trends could be influenced by the power of celebrity.
Swanson’s trailblazing style and willingness to be different make her an enduring icon, even a century later. Our Gloria collection was inspired by the classic geometry of 1930’s art deco era that she is synonymous with.