Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who Is Elegant, Chic, Stylish? A Survey























Caroline de Monaco

Yet another installment in the continuing series on "whatever question pops into my head" surveys. 

Today we shall examine who French women believe are the indelible standard bearers of the ultimate in allure, poise, presence and personal style -- the words the women themselves used to describe their choices. Some won't surprise, some may and some you might not know.

Many icons were cited repeatedly, among them: Chanel, Catherine Deneuve -- always with the qualifier, "before" since most find she hasn't upheld the banner -- Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Caroline de Monaco,  Ines de la Fressange and more (you'll see next week).

And the nominees are. . .











































Gisele: Coco Chanel -- more than 50 percent of those questioned mentioned her -- and Catherine Ney the stunning, statuesque journalist, radio and television commentator and author of bestselling books on politics and politicians.













































Chantal: Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts "not because of how they dress, but because of who they are -- both natural, open, not constrained by what is supposed to be chic or 'in' -- bien dans leur peau."























Edith:  Jackie Kennedy and Caroline de Monaco -- both mentioned over and over. 























Elise: Lou Lou de la Falaise, the former muse of Yves Saint Laurent and designer of magnificently creative bijoux.













































Aurore: Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lauren Bacall.

















Pamela: Ines de la Fressange.










































Evelyne: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Condoleezza Rice.








































Christine: Elsa Schaparelli and her granddaughter, Marisa Berenson.

23 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

I didn't know Marissa Berenson was Schapiarelli's granddaughter!

What an interesting group of women mentioned here.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Tish, thank you for showing these beautiful, but obviously time-proven women that stand out because of their style and natural allure! There is hope to just keep on keeping on, gray hairs, wrinkles or flab!!!!! Anita

materfamilias said...

Like Pseu, I'm surprised by the Berenson-Schiaperelli connection. Cool collection of inspiring women. . .

Young at Heart said...

Speaking as a woman who normally associates 'well groomed' with something you do to horses, it would appear that 'slim' is definitely a pre-requisite for chic, stylish elegance....

Belle de Ville said...

Hands down for Caroline of Monaco. She has it from both the nature and nurture sides.

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

I would add Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy's sister Lee Radziwill. And, surprising for a government official, ( I am thinking of disasters like Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel) our own Ministre des Finances, Christine Lagarde. We might also want to definitely add Letitia Jett, if we go by the sketches on her blog!

Duchesse said...

Jane Birkin, Fanny Ardant, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly. Of course we name the celebrity examples, but I see truly elegant women in every day life.

I don't think one has to be thin to be elegant, but since so many of the women named are photographed or on screen, it is a convention of their type of beauty.

I would love to see examples of elegant women who do not have access to the very highest level of clothing, grooming and accessories.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The thing about Jacqueline was that she made it all seem so effortless. Innate style.

Gracious, Catherine Nye! What an amazing face.

Meryl is divine, because she is such an individual. So beautifully comfortable in her own skin.

It's difficult for me to see Julia the way others do. We went to the same high school. She is remembered in my town as the girl who wore the mouse costume at Chucky Cheese Pizza.

I would perhaps add Cate Blanchett to the list. I love her elegant originality on the red carpet.

Fabulous post, as usual!

Lorrie said...

A lovely inspirational list covering many ages.

BigLittleWolf said...

As usual - love your picks!

My Grama's Soul said...

Beautiful women......all!

Jo

JMW said...

Yes, although these women have or had "it." Grace, style, you name it. I'd have to add Audrey Hepburn, Babe Paley, Lee Radziwill, Katherine Hepburn and Sophia Loren to the list as well.

Marsi said...

Condi Rice. Well, that's an unexpected choice.

xoxox

Marsi said...

Condi Rice. Well, that's an unexpected choice.

xoxox

knitpurl said...

Yes, Letitia Jett on the list too! Hillary and Angela are a pair of fashion-never-wases. Too bad because with all their international exposure, they could be. I don't think it is in either woman's character to particularly care.

Where is Audrey Tautou? Having just viewed "Coco Before Chanel" and loving it, despite poor English subtitles, I'm just wondering.
xoxo

Lily Lemontree said...

All very stylish ladies, can't wait to read more!!!

Kathy said...

Helen Mirren. I'd like to age that well.

James said...

I would add you to this list. I count on you to keep bringing your sense of elegance and style to us all.

Marieanne said...

*Love* the inclusion of Condi.

Duchesse said...

Oh yes, Cate Blanchett! Condi is not elegant for me, the impression is too rigid- but she has beautiful clothes that suit her role and personality. I prefer Michelle Obama's breezier style.

What about Tilda Swinton, who can challenge our conventional notions of beauty?

Jeanne said...

Tish, I do not think you could have created a more perfect list!

Jeanne:)

That's Not My Age said...

I'm with the Duchesse. I'm a big Tilda fan. Went to see I am Love last night and want that wardrobe!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Can't wait to read more. La Deneuve has still got it as far as I can see!

Carolina Herrera might have a toe in the race, too.

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