let's celebrate good taste

SOFIA-1-nyt

Photographer: Andrew Durham for The New York Times

I think of all girl/style crushes I've ever had, Sofia Coppola is the most enduring one. It's predictable, I know. I'm quite meh about her movies - okay, but not earth-shattering - but her assured style is always an inspiration. But this isn't really just another one my gushings about her awesome wardrobe, it's just something I read about her lately that set off a train of thought.

In an interview in the January 2011 issue of UK Vogue, she described herself as being someone quite particular about what she likes and dislikes. This sounds general, but it got me thinking about how a lot of people don't exercise this to great degree when it comes to things like design and fashion, things they regard as superficial.

As Anna Wintour said in "The September Issue", something about fashion scares people. Sofia Coppola herself said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2006: “You’re considered superficial and silly if you are interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity."

I think here's nothing wrong with being interested in frivolity, so long as it isn't your be-all and end-all. Physical things like fashion, architecture, design are important to me because they frame the life you lead - they're the backdrop and settings that intersect when you form an emotional attachment or memory in association with them.

I suppose I like Sofia Coppola because of her enjoyment of design and creativity and the visual appeal and craft of things, in an exacting way, and her films celebrate this. Her gift is for the way things look and how they suggest so much, and I don't mind that she isn't so great at developing storylines, characters (that's what other filmmakers are for).

In the same way, I see her as someone who enjoys fashion with a clear idea of what she likes, exercising good taste.

She does "frivolity" so well, and I mean that in a good way.

sofia

Anyway, with that bit of navel-gazing over and done with, let's admire her good wardrobe, shall we? I love how the premiere of "Somewhere" means lots of new picts. Her look isn't strict and has a lot of range - she wears fur, sequins, some bright colours, full skirts, narrow skirts, ruffles, polka dots, stripes, heels, flats (not all shown here, I realise) - but there's a general demure vibe and she has a way of making things look understated and elegant that's a lot more about what she has on. Her clothes are great but it's her ability to wear clothes with her own distinct aura that I'll love to achieve.

Pictures from nytimes, zimbio

Comments

Alex said…
I actually love sofia's films (except maybe marie antoinette which was a bit boring). The only thing I find a bit annoying about her is the way she seems really indifferent in interviews. I can't really describe what I mean, but she just never seems to say anything interesting.
Alexandra said…
Just effortless.

herribbonsandherbows.blogspot.com/
Ammu said…
Love her style. More and more I realize that when I love someone's style it's rarely because I want to dress like that (I used to do that when I was younger) and more because what they wear just looks so right on them. Sofia is a perfect example of that.
Anonymous said…
i'm quite indifferent to her movies actually. the more i think about it, the more i feel it really lacks substance. why separate substance and style? isn't that what a movie supposed to deliver? story, style, atmosphere, thoughts, emotions, visual beauty, philosophy, view on world and life, poetry...etc
to me, her movies are really quite one-dimensional,really thin in the content and no matter how beautiful and even sensual the visual seems, it's kinda of a candy in disguise...
and i don't get what she says about frivolity. again it's kinda of an empty statement without anything substantial to back it up. she's verbal about her opinions, not making a poetry or composing some music, which can be as abstract as possible...so i don't think i'm wrong to expect her to be more articulate about her thoughts and opinions...
If Jane said…
i like her style as well because it is so simple...
lin said…
Alex: I didn't manage to to finish Marie Antoinette...my mind wandered throughout that movie, haha. Maybe she never says anything very interesting because she's not very interesting, apart from her style hahaha.

Or maybe she's just one of those people who feel they don't need to explain themselves. I think it's difficult to tell anything about a person from an interview.

Ammu: Yes, I can admire a broad range of styles so long as that person wears it with conviction.

Anon: I separate style from substance in this instance because I only like her movies visually...I don't think she's shown much depth in other aspects of movies apart from evoking the right mood - she's like a great music video director. I know that she's lacking as a filmmaker but I still wanted to celebrate the one aspect of her work and her persona that I find inspiring (style) and which I find to still have it's own merit, even if it doesn't add up to greatness. Hope I'm making sense!

So it's the style I'm admiring, and while that alone has its own merit, I don't think it's enough to carry a movie. I think Wes Anderson is someone who has great style but manages also to develop his films in other aspects to bring out his characters and meanings further.

I suppose even though I don't think she's a filmmaker of tremendous substance, I still find myself agreeing with the truth in her statement - being interested in things like fashion or style doesn't make me silly and vain. I think that's a pretty clear and logical statement but I realise a lot of people don't think that way and to them it's a waste of time and superficial.

If Jane: Simple can so hard to do!
Fashion Tidbits said…
i have a huge style crush on her too! esp on her Sofia for LV bags!!!
Fleurette said…
This was such a good read. I admire your ability to articulate yourself so well. I agree with you in every point, especially the part where you mentioned that there's nothing wrong with being interested in frivolity as long as it isn't your be-all and end-all. I have a feeling that many fashion bloggers today are completely absorbed in this fashion bubble, it really scares me.
lin said…
Fashion Tidbit: Always good to know I'm not the only creepy one who has all these picts of her saved in my inspiration folder :) And yes, those bags are beautiful.

Fleurette: Thanks, I enjoy reading your posts as well. I know what you mean about the fashion bubble, but I suppose since they blog about fashion, perhaps that is all we see when they could be are more than that. At least, I'd like to believe that.

That said, I worked at a fashion magazine before and there were people truly self-absorbed and it is why I decided fashion journalism isn't for me, it can be very self-important...
Fleurette said…
I know what you mean. Your and my blog are very fashion-fashion but I can sense that you're A LOT more than that through the lother things you share about literature, movies, life etc but it's most apparent through your writing and intellect. :)

Sometimes, your first impressions of the person behind a blog is the right one. The fashion blogs I read are the ones that are written by people who are interested in fashion but let their intellect and other interests shine through their posts. Take Camille from childhood flames as an example. She mainly posts about fashion but you can totally perceive that she is very smart, her words are very powerful as opposed to many of the popular bloggers (I can't even finish reading a post on fashion toast).

I know a couple of famous Norwegian fashion bloggers personally (who are very huge international) that are completely self-absorbed in this so-called fashion blog bubble. I don't like being judgmental but you can really perceive their self-absorption through the conversations you have with these particular bloggers, that their fashion blogs really reflect their personality - which I find scary. When fashion is the ONLY thing you can talk with that person about, even though you know that person well.. yeah, that's when you start thinking. I don't judge people who devote their life to fashion but it's scary when fashion is their be-all and end-all. It kills me more when these particular bloggers state that they hate reading books, or never watch a good movie or listen to nice music, or have no interest in attending university, exploring (not only fashion-wise), just waiting for the opportunity to work in the fashion industry or something. I guess this is why people have the impression that fashion is frivolity and for stupids.

Sorry for long long comment. I'm not good at expressing myself concisely.
lin said…
^ you express yourself well. and thanks for your very nice remarks! :)

i feel the same way about fashion bloggers, hence my blog roll has evolved a lot over the years. but it comforts me that for every silly blog that exists, i usually find a well-written one to enjoy. and it pains me when good bloggers stop blogging - sometimes i still read the old posts on my google reader for inspiration.
miss sophie said…
LOVE sofia's style. i posted about this earlier this month as well - she is a modern day jane birkin (though they have very different styles) for me. :) i like that SC is kind of like the 'thinking girl's' style icon. never about showing off too much skin (though there's nothing wrong with showing just the *right* amount of skin!), and i love that she always looks like she dresses for herself first.
lin said…
I love her demure charm too!

I see a little bit of that in Carey Mulligan as well, though with actresses there's always the question of a stylist.
onlycoolcats said…
She is not the "classic beauty",but I think she is the girl,that every man would like to date with.

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