Fashion doesn’t often bother about what’s under the skin. But the fashion icons we love most have the heart and spirit to rival the best of their looks, and prove that beauty really does reside within. Read on to find out more about five modern role models who embody a powerful brand of femininity and true grace.
1. Rooney Mara
Known for her Gothic yet minimal style, actress Rooney Mara possesses a steely integrity in her every fashion decision. From a rising starlet in rosy flounces, Mara graduated to a fashion powerhouse with a resume of appearances in foam-and-froth lace, deconstructionist little black frocks, and more. The Givenchy devotee is equally at home in streetwear, and she is also behind the darkly ethereal vegan leather brand Hiraeth. Whether sporting a T-shirt and sweatpants or swathed in a witchy, high-drama gown, Mara’s austere charisma makes every look quite entirely her own.
2. Gillian Anderson
Lauded thespian Gillian Anderson boasts a decades-long run on the red carpet as formidable as her stage presence. She was an unsung style heroine of the ’90s, rocking visible thongs and sci-fi sunglasses with a punk-girl audacity and utter lack of pretentiousness. At the same time, Anderson cultivated a classic Hollywood glamour with her taste for satin slips and all things velvet. And who has ever been able to pull off so many hairstyles and colors? From Scully-red to platinum blonde, from white-hot runs on The X-Files to The Crown, Anderson has and will always be a force to be reckoned with.
3. Ruth Negga
Actress Ruth Negga’s star has been on the rise, and its light is absolutely dazzling the fashion world. Negga has not only been the face of Louis Vuitton, but also the darling of Rodarte and Valentino. She’s unafraid to get maximalist and travel the gamut of patterns and fabrics from gingham to florals to jacquard and tweed. She’s a style chameleon. And she serves up every unapologetically girlish look with a side of level-headed elegance that matches her acting chops.
4. Susie Cave
Former 90s supermodel Susie Cave returned to the industry with a vengeance when she unveiled her cult brand, The Vampire’s Wife. The structured silhouettes, gem-like fabrics, and Old-World charm made it an overnight success, and rightfully returned attention to Susie herself as a timeless fashion icon. Who could ever forget her Met Gala appearance, wrapped in blood-red velvet like a chrysalis? Or for that matter, any one of her magical designs, worn by so many celebrity friends? Cave has the air of a woman who dresses for herself and no one else, and it’s made her fashion royalty and apart of these fashion icons.
5. FKA Twigs
Musical artist FKA twigs has garnered a cult following for her avant-garde, genre-defying work, and she has the wardrobe to match. She’s made every fashion trend her own, from the Renaissance fashion trend of bodices and cupid prints to an eclectic ‘pirate aesthetic’ of poet shirts and tricornes paired with flaming-red braids. The multi-talented artist has made a career of reinventing herself — and there’s only more to come.