Getting all introspective and retrospective around the holidays had be contemplating what makes a style icon. You think of people like Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn and it is plain to see that there was more to those women than a great dress on a fit body. They weren’t just fashionable. They had style and grace – something that transcends any single item of clothing, no matter how amazing it is.
Grace Kelly, for instance, carried herself in such a way that she exuded style. She must have had an impact on everyone around her in 1964 she started a foundation in order to help those with special needs who weren’t able to receive aid through the usual social service channels. Also, during her life she secretly donated money to a number of organizations that helped advance the arts.
When I received the 6th Jane By Design Style Challenge from ABC Family the directions were pretty clear – take the bag of pretzels they sent and get creative. Find fashion inspiration in the most mundane thing around – pretzels. As the emailed instructions stated, “What does the future hold for the world of fashion? That will depend on people like you. It’s time to take a long hard look at yourself and the world around you. What do you see and how does it make you feel? The ability to be inspired by everyday life is an essential skill.”
I read these words just before running out on some errands. As I looked around the streets I realized, not for the first time, there truly is inspiration everywhere we look. The twinkling Christmas lights, fluttering little birds, a newly groomed dog, the clack of heels on the sidewalk, the feeling of warm cashmere gloves encasing my fingers – it was all inspiring. I huddled deeper into my high-collared coat to fight off the chilly wind, and looked across the street. There sitting in the park, as always, was a homeless man. In the last year, he’s taken up residence in the park, sleeping on one of the benches, storing his few meager items in the branches of a tree. He’s harmless and I’m sure right now he is cold and hungry.
Instead of paste a couple bags of pretzels to paper or clothing item to come up with something truly original for this challenge, I opted instead to give the pretzels to him, slipping them into his pile of things while he was away. I realize this is not exactly following the instructions of the sixth challenge, but as I mentioned above, there is more to great style than the clothing a person opts to wear. Style should be in the way we view others and the way we treat them. Style is about a way of behaving, acting, speaking, and dressing. So in a way this use of the pretzels is about finding inspiration in my surroundings.
The Jane By Design Style Challenge is hosted by ABC Family. The TV show, about a high school student who is suddenly thrust into the fashion world, airs tonight at 9/8c.