Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Style Icon - Jennifer Connelly

Way back when, when I had a passion for fashion but the only "fashion" magazine available for girls my age was Dolly; and teen celebrity culture was an unheard of phenomenon in the way it is today, I found one of my formative style icons in my favorite film. The pubescent Jennifer Connelly in the Jim Henson fantasy, Labyrinth. I must have watched this film every Sunday afternoon for almost a year I loved it so much. And while the film appealed to me on so many different levels (I'll leave that for another day), it was Connelly and her character that sparked my imagination.

Not having the disposable cash of teens today (and yes I had to walk a mile in the snow to the mall) or the cheap fashion selections, I always had to create my outfits from what I already had in my wardrobe, things pinched from mum or miscellanea from the dress up box. So with a pair of jeans I had, a Pirate style shirt loaned from mum and a vest pinched from one of Dad's old suits, I styled myself into quite a passable imitation of Ms. Connelly. And I loved it. The moment I put on that outfit, I could inhabit her character in much the same way as an actor on the stage, except to me, it was real. I was suddenly so much more romantic, floating around looking wistfully into the distance and trying to find old first editions novels to pose strategically with. But it was more than just a girl playing dress ups, it was a fashion epiphany. Clothes were not merely something to have for "good" or "everyday", clothes had a secret language. A language that held the power to tell the world who I really was. (In this case a raven haired, goblin charming adventuress). And the rest for me was, as the say, history.

But not only did Jennifer Connelly play a staring role in my introduction to the power of fashion, she went on to become a style icon in her own right. Given, she flys under the radar when it comes to celebs that court the front covers of checkout magazines, but if I know my readers you'll agree that this only adds to her charm. When it comes to the red carpet, Jennifer isn't afraid of a statement piece. Case in point, her sculptural floral dress from the Balenciaga S/S 08 collection. (Seen out on the town just prior to being seen as part of the advertising campaign) Unlike many a celeb, Jennifer inhabits the clothes as an extension of her personality rather than coming off like an uncomfortable clothes horse with a stylist on her last pay cheque.

In Balenciaga

Photo Getty Images

For me the most inspiring elements of her style is the way she always looks lady like, but never dowdy or overly conservative. She mixes it up, takes risks and carries it of with a strong sense of self assurance. As a mother of two, I'm sure it would be easy for her to scrub up for these big events and then let it all go when out of the spotlight. But once again, contrary to many a candid celeb shot, this example of Ms. Connelly out for coffee with her two boys, shows me that she just GETS it. It's jeans, it's a t-shirt, it's a pony tail - but it works!

Photo by Flynet

So all I can say is, "You remind me of a Babe."


Tara said...

I love Labyrinth, one of my favourite movies for sure!
Was Bowie one of the appealing reasons? ;)

Bottes said...

Nice blog... Are you interesting in a link exchange with my blog ?
Bottes pas cher

Lavender said...

What babe? the babe with the power.

I loved this film so much.

Imelda Matt said...

I was standing in line a my local Coles and the Labyrinth dvd was on-sale for $8.99, I picked it up and suddenly realized that JC was star. As a kid I must have seen that film like a million times but I've never connected the dots!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

"What Babe?"

Fleur de Guerre said...

I think she is gorgeous, except for her eyebrows! They have always irritated the hell out of me!

Miss_Red said...

Oooh Labyrinth! One of my favourite movies growing up, I had such a crush on David Bowie :)
JC looks gorgeous in these photos, the black and white dress in particular. So elegant!

floraposte said...

Teehee how that film ever got a certificate with David Bowie in those tights I will never know!

(R)evolver74 said...

I love her!!! And I love Paul Bettany!

Hammie said...

loved that film, loved David Bowie more in it, but I think I wanted to be JC too.
I haven't sat through the whole film yet, but Boo has helped me watch the credits sequence of "Arthur and the Invincibles" about 7 times on Teevo. David Bowie plays a goblin once again, and takes a magnificent animated bow at the end of the casting credits, bet you can get it on Youtube.

I also loved Phoebe Cates at that age. Then again in "Drop Dead Fred"

Anonymous said...

Ohhh the Labyrinth was my fave childhood movie!

I also love JC too. I love her all american beauty ( her strong, natural features especially her eyebrows, so classic!) and her fashion choices. Gotta love an actress who doesn't use a stylist :)

Danielle said...

she might be the hottest woman alive. that and i think she's climbed some peaks in Nepal...if i had a best friend actor, i'd wish it to be she.

Mikkle said...

she is awesome! this might sound weird but i love her eyebrows!

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Tara: I think there was a minor crush involved.

Botte: Thank you, but I only link to blogs I read regularly.

Lavender: I knew you guys would get it.

Imelda Matt: How funny. I could see you rocking Bowie's look for next Halloween.

Anon: "The babe with the power."

Fleur: I actually admire her for those. It has been a strong part of her character and she hasn't bowed to pressure to change that part of her image. Whether I like them or not isn't really an issue, but it speaks of someone very confident of her own style.

Miss Red: And even all tizzied up, she still has an effortless look about her.

Floraposte: yep, it kept me glued to the screen trying to figure out what was going on there.

(r)evolver74: I loved Paul Bettany as Chaucer in a Knight's Tale - So funny!

Hammie: Oh Drop Dead Fred! How is it possible that I developed a crush on the very grotty Rick Mayall from that?! I still have a soft spot for him and other grotty fellows. (Bernard from Black Books is also high on my list) Lol.

Porcelain blonde: Perhaps we should have a nostalgia evening and watch a bunch of these together.

Danielle:Wow I had no idea she was so accomplished! What a woman.

Mikkle: No I agree. I think they lend her a certain strength and a bit of a "don't mess with me i know my sh*t" quality.

miss cavendish said...

I recall running into her on Bleeker St., with her firstborn in his Baby Bjorn. She was lovely and focused only on him.