Vanessa Paradis: From Baby Star to Fashion Icon

There is no beauty like hers. 30 years after the beginning of her career Vanessa Paradis continues to impress the public. Singer, model, actress, and fashion icon, Paradis remains one of the favorite celebrities in France.

How could we describe her style? In the late ’80s, people discovered a 14-year-old “lolita” with a cute voice and a pretty face. Paradis singing “Joe le taxi” in a white crop top and a pair of jeans was far from the elegant woman she is now but it captivated people in the music and the fashion industry.

In 1991 she became the face of the Coco for Chanel perfume. Since then, she stayed close to the Maison de Haute Couture and then became Karl Lagerfeld’s muse.

In 1994, she met Johnny Depp and their love story helped her garner international recognition. Growing up, she continued to captivate us thanks to her style and her mesmerizing beauty.

Paradis doesn’t need tricks to shine and that’s why we love her. She is the perfect mix between a romantic bohemian and a boyish girl. Really elegant and feminine on the red carpet wearing long dresses, white and nude colors, her hair and makeup remind those she wore as a teenager — her looks are always clean, no bling bling or extravagant outfits.

In her personal life, she likes wearing casual outfits but styles them up with androgynous pieces. We usually see her in washed denim, white t-shirts, and blazers. Like Karl Lagerfeld said: “What’s impressive about Vanessa is not what she does but the way she does it.”… and we agree!



Slay: Kendal Jenner, Nay : Bella Hadid

If it was a battle, the youngest Kardashian-Jenner sister would’ve definitely won. The total sportswear look is pretty trendy at the moment, and being able to do it well not only shows an ability to be feminine in men’s clothes, but also look fashionable no matter what.

While Kendall looks super chic with her sunglasses, Bella looks like she has been dressed with her security guard’s clothes. The combo of voluminous pants + enormous sneakers usually works better in editorials than in real life!


Slay: Gigi Hadid. Nay: Rihanna

Wearing a total pastel outfit usually makes you look younger and more innocent. Even if Rihanna’s outfit is gorgeous, the color, the fabric, the shape… her chest doesn’t fit in this bra. Also, the fur handbag is probably not necessary with an outfit like that — it would have been trendier without!

As for Gigi, she looks more ingenuous than ever!!! The oversized short sleeves tee-shirt and the straight fit pants could have appeared too messy, but styled up with these sunglasses and her red lips, they actually look perfect.


Slay: Hailey Baldwin. Nay: Kourtney Kardashian.

Hailey rocks this outfit. Leather + sweater is a classic combo that always works. It gives to this street style a street spirit.

The Kardashian older sister went wrong on this one. Even if her style evolved in a good way these past years, I wonder if her stylist was on vacation that day! The denim jacket is not matching and doesn’t reach to make the look more casual. You should know it Kourt, a sexy bodysuit would never go with leather pants except if you plan to finish the day in a strip club!


Slay: Sarah Jessica Parker. Nay: Céline Dion

To play with this one you really have to be confident because if it turns wrong, you can easily look like you dressed up for a carnival.

As a fashionista, Sarah Jessica always manages shapes and colors like no one else. She looks absolutely fabulous in this color block outfit.

Céline went a bit too far this time. The dress comes straight from Queen Victoria’s wardrobe, its color is giving me an epileptic seizure and the flower just looks as though it was placed below her head to replace her neck.

Trading Places: Leather Jackets and Floral Dresses

As much as I hate to say it, I shop at Zara and I wear all black. I’m basic. Nothing against Zara, I think it’s one of the trendiest places to shop without having to shell out all your savings. The all black may have stemmed from character- or just plain laziness. It doesn’t require much effort and it’s safe. When I pick something off the rack, there’s a guaranteed eye roll coming from whomever I went shopping with that day. I don’t have what they call a “summer wardrobe”.

My clothing choices are predictable and almost always funeral appropriate. Needless to say, it’s now a lifestyle. So when I was paired up with Adina, who comes into the office wearing floral prints and coloured blazers, I knew I was going to have to get out of my comfort zone. I had the peace of knowing it wouldn’t be too crazy with mixing prints and all that, but it would still be difficult. Who knows, I might take something from this. Baby steps people.


Adina: I don’t think I’ve ever worn a sheer top before, so this was a new adventure for me. I liked the floral detailing on it a lot, but sheer plus the camisole is not my usual cup of tea. That being said, I think I’d be open to trying sheer things now that I know I can kind of pull it off. The pants were pretty comfortable actually, and I would wear them everywhere. I could have slept in those pants. I wasn’t totally sure if I put the shoes on correctly, to be honest. They were cute but confusing and squished my toes a bit.

Helen: Ok. Because we shop at some of the same stores, I didn’t think our styles would be a total contrast. I knew Adina would put me in patterns and colour, both of which are foreign for me, but I thought I would be fine.  I was entirely wrong, and a little, (a lot) uncomfortable not being in head to toe black. Jeans and a button up top shouldn’t make someone feel this strange but as simple as it is, this was not an outfit I’d ever pick out myself. For one, I don’t own an actual pair of jeans. However, I might go pick up a pair now that I’ve been reintroduced. The top was really comfortable but I still don’t see myself standing at checkout with it. And the wretched yellow bag- sorry Adina but that was painful.


Adina: You can’t tell in the picture, but those were some seriously high heels. I felt like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time. The highest heels I own are not even two inches tall. They made the whole outfit feel pretty fancy, but I can’t imagine walking anywhere in those shoes. The dress was more low cut than I usually wear, but since it was loose it didn’t feel super exposing. The leather jacket was my favourite thing out of both outfits. It looked badass and gave this whole outfit a bit of spunkier edge.

Helen: I’m in a dress. I’m wearing pink flowers. I also think my hair got even bigger from being stressed out about all the colour. Ok, that might’ve been a tad dramatic. It’s just that the handful of dresses I own are all the same, a black number with clean lines. This was not that.  I feel like this ensemble makes me look younger, and honestly, I probably would’ve bought this whole outfit if I was past me, before I found myself. I also don’t usually wear denim but this jacket I didn’t mind. You can’t see it in this photo but there was also a dainty rose gold necklace that tied this whole look together, which I would totally wear outside of this little experiment

Final Thoughts:

Adina: I think the only time before this that I’ve ever worn so much black at once was to a funeral. I guess I’ve always thought of black as being boring or for those who are more on the punk or goth side than I. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that both outfits had more personality than I expected and that all those black pieces look good together. Both outfits were also much fancier than I normally wear, but it’s opened me up to more fashion possibilities. I’m also gonna go back to Zara when it gets colder so I can buy that jacket.

Helen: Adina’s style is approachable and not too crazy so I didn’t think I would have a hard time leaving the all black uniform for a few minutes. But I still felt a bit self-conscious stepping out of the shadows with that lemon yellow shoulder bag (because people could def see me now). Other than that, I didn’t mind the denim and could probably do with some jean additions in my closet. That being said,  I’ll leave the girl-next-door look to Adina and stick to my Addams Family attire.

Style Icons: Ain’t no party like a bad girl party

Over the course of history, there have been countless women who’ve been given the title of style icon. Which is no easy achievement. However, for those who didn’t fit the general mold of what a stylist woman should be, there was little room to shine. Sure, there has always been an abundance of Audrey Hepburns, Grace Kellys, and Beyoncés when it comes to style icons. But what about the women who didn’t and don’t fit the mold? What about those who built their entire careers on being everything society said they shouldn’t be? It’s time that the world acknowledges the impact these women had on the fashion world and how their contributions to style have remained as staples until this very day.

Courtney Love

Babydoll dresses, lace, knee-highs, tiaras, and Mary Janes were once associated with an ultra-feminine way of dressing. It was soft, delicate, and carried an almost unbearable childish fragility that made each piece look completely inappropriate and comedic on a grown woman. However, something happened in the early ’90s. Women began to adopt hyper-feminine clothing and injecting a shot of feminist bad-assery by taking something traditionally feminine and accessorizing the look with pure punk edge. Hole front woman Courtney Love may not have invented the kinderwhore trend, but she sure as hell made it the go-to uniform for every riot girl whose voice wouldn’t be silenced because she was a frontwoman and not a frontman.

Debbie Harry

During the late ’70s and early ’80s, women’s fashion was defined by big hair, palazzo pants, sequins, platforms, and anything that brought a glitzy amount of excess to the stage. Yet, some women skipped all of the glitz and glamour and sought out clothing that expressed notions of rock and roll rebellion. Debbie Harry’s career as the frontwoman of Blondie embodied just that. She opted to skip out on the bell bottoms and sequined jumpsuits and carved out a niche for herself and many other women by wearing clothing that carried simplicity but a hard rock edge that helped break the homogeneous style trends of the time.

Grace Jones

During the ’80s, before Lady Gaga and Britney Spears could even walk, Grace Jones defined what it was to be a larger-than-life pop icon. Her looks were daring, avant-garde, and always had an air of raw feminine sexuality. In an era when women either had the choice to branch off into Sunset Boulevard, glam metal chic, Dynasty power suit moments, or Madonna inspired pop princess outfits. Grace came in and redefined what it was to be a fashionable woman in ’80s — especially what it meant to be a black woman  in the ’80s. Instead of integrating into the molds created by white pop stars, Grace made it desirable for women of colour to branch out and define their own style in a way that hadn’t been entirely acceptable before.

Paris Hilton

The mid-2000s was a defining time in any millennial’s life. It was the era of super low-rise jeans, t-shirts with witty sayings on them, handkerchief cut skirts, and dresses — the list goes on and on. There were many celebrities who managed to embody the mid-2000s queen bee look. But no one else perfected the look quite like reality tv queen bee Paris Hilton. The heiress turned her familial fame into an empire that allowed her to sell everything from shoes to makeup. But not before distilling the perfect formula for it girl dressing: multi strap sandals, glittery chain mail dresses, jarring colours and pleated mini skirts, and halter tops were all fair game (and basically required) for any woman who wanted to be fashion forward.

Siouxsie Sioux

What most people imagine a goth to look like has changed drastically over the years. Nowadays, goth kids generally wear huge platform boots, long black hair, leather, and Victorian-esque clothing that would resemble something out of an Anne Rice novel. However, many millennials have no idea where the real goth aesthetics comes from. Rather than channelling the wardrobe from The Matrix, ’80s goth kids had Siouxsie Sioux to get style tips from. With her signature black eyeshadow, razor cut hair, and ruby red lips, Siouxsie became the blueprint for every woman who wanted to delve into the world of goth. Goth back then wasn’t about vampires and shock value. It was about ambience, mood, and a distinctive knack for wanting your exterior to mirror interior. Siouxsie Sioux paved the way for goth women around the world to create their own persona bathed in black.

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The New Normal: Dissecting the Male Ideal

TEXT: Alexander Sauve 

Similar to the female standards of beauty, the male ideal is nearly impossible to achieve and maintain. It’s a standard that continually evolves and is driven by the media and entertainment industry. With Pride month well underway, Novella takes a look at the emerging new standards of male beauty and we find that one size does not necessarily fit all.

1960s: Liberated and Outrageously Sexy

The 1960s was a decade of significant cultural and political upheaval. Before the gay liberation movement, it was absolutely imperative to “pass” as heterosexual. After the Stonewall Riots of 1969, coming out became an act of defiance against the anti-gay establishment. Men in greater numbers would break free from the traditional clean-shaven, perfectly quaffed and overly conservative mold of the ’50s. By the early 1970s, gay men found inspiration in uber-masculine male stereotypes — the lumberjack, the cowboy, the biker, and the construction worker would become the epitome of the masculine ideal.

1970s: A decade of Decadence

In the era of Studio 54 and Bowie and Warhol, a period of decadence and self-expression rolled in. Although the uber-masculine ideal was in full swing, many gay men would begin to defy old-school gender binaries by experimenting with makeup, tight clothes, and longer hairstyles. The look was androgynous, young, and free-spirited. The underground Drag Ball culture of New York was gaining popularity and would eventually become synonymous with the worldwide LGBT community.

1980s: The Athletic Ideal

As the fitness models exercised, sweated, and posed in various states of undress in Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 smash hit Physical, the athletic male ideal was born. Men were muscular, athletic, and tanned to a leathery golden crust. Essentially the “All-American Look” of the 1980s fitness craze would have a tremendous influence on male beauty, fashion, and grooming ideals. A body that is fit, healthy, and lean remains the most sought after body type for both men and women alike.

1990s: The Era of the Supermodel

Arguably the last generation of the true supermodel-models Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss was the envy of every young woman and gay man in the 1990s. But a crop of top male models — Marcus Schenkenberg, Mark Vanderloo, and Tyson Beckford — would set the standard of male beauty in the era of perfection. With their chiseled features and tall and well-defined physiques, these guys were the new epitome of the masculine ideal.

Early 2000’s: The Metrosexual Man

By the early 2000s, we saw an increase of confident and stylish men taking greater pride in their appearance. In this era, men enjoyed high-quality grooming products, designer threads, and perfectly styled hair. The metrosexual is usually found in urban jungles where grooming and shopping is easy. Most often heterosexual, these stylish and well-groomed men put some of their gay counterparts to shame.

2010: The Casual Hipster

In many ways, the hipster would set a new standard for male grooming and style. From full and thick beards to plaid shirts and oversized frames, their casual and uber-sexy style is one of the most sought after styles for millennials. Noted to be somewhat overly trendy, the hipster loves all things organic, distinctive, and individual. Unfortunately, the individuality thing only goes so far, since the term ‘hipster’ goes as far back as the 1940s and saw an reemergence with a different meaning in the 1990s.

Today: The Bearded Beauty

Today it’s all about lumberjack. The new male archetype is bearded, uber-masculine, and is good with an axe (probably not really though). An ode to the lumbersexual and anti-establishment of the 1960s and 70s, beards give a rugged and enigmatic appearance to even the prettiest of male faces. Think Ryan Reynolds in The Amityville Horror (2005), without the crazy.

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