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Female icons who transformed fashion

The other day i was thinking about the women who moulded fashion over the years. Does it intrigue you as well? So here is a post on who are the female icons that have truly transformed how we dress? 

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It’s almost impossible to tell exactly when, how and why a style or trend became fashionable. However, sometimes, all it takes is the drive and power of a single female icon to create a revolution. Check out the leading women fashion influencers and find out how to bring their iconic trends into 2018.  

Marilyn Monroe 
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most recognisable faces in modern history, and someone who is known today for her persona and romances. But when it comes to style, what made Monroe an icon? 

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, she revolutionised how women thought they had to dress, and made it more acceptable for ladies of her era to wear clothes that weren’t so modest or restrictive. While most ladies naturally opted for blouses, long skirts and high necklines; Monroe showed the world how to wear clothes that showed off your body in an attractive way — and the best example of this was the famous white cocktail dress. 

Have you ever seen The Seven Year Itch? If you haven’t don’t worry — you’ll know exactly what cocktail dress we’re talking about. The ivory frock Monroe wore in the now iconic scene that shows air blowing up from a subway grate, lifting Monroe’s skirt as she playfully tries to push it back down, is an example that perfectly defines how Monroe contributed to fashion. This famous backless dress featured a daring halter-like bodice with a plunging neck and bare arms — a far more risqué design than many 1950s’ women were used to. Similarly, the sheer, strappy dress featuring more than 2,000 crystals that she wore to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 again displayed Monroe’s ability to create an attractive silhouette while fusing sex appeal and high-fashion. 

Monroe was a vulnerable powerhouse whose legend lives on today — some even say the term ‘bombshell’ came about because of her. Her curvaceous figure and ability to exhibit it with class and style today makes her one of fashion’s most celebrated icons. Soon after her death in August 1962, we saw the rise of miniskirts and knee-high boots — both styles that helped women break free of humble fashion during the Swinging Sixties.

Embracing femininity and defying the standards of 1950s’ fashion, Monroe fused her attractiveness with fashion to create an alluring, elegant, feminine appeal and encouraging other women to do the same. Perhaps today, we could even thank Monroe for 2018 fashion-favourites like figure-hugging bodycon dresses, backless jumpsuits and strapless tops.  

Get the style: 
Be confident and ever-glamorous to channel the fashion of Marilyn Monroe. Bodycon dresses will give you an enviable silhouette by flaunting every curve, while Bardot tops allow you to show some shoulder and halter-neck jumpsuits look amazing with a pair of heels. Strapless, fishtail dresses are the ultimate in Hollywood glitz, and anything with metallic or diamante embellishments will help you shimmer like the blonde bombshell herself. Make sure to finish off your occasion dress with pretty pieces of jewellery, too. 

Audrey Hepburn 
As far as film costumes go, Audrey’ Hepburn’s LBD in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most revered and renowned looks. Released in 1961, the opening scene of the film depicted Hepburn in a stunning, black Givenchy dress with elbow-length gloves and pearls eating a croissant on the morning after a big party is a beloved part of Hollywood history.  

Interestingly, it was actually around 40 years earlier that the LBD was brought to the fashion world by Parisian designer, Coco Chanel. Featuring on the front cover of Vogue in 1926, it was labelled ‘Chanel’s Ford’ which was testament to its simplicity and accessibility. “Black wipes out everything else around,” said Chanel about the design, and it appears that fashionable women feel the same. The vision of Holly Golightly — Hepburn’s character — revived the high-fashion style and brought it to the attention of fashion-conscious, 1960s’ women who wanted to look effortlessly elegant at a time when women were beginning to be encouraged to think that way. 

But did you know that the dress we recognise today was not the original? Hepburn’s first LBD was much shorter, but the film bosses of the time felt it showed too much of her leg. Consequently, costumer designer, Edith Head, amended the design, which sold at auction for £467,000 in 2006. From the frenzy-creating LBD worn by Princess Diana in 1994, to the LBD donned by Kate Moss to mark a decade with Rimmel London; this simple and sophisticated design was propelled by Hepburn propelled into mainstream fashion where it has stayed.  

Get the style: 
Nobody can go wrong with an LBD, so accessorise it or keep it as simple as you please. This is your opportunity to rock whichever cut and length you feel most comfortable in. Love figure-hugging styles? Get a bodycon dress. Prefer undefined silhouettes? Go for a tunic LBD. Need something truly sensational for a special evening? Opt for a floor-length, fishtail design for classic glamour. 
Mary Quant 
Now, it’s time to discuss the miniskirt. Although some people say other designers got there first, Mary Quant was the main driving force behind it, taking it from the fringes of fashion to mainstream almost immediately. Quant began seriously designing miniskirts around 1964. Sitting around six or seven inches above the knee, the style was revolutionary at a time when young women were still expected to dress like their mothers.

With massive stars of the era including Jean Shrimpton, Goldie Hawn and Jackie Kennedy all donning the iconic miniskirt, the trend soon caught on globally. Unfortunately, during the 1970s, the popularity of the miniskirt waned. However, rock legend, Debbie Harry, brought it back in true PVC style, before Madonna put her own tulle-embellished stamp on it at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards and 1990s’ girl Britney Spears took it in a fresh direction with barely-there cropped tops.  

Launching during a decade of youth culture and sexual freedom for women, the miniskirt couldn’t have been better timed. Often considered a symbol of female rebellion against the status quo of fashion, the miniskirt is still causing controversy today in certain religions and countries. 

Get the style: 
Miniskirts have never left mainstream fashion, so blending them with your current wardrobe will be easy. Skorts are big in 2018 — so why not go for this style and infuse your current wardrobe with the 1960s? Alternatively, try a frill mini skirt with a cute cami for an interesting outline, or rock an embroidered denim number with a cold-shoulder top when the spring-summer season gets underway. 

An icon of 1060s and 1070s style, the bell bottom trouser was actually originally associated with the navy, not fashion. However, the rise of the multi-talented singer, actress and fashionista, Cher, was the driving force behind bell bottoms — potentially the most iconic of all 1970’s styles. 

Thanks to her popularity in the US and UK, Cher’s fashion influence was far-reaching. From the 1965 episode of Beat Club when she sang ‘I Got You Babe’ in flared trousers, to the end of her three-year run on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour in 1974 where she donned the bell bottoms throughout, Cher really drove the trend. 

Reflecting on the style now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the bell bottom jean was restricted to ‘hippie fashion’. But Cher brought the bell-bottom jean — which were typically flared from the knee with an opening of up to 66cm — into mainstream fashion via her fame and influence in TV, radio and film; encouraging men and women alike to adopt the style and aiding the fusion of genderless fashion styles.  

Get the style: 
Wide-cut pants are the way forward if you want a retro trend in 2018. Think bell bottom jeans are too retro? Go for a pair of black palazzo pants and match with a cropped top and heels for a stunning, going-out look with just a hint of nostalgia. Or, pull on a pair of nude culottes and team it with a floral Bardot top for the perfect boho, 1970s vibe for drinks and food with friends. 

There are countless more women who have helped change how we dress over the decades. Why not pay homage to these iconic styles by bringing a taste of them into your 2018 wardrobe? 



  1. I like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. I got confused with these two before. But they are really pretty and confident. What I really love is their vintage style and the hair :)

  2. Oh I love Audrey Hepburn, she is my ultimate style icon from the big screen! Her style is so classic!

  3. I think no one can beat Marilyn Monroe persona, she has an incredible style of setting up the trends. Good to know of many names that were new to me who have been transforming fashion industry.

  4. Audrey Hepburn has the best style for sure, and Marilyn's style is so classic.

  5. I love this idea for an article! Audrey Hepburn is a style icon and has such a chic and sophisticated sense of style x

  6. Audrey Hepburn would always be my favorite. She's the standard of femininity and the flying skirt. It was so cute!

  7. Such a cool and informative post! I never knew half of this stuff

  8. Great post! I really like it ♥

    My blog CAKEMONIKA :)

  9. No doubt that these women has shown us how to express ourselves better and how to dress up like a strong woman who is proud of who she is! Love all the icons that you mentioned.

  10. I love this post! It's so true that the women before us really paved the path! Love the inspiration!

    xx, mel

  11. My fashion icons would have to be Marilyn Monroe and Madonna! Being born in 1978 Madonna was a huge part of my adolescents in the 80's and teen years in the 90's and definitely a huge inspiration in my fashion choices!😊

  12. Audrey Hepburn is definitely a fave! Her style was so classic and totally translates throughout the ages. Such a great list! :)

  13. Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were definitely pretty amazing fashion Icons in the day. And I can see why many would see Cher as a fashion icon for today.

  14. I absolutely adore your blog posts! They’re so inspirational! I love what you do, and the things you post is exactly the kind of things I’m interested in.

  15. AUDREY HEPBURN IS MY QUEEN. Her simplistic Sunday tea style is 100% goals. I love that this list covers such vastly different personalities and how they have an effect on style.



  16. I love Audrey hedburn is my bae I have a massive photo of her in my room. I love what you are wearing in your photo you look cute.

    Patrice x

  17. I adore your style and I can totally see the influences that you chose to embrace in this outfit! The pop art patches on the tunic are SO cute!

  18. Indeed, I couldn't agree more dear, Audrey Hepburn is an icon for her elegance, not just on being an actress and model, but also behind the camera. She's a great human being, and pretty smart too!

    Jessica |

  19. I do like Audrey Hepburn style as she was an embodiment of beauty and elegance. Personally, I admire the style of Coco Chanel and she revolutionized the Fashion world with LBD. Before 1920's, women used to only wear black while mourning. Glad that these Fashion icons has created such milestones that we can follow their timeless trends!

  20. Thanks for sharing this article,if you want to know more,please visit my site Free Accountant

  21. Informative post. We all take style inspiration from different sources. Everything from politics and culture, to fame and the media has the power to change what we wear but who are the female icons that have truly transformed how we dress? Pinpointing the moment a style leap from the side-lines into mainstream fashion is near impossible.


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