I've been following the blog Advanced Style off and on for the last few years, because septogenarian (and better) fashion plates of the world a) have been doing it longer than the rest of us, and thus have honed their sartorial skills to a razor sharp degree and b) just DO NOT care if they're going to wear a turban and twenty pounds of costume jewelry-- they've lived a long time and by Godfrey, they deserve carte blanche in the wardrobe department. However! I am not sure how I managed to overlook cover girl of the Advanced Style book, Gitte Lee. And what I've been missing!
|As I just run screaming into the night for pure envy of the monkey fur ensemble to the right|
and the woman's palpable chicness
Born Birgit Kroencke in Denmark in 1935, Gitte was a model and painter when she met Hammer Horror hottie (trip H) Christopher Lee through a mutual friend. The couple married in 1961 and have a daughter, Christina.
|The Lees soon after their marriage|
You can see her streetwear, which is very chic, here and here, but what I really go for in Lady Lee's clothing choices is her evening wear. Try to set the night on fire, Gitte-- I am all agog at her soignée, old World elegance.
Things I'm interested in-- black turkey feather coat, how to use rouge and kohl to make my face look as much like a striking, classic painting as possible, huge brooch at throat. I pretty much want to look exactly like this at all times. We'll have to talk in another post sometime about Travis Banton, the Paramount costume designer who made that Dietrich ensemble I'm always going on and on about, but this reminds me of something he would put together-- it draws the eye to the wearer, paints a pretty good picture of her adventurous sense of dress, and has an exotic-but-not-silly quality to it. I love the beetle-like iridescence of the feathers and how her the strong bones of her face are accentuated by the tightly-pulled-back hairstyle and boxy silhouette of the coat.
She doesn't stop there, folks! It's not for nothing the Lees are included in several best dressed lists for people over 50-- I would put them on a best dressed list for people under fifty! It's hard, not having the youth and clotheshanger figure of a starlet, to still be the center of attention in the room, and I think Gitte Lee nails it.
To the left--Full length, ruffled evening coat? Check. Black satin dress? Check. Strings of pearls and a large brooch? Check. Tall, elegant date in evening wear? Check. YOU WIN, BL. YOU WIN. I like the ensemble to the right even better, as it gives her more of waist and makes her look more like an actual doll to have the ruffled coat and skirt as two pieces of a dress. I would wear EXACTLY THIS given the opportunity-- the fussiness of the ruffles is completely canceled out by the somber hue and makes it look effortlessly "put together".
This woman also likes her statement pieces:
Are you seeing this face? Does it not make you question why she wears those enormous glasses with a face like that? I love the enormous necklaces as the only ornamentation on the outfit...monk-like simplicity in the rest of the gown, and these heavy pieces of jewelry like an exclamation point. The silver one on the right, ugh, kill me, I want that metal bib so badly. Flea market gods, bestow unto me something like this this weekend.
With Catherine Deneuve-- notice Gitte's recycled the pin from the feather coat photo and the dress from the photo on the right and up two...I am so bad at this. I would love to have a wardrobe with several amazing pieces I was able to mix up and use interchangably with other pieces, but being the wasteful American thrift store shoppin' magpie that I am, I definitely have quantity over quality in my wardrobe. Not to say that many of my items are not quality! But they sure is a lot of 'em in the closet, stuffed together...
Again with the feathers! I could really, really uses a feather capelet like this in my life. Look how her whole ensemble goes from 0 to 100 with the eye catching addition of this accessory. Ugh! I need this.
In celebration of Gitte Lee's evening wear, I made this style board (see links in the caption). Luckily, I have about everything but the feather cape already at home (and I can MAKE this feather cape happen, mark my words)...so if you see a tall, Edward Gorey-esque creature creeping around an estate sale this weekend, one, don't be alarmed, and two, come congratulate me on how close or far I came to my stylespiration of the week!
|cape, coat, hat, glasses, lipstick|
So! What do you think? What's been inspiring you lately in the clothes category? Have any fun outfits planned out for the gorgeous weather we've been having (leave it to me to choose all black on a week of 70 degree temperature as "what I want")? Who have you looked towards for interesting fashion tips this year? Let's talk!
That's all for today, I gotta get gone! Have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you tomorrow! Take care. Til then.