Thursday, February 1, 2007

Deep Style

I kept seeing this lady at the shows in Milan.
She has such a presence, such charisma – even without wearing anything that would be considered “fashionable” she is no doubt very stylish.

Is it style or dignity?

The way she walks and the way she holds her head

is is Effortless Chic at its most extreme.


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  1. Cut of cloth

    February 1, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Do love this loove
    Man girl coat and trousers oversized to make her look more feminine, very Annie Hall

  2. Kelly

    February 1, 2007 at 10:30 am

    She is awesome. She does seem confident, like what women say is so great about accruing years. She looks like she has lived, like she enjoys things other than worrying what people think about her at every moment’s glance.

    What I want to know, is do you always ask people for their pictures, or do you just catch people walking sometimes, like in the bottom photo of her? Sometimes what looks like a candid can actually be a theatrical person pretending that he/she doesn’t know he/she is being photographed. If you take candids sometimes, how do people react when they see you pointing a lens their way?

  3. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 10:37 am

    commanding presence


    • Simone Fraser

      October 20, 2014 at 4:00 am

      This is 2014 now, but I think she has had a bob, which also looks glorious. Remember, Scott, you have written of the myth of ‘effortless chic’!
      I think she has dignity, elegance and beauty… Which would be complete if she lost the ciggies!

  4. el presidente

    February 1, 2007 at 10:37 am

    you are right.

    i like it. very ‘annie hall’ once she grew up.

    it s all in the attitude.

  5. d. chedwick bryant

    February 1, 2007 at 10:38 am

    she knows how to wear a coat. I really like her face. Nice handbags, too. bet she carries a good book, pens, & notebook etc in them

  6. Athena

    February 1, 2007 at 10:41 am

    I really like those bags especially the messenger one.

  7. Jeanette

    February 1, 2007 at 10:41 am

    She`s stylish without a doubt. Style is not about what clothes you wear, its how you wear them! I know it sounds corny but i think its true.


  8. rachel

    February 1, 2007 at 10:54 am

    This post is the perfect example of why I love your blog so much.

  9. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 11:12 am

    This lady could make a trash bag look hot.

  10. Andrea

    February 1, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I guess that lady has just the right amount of nonchalance wearing her clothes. maybe that makes it so chic and unique.

  11. Karen E

    February 1, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I love the authenticity and timelessness, the self-assuredness and apparent respect for quality materials. If she had a novel in hand instead that would be better than a cigarette!

  12. Janvangogh

    February 1, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I can imagine her saying “Darling” alot.

  13. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I love loosely cuffed trousers.

  14. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 11:25 am

    This look is called “being comfortable in one’s own skin”. That look of aplomb and self-awareness is hard-won and, by leaps and bounds, more prized than any Hermes purse or Balenciaga coat. You can see through the layer of time that she was a smokin’ hot mama back when. That’s the very same confidence she exudes and carries around like a torch these days. Keep on keepin’ on wit your bad self….

  15. gila

    February 1, 2007 at 11:32 am


    Off-topic, but I need your advice.

    I’ve been invited backstage to a menswear show saturday at FasionWeek. What is the etiquette on taking photos under such circumstances?

    I figured you’d be the right person to ask.



  16. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 11:35 am

    “Is it style or dignity?”

    It’s dignified style and it’s sexy.

    Pshaww, the “woman of a certain age” thing. She’s hot.


  17. LaurieAnn

    February 1, 2007 at 11:44 am

    These are both great photos of a very worthwhile subject. She is another role model for me.


    February 1, 2007 at 11:45 am

    She has personality great dressing, and it for my is a style, though she does not follow the fashionable trends…

  19. MLS

    February 1, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Yes omethin about her…The glasses and the way she carries her bag…


    February 1, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    This is interesting. She gives off 2 totally different vibes in each picture.

    In the first picture she looks sweet and almost grandmotherly, but in the 2nd she seems to have a very lofty personality.

    She seems intelligent and very sophisticated. She walks with a lot of confidence and importance.

  21. Bronwen

    February 1, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Lovely, she has “good bones.”

  22. Wills

    February 1, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    There’s something about her… what a stylish woman!

  23. Queen of Sheba

    February 1, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Myself I’d say this is dignity, presence, and character more than style.

  24. mlle.mtl

    February 1, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    For a woman to wear mens’ garments with panache, hell–to make the outfit appear un-fussed over and smartly wrought–takes confidence. This woman has confidence in spades. More people should dress with an eye towards personal style rather than pop-fashion. Thank you Satorialist for giving props where props are due.

  25. Nan

    February 1, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    At very first glance I thought this was Morocco (dance anthropologist in NYC).
    If she holds herself a certain way, maybe she is/was a dancer too?
    Her look is laid-back and cool.

  26. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Sometimes, as here, a mess is a mess.

  27. Christian Grixoni

    February 1, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I believe there is a spiritual quality…something ethereal about the way one projects presence. In the photo, “She is…” becomes a simple yet random thought which seduces the mind to wonder what she is thinking. What one wears becomes a slice of song and verse. How they walk becomes the rhythm. The photo moves creating questions, eluding answers, awakening story…

    Christian Grixoni

  28. ajane

    February 1, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    “Formidable” – as the french would say it, not the english, implying terrific as well as impressive.
    I wonder how tall she is? I love this patrician-meets-tomboy, worn luxe look but suspect you need height to really pull it off. Except for the bags – yay to classic quality! Nay to It bags!

  29. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    She appears to be unkempt and a mess.

    Not your usual shot, Scott.

  30. carola lange

    February 1, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    she is stylish probably because of her total confidence on herself, she looks like she is so sure about herself and doesn’t realy care what people think!

  31. Ola

    February 1, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Undoubtedly the lady has great bags and boots. But the oversized coat seems messy and depressing to me. Still, she looks good, which makes her a master of attidude. Love the nonchalance.

  32. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    I totally agree with you. She is a perfect example of “if you have it, nothing else matters”, and “if you don’t, nothing really helps”. Sometimes you are just born with it and I think she was.

  33. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    agree with all above- loads of confidence.
    No doubt she appears very comfortable w/ her own style-

  34. AnastasiaC

    February 1, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    I love her leather satchel in the first pic!
    she looks confident and comfortable with herself…love that and I guess that makes it appealing!

  35. ma vie en rose

    February 1, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Oh, what poise! I hope I look like that someday.

  36. david

    February 1, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    the glasses and the bag. only an older woman has the guts to do this. the atrocities that young women use as handbags are at odds to what she stands for.

  37. Anonymous

    February 1, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Hmm. Well it’s certainly effortless, but I struggle to see the chic. I don’t quite understand what the appeal is in this look. And Annie Hall? Whoever decided that was an empirically ‘good look’?

    I find it strange to question the length of some mens cuffs, but shower such ensembles as this mess with compliments?

    Her look to me says: I am wearing ugly clothes, because I want to. It does not say – ‘Because I am at a couple of Milan shows I am automatically chic even in shabby overcoats.’

  38. Maria

    February 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    What is really interesting is the question…
    Style or dignity? I think dignity is what hoped from fashion. A promise.
    She has it in her hair, glasses, and smile.
    She has it.

  39. vanessa

    February 2, 2007 at 12:16 am

    thank you for such photos. this is what makes your blog so interesting – real people with real grace!

    love from bc, canada

  40. Model Citzen

    February 2, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Very commanding presence.

  41. lerieluvlie

    February 2, 2007 at 2:07 am

    I’d say effortless chic plus such a commanding presence which i think ultimately is achieved because we see her as a woman who has lived.

  42. concupiscence

    February 2, 2007 at 5:44 am

    Seems to be both, no? Dignity and style. Style deriving from dignity and integrity. Being unfazed. Comfortable.

  43. j

    February 2, 2007 at 9:42 am

    But I’m most affected by Natural style,
    The flashing eye, the charming smile,
    The graceful carriage of the people with dignity and reassuring good looks,
    That seem somehow conjoined with the Sea of Tranquility,
    And the pleasing proportions of a Sweetgum Tree.

  44. jkrnyc

    February 2, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Such poise. And, as someone else said, such different affect in the two pictures.
    And brilliant bags.

    Gila: backstage is a scene – design team, models, stylists, dressers, hair and make-up, the people calling the show, photographers, maybe a camera crew or two, security if there’s valuable jewelery, the odd celebrity (Paris Hilton – yawn), guests. You can usually take pictures until the models are called for first look when all guests, all but ‘official’ camera folk, and celebrities and guests need to get out of the way, and are usually ushered out, so that the girls/boys can change in relative privacy (ha!) and the various people can do their jobs. It’s also usually polite to sort of indicate that you want to take a pic and wait for the model to acknowledge you. Have fun!

  45. Anonymous

    February 2, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Come on, she looks a mess!! She reminds me of those ever so present aging feminists in the Village who refuse to dye or cut their hair, wear coats they had since 1982, and refusing to wear anything that would betray their body. If that is style, God help us all.

  46. Anonymous

    February 2, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    when I grow up, I want to be her.

  47. D. Kay

    February 2, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Dignity, for sure.

  48. megalaura

    February 3, 2007 at 8:13 am

    I think she has charisma and personality, but not really style as we´re used to see. Her style is her charisma!

    People like her are what makes your blog special!


  49. miteka

    February 4, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    it´s a fact! you don´t have to wear expensive clothes/acessories to catch the sartorialist eye!
    it’s the attitude that counts!… and I, for one, like that.

  50. Travis

    February 9, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    I’m sure The Sartorialist knows the difference between style and fashion. People without style can be fashionable; ie, they can wear Prada head to toe and still not look good in it. Style is much more intangible and elusive than fashion. Fashion can be bought–style cannot.

  51. Anonymous

    February 11, 2007 at 11:28 am

    love her first bag.

  52. Anonymous

    February 14, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Awesome. An inspiration to us all.

  53. Fab50Plus

    February 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    I’m not sure about the black coat pic – the huge bag with the coat just seems overwhelming to her frame.

    But the brown coat pic -perfection!

    Coco Channel said it best:

    “Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”

    It’s this lady’s confidence that shines out – she looks comfortable in her skin and thus this simple outfit rest elegantly on her.

    Good pic Scott!

  54. Anonymous

    March 10, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    I truly truly adore her!

  55. Anonymous

    May 24, 2007 at 4:56 am

    She looks like a really cool and smart lady. I like her nonchalance about the clothing details. She has better things to worry about.

  56. pasquale

    July 18, 2007 at 2:48 am

    very Anne Bancroft, so very beautiful.

  57. Oana Perca

    August 20, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Now that’s how a confident woman looks like. And confidennce goes with everything.

  58. Anonymous

    February 6, 2008 at 12:34 am

    It’s a mens coat (the brown one). if you look closely you can see the buttons on the right side of the coat, yet it is a SB coat as you can see the placket on the left.

  59. Anonymous

    March 12, 2008 at 4:42 am

    For me it really shows how important the bag and coat are, like they always say.

  60. Anonymous

    August 9, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Usually, my first instinct would be to think/say “why can’t she at least try to make some effort with that lackluster hair”, but for some reason, for her, she can get away with it. And I think its definitely her innate self confidence, and ease with who she is and how she presents herself that gives her that certain something that grabs your attention. Good for her!

  61. Liluko

    March 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Love her. She is very dignified and strong looking. She doesn’t need to prove herself to anyone it seems.

  62. Anonymous

    March 31, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    something is definitely coming from the inside of her, which i guess has something to do with her being a writer.

  63. ratna

    September 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

    this woman makes me want to know her more and her story :) thanks for a great capture!

  64. camilla

    December 2, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Love this style! i love the bag!
    Do you know the italian brand Il Bisonte?
    i love it! vintage bags!

  65. swingkids

    February 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    enough drama to dance through that fashion fuss. people are so young and unbrave .

  66. Ivy Lee

    November 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I always come back to her, she’s my heroine.

  67. lollo

    August 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    but here you don’t know renata molho? oh god..

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