By Michelle Crowe
“A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. It’s no taste I’m against.” – Diana Vreeland
“I always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk.” – Dorothy Draper
“Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” – Billy Baldwin
“Don’t be basic.” – the internet
Charlotte Olympia Dellal.
The chicest people are not afraid of the unexpected element—whether it’s a signature accessory worn like an identifier or a seasonal whim that catches the eye and livens up an ensemble.
An accessory to love, the Dougal clutch by India Hicks.
It’s easy to shy away from the eccentric, but when instead we embrace the quirky, the odd and the interesting, it transcends the simply stylish and elevates everything.
Without the items that stop us in our tracks while casually browsing, we risk looking too done, too perfect, too politician’s wife.
Devilishly delightful slippers from Stubbs & Wootton.
Add in the cuff discovered in Santa Fe, the unusual shoe bought in bulk because they might never be made again, or an enduring love of leopard print, and you have powerful personal style.
All who truly love the art and design of beautiful clothes seek out items that speak to their soul. In this era of easily attainable elegance, we salute those who go beyond simple good taste.
Leandra Medine, queen of quirky layers in ultra-wide-leg pants.
The bold and the beautiful have offered guidelines over the years on how to work an adventuresome look. The late Isabella Blow, confidante of Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen, believed in razor sharp hair, expertly applied lipstick and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Similarly, her friend, Daphne Guinness, also known for her extreme style, is always beautifully made up and coiffed.
It’s certainly not recommended for most of us—especially those with day jobs—to take things as far as these ladies, but why not indulge a bit? A whimsical slipper, a fringed bag or something from an artist’s collaboration with your favorite designer are all worthy options. Wear what speaks to you. Let your fashionable heart sing.
Deborah Lloyd of Kate Spade New York.