Needle It

Style Icons

  • 19 May 2016

Who is your ‘Style Icon(s)’? – This question recently came up in conversation in the office and is something, which we all struggled to give a straight answer to?! Style is so personal that we all had different people on the list as well as some overlap.

Personally for me, I am someone who loves looking at what people are wearing. However, I find it really challenging to define who my own style icons are. I started to do some research on the topic of national/ international style icons and as I did so I felt there were other key questions that cropped up that needed to be looked at in order to answer who my style icons are.

Firstly, What does the word style mean to me?
What makes a style icon?
And obviously who is my style icon?
It’s not so easy to answer; simply put there are plenty of women who’s style I admire or whom I think look amazing but are they my personal style icons?

Style….Where do you start? Is it a particular style of clothes, is it how you look, is it a way of putting outfits together and wearing them?

Diane Von Fustenberg sums it up really well when she said…
It is an effortless confidence in being yourself, it is a way of putting yourself together according to your mood and what you want to project. Personal style appears to come naturally for some, but for others it can take a while to find it!”

What makes a style icon? Is a person a style icon because they are a trendsetter? Or someone who follows the latest trends but wears them well? Or is it someone who others look up to and admire? I think for me, a style icon is about the way in which a person wears clothes that I like; if they wear clothes in a way that I would wear them and so I can relate to them better. I love looking at celebrities to see what they are wearing, I love seeing them all dressed up at film premieres, award ceremonies, chat shows, it’s not just their clothes but their hair & makeup, jewellery – the whole shebang!!

So who are my style icons? I purposely posed this question as a plural, it is impossible to narrow it down to one person, there are so many people whose style I admire. Nowadays we have a huge source of inspiration at our fingertips, magazines, films, TV, bloggers, social media and retailers; the media has a way of shaping our opinions on fashion and style. Take the Duchess of Cambridge for example, is she a style icon? For me, her style is too safe and conservative but the fact that an outfit she wears, whether it is Zara or McQueen, sells out in a matter of hours can only mean that she is a style icon to lots of people!
LK Bennett must be thanking their lucky stars that Kate loves their nude heels!!!

It’s easier to look back over time and identify style icons, stylish women who have become style icons because of a look and the fact that they know it suits them. Audrey Hepburn worked casual elegance on and off the screen from cropped pants and ballet flats to the LBD and oversized sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s , Katherine Hepburn with her wide leg trousers and loafers, Marilyn Monroe with her high waisted jeans and her capri pants, Grace Kelly and her full skirted dresses and her Hermes bag.

However, I think these days celebrities tend to be less defined by one particular look, they pick and choose different styles to suit a particular occasion and I’m not sure if that makes it easier or harder to decide if they are a style icon or not?

During my research someone suggested I start a Style Icon Pinterest board saving images of celebrities when I liked a particular look. Interestingly I tended to save images of the same people over and over again. People who seem to appear most regularly were; Olivia Palermo, Blake Lively, Kate Winslet, Rosie Huntington-Whitley, Natalie Portman, all of whom I would say have a similar sense of style, none of them are way out there but they do have a modern classic look but with an edgy twist.

So, there it is, I think its unlikely that I will ever find that one single Style Icon that defines me and I am not sure I want to find just one person, I like having a mix and being influenced by a number of stylish women. I think it’s good to vary my personal style to a certain degree. I think most importantly style is a reflection of your personality, its important to trust your instincts and wear what makes you feel good and don’t worry if you can’t wear the latest fashion trend, I mean I love dungarees but they just don’t love me, I love flowing boho dresses, but I just can’t carry them off – but there are plenty of fashion trends out there that I can wear and I try to wear them with style!


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Behind the scenes with…..

  • 4 May 2016

…..Laura Turner, founder of Hero in Stockbridge.

At Needle we work with some fantastic and inspirational stockists so we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of them, starting with an interview with the dynamic Laura Turner, who 18 months ago established Hero boutique based Stockbridge a beautiful town in Hampshire.

Hero is a fashion and lifestyle store with both a bricks & mortar and online presence. Founded by Laura Turner at the end of 2014, her aim was to create a fashionable boutique close to her home that would cater to women of all ages providing quality wardrobe staples, fabulous jewellery and accessories as well as gorgeous gifts for all occasions. The Hero team’s eye for detail, sense of style and creativity is more than evident from the moment you walk through their door., check out their Instagram feed just to feel inspired (@herostockbridge)

Not only has Hero grown (Laura relocated to bigger premises after 5 months of opening) it is a hive of creativity, hosting workshops and events in store in their stunning creative space bringing together like minded people who want to learn and hone their artistic talent. Hero has hosted workshops that cover blogging, photography, Pinterest, calligraphy, as well as events such as a denim clinic – we all know how hard it is to find a pair of good fitting jeans!

So we wanted to find out more about the super talented Laura Turner and how she has created such a thriving business….

1. How would you describe your style?
I try and stick to a style that I know suits me so as a result I never feel particularly adventurous but I do like adding an unexpected twist to what would be a classic style. Whether that’s clashing patterns or wearing trainers with a formal outfit, I’ll try and work out a way I can make it ‘me’.

2. How does your style reflect Hero the shop?
I would say Hero is a direct reflection of my style and I’d be happy to have pretty much any of the items for sale in the shop in my wardrobe! When I’m buying, the first thing I use in the decision making process is my gut feeling about it. Do I like it? How would I wear it? And sometimes there are pieces that I know would n’t work for me but I love and I know would look amazing on someone else.

3. How do you find new brands you want to work with?
Now we have become a little more established, I find more brands are approaching us which is really great. Its means that we can discover smaller, little known brands who are looking for niche stockists. I have also travelled across Europe to shows and to other boutiques to find new and interesting brands that I think will work at Hero. Sometimes it’s reading a blog or a magazine and then tracking down the designer or agent.

4. How do you manage to keep up with all the social media and how essential is social media?
Planning, planning and more planning! The only way to create a successful online presence with the use of social media is to take it seriously. It’s not something that you can try and fit in when you have the time – you’ll resent it and not be satisfied with what you’re publishing. It needs to be consistent and considered. As well as throwing in our daily tasks and rituals we also have planned content that we filter out throughout the week, so we’re usually planning what goes out on all our channels at least a week in advance which means we’re not panic-publishing.

5. What would your advice be to aspiring fashion retailers?
Go for it! There are so many lessons I’ve learned along the way but I think no matter what business you start there is a certain element of ‘winging it’ and a certain amount of having confidence about what you’re doing. Look into things, get a feel of the industry, do your numbers but ultimately believe in yourself and don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Make it happen.

6. What was your career history before Hero?
After graduating with a degree in Marketing, I worked for an investment bank in London before doing a bit of traveling in Australia and New Zealand and then settling back in my home of Hampshire.

7. How do you juggle Hero with being a mum?
Two things – a great team and loads of structure! Hero has a fantastic team behind it which means that things are done without me needing to be there all the time. My role is much more strategic now which means I can allocate more time to my children. It sounds really military but I plan each week and day and make sure I’m realistic with my time. It’s about dedicating the time I have allocated to a job and sticking to it so that I can enjoy the time with the children knowing I don’t have other jobs looming over me. I never stop thinking about it, worrying about it or planning the future but that’s what I signed up for when I started my own business so it’s very much a case of going with the flow and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

8. What is your favourite holiday destination?
I love all sorted of holidays. I would say New York for energy and inspiration and France for food and sunshine.

9. If you were stuck on a desert island, what food could you not live without?

10. Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline at Hero?
Hero is an ever evolving entity. We have more events planned and would love to start running a Hero Society where creative entrepreneurs can come together to share their ideas and inspiration with other like minded people. As long as we keep progressing, then I’m happy.

11. How do you make Hero different to other stores out there?
We very consciously stick to what we do without looking over our shoulder at the competition which means hopefully we create an experience in store that is unique. Our motto in store is to Run Your Own Race.

12. What is your beauty regime?
Very basic! I use the Eve Lom daily cleanser and face serum in the evening and cleanse with water in the morning.

13. What are your 3 must have beauty products?
Eve Lom cleanser, This Works Deep Pillow Spray and Connock London Bath and Shower Oil.

14. What piece in your wardrobe could you not live with out?
Distressed skinny jeans and leopard print pumps. My fail safe pieces.

Feeling inspired, check out where you can also see the upcoming events.



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