Do you go for French chic or British elegance when you want to ooze fashion in Europe? What can we learn from legendary icons like Sophia Loren? Read on to find out more!

Europe has had some of the greatest fashion icons the world has ever seen. From Twiggy to Coco Chanel, European style icons are still widely celebrated. The list goes on and on, and the examples are many. Here are a few who may be vintage by now, but can still give us advice on how to dress. 

Coco Chanel

Photo: Adolf de Meyer (PD). Coco Chanel photographed in the 1930’s

Gabrielle (her real first name) is credited with the legendary quote: “Fashion fades, only style remains the same” – and she is the perfect example of this herself. The petite French lady became an icon in the fashion world with the Chanel suit, and she is still celebrated as one of the most important fashion designers who ever lived. However, her involvement with prominent Nazis in World War II-Paris made her highly unpopular in her home country, and her success as a fashion designer is largely due to her being incredibly popular with British and American customers – so in fact, her designs are perhaps more British chic than French chic. No matter what, though, her sense of style is undeniable, and people still cherish her immortal creations such as the classic, quilted Chanel-bag and, of course, the perfume Chanel #5, which Marilyn Monroe allegedly wore to bed – with nothing else. Now, that’s stylish!

What fashion advice can we still take from Coco today? Keep it smart and simple. Coco’s functional and sleek designs are timeless because of their simplicity.


Photo: PD. Twiggy’s face became the symbol of the swinging sixties

Twiggy, whose real name is Lesley, became one of the most recognisable faces of fashion when she broke onto the scene in the 1960’s. She was one of the first models to reach stardom due to her modelling career, and it is unlikely that the worship of supermodels like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell would have reached such heights in the 90’s if Twiggy had not established the link between modelling and stardom. Her long limbs and e-nor-mous eyes are still the standard against which aspiring models are being measured. This is not always a good thing, though: Twiggy’s skinny, androgynous shape is still today being blamed for promoting an unhealthy body image among young women, although she has always denied having an eating disorder.

Unhealthy or not, there is no denying that Twiggy made a name for herself, and later used her fame from fashion to become both a singer and an actress.

What fashion advice can we still take from Twiggy today? Find a distinct look that you’ll always be remembered for.

Sophia Loren

Photo: PD. Sophia coined the term “Euro-chic” in Hollywood, and here’s why.

The beauty of Sophia Loren has always been noted. The Naples-born actress went through a bunch of minor roles in Italy before becoming one of the most succesful actresses in Hollywood ever, starring alongside the likes of Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando and Paul Newman. She is as celebrated for her acting skills as she is still adored for her looks, which proved to be extraordinarily long-lasting: at 72, she appeared on a calendar very scantily dressed… How many grannies can boast of that?

Sophia Loren was married to Carlo Ponti from 1957 until his death, even though their marriage had a rough start: when they first married in 1957, Ponti was still legally married to his former wife. The Italian state annulled the marriage and they had to exchange vows again in in 1966 – this time, their marraige lasted until he passed away in 2007. As a side note, she was 15 and he was 37 when they met. But hey, they say that age is just a number, and the fact that Sophia Loren is still seen as a style icon proves this too.

What fashion advice can we still take from Sophia Loren today? Try to age as gracefully as possible – embrace your wrinkles. They’re beautiful.

Thumbnail photo: Wikimedia

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