|Does the "J" in J. Crew stand for "Jenna"?|
J. Crew. Who knew? Would you ever imagine this emporium of preppy t-shirts and chinos would go all glam on us? J. Crew was a step above the GAP, style-wise, but just a tiny step. Suddenly (ok the past four or five years) J. Crew has become both a desirable and an aspirational brand. Once popularly-priced, J. Crew now touts Italian cashmere as well as a pair of wool pants priced at $495. Credit goes to Mickey Drexler, of course, who took over the successful but predictable brand in 2005 and to one other person— the mysteriously alluring Jenna Lyons.
Since I am indeed old enough to be Jenna Lyons' mother (she's 43) you might wonder why I've included her in my list of Women We Love (which in subtext is Women of a Certain Age Usually Over 60). Jenna Lyons is a great example of Timeless Style. If you wanted to adopt her look at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 to infinity and beyond, you could. The principles are easy:
DO SOMETHING TO TURN IT ON ITS HEAD
> Add something shiny to casual
> Add something messy to perfect
> Unbutton a few buttons
|A modern muse|
Unlike fashion that dictates from on high, the popularity of the Jenna Lyons Look just happened. First it's the vintage-y costume jewelry necklace with a t-shirt and tomboy jeans. Then add a blazer (roll up the cuffs). Or pair a chambray shirt with a brocade pencil skirt. Don't forget the horn-rimmed glasses. It's a mix of high and low— J. Crew still has $24 tees alongside the sequins and brocade— and a mix of girly with tomboy. It's the mash-up that makes it modern.
Some of Jenna's put-togethers may make you smile, but I think that's also the point. And I just love the way she poses, so simply and directly:
As befits a modern celebrity, Jenna has weathered a few media dust-ups. There was the photo story showing her five-year-old son sporting pink toenail polish and her comment "Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon." Then a year ago Jenna left her husband, supposedly for another woman. Wait a minute— Mary Portas, Jenna Lyons... are we trend spotting?
|What's a little dust-up between friends?|
It all adds to the Jenna mystique. Just who is this woman with such style, drive, talent and the courage of her convictions?