Fashion Muses: Inspiration and then some

In the wake of Fashion Week a the phrase “my muse” has been used over and over by designers …what exactly is a muse? When I think muse I think mythological Greek goddesses of inspiration of knowledge, arts, music, etc, appealed to now in times of creative mental blocks. But when I think fashion muse I think not only beautiful but highly public and well-connected. And like all relationships, these can either be long-lasting or fleeting – the magical inspiration lasting for just one collection or resulting in years and years of togetherness. Above all, fashion muses play a key role in the fashion narrative. They add mystery and allure.

Often times the muse becomes the counter-character to the actual designer; beyond wearing the designs better than anyone and simply looking amazing, they seem to provide a balance to the single-stardom of the designers. So when there is a muse it is as if the plot thickens. They are also allowed stardom because usually they already have it themselves. They are actresses, models, musicians or even better, princesses or socialites. Famous designers and their muses have been Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, Yves Saint Laurent and Lou Lou de la Falaise, Hermes and Jane Birkin, Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola, Giambattista Valli and Bianca Brandolini D’Adda, and on and on.

So what is it about them? Why am I so desperate for more pictures, more stories? As spectator I get something of the beginning of possible relationship and this storyline, there is something unsaid that I want to grasp, look into, get more of. What is the relationship like? Where did they meet? How are they friends? How does the muse inspire the designer? It is intriguing and as a viewer I am always curious for it to develop, almost like seeing a movie preview and never really knowing what happens. It’s the explosive combination of gossip and curiosity within the context of glitz, glamour, and the ubiquitous social-media giving the illusion of following other people’s private lives.

Amanda Timerman

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