Who’s Your Femme Style Icon?

I think the first time I “got” femme was when I saw Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   Looking drop-dead gorgeous in her clingy slip, Maggie fights with Brick about their living arrangements and hisses, “I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage that’s all!”   Me-YOW!   La Liz could deliver a line like nobody’s business.

When I was in my twenties I couldn’t imagine ever being as sexy and femme as Elizabeth Taylor–or even on the same planet as her.  (If Kitty Kelley is right that ET is “the last star,” then actually no one is on the same planet as Elizabeth.)   Watching her old films, I was intrigued by her seductive combination of vulnerability and strength–and those legendary violet eyes. (I want violet eyes!!!)   Taylor is iconic for me not only because of her beauty and style, but also because of her resilience and willingness to admit her imperfections. My favorite Elizabeth Taylor quote? “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”  😉

Who are your femme style icons, past or present?  Bettie Page? Beyonce?  Beth Ditto? Also, I’d love to hear about butch/genderqueer/tomboy style icons, so feel to share those too!

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14 Responses

  1. 70s-era pam grier. femmes with fros make me so happy!

    Love her! Which reminds me, I need to put Foxy Brown on my Netflicks list. Thx, Erika! xo SF

  2. @erika. that’s so cool. i’m grewing out my fro now.
    i def love femmes with fros too…erykah badu is ridiculous!

    but i love femmes of all kinds, so it’s hard to choose…
    sophia loren, rihanna, & scarlett johansen [♥ her] def would be up there.

  3. E. Taylor gave the the idea to wear slips around the house…when I get my own house, lol.

    70s Pam Grier–fire!

  4. Carol Lombard. Swwwwooooon. I’m still trying to figure out how to perfect her amazing makeup. . . .Because I want mine to look like that everyday. . . just sayin.

    Hi Ms H, She was so glamorous! I went looking for pics of her to check out her makeup and stumbled across this Lombard quote:

    “Relax, Georgie, I’m just making my collar and cuffs match.”

    Carole Lombard
    (10/06/1908 – 01/16/1942)
    US actor , when George Raft discovered her applying peroxide to her pubic hair.

  5. Well, from a butch perspective …

    My style icon from “then” would definitely be Cary Grant, and my style icon now is George Clooney. I have a total bromance thing going on with them, mostly for the same reasons. Their humor. Their measured responses. Their collective appearance, how it’s always put together, with incredible attention to detail. Not a careless hair on their heads, you know? And then of course they’ve seemed to be pretty successful with the ladies …

  6. can mine be a fictional character? well, because she is =) my absolute (tomboy) femme idol is kaylee from firefly. she’s so dreamy – in that ‘i want to be just like her’ way. nerd? who, me? i’ve been wanting to write up the why of that in a post for some time now…someday i will, when i blog again

  7. Jodie Foster. Totally an idol to me. you classified her once (or someone did) as a tomboy femme. Whatever she is, I love love love her.

    I love that you and Lady B named tomboy femme icons. I included a sizzling pic of Jodie in my Tomboy Femme post. Enjoy! xo SF

  8. That post was huge for me, SF! I wrote a whole entry about it. I love that picture of her too. I had to go back and look at it again. 🙂 Sizzling indeed. I commented here a while ago under a different name, but started a new, more convenient blog. Still reading yours all the time!

    Thanks for letting me know about your new blog. It’s in my reader! Come back and see me again, darlin. xo SF

  9. Charlize Theron! I have two pics I wanted to share…but as a tech illiterati…I dont know how….

    I’d love to see them. Couldn’t you post them on your blog? And hey what’s going on with you these days?! xo SF

  10. Hello Sublime Femme.

    Love love love your words.

    For me, Miss Piggy is right up there on the femme icon list – she is always so glamorous, and doesn’t let that get in the way of karate, or other kinds of physicality – that uber glam but practical and strong is such an awesome combination, that she totally knows aren’t oxymoronic…and her incredible confidence and undentable ego. *sigh* What a woman!

    I completely agree about the uber glam Miss P and your invoking of her karate skills and “undentable ego” make this an utterly charming comment. So, to return the compliment you so generously paid me on your blog, I’m crushing on you too! 😉 Thanks for reading. xo SF

  11. Oh, dear. I cannot narrow it down – my style icons and inspiration consume an ever-changing 6’x4′ wall in the master bath.

    Most memorable femme of all time, for me personally? Not so much for style as for her aura – Monica Bellucci as Malèna.

    More recently, Marion Cotillard. Ever since Jeux d’enfants, I was captivated by her!

  12. I know this is an older post, but I’ve only just discovered the loveliness that is this site, and so I hope will be excused for adding my two cents a bit after the fact.

    I saw the fantastic, disturbing gangster movie Shanghai Triad at age 14. From the first moments I saw Gong Li onscreen… well… riveted is the word that first comes to mind, though it’s so inadequate….

    It isn’t just that she’s stunning on a level that’s almost disturbing. Her talent (from what I’ve seen — I’ll say right away that I haven’t worked through all of her films yet) is ferocious. She scares me and moves me, totally turns me on, makes me think, and first taught me me the power of lipstick (and to modify the wisdom of a famous jedi, once you start down that dark path, forever will the search for that perfect not-too-orangey not-too-pink red dominate your destiny).

    What a charming comment! Stop by and add your 2 cents anytime, CD. I haven’t seen this film but will check it out. Thx, SF

  13. I would have to say…Alyssa Milano….She is just sexy, and humble, unassuming, mysterious, classic…she has that little something that makes you turn your head when she walks in the room….

    It is just fun, and fearless, and sexy, and just damn right hot!!!!!

  14. I noticed that you have a still from Sunset Boulevard as your top banner. Gloria Swanson is another one of my all-time favourites. She could appear fantastically ethereally beautiful in some pictures, real ugly in others, and, like Liz, her body was far from the model/actress ideal (look at her scrawny short neck!). Another one of my all time faves is Ava Gardner (catch her in her prime in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, an ethereal beauty in a totally ethereal film). She had a much better body for the screen (long neck, long thin torso). Unfortunately hard living and drinking took a toll on her looks, like Liz. Gloria never fell into that trap, she stayed sober and ate only health foods.

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