International Women's Day- Show Me How Good You Are

I have this vivid memory from when I was a little girl- I'd say about seven or eight years old-spending time with my dad, sat in my mum's kitchen and I was nattering on about the Spice Girls (it was 1996, who wasn't talking about the Spice Girls?). I was talking about how Baby was my favourite and how I love them because... "GIRL POWER"!! I recall my dad asking me what exactly did Girl Power mean and I can remember my answer as clear as day, even now over twenty years later. I simple replied, "It means girls are strong and they can do what they want". I mean obviously this was the opinion of a young girl and we are all well aware that the slogan "Girl Power" symbolises a great deal more but I've got to hand it to eight year old me, I don't think I did half a bad job summarising. Say what you want about the Spice Girls but as a young girl who grew up in that very poignant cultural era that was "Spice Mania", it's truly incredible in hindsight how positive, proactive and ever lasting their message was.
A few years after "Spice Mania" when I was about 11 years old we had to pick a historical figure to research and present to the rest of the class. I insisted I wanted a "strong woman" and I specifically waited until the end of the day to ask my teacher for help with who I could choose. She gave me Emmeline Pankhurst. Thank you Mrs Exley! Ok so these are just silly childhood memories I'm sharing with you right now but they do make me look back in complete admiration for my younger self. These memories are proof that leading women like the Spice Girls are incredibly instrumental in how a young girl understands her worth. They give women the confidence to not only question the patriarchy they are brought up in but to feel empowered, strong and united.
I thought about writing a post on all the women who have some how inspired me but between all of the above and having been brought up in such a girl heavy household by a single mother, I think it's safe to say I've been continually surrounded by influential women (for which I feel extremely privileged). All of whom have in some way built the foundations for the woman I am in turn today. I really couldn't begin to list them all and if I tried we'd all be here until NEXT International Women's Day! I thought it best to narrow it down ever so slightly and instead talk you guys through some of the amazing ladies who have helped influence my style above all others and why.

Jane Birkin

I'd say the two people who have inspired my style from the get go are Jane Birkin and George Harrison. As this post is specifically all about amazing women, George will have to take a back seat whilst we swoon over Jane. I don't know exactly when my love started for Jane Birkin's quintessential French girl style (Well English girl in France style anyway) but I think it had a lot to do with denim and the idea of androgynous dressing being almost sexy? I loved how simple and chic her outfits were. The ability of simply wearing a white T-shirt, a straight leg jean and of course a basket bag whilst still looking effortlessly stylish is an art and Jane Birkin nails it every time. She showed us all how to style a basket (something I'm forever grateful for... Without them what bag would I possibly wear in summer?) and she is a true pioneer of "less is more". If I could just have a teeny little bit of her cool than I'd be happy for life. Je t'aime. 

Marianne Faithfull

It's no secret I adore the fashion of the sixties and picking out one leading lady who has inspired me is tricky (Jane Birkin doesn't count... A rule decided by me). In fact when I really think about it the majority of my style muses can be found in this era. I decided to mention Marianne Faithfull because for me her style completely epitomises that of The Sixties. When I think paisley, Mary-Jane's and baby doll dresses I think of Marianne. Unlike Jane who has timeless style, Marianne's has constantly evolved with the times. She was completely trend lead but irregardless she continually looked impeccable and she is the perfect reference for anyone wanting to imitate sixties/seventies fashion. Plus if you're ever in need of some serious fringe inspiration than look no further.

Alexa Chung

Oh Alexa, how we all have so much to thank you for. Barbour jackets, kick flares and the ultimate balayage. This is actually the first time I've ever really talked about Alexa's style before on my blog because where to really begin? I remember being eighteen years old when she presented Popworld and instantly loving her wardrobe. For me she was a breath of fresh air in the style stacks. Ultimately she represented that kind of indie (up there with "influencer" as one of those words that makes me wince) cool style so many girls loved. Aside from indie goddesses such as Karen O or the super glamorous, slightly unobtainable likes of Katie Moss there really wasn't anyone in the forefront representing that "girl next door or stood next to you at a gig" style which was relevant but completely accessible. And that's where Alexa comes in. She style wasn't necessarily complex but she just GOT it. From a high street tea dress to vintage dungarees- she always manages to pick pieces that were/are exactly what all women want. She's gone on to pretty much make a business out of having this invaluable knowledge and all that's left to say is we salut you Alexa.

Sophia Amoruso

So basically I find Sophia Amoruso inspiring not just for her style but for EVERYTHING! And truth be told I could probably have written an entire post on her alone. Not only did she show us all a thing or two about vintage and more importantly how to style it so it's current. She made a brand out of it! In my humble opinion she is the power babe of all power babes. And it's not necessarily because on paper she's the most successful, in fact quite the opposite. I find her honesty really admirable! She talks openly about her shortfalls with Nasty Gal and it's actually kind of refreshing to hear. She turned all that negativity on it's head and out of it created something ridiculously positive, Girl Boss. She is quite literally inspiring us all and I don't know if you can tell but I crush on her hard.

Leith Clark

Finishing off my list of wonderful ladies with a lady who makes everything look wonderful. Leith Clark is an incredibly talented stylist who's career and aesthetic I have adored since she founded Lula magazine many moons ago. If my life could look a film I'd of course pick Wes Anderson but if my life could look like a magazine, than Lula would be the one for me. I am in love with Leith's vision and ability to make every outfit look slightly vintage, slightly whimsical and very much like a dream. She's collaborated with some of my favourite designers and only made me love them tenfold (not that I need any encouragement to love Orla Kiely more). She has had such a huge impact on my style! Everything I learned about styling florals and frills I learnt from this lady.
Style isn't the be all and end all but there's no denying it's hugely important to me. My love for fashion has paved the way for the path I would take in life and in my career. It's women like the above that have influenced me every step of the way. Not just for their sense of style but for standing up, standing out and being counted.

Strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Happy International Women's Day. You are amazing.

Sophia x

Outfit Details: "Womyn" Graphic T Shirt- Lisasaysgah, Indigo Straight Leg Jean- Levi's "1950s", Pink Trainers- Converse

Photographs by Rosie Butcher

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