A new book documents her style and career at Calvin Klein in the nineties.
She was a beautiful woman. She could wear the simplest clothing and she always looked classic and well put together. It is style, and what is missing from a lot of lives.
The commentary on CBK sits in stark contrast to the wave of Black Friday buy-this-now coverage and chatter, which seems particularly loud this year, and focused on the (sigh) “quiet luxury” trend which explicitly references her style. CBK looked great, she enjoyed clothes, and her clothing vocabulary was very much focused on interchangeable high-quality pieces. Even if in reality she had a huge closet (which she definitely did), it’s highly ironic to me that we lionize her low-key, classic, and very achievable style on the one hand, while excitedly promoting ever-more consumption with the other. It’s unnecessary.
One of the things I appreciated about the book is how we also come to understand that Carolyn was not a happy beneficiary of "is it fashion or is it just thin person?" aesthetics. She was someone who had an educated eye and a real appreciation for modern, original style. The Yohji Yamamoto pieces she had ... chef's kiss. One always had the sense that the only icon she ever channeled was herself -- love to see it.
I admired her style then in real time and her beauty, as I do now. I have the book and can’t wait to dig into it. It sounds like there are tidbits of information that might be new. But I keep wondering what she might look like today, had she lived. Would she have gone in for all the cosmetic derm & even plastic surgery to keep her youthful look? Would she have gone grey naturally like her mother, as photos of her mother have shown? I guess we will have to rely on AI to see those kinds of things. She died at just the time when our looks start to change due to aging, (i know that’s how it was for me) so she was probably at her peak youthful beauty. And that’s how she will remain in our minds, always. Her style is having an influence on me again, as I am once again drawn to minimalism in form and color.
Let’s let them Rest In Peace. They were hounded when they were alive, let them go