Sure, she was still a child in the ’80s. But given her string of command performances, we knew that Claire Danes was perfect for our fashion story on the revival of powerhouse dressing inspired by the greed decade. After all, her strength on-screen — and off — made Zac Efron quake in his boots at the mere thought of working with her in Richard Linklater’s upcoming film, Me and Orson Welles.
As it turns out, she was refreshingly down-to-earth on that set — and on ours, where, in the penthouse of Manhattan’s Cooper Square Hotel, she gamely stepped into this season’s outré fashions with ease (and the occasional half-roll of the eyes). At one point, Danes, who is set to wed actor Hugh Dancy this month, found herself flat on her back, legs in mid-air, with two stylists yanking boots down on each foot: “I’ve never felt so infantilized in my life.” Clad in unwieldy high-heel boots, she laughed about the irony of the situation. “I was playing a character that was seemingly undefeatable and powerful,” said Danes, “yet I couldn’t move. I was actually pretty feeble. But who cares? It’s the land of make-believe.”
Sometimes creating the illusion of strength is half the battle. Take it from Kylie Minogue. The diminutive disco queen has survived many things—cancer, the ’80s, soap stardom, the ’90s, not to mention the worldwide public’s fickle tastes. Through it all, she has remained a style icon. “It takes a total rethink when it involves a scarf and when you’re not at your best. But I wasn’t prepared to let it all go, no way,” said Minogue, who is finally set to conquer America with her first-ever U.S. tour. “Pain is fleeting, but fashion is forever,” she told writer Vivien Goldman.
For others, making a style statement on stage can be as simple as donning the right pair of shoes. “My black leather boots help me snap into it, for sure,” said Pete Yorn, whom Senior Editor Nick Haramis interviewed, along with Yorn’s unexpected collaborator, Scarlett Johansson. Their new album of duets is big on style and substance.
Fashion is a family affair for Mika, the pied piper of British pop, whose mother designs his polka-dot shirts and the silver-glitter dunce caps that sit atop his bandmates’ heads. As for his playful stage attire, Mika said, “It’s all about connecting with people, taking them to a different place and, in doing so, going there as well. I realized early on that if this was going to be my life, I wanted to have fun with it. It’s about creating, in our daily lives, a magic world for ourselves.”
Lauren Zalaznick echoed that very sentiment when we met up with the mighty force behind Bravo: “I always want to get people to look at everyday stuff in a slightly different way than they already have,” she said about the vast array of programming she’s ushered into the pop culture conversation over the past decade. “My fascination with the everyday is about getting people to react instead of moving through their media lives untouched — that would be the worst thing to me.” We couldn’t agree more.
Whether you’re just back from the beach or resigned to the reality of work a er a summer break, put on a brave face—and a bold outfit—and head full-throttle into fall. Check out the BlackBook application on your iPhone for all the new hotspots that have popped up in your town while you were off sunning yourself for the season.