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Style Icon is a series that highlights Angelenos who aren't strictly in the business of fashion, but who have an affinity for style, clothing, retail—or just plain looking good.
Elizabeth Daniels, 7/10
We went ahead and broke our own "no designers" rule, but Minnie Mortimer is totally worth the exception. Two different, independent sources nominated her as a Style Icon, so we knew we had to check her out. We were already familiar with her line of easy-to-wear, casual basics: she's been getting good press, and it's easy to see why. She joined us for some shopping and chatting at Madison on Third and Robertson.
So what are you wearing?
One of my own dresses, and some bracelets I picked up while on vacation in Colombia. Vacation trinkets are the best: you're getting something that no one else has, and it's usually made by hand. And it's special.
What about the shoes?
Marni. I love Marni accessories. They're always so polished, simple and fun at the same time.
What was the first outfit you remember picking out for yourself?
I went to a private school where the uniforms were very strictly enforced. I remember getting to pick out different colored bloomers was really a big deal. A little taste of freedom.
Was there a definitive, crystallizing moment where you realized you wanted to be in fashion?
When I was in high school, we used to go to Patricia Field's shop. I remember one day there was a transvestite beauty salon, and everyone was dressed so colorfully, and you could tell that they'd really put a lot of thought and effort into creating a certain kind of appearance. It made me appreciate what fashion could do: it could be theatrical and tell stories, but also could be deeply expressive.
What are your strongest influences
My best creative inspiration for design usually comes from anyplace but fashion. I cherish the photographs of Slim Aarons; I really respond to that aesthetic. I'm also inspired by movies from the 60s and 70s. I love the costumes in the Robert Redford movie Downhill Racer.
Who are some of your Style Icons?
Diane von Furstenberg is one of my all-time heroes. That wrap dress?just one simple idea that changed fashion, made it accessible to a lot of women. It's amazing how the dress evolves, and that Diane is still so relevant, as a designer, a person, and as a role model. And Daphne Guiness, or course.
What about men? Who's got it right now?
Can I say my brother, Peter Davis? He's a travel writer. And Wes Anderson is pretty great.
Do you have any super secret shopping scores?
Well, if I told you?
Ya, it obviously wouldn't be a secret anymore. What about off-the-beaten-track?
The Long Beach Flea Market is always full of amazing finds. Heist in Venice is good, too. They carry Isabel Marant, and my line, too.
What's your biggest pet-peeve, or what do you consider the biggest fashion faux pas?
I don't like big logos, gratuitous status symbols. I like to be a little under the radar. I try not to buy anything with a big garish logo or tag. I'll cut it off, if I have to.
Really, that's it?
(We are tempted to take her for a stroll on Robertson, but she's much too magnanimous for pettiness.)
In general, I think ill-fitted clothing looks sloppy. Getting something that fits right?it's so easy, and it makes all the difference in the world. But sometimes I change my mind about that. I'm thinking of a shrunken blazer that's buried in the back of the closet? Sometimes today's faux pas is fashionable again, and I could totally love it again, tomorrow.