Valerie and Jean have a blog called Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, and they would like you to know that women of a certain age are not invisible or dead when it comes to style and fashion. On the contrary – these chic urban nomads are both quite alive and kicking and hardly wear clothes that “look like your mother.” I’m so happy to hear them speak out about those ridiculous fashion magazine columns that categorize what women should wear in certain decades of their lives. As if providing trite instructions for those in their 20s, 30s, 40s weren’t bad enough, they lump 60s to 80s together as if they are in some sort of style nursing home when they should be respected as the village queens.
Take a look at the portrait of Jean’s hands with her eclectically curated explosion of drop dead gorgeous rings and layered Bakelite bangles, and it becomes clear that cool knows no age. I love how both women find it funny when a “fashion expert” recommends taking one’s hat off when wearing equestrian for the street. They love hats so much that Jean once considered buying a miniature dog’s hat from a pet store (that’s expert fashion advice in my opinion). Valerie’s hats are so majestic that they conjure up images of American Indian chief headdresses, one of my favorite style fantasies.
Valerie’s plethora of indigenous-inspired coats and textile-filled walls in lieu of paintings reveal her enchantment with her years spent living in Japan. Her eccentric mixing of Issey Miyake with Strawberry reveals a Harajuku girl who adopted the look long before it was “in.” Jean says of her relationship with Valerie, “It’s like Keith Richard’s comment about Ronnie Wood – they’re both lousy guitarists, but together, they’re better than any ten other guys.” A true Stones girl at heart, Jean, can surf, dance and once rocked a Catholic school uniform before she donned her over the top ’80s faux leopard furs.