Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Inspiring women

There are countless inspiring women throughout history.
If I wanted to try mentioning all of them, starting with Sappho, I would run out of time to finish my new collection.
So here just a small selection of women I admire either for their uniqueness, vision, what they achieved in their field, the impact they had on culture in general or on me personally.inspiring womenSusan Sontag, American critic, writer and activist
I'm a slow reader and English isn't my mother tongue, still Susan Sontag is worth the time investment. To me her writing is truly enlightening, no one’s words could ever express and at the same time challenge better my own way to look at art. Some of her most influential essays are "Notes On 'Camp'", “On Photography” and "Against Interpretation".
Gabrielle Coco Chanel, fashion Designer
Her revolutionary understated approach to fashion, her gift to simplify, to make women's clothes elegant by making them more masculine, are just some of the reasons that made her the most mentioned style icon of all times. In spite of her dark phase during world war II we can't negate the fact that she became a legend. Her name remained and is eternized as probably the most desirable luxury brand today.
Martha Graham, dancer and choreographer
Although my knowledge in dance is limited, it is probably the form of art I most look up to. I couldn't ignore Martha Graham's new vision of movement and how she transformed ballet in a new form of expression. She took the purpose of dance (which was mainly beauty) a step further and created ballets that talked about painful topics, captivating and provoking her spectators.
Méret Oppenheim, Swiss Artist
Maybe as a child I was mostly fascinated by fact that her fountain in my hometown Berne caused a debate. A little later my allure for her work got confirmed when I became familiar with her famous Surrealist "Object" (Le Déjeuner en fourrure). A piece with which she has created an art icon. Once again it’s the simplicity that intrigues me, in that case making something extraordinary out of something ordinary.
My grandmother
Despite of very difficult family conditions she managed (as one of the few women that time) to go to university. Her life could be called anything but easy. A cultured woman with a strong character, to me she is the personification of elegance in every way. I remember her when I was a child with her big, always perfectly coiffed dark hair and large sunglasses. That she abandoned vanity later and dedicated herself to enjoy life, only enriched her. She is a living proof of how to age with dignity and joy.

As I said there are missing many others that merit to be mentioned. So this is definitely going to be continued.
I would love to know who were or are the women that inspire you.