Helloooooooooo longer hemlines! We are super excited about you. I’ll tell you why: because we’re grownups. We have jobs, we are responsible for all kinds of things, we command respect, and we prefer the way a knee- or calf-length skirt mysteriously swishes around and clings to our lovely legs far more than we liked the way the seat of the bus clung to our buttcheeks when we attempted to do something so foolhardy as to sit down while wearing one of the 12″ long practical jokes F21 likes to play on the youth of America. What did we ever do to them anyway? I would like to introduce to you the latest style icon over whom we have been unhealthily obsessing for months:
This is Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen in the 1976 multi-Oscar flick The Network. Diana Christensen is the brazen, ambitious vice president of programming at the titular network. She’s brash, brass, bold, and has the biggest balls out of all her cigar-smoking, bourbon-swigging, gravelly-voiced colleagues. If you search through reviews and movie synopses, you will see her characterized in print as “frigid” and “cold” because of her obsession with ratings and her professional success and advancement, as well as because of the presumed detachment with which she treats her sexual affair with her elderly, otherwise faithfully married colleague. Because it was 1976, you are supposed to sympathize with this poor, otherwise married man and to view Christensen with aversion or something perhaps bordering on horror because of her cold ambition and reptilian treatment of personal relationships. At which point she stretches her impossibly slender arm through the screen of the television and slaps your face. Because this lady is red. Hot.
She is knife-edge thin, but not the kind of thin that you want to give a sandwich to because watching her move, it is completely apparent that she doesn’t need food except maybe coffee and tic-tacs. She vibrates with an impossible amount of energy for such a tiny being until you realize she isn’t tiny, she’s just compact. Her astoundingly trim frame is willowy but lean, supple, and elastic. She moves with balletic grace while still giving the impression that if you were in her path she would plow you down like a rhinoceros, and her posture is whip-snap straight, commanding, and ethereal. Her voice is loud, her gaze is direct, and her point of view is sharper than her chin and even her cheekbones. You could get a paper cut on those cheekbones. She is one hell of a presence. And her clothes.
She dresses in a femininely professional manner that has never been matched in class, attractiveness, style, appropriateness, authority, or panache by any person ever, living or dead.
You can’t even overdo it because of its simplicity. You can’t kill this look. It’s error-proof. Because this ensemble isn’t about getting your clothes noticed, it’s about having something on that’s sharp and clean to serve as the silky, effortless backdrop for your undiluted ferocity and raw, bare-bones, uncompromising pursuit of whatever it is you want most.
“I want ideas from you people. This is what you’re paid for. And by the way, the next time I send an audience research report around, you’d all better read it, or I’ll sack the fucking lot of you. Is that clear?”
Doing. It. Right.