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Understanding elegance 

At Katja’s blog, Hi Diddly Dee, an Actor's Life for Me, discussing elegance, I wrote earlier today:

is inside you, beginning with a that’s expressed outwardly. And that outward expression is contextual, anchored with notions of solid shades as opposed to prints, natural make-up as opposed to going overboard with colours and foundation, and accessories that accessorize rather than overwhelm.
   Context suggests that comes into it, whether it’s CZJ [] (in public) or Leslie Caron—taking the idea of what was acceptable 30 years ago and injecting a modern twist. If anything, a personal sense of elegance comes from that very twist, if you consider other style icons like Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy—pre-Onassis—or .

   It’s useful to remember some of ’s lessons, especially as the cycles indicate we are heading back toward the mid-1970s in . is never a bad aim, regardless of which aspect of one deals in—with the proviso that timelessness must never be a pretext for boring work.
   When it comes to , understanding the past and equipping an organization for the future is often key to the and strategies. When translating that into , the would not go amiss bearing timelessness in mind—especially as the marketing will have been written with a 25-year life in mind.
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I'm so glad to see you posting about this subject, to me elegance is not something you see much of these days, Audrey Hepburn was one of my favourites, she was saturated in elegance - an awesome role model she was.  
true. style and fashion is such a ficle, hard thing to try to aim for and predict.

timeless elegance is the pinicle. making someone desirable without having to revert to cruedely showing skin is a skill that has been lost these days.  
I know, Amy—and the current crop of stars, with some exceptions, are not shining exemplars of style. Audrey had it down pat, and she was, to my knowledge, like that off-screen, too—I did a menu for her near the start of my career. I mentioned Catherine Zeta-Jones in my post, but I understand that off-camera, she is not the elegant celebrity; I still believe we have to look to yesterday to find the best examples.
   For men, I vote Robert Wagner.  
Markoos, I had that very conversation in Victoria with Jenny Hoo, and I said I was a bit sick of seeing all this skin at the Sydney fashion week year after year. Fortunately, Jenny’s stuff is far more refined but that doesn’t stop the mass labels there in Oz making heaps of money by showing skin.  
I would agree with Amy that Audrey Hepburn was saturated in elegance. She remains one of the classic examples of elegance. I think Cary Grant would be another.

Markoos makes a point that timeless elegance is making someone desirable without having to revert to showing skin i.e. showing skin is not a mark of elegance. I think for the most part he's right. There are exceptions. When skin is used to accentuate the particular fashion, it can help in creating the elegant style. An example would be when Hepburn bared her upper arms in her Breakfast at Tiffany's look.

Today, I think too many designers today want to be perceived as rebellious or pushing the envelope. This makes them appear hip and creates talk but doesn't give them an elegant look. Elegance isn't rebellious. Elegance shows good taste and class, something that is greatly lacking now a days.

I would agree with you Jack that elegance was more prevalent in the yester years. We are too preoccupied with being "Bad" now a days instead of showing class and style. I wonder if it is because it is easier to be "Bad" than it is to show class. Class takes effort and discipline. To be "bad", all you have to do is be a jerk (pretty easy for a lot of our celebs now a days).  
Ron, you would love Charade, which Grant and Hepburn starred in. It’s a great looking film as well as being a great film (Arabesque by the same director, with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren, is even more visually stunning, in my book).
   I agree with you about Audrey Hepburn: bare arms are fine if they accentuate a look, and if they allow the person to display a sense of dignity and attractiveness at the same time. A lot of today’s fashions just make a person look trampy.
   We only have to turn on reality TV shows to see the low standards required of the pseudo-celebrity, those who became famous because they were voted off some show, rather than through any endeavour of their own. There are exceptions: my friend Stacie Jones Upchurch, who was on The Apprentice (and who was mispresented on the show through deceptive editing), had worked her way up to where she was before she went on that show, but many of the other “celebrities” got there with no effort, and their trashy “bad” looks show what little self-respect they must have.  
For some reason my service deal is letting me through this time :)

I love this post and completely agree.

By the way, TypePad is down ... again... all day. :(  
Great to see you here, Randy! Hopefully they will continue to let you through! (I wonder if 3M can get to this site.)  
I keep forgetting it’s down, Randy, and fed in extra comments (for them to go only to coComment). When it’s back up I’ll copy and paste from coCo into your blog. Hope you’re coping with the “withdrawal”!  
I’ll keep a watchful eye on your site, Randy, in case TypePad comes back. They said 6 p.m. PDT, right? But from experience computer-industry ETAs are always optimistic.
   We could always have the longest thread here!  
::: arrrggghhhh ::: I would rather know that something has blown up than this silence and missed deadline stuff.

Oh wait ... I am not being elegant am I?  
Elegance is up to the person him- or herself. Remember this quote: ‘When you have paparazzi outside peering in to your toilet, the key is not to build higher and higher walls, but to learn to urinate in style.’ I don’t know who said it, but it is not untrue.  
Jack -- loved the thread here! Nothing like a blog withdrawal to bring out the chattiness in people...it was like IM commenting!

Anyway -- wonderful message at the end. The metaphor works!

: )  
Ann, you should see the mad stuff we talk about at Randy’s blog (when it’s working). He wanted to do a record-breaking thread, and we went from his original topic to getting implants for one’s butt cheeks as flotation devices!  
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