Who?: With it being World Peace Sunday, I think it's appropriate that iconic free loving hippie, singer/ songwriter Janis Joplin should be this week's style icon. An unconventional beauty who as mercilessly bullied at school for being 'ugly' and a 'freak', Janis grew up to go from being a creative outcast in small town Texas to the centre of the thriving hippie scene in San Francisco. An incredibly talented blues and folk musician, all three of Janis' albums have gone platinum and triple platinum. Despite her undisputed talent, Janis struggled with drugs and alcohol addictions all her life, dying tragically from a heroin overdose aged just 27.
Why?: Cited by Vogue as 'the most staggering leading woman in rock' and ranked 28 on Rolling Stones list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Janis was a strong woman with an equality strong, unconventional style that matched her life. While designers were cutting up hemlines with the birth of the mini skirt and experimenting with bold prints, Janis channelled essential hippie chic, favouring thrift store styling, incorporating bell bottoms, loose kaftans and recycled curtains into her look. She defined her style with endless accessories, adding heavy, intricate rings, beaded necklaces, embroidered bags, headscarves and Cossack hats to all her outfits.
What can we learn from her style?: Figure head of the hippie movement, Janis didn't seek to carve out 'a look', nor did she live her life around fashion; fashion lived around her. For Janis, clothes revolved around her musical style, not the other way around, and her outfits provided an outlet to express her sound and personality. A typical hippie, Janis' low maintenance free flowing hair and make up free skin are a world away from today's hyper polished pop stars, yet for me, her style is infinitely more iconic. It's easy to get carried away with following fashion, but sometimes we all need to take a step back and take a look at our personal style, because even if it flies in the face of all the catwalk trends, individuality is infinitely more stylish than conventionality.