Class acts Lauren Hutton and Katherine Hepburn captivated a generation of keen fashion admirers with their ability to effortlessly wear tailored pantsuits. Their tomboy-chic styles exuded a strong sense of cool feminine confidence. Bianca Jagger was no exception. The Nicaraguan activist, socialite, and then wife of The Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger, could have worn a purple life-sized bag of couture Takis and still have been the most stylish woman in a room. Her intuitive fashion sense has never betrayed her, at least not in any of the photographs I’ve seen past or present. Many fashion critics seem to instinctively link the raven haired beauty to her undying love of ingenious Halston gowns during the Studio 54 era, but I love Bianca Jagger for her IDGAF attitude and her affinity for monochromatic menswear.
If you are a firm believer in not wearing or discussing white after Labor Day, I command you to stop reading this now. No, but really, Bianca Jagger had an obvious “thing” for all white ensembles and it did not stop with her unforgettable wedding dress in 1971. You may have seen those famous pictures of Bianca and Mick marrying in St Tropez. Leave it to the Jaggers to shake up the matrix. Bianca chose to forgo the traditional white gown in favor of a sleeker more understated look. For the early 70’s, this was kind of a big deal. This nonconformist bride was all about natural beauty. Her answer to a memorable wedding came in the form of a plunging Yves Saint Laurent smoking jacket with a flowing ankle-length skirt. A veiled wide brim white hat and a low key peep toe white heel helped solidify her status as a bridal icon. There were no shimmering sequins, rubies, or pearls present; nothing overly feminine or masculine (in a traditional sense) but very sexy nonetheless.
Bianca Jagger’s androgynous style totally redefined what it meant to be sensual. And though she wore frilly garments quite well, there was something about the way she rocked a tailored two-piece get-up that no one else has been able to duplicate since. The straight clean lines of her bespoke suits accentuated the angularity of her facial features: that strong jawline and those diamond sharp cheek bones. One of my favorite photographs of the menswear maven happens to be a candid of her walking with her daughter Jade (now an equally fabulous celebrity in her own right). If this suit had been worn by anyone else, they would have looked like a broke down Colonel Sanders, but as always Bianca found a way to own it. The jet-setting socialite’s dark tresses and olive skin tone created a beautiful rich contrast against the most angelic white suit. Jagger’s high waist pants were slightly oversized but tailored enough to compliment and elongate her petite form and I especially loved the slightly lengthy blazer. Her high collar shirt and the black ribbon that hung below created a whimsical vintage feel. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
At present, I think that Kim Kardashian is the closest we’ve come to recapturing Jagger’s iconic tailored monochromatic style. Much to the chagrin of millions of fans who’d rather see Kim in bright bold colors, with the help of her husband Kanye West, the reality star has completely revamped her look. It took some time to getting used to this version of Kim, but I think that her style evolution is interesting to watch. Though they initially seem like polar opposites, both she and Jagger have much in common. Both are olive skinned brunettes, that are/were married to superstar musicians and they are always seen enjoying a night out on the town, especially in NYC or Paris. Will there ever be another Bianca Jagger? No, never. But for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be Bianca Jagger’s daughter or granddaughters, and raid her closet in search of inspiration from a bygone era, it’s always fun to take a look back in photographic history to explore an icon of the past.