Fed up of trends and middle-of-the-road fashion? Want some inspiration in the art of style independence? Us too – because there’s nothing better than finding fashion confidence in those who make their own strides with their wardrobe.
Team SPICE are looking to the stars who are leaps and bounds above the rest with their style, standing out for their individual sense of dress and earning the coveted tag of ‘style leader’ for their wayward sartorial instincts.
From actresses and famed singers, to icons and cool creatives, below is are some of the best dressed individuals who’ve paved their own way in fashion, through the sheer power of putting clothes together.
Take a look and let us know if you agree – of your own independent opinion, of course.
1. Lupita Nyong’o
So she’s been a little under the radar of late, treading the boards and making her broadway debut as part of the Eclipsed cast, but Lupita Nyong’ohas been in our most stylish thoughts ever since she surfaced in 2013. And we’re not alone in worshipping her, with People Magazine since naming her ‘Most Beautiful’ of the year (2014), Lupita starring in numerous editorials and being awarded a high profile campaign with cosmetics giant, Lancome.
And it’s not just the Kenyan actress’ gorgeous dark complexion that we love, her trend-setting mini ‘fro, or her famously humble manner – it’s the starlet’s dress sense that we at SPICE can’t get enough of, with Ms Nyong’o walking seamlessly from one great look to the next.
The Oscar-winning star of 12 Years a Slave, Star Wars actress and upcoming star of Americanah, Lupita dresses to overly impress every time she steps out, and somehow seems to keep us guessing, too.
Not one to be afraid of colour or go for something unique when pulling a look together (her 2014 MET Gala look being a prime example, even though it polarised public opinion), Ms Nyong’o is definitely head and shoulders above the rest of her acting colleagues; someone who really stands out for her flawless decision-amking in style.
2. Solange Knowles
Obviously, and like the world over, we completely adore Solange’s wardrobe, with little to be said about what we wouldn’t do to raid it.
The fashion star and burgeoning icon just gets it; she knows what works for her body, she understands colour and she can seamlessly rock a print on a print like nobody’s business.
Bey’s little sister is firmly on beat when it comes to fashion and over shines her big sis with her pop-boho looks and knack for getting dressing so right every time. There’s nothing not to love about this woman’s wardrobe – she’s a complete style leader we’re bound to follow (Not seen her Insta? Where have you been?!) for years to come.
3. Lisa Folawiyo
Obviously. Because, shoes. And because Nigerian designer of Jewel by Lisa, Lisa Folawiyo is a bit of a style marvel – one we regularly stalk on Instagram.
Working her own designs with high end wears from fashion’s bestest, the talent just knows how to throw a look together – so well that her Insta is a little like a lookbook, luring us to splurge on things we know we shouldn’t.
The designer knows a thing or two about a print (as to be expected from her beautiful collections) as well as silhouette and standout accessories, regularly snapping selfies in pieces from top names like Olympia Le Tan, Moschino, Gucci and Charlotte Olympia.
If there is one woman out to prove her good taste, it’s Ms Folawiyo.
4. Oroma Elewa
Creative genius and social media star, image-maker, Oroma Elewa of zine Pop’Africana is a name to know, not just because her Instagram is popping but because her individual sense of style is a real rich source of inspiration.
Stylish but cool with it, Ms Elewa has an effortless way with the classics – denim making a regular feature, along with retro shades and interesting pairs of shoes.
With the small window her Instagram provides, it looks like Oroma is living the life of an artist with her creative heart worn on her sleeves (legs and feet, too).
5. Zendaya Coleman
Teen star, who has just been announced as having landed a role in the upcoming Spiderman movie, Zendaya Coleman is a name to know – especially in terms of style and and being someone to keep you on your toes with her wardrobe.
The young beauty and current face of Covergirl really gives it to us with her outfits, and ‘goes there’ when committing to a look, too. Such an attitude lead to the star rocking faux dreadlocks on the red carpet, and most recently, the opinion-dividing mullet for the 2016 Grammys.
Clearly in it for the long haul, we’re glad to find Ms Coleman in our feed on Instagram – and as a star Disney star making grown and sexy decisions when it comes to her style? We’re glad to have a fashion leader like her to look up to.
6. Helen Lasichanh
Wife of Grammy Award-winning musician and entrepreneur, Pharrell Williams Helen Lasichanh is a surprise name on this list, because while her red carpet looks polarise many, Team SPICE can’t deny she sets her own rules and is certainly in a league (or world) of her own.
Like, her sense of dress is one you can say is ‘out there’ – and wherever ‘there’ is, you’ll find her hubby Pharrell, who joins in with her low-key, casual date night dressing… Just said dates tend to be on the red carpet, at places where the other guests are a little bit more dolled up.
But, just as Mr Williams is known for his signature sounds, the star and his leading lady have their way with wardrobe as another signature, where sporty ensembles that look well lived-in tend to triumph.
Love or hate the results, Helen Lasichanh is definitely an independent woman when it comes to styling her self.
It’s needless to explain why Rihanna made our list, but to spell it out for those who haven’t seen Rih (or her nipples) on the red carpet, the girl is a fashion killer.
Slaying on the daily with her riske attire – from mesh tops with no bra, to dresses so sheer they show butt cheeks – the singer’s wardrobe is as high voltage as her fiery personality, but its the star’s ability to switch things up and still remain unmistakably Rihanna that’s the thing to applaud, with Rihanna never missing the mark.
Think we at SPICE and the world over are agreed the fashion chameleon’s individual style is above that of the rest…
8. Grace Jones
Mother of all inspiration when it comes to wayward-dressing, model, singer and actress Grace Jones has independence down – carving a niche for herself in all areas of her career.
The ’80s icon remains a legend of costumery, with the 67-year-old still touring to this day and slaying with a unique idea of sartorial expression.
From power shoulders to headgear and colourful makeup, Ms Jones does stage ensembles justice, flaunting every look she pulls together and not without forgetting an element of surprise.
9. Zoe Kravitz
Daughter of rock star Lenny, Zoe Kravitz has unique, boho-esque, angst-y looks down to a tee, returning to red carpets with low-key, cool yet memorable looks that’d be hard to emulate without her attitude.
There’s something very vintage about her style while at the same time, there’s something free and fresh about her sense of fashion, which combines for a highly individual lineup of looks from this young Hollywood starlet that leave us forever watching.
Ms Kravitz is definitely an independent thinker when it comes to getting dressed and we’d just love to delve into her wardrobe.
10. Erykah Badu
Ms Erykah Badu has been in the game for a while now, lending her hip hop and neo soul-loving vibes to create a highly unique wardrobe that is both full of quirks and class, always.
The singer, who is Ricardo Tisci’s muse and bestir – who graced Givenchy’s Spring/Summer’14 campaign to the world’s delight, and recently styled a show at New York Fashion Week – is often spied in masculine silhouettes of all shades of the rainbow, making headpieces like wraps and hats her signature, as well as ethnic accents found in chunky accessories and print.
Also key to Badu’s style is her brilliant, chameleon head of hair which goes from braids to bold ‘fro weekly and completes whatever fit she’s rocking with ease.
11. Kerry Washington
Keeping it fresh every time she is seen in the spotlight, actress Kerry Washington has made our list for her abilities in leading the way in style. Independent from trends or rules, in fact, the starlet is regularly spied in great ensembles, which range from the demure to the daring.
Never shying away from print, colour or interesting shapes, the Scandal star is known to bring it on the red carpet, and even while heavily pregnant, managed to keep us guessing with her style.
A total joy when it comes to seeing her on the red carpet, Kerry Washington can single-handlely serve us all the wardrobe inspiration we’d ever need.
Ok, so she’s a little like Marmite – you either support or suspect her stylist of foul play – but love or hate her red carpet appearances, there’s no denying Dencia is completely independent of trends or critics’ opinions.
Like, how much sleep do you think she lost over the backlash from her 2015 iHeartMusic Radio Awards red carpet appearance, wearing a pink and diamond-studded bodysuit? We’d guess none, because she stepped out for the 2015 Bilboard Awards a few months later, wearing a multicoloured ensemble complete with visor, again polarising opinions.
The internet was also on fire commenting on her 2016 Grammys look, consisting of another crystal embellished, pink jumpsuit, that also included stuffed toy appliqués.
Doesn’t look like she’s too attached to praise or what social media seems to think – her sense of style is clearly in a lane of its own, with Dencia out to please herself.
But who do you think are the stars doing their own thing in fashion? Tell us your most stylish independent women below in the comments box or online @SPICETVAFRICA.
Image source: Dailymail.co.uk, Fashionbombdaily.com, Vogue.com, Fashion.fix-daily.com,@Lisafolawiyo, Naturalhairnaturalbeauty.tumblr.com, africanprintstoday.com, @Oroma.elewa, Pinterest.com, Bellanaija.com