Fashion icon face-off: Janie Bryant vs. Tatiana Sorokko
I recently had a discussion with a friend about what it takes to be a fashion icon. Does someone have to be dead to be a fashion icon, a la Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana? Or can someone living possess such a singular sense of style to achieve icon status?
Well on Monday night in Beverly Hills, two women who would certainly be in the running for living fashion icon status held dueling book parties across Rodeo Drive from one another. At Bulgari, Russian model-muse Tatiana Sorokko sipped Champagne with C Magazine editorial director Jennifer Hale, designer-legend James Galanos and vintage guru Cameron Silver, while signing copies of her new book, "Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorokko Style" (STS Holdings, $50). The book chronicles Sorokko's style through her extensive wardrobe, which can be seen in an exhibition on view through Jan. 2 at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Meanwhile, across the street at Judith Leiber, "Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant sipped martinis with actor Michael Gladis, Barbie designer Robert Best and fashion designer Magda Berliner, while signing copies of her new book, "The Fashion File: Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men" (Hachette, $26.99).
Here's a quick cheat-sheet on these two icons-in-the-making and their new style books.
Claim to fame: One of the first post-perestroika Russian models to gain fame on the worldwide stage in the 1990s and early 2000s. She is now a contributor to Harper's Bazaar living in San Francisco, where she and her husband own the Serge Sorokko art gallery.
Signature look: Intellectual and strong. Chado Ralph Rucci tunics and narrow pants to flatter her 5 foot 11 inch frame, 1920s dresses and flat shoes.
Collects: Hermes bags, jewelry by Venetian jeweler Attilio Codognato. Minimalist or modernist pieces from the 1920s, '30s, '60s, '90s and today.
Choice piece: 2007 Chado Ralph Rucci porcupine quill bolero.
Words to dress by: "Style is inborn. Fashion you can learn."
Claim to fame: Tennessee-born costume designer for hit TV show "Mad Men" who helped bring feminine style and fuller figures back into fashion. Designs the Janie Bryant Mod line for QVC.
Signature look: Fiercely feminine. As a child living In the small town of Cleveland, Tenn., Bryant's "obsession with vintage blossomed into a public spectacle," she writes.
Collects: Vintage jewelry, which she keeps in a specially designed cabinet; vintage clothing by lesser-known designers such as Don Loper, Emma Domb, Lilli Ann, Darlene and Ceil Chapman.
Choice piece: Pearl and rhinestone brooch from the estate of swing bandleader Billy Eckstine.
Words to dress by: "Knowing your character is the key to cultivating your style. Who do you want to be today?" and "Vintage instantly brings distinction to any outfit."
Janie Bryant, left, at her book party at Judith Leiber. Credit: Andreas Branch/Patrick McMullan. Tatiana Sorokko, right, at her book party at Bulgari. Credit: Donato Sardelo for Bulgari.
Middle photo: A selection from the exhibition "Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorokko Style," on view at the Phoenix Art Museum through Jan. 2. Credit: Ken Howie.
Bottom photo: Janie Bryant and costumes for "Mad Men" seen earlier this year in "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" exhibition in the FIDM Museum & Galleries at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles. Credit: John Sciulli©Berliner Photography/BEImages.