Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The new generation of fashionistas

When I was a teenager, the big female idols were Britney, Christina, maybe even Mandy Moore.

And then there was Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff.

And now we have Miley Cyrus. Selena Gomez. Taylor Swift. Disney basically has a monopoly on young talent, and what isn't Disney-fied is bathed in the glow of Twilight.

But what should we do with these young adults who are thrust in the spotlight of stardom and aren't dressed the part?

For instance, Miley's style is anything but aspirational. Mostly, it seems to reflect her father's deep-fried country roots.

Miley, didn't your mother teach you to wear a bra? (Credit: Hollywood Life)
Her style does reflect her age (believe me, I thought I had the coolest style when I was 17, but my Abercrombie "Sun Your Buns" muscle T was anything but cool). And I'm not asking her to be a role model for young girls. But successful young starlets are expected to dress with a measure of taste reflecting their status and - dare I say it - paychecks - and Miley seems to be running in the opposite direction. But that said, Miley is like the Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera of yesteryear: We see them in their "interesting" outfits, but we'll never actually want to go out and buy what they wear.

And then you have Demi Lovato. Here she is a few days ago, announcing the nominees for the American Music Awards.

Credit: Just Jared

Does this look like an 18-year-old girl to you? Add 20 years to that and then we'll talk.

You basically have these girls straddling a fine line of taste and age appropriateness. They might be pushed to dress older than they are - either too sexily or too maturely - or they are exploring their fashion sensibilities, making a few fashion faux pas along the way, or they are rebelling entirely, like Miley. There must be a sense of confusion that comes with the freedom of being extremely famous and having the luxury of personal assistants and groomers at your beck and call, as well being as the primary breadwinner in a family at a super young age.

If we're looking at the newest generation of fashion plates, Selena Gomez has my vote as the classiest, most age appropriate up-and-comer (though, I guess most would argue she's arrived). Sure, she's had some misses. But overall, she looks like the adorable, youthful 18-year-old that she is.

LOVE the red coat. (Credit: Budget Babe)
She may not be the tween sensation of Hannah Montana proportions, but throughout her successful career, she's remained grounded and classy and has come out relatively unscathed despite a Tiger Beat-worthy break-up with one of the Jonas brothers (I don't know which, which is probably a good thing for a 24-year-old) and what I read to be some girl fights with both Miley and Demi. And how adorable is this outfit?

OK, so I've probably spent way too much time talking about girls who are six years younger than me. But as the next few years unfold, these girls are going to be the trendsetters and the stylemakers. And we need to see what we're working with.

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