The Enduring Style of Joan Didion
Cashmere sweater draped over gamine shoulders, oversized sunglasses eclipsing face, cigarette in hand, and typewriter at the ready--Joan Didion is nothing short of a badass. So it’s honestly no surprise that the literary icon is slated to get her very own documentary on Netflix, “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold”, this October. The film, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne, follows Joan’s storied career and life over the last 5 decades.
Through the span of her career, the Slouching Towards Bethlehem author and former Vogue editor has not only captivated English majors and literary admirers, but also the world of fashion. From her iconic packing list (including 2 skirts, 1 pullover sweater, and bourbon) to her Internet-breaking Céline ad, what is it that makes Joan, now in her 80’s, an enduring fixture of both fascination and emulation?
It is most definitely in part due to her quiet glamour. Her persona is aloof, her writing is bracing, and her style is powerfully minimalistic. For all its simplicity, there is no lack of depth to the image of Joan Didion. She wore her own personal armor, allowing her to blend into any situation and observe the characters she was to write about. This lends itself to Joan's sartorial longevity. She is both nonchalant and defiant, effortless and deliberate, anonymous and distinctive.
Written by Alexa Wilson
*Images via The Red List