I Am Still Not Over Kim K’s Style

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by Leandra Medine
January 29, 2014
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Branding, man.

I was on a Parkchester-bound 6 train and halted at the Astor Place stop, which was theoretically fine because there is 4G service underground at that station, scrolling through Instagram when one photo of Kim Kardashian led to a pantheon of photos of Kim Kardashian, which prompted me to ask the passenger to my right reading a book of poetry I now can’t recall if he thinks I would look good with blonde hair.

(Fine, full disclosure. What I said was, “Shy I go blonde?” in that annoying way New York girls speak, pointing at my face and squinting my nose in seemingly utter confusion even though I was well aware what I wanted the answer to be: Duh.)

That I asked a male stranger whose exterior connotations did not at all allude to interest in a woman’s volatile hair color isn’t what confounded me so much as why I asked does. See, I was inquiring based on the pretense that I was so intrinsically and positively affected by Kim Kardashian’s aesthetic that my impulse left me no choice but to wonder out loud, with the possibility of reinforcement from any member of the general public, about the state of my hair.

In my October 4 story, Is It Just Us, Or Has Kim Kardashian Been Killing It?, I posited a new truth — that the antecedent’s style was becoming a force unto itself. Nearly four months later, it’s been confirmed that just like her actual style, the conversion wasn’t just a passing trend. With her full white ensembles and beige coats and nude patent leather pencil skirts and unassuming t-shirts and Alaïa sandals, she’s successfully convinced America — or me — with equal parts metaphor and reality, that she’s well on a road to recovery. Bygone bandages and all.

Of course, her significant other, better known as father to North West, ineffable Margiela mask wearer and sometimes, too, Kanye West, has held a paramount position in the transformation much the same way Whoopi Goldberg’s character helped Lauryn Hill’s in Sister Act II. But where my first report may have been assessing a relatively new condition, this one is much more a celebration of the longevity Kardashian has demonstrated.

I had one of those lightbulb moments people are always talking about over coffee on Sunday with a close friend of mine. We were discussing the ancient Jewish exodus from Egypt and the modern, social implications tethered to the mythic splitting of the Red Sea when– just kidding, we were talking about style. And it occurred to me that the fundamental difference between no style and good style is that the former, no matter how beautiful the wearer who functions as a canvas may be, doesn’t make you want to think I can do that. Where good style meets triumph is in the vulnerable moments that have you question what makes you wear what you wear and why not what she wears.

I have, for example, thought about the photographed black Céline leather trench coat and yellow Max Mara topper more times than I should feel comfortable admitting and not because they’re independently spectacular (which they are) but because they’re instilled new life when Kardashian wears them. She doesn’t look off-putting or out of place, and really eloquently confronts the stereotype that to be en vogue is to be 60 pounds — then obliterates it.

So I’m going to say it one more time. Should I (shy?) go blonde?

REPLIES
  • lavinia

    yeezus has blessed her.

    http://thegirlwiththepaintedpout.blogspot.com/

    i write fashion columns.

  • CarlotaLMorais

    Soo chic and elegant!! I bet she got a stylist, I mean, a good one. Her clothes back in the day were a bit slutty and well….not beautiful like these!
    She looks SHARP SHARP SHARP

  • Aubrey Green

    I want to say no, don’t go blonde, but then again, why not.

    I like her style and think she looks great as a blonde. I really just can’t get over whatever it is that she did to her face; botox, lip injections, nose job, all of the above – I’m not a fan, she was a lot prettier before, so that’s a bummer. So, yes, again, go blonde, but PLEASE don’t change anything else about your face.

    • Rommel SarMago

      Rommel SarMago

  • Persian In New England

    no to blonde, you are too NY Persian princes for blonde which is Teheran underground arty girl under a veil or completely plastic LA like Kim- Context

    • http://www.anativeblonde.com/ Jess H.

      Why not have the best of both worlds and OMBRE that ish.

      • Cyrena Monique

        Ooh yes, ombré that ish! C x

      • Julia Fuller

        what Jess said. love my ombre (not in my profile pic!)

  • Karen Liesens

    Kim’s style has evolved amazingly lately!

    x karen
    http://dressinginlabels.blogspot.com

  • maxi

    go blonde, but the kim k-blonde ;)

  • http://thepureandpinkelephant.wordpress.com/ Laura Joan White

    Well this made me laugh out loud, not to mention your take on good style vs. no style at all was an ‘aha!’ moment. I believe that’s the best philosophy I’ve heard on what truly makes someone stylish and alluring. xx

  • Slice

    looking good is the best revenge and she’s killing it

  • Andreea Belc

    I like the coats and her new look, but God I hate her lips…Oh why did she had to have work done? Bleah…And to answer your question…don’t go blonde…try first with some cool highlights.

  • Rachael

    On the male side of things, I totally thought Yeezy was wearing a fanny pack in the first pic of him with Kim… and I dug it.

  • trees

    i couldn’t agree more. i have gone blonde. and yes yashud go blonde

  • Quinn Halman

    DONT GO BLONDE I ENVY YOUR HAIR SO MUCH. you’re going to have to constantly re-touch your roots and the bleaching is not good for hair. plus your eyebrows are going to throw so many things off. you are so naturally blessed with many gorgeous features. i believe that we’re made in a certain way so we can stay a certain way. totally dying your hair is just a big fuck you to genetics aka mom and dad. go ombre if you must.

  • Charlotte Fassler

    I’m still not over it. really.

  • glo

    i don’t know.. i think her new style’s becoming pretty one note too: pencil skirt with a crop top (showing just that sliver of skin), with pointed toe heels and an oversized sized coat. womp womppp.

    while i 100% agree that the new kim is better than the old, what about the idea that style should keep us guessing and be fresh?

    • diane

      Totally agree that this new look is boring and formulaic (big long coat, straight hair, narrow bottom, delicate heels). Considering the vast resources she has access to, this is so safe and only notable because of how bad she dressed pre-Kanye. Don’t get me wrong: I would kill for the Celine coats, but would pair it differently each time instead of looking like a different version of yesterday’s outfit.

      • Jessica Dale

        agreed.

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    Why not? I’m a brunette turned blonde and I just love it, I couln’t go back to my natural colour… I think going blonde suits most women, but not the other way around (going darker). I think it just looks amazing on KK.

    Mafalda ❤
    http://www.mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • deezdayz

    It’s just hair, I say do it!
    And reading the comments, I must ask… did KK get work done? Am I that naive to think she’s just a gorgeous girl?? Lucky for her she’s got a great stylist, but could mos def use some variation in that closet!

  • roxanabanana

    GO BLONDE OR GO HOME (when you get home i’ll have an almond butter and jelly sandwich waitin)

  • Lauren

    If you want to go blonde for the sake of reflecting a Kim K look then no don’t do it. Your style is f***ing perfect, as is your hair. If you want to go blonde because your feeling that vibe then yaaa do it, you have my support!

  • Mara

    I invite you to try to get THAT blonde, but let me tell you it´s not easy at all…I’ve been through three coloring sessions and still doesn’t look like hers.*sigh*

  • Andie Schlather

    Every brunette should go blonde at least once in their life. Because…. because.

  • http://www.anorexicescapades.com/ BougieHippie

    I like that her style isnt as sever or “too little” like it use to be. Style is all about evolution and I see that with her, Kim K is a style icon.

    http://www.anorexicescapades.com

  • Anita

    I think your obsession with Kim K and Yeezus is a bit unhealthy. Regarless, I concur, she has been looking right on point.

  • Cynthia Chen

    i agree. i love her style now! :D

  • Mims

    I agree.
    Am so conflicted.

  • http://www.lezu.com/ L’ezu

    We have to admit, the girl can dress! http://www.LEZU.COM

  • Liz

    She definitely looks better and the individual pieces she pick (someone picks) are beautiful. BUUUUT I wish I could pinpoint what I still don’t like about her style. It’s not her personally…I don’t care. Too done? Too styled? Inauthentic??? I dunno but I’m not on board.

    • Marnie

      Yes…inauthentic because someone else is doing all the choosing!

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I say “no” to going blonde. I just think that it would look far less appealing than your already-beautiful brunette locks. Something about the way in which you carry yourself, I don’t know, just makes me think that you’re meant to be brunette forever. Besides, brunette is, save for a few exceptions, far more French. And after the red nails, perhaps you wouldn’t wish to take another step back.

    Then again, experimenting always priceless.

    • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

      He he, so you think that brunette is more French, how funny :) I was just saying that I’m a French brunette turned blonde and I love it. I truly think that experimenting is priceless, we have so many options as women, it’s wonderful to be able to change the way you look while still staying true to yourself.

      Mafalda ❤
      http://www.mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • Fiftytwothursdays

    Oh yeezus…please. Have a giveaway happening on my blog now. Enter to win some fun valentine’s day gifties! http://www.fiftytwothursdays.us

  • Jessica

    Yuck!

  • Lene Olsen
  • Alexandra

    every quintessential brunette needs to go blonde at some point… cc: @oscarprgirl

    http://www.luckyrabbittesfoot.com

  • 35 or less

    please do not go blonde. please.

  • Maria

    You can get a balayage like Lily Aldridge, it’s more french and it might me a subtle change, just to help you get used to blonde…

    • Leopoldine Dumas

      I am french and I don’t see plenty of girls with a balayage like Lily Aldridge; this is very american. Yet, I see french girls with black air like Emmanuelle Alt, Capucine Safyurtlu or blondes like Margaux Lonnberg, etc

  • arin antoine

    dude. i thought i was the only one in awe of errthang she’s been wearing lately. it’s too good.

  • Paty

    Love your blog!

    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

    http://www.thegavlaks.com

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    Well, as far as I know, there are no permanent hair colors that wouldn’t cause damage to your health, so … ? No?

  • dustUP

    How can someone who is paying stylist to dress her “have” a great style????
    Her new style is not her achievement at all, but her stylist’s.

  • shoresociety

    She is totally crushing it. Major style evolution, but she still looks like HER. And yeah, go a little blonde.

  • take it sleazy

    Are we all going to forget that time when Kanye West cleaned her closet and blessed her with couture? I mean, he gave her a major makeover. She hasn’t been killing it, he has… lol

  • Guest

    The style she’s wearing is nice…. but it’s not HER style. It’s so calculated and you just know she has nothing to do with it. Kanye wanted to amp up Kim’s profile in the fashion industry and gave her image an overhaul. So I give credit to her stylists…. but Kim K just wears what she’s told.

  • Hurr

    If you want to go lighter, maybe try a lighter shade of brunette first? Like a light/medium ash brown. And then if you light that, you could try taking it lighter with a blonder balayage before completely going blonde.

  • Anonyme

    Why don’t you gain 60 pounds instead? Curvy and killing it is what really makes Kim K’s style so special

  • Maureen Krezel French

    I think she trying to be Beyoncé.

  • Cyn

    I stopped at “Astor Pl station” to comment – I am at that station everyday – if a tiny Puerto Rican every comes charging at you to chat you up – its ME! Ok – going back to finish reading :)

  • Cyn

    Ok – don’t go blonde – add in some highlights if you cant resist, I love that short brownish hair on you! & yes her style is amazing these days – Thank you Yeezus.

  • Sarah
  • Juliette

    YES, please go blonde! Not for the sake of looking like Kim but because the drastic change would be very very exciting.

  • LP

    Kim is indeed killing it, but this transformation is all due to Kanye. I (embarrassingly) caught an episode of her show when she was dating Kanye over a year ago, and Kanye went through her entire wardrobe and told her what to keep and what to get rid of. While I admire her outfits with those curves, it isn’t her personal sense of fashion, it’s Kanye’s.

  • xtyb

    We could envy her maybe if she worked a little harder on the bra. I don’t want to be mean but she’s just not wearing the right size/type bra in some of those otherwise lovely outfits.

    But no for the blond, and you should feel lucky because even if you don’t have Yeezy outfitting you, you have fashion boobs.

  • Roxana Zegan

    I think you are confusing fashion and style. A few well chosen clothes ( althou often in the wrong size) by a smart stylist don’t give anyone style, they just make them less offensive visually. I believe that in order to have style you need more than a fortunate assemblage of designer pieces. Style is a reflexion of your personality and culture.
    She doesn’t have any, just as she doesn’t have charm, intellect or talent.

    To me she is still Spam, in a Dean & Deluca wrapper.

    • lulz4dayz

      lol.

  • Julia Fuller

    It seems that her style began to evolve when Kanye became sartorially linked to Christine Centenera (and no judgment there but good; she is That Girl for me!). I love the transformation, love it more because she is chaneling a well-fed version of CC!

  • Sadie

    People can say what they want about her, but she’s managed to make the relatively clean ‘just-walked-off-a-Celine-ss13-catwalk’ look work for her, and i applaud her for that because she’s not a 5″11 european. She is curvy and still pulls it off. It’s actually a little too glam and polished for what I’d personally wear- but good for her! I hope she sticks to it, you can tell she is dressing for herself now rather than the contrived looks of her pre-North/Kanye as stylist era.

  • Abby

    Go blonde! I have slowly been going blonder for years and I love it. Each time I get it colored I feel more chic and fresh. If you find it doesn’t suit you then you can always go back. Life’s too short not to try it. Also, KK is killing it. So much better than before. And no, whoever says they find her new style boring, I don’t agree.

  • sarah

    i just want to say( and I really don’t want to seem mean, or tall-poppyish, or any of those things, but…), she looks killer, her style is now stellar, her hair amazing, i think her body is , like wow, but what the * has that girl done to her face. after flicking through all these pictures, i feel reminded of the demise of the beauty of lindsay lohan, Heidi montag and countless others, so young and already uniquely beautiful. it makes me feel very sad.

  • vulva

    So we’re all just going to sit there and pretend that first skirt isn’t serving georgia o’keeffe realness? M’kay.

  • Allison

    I think you look exactly as you should–like a chic, Parisian, everyone-wishes-they-could-be-more-like-you type of woman .

  • Melissa Tidah Him

    Now that you mention it, I’m digging her chic style too. Ha!

  • deldd

    OY VE! NO No NO blond

  • Nika

    Honestly, I don’t think Kanye has the time to pick many of her outfits like some suggested. I think for the most part it’s just the fact that her baby daddy is quite into fashion, knows a lot about it, likes to experiment and knows how to dress cool. Meaning, she probably feels inspired by him and just tries to better herself, with the help of her stylist of course, but she had stylists since forever anyway. And since these two are dating she has been more involved in high fashion, hanging out with major designers at major fashion events etc so I’m sure that is a big part of this transition. And when it comes to plastic surgery I don’t think she had it, seeing photos of her when she was 8 she always had huge lips, I think she has some amazing make up artists and she often spoke about how she uses contouring tricks to change her appearance (slimmer nose, defined cheekbones/jawline etc) make up does wonders when used in the right way!

    blondie-pants.blogspot.com

  • Maya

    Well you can do whatever you want because you are smart and your writing makes me laugh out loud always. Smart girls do it best. By the way I also fell into this trap and got myself a Kardashian ombre…I do not feel as chic…so…#epicfail

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