Miranda July has got to be one of the coolest women alive today. At least IMHO. Polymath extraordinaire, July explores the beautiful and uncomfortable truths of the everyday in her multi-faceted art, with a poetry that is both down-to-earth and glitteringly profound. Honest, relatable and straightforward, July crafts modern day folklore that tugs at the heartstrings. She is also incredibly stunning. Swanlike, with otherworldly eyes and a mop of untamed curls, screenwriter, actress, director and debut novelist Miranda July has a natural fey-like elegance. Her personal style is simultaneously colorful, eclectic, yet somehow refined and put-together. She dresses for her inner child, but with an adult politeness — an art school sensibility with a professional nod.
I am ever-inspired by Miranda July's feminine directness. I love how she discusses the darker side to the relationships we all experience — the awkwardness of becoming oneself outside of the filters of Instagram. Her's is the poetics of hormones — calmly visceral, messy feelings expressed precisely.
The discussion of the word "quirky" being dismissively used to describe her work recently — which spans from film to performance art to writing to creating apps — really hit home with me. Yes, her outward appearance does have a playful eccentricity, which is quirky no doubt. But the seriousness of her discourse cannot be packaged neatly into that box. July's intelligence, first and foremost, defines her in the public eye. She is one of the most eloquent and articulate female intellectuals I have read, and I aspire to be like her. I admire that she writes in a way that is jaunty and unpretentious. Just because she expresses her philosophical musings with a sprinkling of humor, or whilst wearing a pussy-bow, does not make her thoughts "quirky" and nothing more. In fact, I think it makes them shine even more brightly.
As a young woman in the arts, I have had my fair share of haters misunderstanding my intentions. One tutor at university dismissed my work as "bland" (I kid you not!) because I wanted to discuss the subtleties of female sexuality quietly in my lingerie collection, rather than working in latex and shiny, black leather. As a visually young-looking person, with a baby face and a high, feminine voice I am often not taken seriously. People look at me in shock when they notice me cursing (which I do on the regular, but some just don't seem to realize!). As an artist, Miranda July challenges expectations by just being, which is something I look up to.
Although physically I am not a boyish, languid dancer-type who dresses in bold colors, I can relate to July's unconventionality. I admire her strong sense of self and transcendence across the boundaries of the arts. My dream is to get my lingerie company off the ground — but I also love to write, organize events and style photoshoots. And man, do I want to learn to mix music and do stick-and-poke-tatoos! One day I'd maybe even like to be a wedding planner! Who knows? Miranda July demonstrates that your ideas need not be funneled into one direction for the rest of your career, but rather that you can expand and grow.
So be inspired by Miranda July's unapologetic yet neat self expression with these lovely little pieces:
The Idiosyncratic Hoisery
Do you want to hang out tonight? I should warn you that I will not be wearing any makeup and my hair is dirty. If you can handle that, tell me.
Puff Cb Anklet Sock, $17, hanselfrombasel.com
Sparkly Fairisle Nylon Tight, $4, hanselfrombasel.com
July has become somewhat of a style icon, inspiring various fashion companies with her bold and colorful sartorial choices. Hosiery brand Hansel From Basel even used her as a model for their artsy footwear. Their cute and fun range of tights, socks, leggings and accessories encapsulates Miranda July's lively approach to style, whilst being ever practical!
The Playful Knits
"When she saw my messy desk, she said she was the same way, and there was no dust on the TV, and I was easy to love. People just need a little help because they are so used to not loving. It's like scoring clay to make another piece of clay stick to it."
Watermelon Seeds Sweater, $98, babsouk.ca
Jumper With Stripe Detail, $69, asos.com
Super Sweater, $83, stories.com
If you want to channel the fabulousness that is Miranda July, you'll definitely need a lively piece of knitwear. July's sweater/cardi collection is to die for. Whether patterned, cutesy or balsy in shade, this lady knows how to have fun with her knitwear.
The Shirt And Pussy Bow
"All I really want to know is how other people are making it through life. Where do they put their body, hour by hour and how do they cope inside of it?"
Bow, $110, welcomecompanions.com
Yra Shirt, $53, monki.com
Another signature July look is the pussy bow and shirt — the perfect combination of girlish playfulness, androgyny and professionalism. The Miu Miu muse has been photographed wearing pieces by Welcome Companions, who designed the luxe silk bow above. Don't forget to do your top button up!
If, like me, shirts feel too constricting, why not take the more slouchy approach, and pretend in this comfy t-shirt, also by Welcome Companions!
Bow T-Shirt, $40, welcomecompanions.com
The Oversized Coat
"Well, I have a theory that men don't actually cry less than women, they just do it differently."
Longline Jaquard Duster, $104, topshop.com
Split Back Duster Coat, $118, topshop.com
Corinne Coat, $98, monki.com
Make like Miranda and don a relaxed oversized cocoon or duster coat. The perfect combination of smart and casual, a slouchy coat will warm up any sparky ensemble. Throw it on over your cosy, zany jumper and vibrant hosiery whilst you read Noone Belongs Here More Than You.
Ear Grey & Cucumber Cologne, $120, jomalone.com
Jo Malone fragrances are intelligent, sophisticated and direct with an element of playfulness, just like Miranda July. This particular quirky fragrance is unconventional yet refined. There's something dark, brooding about it despite it's freshness and optimism which is definitely apparent in Miranda July's work. Neither femme nor masculine, the scent's androgyny suits July's gamine look.
The Hair And Makeup
"My job is to have new ideas and take risks every day, so I'm always looking forward to the next thing being done or making the next thing that I haven't yet gotten to. That's sort of the constant in my life."What I love the most about Miranda July's look is her amazing curly bob! She inspires me to wear my curly hair naturally whenever I see her wild mane. If you have curly or wavy hair like July, and want to let your natural beauty shine, be sure to take special care of your spirals. Like Miranda July, curly hair is a breed all of its own. Unlike straight hair, each individual strand of curly hair has its own pattern. Because of this, curly hair is more prone to dryness, the coils stopping your hair's natural oils from coating and hydrating each strand. This can lead to frizziness, which as I know, is not fun.
To prevent the frizz, try not to over-wash your locks, and regularly use an intensive treatment. This mask by Keratase is deeply intensive and helps keep your curls in tip top condition.
Masque Oleo-Curl Intense, $43, keratase.co.uk
ghd Curl Classic Curl Tong Set, $165, ghdhair.com
As for makeup, to channel Miranda July's glittering eyes, a good mascara is going to be your best friend and I'm going to let you in on a little English secret that will do just the job, for the fraction of the price of a famous brand mascara. Big, long, defined eyelashes are my thing, and by far my favorite mascara on the market right now is from bargain store Wilkinsons. I think the secret is in the chunky, curled brush and super gloopy consistency. At just $4, it's a steal!
Essence Get BIG Lashes Vol Curl Mascara, $4, wilko.com
So why not liberally apply your lashes for serious doe eyes, whilst having a listen to...
"Don't wait to be sure, move, move, move."
Miranda July takes the realities of life and shows that they are projective of profound thoughts, which is something I love about the mournfully saccharine tones of this happy-sad tune by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone. It is reflective, real and honest, just like her.
Images: Getty; Courtesy Brands