In general, style icons are usually revered by most and repellent to almost none. In other words, if you mention Charlize Theron, you won’t often hear anyone say, “Ewwww! I hate her! She’s so odd looking!” The same cannot be said for actress Tilda Swinton, who is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing style icons in the history of style icons. If you do happen to have any doubt about Swinton’s status as a style icon, just ask any fashion professional. Be well prepared to listen to a lengthy lesson about everything that makes Swinton so singularly spectacular or, as the British say, “All that and a bag of chips.” We are prouder than proud to consider ourselves card carrying members of the Tilda Swinton fan club. Aside from her exceptional talent as an actress, the reason we are so taken with Swinton is because she is an absolute original. It is Swinton’s originality that causes the fashion world to sing her praises with such unmatched gusto. Swinton, who is currently winning rave reviews for her performance in the film, A Bigger Splash, dresses incredibly as well as impeccably. The designer she most favors is Haider Ackermann, as is evidenced by the countless Ackermann creations Swinton wears both on and off the Red Carpet. Other designer labels she loves include Chanel, Lanvin, Valentino and Schiaparelli Couture. Actually, saying that Swinton “loves” particular designers goes counter to what she would say about herself if asked. “I’m not even sure I have a love for fashion, to be perfectly honest with you. My relationship with fashion is entirely based on my relationship with various individuals and friends of mine who happen to make the work. If I didn’t have those friendships, I would not be invited to their shows or even invited to wear their clothes. I don’t follow fashion. I still have – and am happy to retain – a beginner’s mind.” Her flawless androgyny is Swinton’s Number One calling card. While she does claim to adore make-up and was chosen as the new face of Nars last year, Swinton is more often than not photographed sans mascara. "The wonderful thing about makeup for me is that a little goes a very long way," she says.

“It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple; one must be woman-manly or man-womanly. ... Some marriage of opposites has to be consummated.” Virginia Woolf

Hillary Shawaf

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