Leona Lewis has a fresh, natural look.
What’s her style essence?
Note: In this post, I’m talking about style essences—ethereal, dramatic, natural, classic, romantic, ingenue, and gamine—and Kibbe types. If you haven’t heard these terms before, they might be confusing; I’ll post an overview/explanation eventually.
The camel coat and button-down shirt look natural-classic.
But I don’t think she has any classic essence, so it must be the natural elements that are working for her.
Why not classic? Because she’s noticeably elongated, blunt-edged, and softly wide. She looks tall (she’s 5′ 7″ or 170 cm), and her nose, chin, shoulders, torso, and hips are somewhat broad and blunt.
A classic is visually balanced; that’s not her.
So let’s start with natural. Natural lines are long, broad, and blunt.
She can definitely pull off natural styles, like this fringed-tassel sweater. (Which would make me look like an albino chicken.)
But is natural always her best look? I don’t think so.
This linen wide-leg jumpsuit saps her energy. Even her shoulders are drooping.
This fringed bag, rough denim pair of jeans, and long vest seem to drag her down.
Maybe she needs something simpler and sharper. I don’t think she does, but just for the sake of argument, let’s look at her in dramatic styles.
This dramatic-classic outfit is pretty good.
But I think that’s because of the hair and makeup. Classic styles look okay on everyone.
The true test of the dramatic is menswear, in which she is unremarkable.
Sharp dramatic lines and high-contrast colors do nothing for her; this corset top draws more attention than her face.
Compare this dramatic-gamine off-the-shoulder outfit…
…With this dramatic-ethereal-natural one.
The first outfit makes her look wider than she really is; the softer, long monochromatic line of the dress is better.
(If you’re thinking she has some ethereal essence, you’re right, but we’ll come back to that.)
At this point, I’m quite sure she’s not gamine or ingenue, but let’s see how she looks in those styles anyway.
This natural-gamine outfit looks okay…
But again, it’s adding unnecessary width—especially at the hip and thigh—and the stripes are more attention-getting than her face.
And it gets worse. This dramatic-gamine dress doesn’t suit her at all.
The lace makes this next one a bit better, but still—why?
Ingenue is an improvement.
She looks great here…
But I think this outfit works because of the romantic-ethereal elements, not anything particularly “ingenue.”
Her face reads as mature and womanly, not girlish. For example, an ingenue would drown in this ethereal-dramatic-romantic look, but she pulls it off (it’s just a bit too sharp and sleek for her).
And she’s lovely in this romantic-ethereal lace gown.
Anyway, she (wisely) hardly ever wears ingenue styles. Here are the closest two I could find:
1. Ingenue neckline (empire waist/babydoll) and color (white).
This is just so off, like a tacky ceramic angel (whereas in the lace gown she was the real thing).
2. Okay, this one doesn’t even count as ingenue (it’s more romantic-classic), but just pretend the skirt is shorter.
Ahh! Too many curls, too much shine—I can’t see the woman, just the hair and dress.
Let’s have some natural styles for a visual breather.
The following outfits are soft natural, in Kibbe terms (aka romantic natural) and she looks pretty, polished, comfy, beachy… it all works.
But we’re missing that ethereal magic.
I’m calling it: Leona Lewis’s style essence is ethereal soft natural. (Or ethereal-natural-romantic, if you prefer.)
Just for fun, let’s see how she looks in one last style—romantic-dramatic—before we get to her best looks.
Not bad, just not her best.
These outfits are too tight, plain, and constricting. She looks “good,” as in sexy/attractive, but stiff—like a wax-museum version of herself.
(Notice that the last look is the best, and it’s the one where her hair is wild and free.)
And now, at last, I present Leona Lewis in all her ethereal soft natural glory.
This is the Leona we know and love.
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