Inspiring women: Irene Rooke

"In 1927, Irene Rooke, a star of the West End stage and silent film, bought 'Spindles', an unassuming clapboard cottage at Dungeness. Over the next ten years, she recorded every aspect of life on the Kent coast in a remarkable leather-bound album. Decades on, its photographs and handwritten notes still evoke her treasured, carefree time there..."  WoI, April 2008.

It struck me last week when I posted Margaret Howell last week that I don't identify with most portrayals of most women in our culture, which is a tough knock for a girl who likes fashion as much as I do. That's why the image of Howell was so perfect and inspiring. Still, even though I reject the more common portrayals, there's still an inherent pressure in them. We're surrounded by reminders that most of us don't succeed within that narrow paradigm.

The way I feel when I look at Howell is not a mishmash of conflicting feelings, of alienation and insecurity. She makes me want to feel braver and more self-accepting. And so, I've decided to start a new blog about the kind of women I do identify with and am inspired by. It will be about style in a more holistic, ineffable and intelligent sense. It will also be about women; complex, talented, unassuming and, perhaps even, tragic women.

These and more images by and of Irene Rooke here.
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