I'm not the kind of person who goes in for the phrase 'style icon'. It's an epithet applied far too liberally nowadays. True style icons are rare; they shake up the very meaning of the word style, reshaping people's ideas and inciting controversy; or they make everything they wear or design into a sort of revelation, when every onlooker smacks their forehead comically and exclaims, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?". They inspire a whole generation of people, whatever their origins or sartorial preferences, to new and exciting fashion exploits. Marilyn Monroe and Rei Kawakubo are examples of the former; Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel, the latter.
Teenage, barely-legal models who step outside the ridiculously narrow parameters of model-off-duty style do not count as style icons. Nor do Hollywood stars who are dressed exclusively by their neurotic stylist. However, that's not to say they can't count as style inspiration. The next level down from icons, inspirators (is that a word? If not, it is henceforth.) have a style which doesn't necessarily match your own, but can nevertheless give you ideas of how to shake things up. Occasionally, some turn up who not only dress impeccably but who also own all the clothes you would buy if you were slightly older and a lot richer. For me, Caroline from Carolines Mode is such a person. Her outfits are constantly simple without ever being boring; I love her.
Without further Saturday-lunchtime-I-have-no-urgent-homework preamble, here is a very small selection of photos to illustrate her typical style.