“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.” On 20 January, 23-year-old Amanda Gorman delivered a historic poetry reading at the inauguration of United States president Joe Biden that successfully captivated audiences around the globe.
Beyond her graceful eloquence, the young Harvard graduate also charmed viewers with her canary-coloured Prada coat and red headband, which made her stand out in a sea of solemn black suits. In celebration of this Women’s History Month this March and World Poetry Day on 21 March, we round up four other notable, fashionable writers to know now.
Indeed, Amanda’s impactful delivery of her poem The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem For The Country made her the talk of the nation overnight. However, the bright young poet was already quietly making waves in the fashion scene before this. She was featured in minimalist fashion brand Helmut Lang’s Smart People Wear Helmut Lang campaign in 2018 and has also been invited to attend Prada’s fashion shows since 2019.
With the help of fashion stylist Jason Bolden, Amanda has since sported the dreamiest outfits, including a full-length fuchsia gown for her TIME magazine shoot and a colourful jacket from CHANEL for her first appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. She also has a penchant for standout hair accessories too and is often spotted in a French beret or a bright headscarf on “off-duty” days.
Check out: Amanda’s riveting performance of her poem Fury and Faith, which she presented at #Ham4Progress, a virtual event that was held in February to commemorate Black History Month. “Our goal is never revenge, just restoration. Not dominance, just dignity. Not fear, just freedom. Just justice.”
27-year-old singer-songwriter, actor and poet Daiyan Trisha rose to fame fairly recently in 2018 after she was featured in Indonesian singer Calvin Jeremy’s single Kita. Then, her cover of The Greatest Showman’s “Rewrite The Stars” with longtime YouTube singer Sam Tsui in 2019 chalked up millions of views on YouTube. Since then, she’s attracted the attention of leading luxury fashion brands such as Christian Dior, Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton and has even launched a collaboration collection with footwear brand ALDO.
That said, one of her most notable fashion partnerships to date is with jewellery brand Wanderlust + Co in 2019, where the latter had created a six-piece collection that was inspired by Daiyan’s book of poetry titled Tulisan by Daiyan Trisha.
Check out: Daiyan’s poetry Instagram account, @tulisanbydaiyantrisha, where you can catch a glimpse of her thoughts and reflections on a variety of topics — from love and relationship woes to discovering one’s identity.
31-year-old artist, poet and writer Cleo Wade is known for her empowering poems on Instagram, which has earned her celebrity fans including Yara Shahidi and Jessica Alba. With her comforting words and uplifting content, the author of Heart Talk: Poet Wisdom For A Better Life, which features a compilation of inspirational poems and affirmations, has also been touted as “The Millennial Oprah'' by New York Magazine and has appeared on The Today Show.
Beyond her contagious kindness and optimism, Cleo possesses an easy-going, effortless sense of style as well. Her “go-to” ensembles include white billowy dresses with colourful accessories, floral-patterned blouses and cosy sweaters featuring her poems.
Check out: Cleo’s TED talk in 2017, where she recited a poem about “being an advocate for love and acceptance in a time when both seem short in supply." “The world will say to you, ‘How do we speak to bias and bigotry?’ Start by having the first conversation at your own kitchen table.”
There’s no doubt that Iranian-American Young Adult fiction author Tahereh Mafi has a way with words — and sartorial choices. The fashionable mother of one who’s known for Shatter Me — a six-novel, four-novella book series which follows the story of a 17-year-old girl who possesses a lethal touch — often documents her outfits on Instagram. (She has over 144,000 followers as of writing.)
From donning an eye-catching green checkered trench coat with red patent leather boots to rocking a full ruffled blouse and pleated skirt with panache, Tahereh’s loyal readers are as enthralled by her writing as they are with her exuberant take on modern modest dressing.
Check out: This exclusive excerpt from Tahereh’s latest book titled An Emotion of Great Delight, which is set to launch on 1 June. The novel talks about a Muslim teen’s struggle in the wake of the 11 September attacks.
28-year-old Irish novelist Naoise (pronounced Nee-sha) Dolan’s best-selling debut novel Exciting Times was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious annual book award that celebrates and honours fiction written by women. She has also penned opinion pieces for international titles such as Vogue and the Guardian, where she opened up about being diagnosed with autism last year.
As for her wardrobe choices, Naoise appears to favour more romantic pieces that complement her wavy jet black locks and signature red pout. Plus, she seems to be quite the hosiery enthusiast as well — having donned different variations of them in her outfit posts on Instagram. In all, we appreciate how her vintage-inspired ensembles are a refreshing departure from the trend-driven outfits that we’re used to seeing on our timeline.
Check out: Naoise’s recent interview with AnOther magazine, where she revealed her plans for the year ahead, how she came to terms with autism and whether the protagonist in her debut novel is anything like her.
Who is your favourite female author and why?