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Like Mother, Like Son

Posted 03.03.16  - Culture

Style is often passed down through generations - as legions of chic families can attest. But when it comes to specific genders, it's always assumed that a man inherits his sense of style from his father. What, then, of their maternal-style DNA? Surely the formative, guiding influence of a mother plays a key role in the aesthetic make-up of their offspring? Even as gender roles blur, it's far more likely that women will be the guiding force when it comes to choosing clothes and finding a sartorial path.

Just consider the neat, precise and utterly chic attire of Jackie Kennedy - her pared-down look, which blended classicism and a hint of preppiness with a European elegance, was surely passed down to her dashing yet tragically doomed son, John F Kennedy Jr? Whether out on the town in a tux or shirtless playing sports in Central Park, the Kennedy scion personified cool, all-American style.

Another icon of the 60s, Mia Farrow, has raised an equally dapper son, Ronan Farrow, who, just like JFK Jr, combines political leanings with a sharp sartorial sensibility that has seen him on international best-dressed lists thanks to a trailblazing style that’s equally at home in a leather jacket or three-piece suit.

For others, a leaning towards a more eclectic, bohemian look can be inherited, too. The first-born son of Ann Dexter Jones - the New York socialite, designer and legendary hostess - was unlikely to ever fade into the background. Mark Ronson's sharp ensembles have evolved just as his stellar career as a music producer and artist has sky-rocketed. He first hit the fashion scene in a Tommy Jeans ad in the 1990s, but is now renowned for his entirely idiosyncractic fusion of vintage jackets, bespoke tailoring and the odd sporty bomber jacket.

For the children of fashion mavens, an innate dress sense must be a given. Carine Roitfeld's dashing son, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, a New York-based gallerist and curator, is renowned for his slick image, which mirrors his mother's highly polished, ultra-Parisienne taste. His friend Lapo Elkann, who is renowned for his exuberant spirit, is the grandson of the legendary clotheshorse Marella Agnelli and son of Margherita Agnelli. Elkann's fearless dress code includes pastel summer suits, bold wide-lapelled jackets worn with jeans and suede shoes, and a playful approach to colour.

There are plenty of famous and trendy offspring waiting in the wings, too; Sadie Frost's eldest son, Rafferty, already shows signs of following in his fashionable mother's footsteps; Jerry Hall's eldest son, James, is a musician-turned-actor who is turning heads as star of the much-talked-about HBO series Vinyl. While Romeo Beckham, at just 13 years old, already has several fashion campaigns under his belt and an innate sense of style. He also recently confided that he wouldn't be following his father into football. Perhaps his mother's fashion empire awaits?

Imagery: Press/REX/Shutterstock

Clare Coulson - Former fashion editor of The Telegraph and fashion features editor of Harper's Bazaar

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