Style Icon: Ellen DeGeneres

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Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.

We all have that one person who epitomizes human perfection for us. The one person who, in terms of style, poise and sheer awesomeness is the model upon which we base our lives. For some, that person might be a teacher. Or a parent. Or a favorite author. For me, that person is Ellen DeGeneres. Because honestly—name one person who is better. It is not possible. Girlfriend has great hair, wicked dance skills, great taste in coffee tables, is pretty much the patron saint of puppies everywhere…oh, and she’s funny, too. I’m not sure when my Ellen obsession began, but I think it was sometime around when my family rented her HBO special Here And Now from Blockbuster. Let’s say I was 14. Just imagine lil’ ol me, expecting some basic comedy act and all the sudden this blonde goddess walks on the stage and ROCKS MY ENTIRE WORLD. I was all, “This gal knows what’s up. And that blue henley is super cute.”

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Above: Some of Ellen’s various styles worn on The Ellen Show. Via Ellen’s Style Pinterest Board.

As I became more acquainted with Ms. DeGeneres, I learned that she not only has a soul of pure gold, but completely flawless taste in fashion and interior design. Every day on the Ellen show is a one-woman fashion show filled with All-The-Things-I-Want-To-Wear-Always. And her house(s)? This is where it gets insane. Along with a daily TV show, a record label, a gig hosting The Oscars this year, and—I don’t know—being the baddest chick on earth—Ellen has also managed to nurture an interest in design and house-flipping that is actually totally legit. Elle Decor ran a cover story on her Southern California ranch house last year and it’s pretty much the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen ever. (Do you have goosebumps yet? I do.) So—what is the lesson? Ellen is awesome. End of story. Other people, you can all go home. —Max

ellenproducts1

1. Gap Khakis | 2. Paulistano Armchair | 3. McCoy Pendant Light | 4. Wooden Bowl | 5. X-Base Table

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1. Frye Oxford Shoes | 2. Converse Chuck Taylor Sneakers | 3. Genova Side Table | 4. Lone Rock Bench-Mount Table Lamp | 5. H&M Linen Cushion Cover

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1. Vintage Ilum Wikkelso Sofa | 2. Industrial Stool | 3. Dorothy Perkins Blazer | 4. J. Crew Striped Long Sleeve T-shirt | 5. Mouille Two Arm Wall Sconce | 6. West Elm Copenhagen Bookcase | 7. Handwoven Medina Rug

Bernie

Very stylish…yes. but Icon status? Not quite for me, anyway…but I do love her!

Ashley Johnson

Max you made me laugh with this post, and I needed that today. Thank you. I’m a huge Ellen fan. I cannot wait for the Oscars Sunday. And I completely agree that she deserves style icon status… In so many ways…

Jo

I’m a HUGE Ellen fan! She is so classy and funny and authentic and stylish… I could go on and on. She is everything I strive to be as a woman, heck, as a person. I love that she so effortlessly pushes the boundaries of our definitions of women (especially “successful” women) without falling into the traps other comic females sometimes find themselves in – being asked to simultaneously be a sex idol (i.e. Tina Fey, etc – and no I’m not bagging on Tina Fey, but she definitely is marginalized in a way that Ellen has completely avoided). I love this post. Thanks Max!

flora

Love Ellen and love her style! Ellen is a pretty committed vegan these days; doubting leather furniture has any place in this line-up…

Maxwell Tielman

Hey, Flora! I based this roundup on Ellen’s own homes which are actually FILLED with leather furniture. I assume that her veganism only extends to her diet.

Joey

I love Ellen’s style. She always seems very relaxed and comfortable. I’m glad she was chosen for this and that she’ll be hosting the Oscars! She’s a very classy lady and I’m proud to have her as one of my style inspirations.

Muoi

Wow, their home is gorgeous, just breath taking gorgeous. *sigh* It all looks so effortless and serene. I want to go to there.

Grace Bonney

Flora

I actually had the same thought and spoke to Max before this went up, but he’s right- her home is (oddly) filled with leather furniture. She’s got a huge leather sofa, leather-backed chairs and a black leather ottoman.

Grace

Brooke

I think most of the leather pieces in Ellen’s home are vintage (but probably not all). I know some vegans who don’t have issues with vintage leather as buying from antique or thrift stores really doesn’t increase the demand for leather products.

The money goes directly into the store’s register and doesn’t go beyond that. If you’re buying a new leather product then the store will go back to the manufacturer who kills a new cow to make the same product to send back to the retail outlet to sell and the cycle starts over again.

Hopefully that makes sense why some vegans will choose to wear or buy vintage leather goods

Ellen’s ranch is amazing. I love all the white and wood/leather combinations. Amazing

Doug Warner

Great piece! When I saw Ellen/Portia’s ranch in that issue of Elle Decor, I was obsessed and couldn’t stop poring over it. Thanks for the piece, Max, but blast you for adding that budget-breaking Mouille lamp in the mix! Want.

Simone

I sometimes feel that American culture requires women to walk around with their knickers in a twist permanently (like be very very skinny, have no frizz hair (what happened to Chelsey Clintons hair fi?), always wear high heels, go get the biggest diamond engagement ring -ever and on and on) impossible of course and Ellen is wonderful that she creates a completely new paradigm where women can be different if they want to. And she is kind to people.
About the leather, I am vegetarian and have very little qualms about leather to be honest, first of all people eat so much meat that I think it is a by product of meat (thank you meateaters) rather that that animals are grown for their leather, second it is so very very much more durable that fabric that that quality also has certain environmental benefits to it.

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