Style Icon: Joni Mitchell

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Style Icon: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell was never a wallflower, said a childhood friend of the iconic artist, and that's why we like her eclectic style so much. And it's not just us. The free-spirited folk-heroine singer of Yellow Taxi is the inspiration for this year spring collections, from Pucci and Chloe to Valentino. Think lots of ethnic jewellery, waistcoats, fedora hats, maxi-floral dresses and boots, just to mention a few folk-inspired items you can choose from (good-bye moody 90s!).

Yet, you might be interested to know that Joni wasn't always flower-power, despite the fact that fashion and style were a strong passion of hers - Joni remembers with displeasure the days when, still a child, kids copied her winter coat (gasp!) - showing a desire to be unique from a very young age. At first, she enjoyed making fashion statements by wearing unusual items like her father's tie to school that helped her not to get unnoticed in the rural town she lived back then. Later in life (well, we're talking pre being 21!!) she modelled, drew and paid bills working in a clothes shop in her hometown and playing whenever she could for some extra money. They were tormented tough years. She said of those days 'That was the beginning. I got into playing just for spending money, for smoking money and movie money. And for fun; it was just fun when you got a room full of people playing, you know. That's the way I started and it really was to be no more than that. My ambition was to be a painter'.

The fresh-faced Woodstock ethereal bohemian child look didn't really happen till she moved to LA and got signed onto the label Reprise, releasing her first album Joni Mitchell. Hanging out with the likes of David Crosby and Graham Nash (who, apparently met because of her and were both her lovers at one point or another...), she ditched her mod-inspired Twiggy-esque style with lots of make-up for a more natural Californian wash-your-face-and-go type of look. And it was for the best. Together with her heartfelt and biographical lyrics, her penchant for floaty maxi dresses, tie-dye and leaving her hair uncut secured her place as one the Woodstock beauty queen of the 70s, the decade in which she achieved mainstream success. This, even if she actually never went to Woodstock (what?!), for she rejected the invitation to go to another show, it was only 1969. Isn't life strange? Two years later she released her breakthrough album Blue, an almost instant critical and commercial success, peaking in the top 20 in the Billboard Album Charts in September and also hitting the British Top 3.

Take a look at some of the images we have hunted for you to find inspiration for this spring/summer. Accessorise your hands with beautiful Indian bracelets and large semi-precious stone rings. Whether you invest in a leather waistcoat or a pair of cowboy boots, make sure you don't miss out on a 70s maxi flora dress.