The fashionable ways of Nora Ephron: 5 ways her sense of style will continue to inspire

Photography by TechCrunch/Flickr

It’s a testament to Nora Ephron’s far-reaching legacy that everyone from film industry vets to the food crowd has been profoundly shaken and saddened by her passing last night due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia. The When Harry Met Sally… screenwriter was one of the wittiest and sharpest voices of her time. As a kind of sartorial tribute to the always stylish and inspiring Ephron, here are a few of the ways she touched the fashion world.

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Louise Pitre, Mary Walsh, Andrea Martin, Sharron Matthews, and Paula Brancati in Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann

Ephron showed us that having bizarrely strong attachments to clothes was entirely normal (and not “unhealthy” as many of her male counterparts might say) in her script for Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a play adaptation of the 1955 Ilene Beckerman book of the same name. Celebrities ranging from Jane Lynch to Brooke Shields were part of the rotating roster of actors who took to the stage for the play, which described the ways women identify with their clothes. It gave us permission to reserve a quarter of our closet for “sentimental purposes” without any sense of shame.

Left: Chanel Fall 2007, photography by Peter Stigter; Right: Nora Ephron, photography by Flickr/david_shankbone

Ephron’s proclivity for turtlenecks was well-documented in her 2006 book I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Reflections On Being A Woman. While we’re sure Ephron’s neck was more than lovely, by covering up in chic Chanel turtlenecks and scarves she carved out a unique brand of intellectual elegance, which landed her a spot on Vanity Fair’s International Best-Dressed List.

A still from When Harry met Sally...

We couldn’t compile this list without mentioning Meg Ryan’s menswear-inspired wardrobe in When Harry Met Sally…, which was complemented by her fabulously ’80s permed shag. Just like her creator, Ryan’s Sally Albright had a style all her own, which was made all the more appealing by the fact that she was unabashedly sure of herself. (Remember her incredibly high-maintenance sandwich order? We can imagine Ephron doing the same thing.)

A still from Julie & Julia

Ephron not only made an intense love of eating OK, she made it cool. Almost all of her movies contained some sort of focus on food: the Heartburn protagonist (a semi-biographical character) was a food writer, there’s the infamous deli scene in When Harry Met Sally… and Julie & Julia was basically foodie heaven. Would Nigella Lawson et al have been as readily embraced by the fashion industry if Ephron hadn’t made the kitchen chic?

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