By  on November 17, 2004

NEW YORK — Having helped define fashion in the Seventies and Eighties with her distinctive eyebrows and striking good looks, Brooke Shields remembers a world of style that was larger and more original.

“Everything was very big,” she said, at a recent photo shoot for Jones New York. “Photographers all had their own studios and the clothes were always fabulous. There was nothing deconstructed about it. It was all Polly Mellen and Richard Avedon.

“Now, I notice that people are always trying to be something else. We’ll be putting on stuff and they’ll be like, ‘Oh. So Jil,’” said Shields, referring to her stylists. “Sander? Is that who you’re talking about? I’m out of the fashion loop.”

Despite epitomizing feminine beauty for many and showing up at numerous red-carpet events decked out in designer duds, Shields doesn’t seem to have ever been in the fashion loop.

“I would put on the clothes, go take the picture and get back into my jeans and sweatshirt and do my homework,” she said of her younger days. In that regard, not much seems to have changed for Shields, who wore a grey thermal top and jeans during lunch at the shoot in the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

“I never really, truly developed a sense of style just for myself,” said the model. “I just didn’t pay attention. I didn’t watch when they put my makeup on. I didn’t watch how they accessorized. I was sort of in two separate worlds. In a way, it kind of saved me because I was sort of encapsulated in education.”

Shields said she stressed her own education as an escape from the frenetic pace and subjectiveness of fashion and film.

“I could just go into my books and that was totally mine,” she said. “It didn’t matter what you looked like. It didn’t matter what you were wearing. I think I feared being wrong. But I could be right in math and I could be right at my French lessons. I knew I could be right if I worked hard enough.”

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