Valentine's Inspiration: Coolest Couples


With the Valentine's Day launch of our Whistles Wedding collection, in which each dress has been named in ode to our favourite romantic heroines in history, from Juliet Capulet to Queen Victoria, we’ve been thinking a lot about our favourite couples in popular culture here at Whistles HQ.

After a lot of deliberation, here’s our rundown of the five coolest, most stylish, head over heels power couples in recent history.

1. Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe

Lovers, co-creatives and lifelong friends, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s bohemian union led each of them to their iconic creative pursuits. Intimate details of the pair’s on/off relationship throughout the 1970s was recorded in Smith’s award-winning 2010 memoir, Just Kids, which we highly recommend reading if you haven’t already. After a tangled and wild affair which occurred largely within the walls of the infamous Chelsea Hotel in New York, the pair went their separate ways but remained close friends until Mapplethorpe’s death in 1989.

2. Jack Nicholson & Anjelica Huston

Perhaps the ultimate Hollywood couple, Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson’s famously tumultuous relationship lasted 17 years in total. Though Nicholson’s frequent adulterous tendencies are now public knowledge, the elegant pair’s attraction was magnetic. Collectively, their offbeat red carpet style is a joy to behold. In 1990, when Huston had finally tired of Nicholson’s ways, he sent her a pearl and diamond necklace that Frank Sinatra had gifted to Ava Gardner many years before. Nicholson signed the card ‘These pearls from your swine’.

3. Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid & David Bowie

The Somalian model and late legendary musician shared a 25 year-long storybook romance, which lasted until Bowie’s tragic death in 2016. The pair met at a party where Bowie fell in love with Iman instantly, while Iman, who was recently separated, was unsure. Alas, not long after their first meeting, Iman fell for the musician when he bent on his knees to tie her shoe lace in the street.

4. Martha Plimpton & River Phoenix

Arguably one of the coolest indie couples of all time, actress Martha Plimpton and the late actor River Phoenix met on set while filming The Mosquito Coast in 1986. For River, who tragically died from an overdose at the age of 23, his relationship with Martha was the longest of his life and the two young Hollywood stars remained friends until his death in 1993. While they were dating, Phoenix’s penchant for oversized knits and plaid shirting merged harmoniously with Plimpton’s boyish cropped hair and love of loose tailoring. Their nonchalant appearance at the 1989 Academy Awards was the culmination of their eternal cool.

5. Sadie Coles & Juergen Teller

Potentially the most powerful art world couple to date, gallerist and art collector Sadie Coles and fashion photographer Juergen Teller are a match made in pop culture heaven. The achingly cool pair attended their 2003 wedding wearing Arsenal football kits and rounded off the ceremony with a game of football. When out and about, the couple often mirror one another’s style with his and hers suiting and bold graphic tees proving the mantra, the couple that dresses together, stays together.