Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Model Watch: Karlie Kloss

 Karlie Kloss is a woman of multiple talents. From stepping into a plethora of minxy characters on the Victoria's Secret runway, to presenting MTV's House of Style and baking her high-demand cookies, Karlie has a lifestyle to envy, however busy it may be!
     Twenty-year-old Karlie has walked for every credible designer, be it Elie Saab, Marc Jacobs or Carolina Herrera. With her renowned catwalk grace and a modelling CV that could easily constitute the length of a short novel, it's hard to believe that she is merely one year older than me! Chicago-born Karlie started out as a ballet dancer, attending Caston’s Ballet Academie. At thirteen, she made an impression on model scouts Jeff and Mary Clarke as she walked in a St Louis charity fashion show to support her friend with cancer. Mary Clarke later said about the discovery: "She was a baby. But she had that walk. We didn't want to change a thing".
    That walk came to be one of the most talked about in the world of modelling. Carolina Herrera defined Karlie's runway movement as the movement of 'a cat' in 2011, stating: "I love the way she walks. For me, it's more important than beauty." Of course, there's no denying that Karlie does hold a natural beauty, which along with her mesmerising catwalk presence, has resulted in her Victoria's Secret Angel status and a Marc Jacob's bag named in her honour.

Karlie walks at this year's Victoria's Secret Runway Show
     Part of Karlie's charm is her towering height and lean frame- she told W Magazine this July: "My sisters have always been these gorgeous glamazons, and I’m, like, this tall skinny stick in the family.... Every time I see Karl Lagerfeld, he’s always, like 'Karlie, have you stopped growing yet?"
   Karlie admits that she used to dislike her height, yet says it turned out to be her best asset, in her own words: "How uniquely weird I am". Her 6 ft 1 inch form undoubtedly contributes to the allure of her unparalleled walk, as her background in classical ballet training too attributes to her style. "You learn to control every aspect of your muscles, your face, your toes, your fingernails. And that is how you tell a story, through movement", says Karlie herself.

Karlie for Stella McCartney at London Fashion Week '12
   From signing with Elite models in 2007, to joining modelling agency giant NEXT the following year, Karlie described her transportation into fame in WWD magazine, saying: "Doors opened for me and I ran for it. She also gushed in her modest, grounded way: "I never imagined myself doing this".
    Karlie has followed a literal journey into world-wide fame, working her way through numerous brands to be where she is today. One of her first modelling stints was for laidback US label, Abercrombie, which led to her 2007 catwalk debut for Calvin Klein's Spring/Summer 2008 season in New York. Fast forward five years, and Karlie has a reminiscent archive of twelve Vogue covers. Memorably, she has posed as a Russian doll for photography-legend Tim Walker and gorged on fries and milkshake for Terry Richardson's 'After Hours' diner-inspired shoot. Karlie's most recent Vogue cover was this September, when she posed in a selection of clashing, geometreical prints, exuding a 90's, Cindy Crawford-esque vibe.

Karlie Kloss in Terry Richardson's After Hours shoot for
Vogue UK's November '11 edition

Karlie in Walker's 'Russian Dolls' shoot for Vogue UK, October 2010
    Karlie is as envied for her wardrobe as she is for her impossibly lean legs. While she is a dedicated fan to the designs of Jason Wu and Alexander Wang, her stint with Kate Moss for Mango's A/W '12 campaign demonstrates that she very much suits the finest in high-street clothing. One of Karlie's hobbies is biking, which obviously contributes to her model-perfect, athletic figure. Because she is tall and straight up and down, Karlie can wear pretty much anything and pull it off, though she occasionally favours a peplum to add curves to her slim frame. She is not afraid to experiment with colour: the hot pink, Jason Wu floor-skimmer she wore to this year's Met Gala comes straight to mind! Despite her height, daring pairs of heels are a big yes in Karlie's eyes- who wouldn't want to parade those pins?!

Karlie for Mango AW12

Wearing Jason Wu to this year's Met Gala

Another vibrant frock by Wu- who else could pull off
canary yellow?!-complimented perfectly by red lippy!
   Whatever she throws on in the morning- because her style does look that enviably effortless- Karlie works it on and off duty. In the daywear section of her wardrobe, she covets moto leather jackets and matching beat-up boots, luxe t-shirts, sweet floral dresses and trusty blazers. Whether she is papped on the street or on the red carpet, her look is always flawless, yet her individual personality shines through. Alexander Wang himself called Karlie: "a rare balance of beauty and personality".
   Karlie's angelic face clashed with the slight edginess that comes with being a top-class model means that she suits a blend of soft and tough wardrobe pieces. Take the photographs from the Free People Spring '12 lookbook, in which Karlie gallivants around The Big Apple in a selection of beautiful apparel. In the below picture, a leather bag and spiked layered necklaces add a rock 'n' roll edge to Karlie's sequin crop top and effeminate maxi skirt. Below that, a low-backed breton-striped top is toughened up with leather pants and ankle booties. Whether Karlie is photographed channeling a plaid shirt, denim cut-offs or a strapless frock, she carries a unique, often bohemian, born-to-be-a-model vibe.


Free People Lookbook Spring '12
    Karlie's taste in directional designers emphasises her experimental, original outlook on fashion. Karlie is definitely all about the girl wearing the dress rather than the dress wearing the girl. Whether she intends to or not, she does not let an outfit do the talking, instead making an impression with her own features, posture and charisma. In an interview with The Mail, Karlie credited the late Alexander McQueen for the best piece of advice she has ever recieved. About to walk onto McQueen's runway, she recalled feeling anxious that she would catch her shoes on the long gown she was wearing. McQueen told her, she said: "'Don’t worry, Karlie; if it does (get caught), just take it off and throw it, throw the dress. Remember -YOU own the dress, the dress does not own you!'    
     Karlie has swiftly become my joint favourite VS angel- alongside the adorable Miranda Kerr- because of her intriguing level-headed, fun and compassionate personality. She inevitably has a thrifty side, admitting: "As much as I enjoy and appreciate luxury items, I'm also a total cheapskate. I'm always throwing in a hat from H&M or a Forever 21 T-shirt." Karlie, I would love to go on an H&M and Forever 21 splurge if you're available?!
    Another part of Karlie's charming personality is her willingness to help others- the proceeds of her famous Karlie's Kookies benefit hungry children around the world through FEED projects. The special recipe Kookies, invented in collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar to sell at DKNY Soho's Fashion Night Out, even consider those with diet requirements, being gluten and dairy free! Sweet Karlie even takes her kookies to share at photo shoots and fittings!
    Karlie has expressed her love for children; she would no doubt be a cute home-baking kind of mother! When asked about her dream job (if she wasn't modelling, obviously!) Karlie replied that she would want to follow in her father's footsteps and become a doctor. "I think to have the skill set and the ability to physically help others in matters of life and death must be incredibly empowering", she said. Is there anything unlikeable about this girl?! I have a new girl crush.

Who needs pretzels when there's Karlie's Kookies??!

Relaxed off-duty plaid at Paris Fashion Week '12

A scarlet vixen for the CDFA's 2011 in a floor-grazing Jason Wu gown

Geek-chic elegance: in a sheer and lace shirt
dress and tortoise-shell glasses at this year's CDFA's

Coachella with Cara Delevingne: Aztec print, distressed denim and cowboy boots
= the chill-out staples of a catwalk queen

A feminine floral frock with a quirky model twist: gothic eyes!

Calvin Klein's liquid metal shift shows off Karlie's to-die-for figure

Proving that an all-black ensemble doesn't have to lack attitude!

Karlie does relaxed Parisian style in a cosy coat at
last year's Paris Fashion Week

 A sophisicated Cushnie Et Ochs Spring '12 peplum dress adds
shape to Karlie's slim frame

Acid-wash denim with moto boots- will be trying this!  
A grecian, draped nude gown goes perfectly with Karlie's
 fairy-like facial features and soft waves 

Going for gothic glamour at the Carine Roitfeld and MAC Ball in an amazing
 cut-out Alexander Wang dress: now that's how to do a smokey eye!

Looking far maturer than her years in this Kaufmanfranco sequinned cocktail
dress at this month's Victoria's Secret afterparty


Merry Klossmas!!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The New LBD: The Jumpsuit

Elie Saab Fall 2012

   It's a key wardrobe staple for the festival months, but the jumpsuit is back on the style radar for fall, featuring at fashion houses Jenny Packham and Chloé to name but a few. The jumpsuit is what you could esssentially call the romper's more sophisticated, lengthier sibling, and I feel it's replaced the classic LBD for this season at least.
   One of my ultimate style icons, Diane Kruger and her amazing Jason Wu lace jumpsuit drew my attention back to the gorgeous one-piece. Attending the recent Jaeger-LeCoultre Place Vendome store opening in Paris as the face of the Swiss brand, Diane stunned and upped her fashion credentials even further (if that is possible!) by wearing this navy Jason Wu jumpsuit. The cut of the one-piece is so flattering, cinching in the waist and elongating the legs and it is a stand-out twist on a usual evening frock. I love that Diane thrives on looking different at all the events she attends. Although the jumpsuit is simple in colour and design, it makes an impact with Diane's complimentary 40's pin-up girl rolls and Hollywood red lipstick. I adore this look and it is without doubt one of my favourites of Diane's outfits to date.

   The sheer amount of designers showcasing jumpsuits on their Fall '12 runways shows that this luxe piece is undoubtedly the must-have, contemporary take on the evening dress and the tailored suit.
   While Jenny Packham stunned her audience with a seductive satin, halter-neck jumpsuit, Chloé met their trademark 'modern, classy woman' brief with a tapered, sports-luxe-inspired top-to-toe suit with tiny gingham checks. The appeal of the jumpsuit is that its versatility means there is a style for everyone. Whether you go for a slouchy pyjama style suited to slim, boyish shapes, a wide legged design to compliment your curves or an embellished bustier and pants combo for all-out glamour, the jumpsuit can be dressed up or down to meet your outfit requirements.
Chloé Fall 2012
Jenny Packham's satin-topped jumpsuit of Fall '12
   While Chloé's gingham jumpsuit catered for cute day-time wear, Valentino proved that the jumpsuit can be just as sexy as their traditional floor-trailing gowns. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli offered two designs of jumpsuit- one with demure long sleeves and trouser legs, and one in a fitted bustier style with a sweet-heart neckline, though both were in the label's statement siren red. Elie Saab transported his usual embellishments onto the sophisticated piece, creating beautiful sequin-covered jumpsuits (Top photograph). Emma Stone snapped up this jumpsuit to wear to 'The Amazing Spiderman' Premiere earlier this year.
   In contrast to these evening-orientated jumpsuit designs, Viktor and Rolf's emphasis was on colour and pattern, with an art deco flair dominating their fall collection. Designers Horsting and Snoeren worked with funky print and pyjama-inspired shapes to create languid jumpsuits that erupted in waves at the hip and swished at the ankles.

Valentino Fall Couture 2012
Dior favoured glamorous yet simple silhouettes in sleek black. Raf Simon's fall collection for the fashion house featured endless peplums and I love the concept of having a peplum break up a single toned jumpsuit as pictured here on Emma Watson. I love the structure on this jumpsuit by Raf; although the trouser legs are classically tailored, the peplum top is unique and adds an eye-catching curve. 
Emma Watson at the London premiere of The Perks of Being A Wallflower
in Raf Simons for Dior's Peplum Jumpsuit

    Whatever the style and structure of each designer jumpsuit, their length hits well below the knee, nearly grazing the runway. Although the jumpsuit is thought of as an androgynous-inspired alternative to a dress, it still carries the ultra-feminine vibe of a prim fashionista.    Rachel McAdams is another coveteur of the jumpsuit. Here, she looks elegant with an androgynous twist in a Rachel Azzaro Fall 2011 jumpsuit with a black bow tie and beaded button detail. I love her retro waves too! For petite shapes, try a black jumpsuit first like Rachel as they are all-slimming.  
   Rachel then wore another jumpsuit for the Cannes Film Festival of last year. Although her suit by Monique Lhuillier recieved mixed views, I featured it at the time on my style-inspiration of the week! I love that she was not afraid to ditch a predictable red carpet gown for this refined yet individual nude and metallic beauty. It's all about retro Hollywood glamour for me at the moment! Again, I love Rachel's bouncy hair and red lips.

   Whether you dress your jumpsuit down for a day shopping by picking a floral print and teaming it with a cardi or casual blazer, or choose a tux-inspired jumpsuit for a special event or dinner, I guarantee the jumpsuit will become a go-to in your wardrobe. And it will last all the way to spring/summer! I've selected some of the most covetable jumpsuits on the highstreet to show you. I love Topshop's jumpsuit twist on the dungaree, and Reiss' sparkly jumpsuit (though pricey- wait for the sale!) would make an incredible New Year's Eve outfit alternative.

Topshop BoutiqueVelvet Dungaree Jumpsuit £150
Zara Nude Jumpsuit With Crossover Top £29.99
Vero Moda Clemence Jumpsuit £65.05

Thursday, 22 November 2012

I Couldn't Live Without... Ankle Boots

Miranda Kerr in Isabel Marant Berry Suede & Leather Boots
I have recently developed a compete fetish for ankle boots. It's not that I didn't like them before; obviously no winter look is ever complete without a pair of go-with-everything boots, but my obsession is going to extremes! Every time I browse online for a christmas present, I end up straying into the 'Shoes' section...   Thrust into the limelight by the eternally covetable label Isabel Marant (practically every celeb owns a pair of her Dicker boots), ankle boots- whether suede, velvet, cuban-heeled or Chelsea- are the chicest footwear of choice for fall. Adopted by numerous fashionistas from Miranda Kerr and Olivia Palermo to Diane Kruger and Kate Bosworth, the versatility of the ankle boot can take you from work to dinner dates to post-uni hangouts. Miranda (above) channels her lust-worthy Marant Berry western-look boots with a wool coat, also by Marant, a cute grey sweater, leather shorts and a Givenchy tote.
    For his last fall collection for YSL, Stefano Pilatoi gave us the look of the 'power woman', complimented by an array of killer patent boots, while Karlie Kloss walked the Kenzo AW12 runway in just one of the many colour variations of Leon and Lim's amazing tweed-look wedge boots.

Kenzo AW12
    There are so many different types of ankle boots to go for, starting with the type of heel. If you want to be wearing your boots everyday then go for a very minimal heel, like the one on Caggie's boots below, or alternatively, try a wedge or cuban heel. A supportive wedge can be as ideal for day as it is for evening. My favourite day-to-day ankle boots have a cuban heel, and I can genuinely say my feet haven't hurt wearing them once. It's great that the heel gives me the extra height while maintaining that essential comfort, as I'm pretty tiny!
    As for the material, leather is the go-to choice for adding a little grunge-glam to an outfit, while suede is a popular choice for creating a laidback yet slightly refined look. Personally I absolutely love velvet boots at the moment. They have an appealing feel of opulence and luxury, and who doesn't want to wear luxury on their feet?! Velvet, for me alludes to the romanticism of the Great Gatsby era- it's indulgent, elegant and feminine. Rebecca Taylor's fall collection was a contemporary take on the splendor of twenties glamour girls, with rich velvet dominating the runway in the form of sweaters, dresses and even pants. A touch of velvet on a pair of boots will enrich and dress up a simple outfit. I think a really cute idea is to wear frilly or ribbon-detailed ankle socks underneath your boots, so that the tops of the socks peep out and add another element of girlish charm to your ensemble.
    Another plush twist on the ankle boot would be to rock one of the must-do trends this season: metallics. I am in love with Rag & Bone's Newbury boots anyway, but when I saw their metallic gold version I swear I nearly had heart palpitations. They are so lovely! At over £300, sadly they are out of price range, but I'm enclosing a picture (animated- ooh!) so you can swoon over them like I do.

Rag & Bone's Gold Classic Newbury Ankle Boot

   Keeping warm, dry and stylish while out city-strolling or shopping in this weather is no easy feat, but the classic ankle boot keeps your toes cosy and you looking en vogue. Here Caggie picks a trusty black pair of boots to toughen up her cream lace smock dress. I adore a hat and boots combination too- effortlessly chic.

   A statement pair of ankle boots with a taller heel look amazing with a maxi, as seen on Poppy Delevingne- though I wouldn't be brave enough to wear one without tights in this chill! Her Sass and Bide, D-Squared, patent boots again contrast nicely with the more effeminate, floaty skirt. A printed tee, leather jacket, a tan belt and her Tommy Ton utility satchel for Club Monaco tone down the potential glamour of the maxi to understated-cool. By swapping the tee for a shimmery cami this look is also versatile enough for evening.

   Olivia shows how ankle boots go fabulously with another fall wardrobe essential- the leather pant. Her Jude boots by Report are the perfect way to add height to a snug and casual off-duty look and they are under $100!
   Rachel Bilson branches out from the classic black ankle boot with a lace-up tan pair, teaming them with jeans, a blazer and a cutsie polka dot scarf. Whatever colour your boots, they will work in their same versatile way for summer- remember Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's much-talked about Christopher Kane embellished shorts, white shirt and grey boots combo at this year's Coachella?!
   So, that's my review of the ankle boot. I actually know (because I chose them!) that Santa (aka. Mum and Dad) is bringing me a gorgeous, tan-coloured, lace-up and buckle pair so I am beyond excited!! Here is my pick of the coolest must-have ankle booties around.

Topshop Accent Stud Cut Out Boots in Velvet £85

Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy Burgundy Metal Strap Boots £120 
Oasis Leila Leather and Suede Chelsea Boot £65
All Saints Bonny Cuban Boot £165

Office Nikita Zip Book Black Glitter £65

ASOS Athens Leather Ankle Chelsea Boots £50
Pull & Bear Biker Ankle Boots With Studs £79.99