Gillian Zinser

Your Who What Wear editors (especially one in particular) have long been devotees of the original Beverly Hills 90210 TV series, so you could say there's a bit of an office bias about the current installment. Is it silly? Without questionÂ--but old alliances aren't easily broken, at least not when it comes to something with such personal impact. But after a multi-season embargo, change is in the air thanks to a new 90210 cast member who has given us cause to open our minds: Gillian Zinser. The New York-raised actress has amazing personal style; it's a little bit of Erin Wasson's model-off-duty insouciance mixed with a dash of Sienna Miller's old-school bohemian proclivities. Whether Zinser is dressing up a vintage tee with a textured coat or toughening up a feminine frock with boyish accessories, the way she combines these two aesthetics to make her own version of California cool is definitely noteworthy, which is precisely why she has earned a spot on our fashion radar and is our October GOTM!

Perhaps the most exciting part of Zinser's sartorial endeavors is her willingness to experiment with playful prints. She certainly knows how to use them in a memorable and chic way, as demonstrated by the vintage multi-colored dress she wore to a private dinner at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles back in July (top row, center). Her ankle-grazing caftan has a delightfully bold palette, perfect for someone with free-spirited style, while the low-slung belt, arm full of bangles, and black Zara wedge booties give the look a dash of downtown cool. A month later, we spotted Zinser in another noteworthy printÂ--this time, a semi-sheer pair of vintage cheetah trousersÂ--for the celebration of Nylon's denim issue (far right). The actress created a flashbulb-worthy outfit by teaming her peek-a-boo pants with a black American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Tank Thong ($26), Rick Owens wedges, and an oversized button-down chambray shirt she borrowed from her father.

As you've probably started to realize by now, Zinser has a predilection for creating eye-catching outfits, but her abilities aren't limited to picking a noteworthy print. She also is adept at adding a bit of textural intrigue to her looks via dimensional outerwear. For example, this past spring Zinser attended a launch party for Cynthia Rowley's collaboration with Roxy wearing a simple tank top and a pair of Cheap Monday jeans (bottom row, right). These classic pieces got a huge upgrade by her addition of a shaggy Cynthia Rowley Monster Girl Evening Coat ($1200) and the designer's Fringed Leather Handbag ($475), both excellent picks that are anything but basic. Even when such heavy layers aren't necessary, Zinser incorporates lightweight outerwear options that have a bohemian spirit into her ensembles, much like the burnt orange velvet and lace Steven Overstreet cardigan she wore to the Entertainment Weekly and Women In Film Pre-Emmy party back in August (top row, far left). It's so much cooler than your typical long cardigÂ--no?

And while our up-and-coming starlet's casual clothing options are definitely worthy of praise, her fancier dress-to-impress picks are just as memorable. It's worth noting that Zinser is not one to favor girlish cocktail dresses; instead, she's partial to long hemlines and likes to toughen up her look with strong black accents. Case in point: the tie-dye vintage maxi dress she wore to The CW Upfront Presentation in New York back in May (top row, far right). Zinser paired the floor-length frock with a vintage leather motorcycle jacket for a very MOD look. And just two weeks ago, we spotted Zinser sporting a similar ensemble at Teen Vogue's annual Young Hollywood Party (bottom row, left). For that fabulous fete, Zinser styled a gorgeous vintage sequined dress with her favorite Rick Owens boots and a H&M hat for that quintessential hipster touch.

The best thing about Zinser's eccentric styleÂ--aside from the fact that it's interesting to look atÂ--is it's easy to emulate! If you're game to do just that, we suggest starting with her casual outfits, which are filled with vintage-inspired t-shirts and tanks. Chaser LA has plenty of worthy options, like the Grateful Dead Tank ($44) and the Van Halen Live Lion Burnout Tee ($58), but we're also fans of Sophomore's Memory Hotel T-Shirt ($85) too. Next, you will want to stock up on an assortment of Zinser-inspired outerwear pieces. Try BB Dakota's Branson Fringe Cardi ($88) or Winter Kate's Jasmine Velvet Cardy ($350) to emulate her bohemian, textured cardigan; additionally, you won't want to miss Nasty Gal's Sadie Faux-Fur Jacket ($78). It's a truly stellar find if you're looking to stay warm while looking cool this winter.

Now that we have Zinser's casual clothing covered, it's time to invest in a few notable print pieces to incorporate into your daily rotation. There's no doubt her vintage caftan is a statement-making frock, but Tucker's Senorita Lola Manz Tie Neck Dress ($318) is the perfect in-stock option with a similar flowy cut and vibrant print. Simply slip on a pair of flat ankle boots, like Etienne Aigner's Tomai Ankle Boots ($99) or Joie's Beau Cuff Booties ($263), and you'll give your ensemble a dose of Zinser's downtown attitude. If that particular print is too loud for your tastes, you might prefer Motel's Leopard Print Pants ($67) or Topshop's Leopard Tapered Trousers ($80). Pair either of those with a black tank top and an oversized shirt (we like J. Crew's Secret Wash Button-Down End-On-End Shirt ($60), personally) and your Zinser-inspired wardrobe is nearly complete.

Last, but certainly not least, you need a few red-carpet-worthy items for executing Zinser's look. Whether you prefer an ethereal floor-grazing dress like Adam's Long Tank Dress ($345) or something with a little more shimmer like Daslu Sao's Sequin Dress ($284), is up to you. Just make sure to style your pick with a few masculine piecesÂ--like Grace Newington's Fedora with Silk Band ($48), Topshop's Leather Biker Jacket ($270), or Calvin Klein's Charlee Ankle Boots ($169)Â--and you'll look as just as lovely as today's style subject!Â--Jessica Baker

Top row, left and bottom row, left photo, courtesy of Getty; Top row, right and far right photo, courtesy of INF;
EXPLORE: Girl of the Month, Gillian Zinser, American Apparel, Cynthia Rowley, Rick Owens, Zara, H&M


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