Josephine de la Baume
A long, long, long time ago--sometime in the early '30s, as far as we can tell--the entertainment industry term "triple threat" slipped into the popular consciousness. Originally used to describe multi-talented performers like Judy Garland and Fred Astaire who could sing, dance, and act, the phrase is now applicable to anyone who is highly skilled in three creative areas, like actress/director/producer Drew Barrymore or model/stylist/designer Erin Wasson. We've always been intrigued by people who excel in numerous areas, so it's no wonder why we're rather interested in our current Girl of the Month, Josephine de la Baume. This rising star is exceptional on many fronts, thanks to her work as a model, actress (look for her in the upcoming One Day, based on the popular novel of the same name), and singer (she co-fronts the indie-band Singtank with her brother Alexandre). But aside from her noteworthy career, de la Baume also captivates us with her eclectic, ultra-feminine sense of style. Yes, we have one truly stylish and talented lady on our hands.
Any attempt to narrow down de la Baume's diverse style sensibilities into one simple category would be a nearly impossible task, as it is a clever mashup of style icons like Janis Joplin, Brigitte Bardot, and Bianca Jagger. (And given her mix-mastery, is it really any surprise that's she's dating Mark Ronson, an uber-talent in his own right?) Though difficult to define, it's this distinctive blend of aesthetics that's placed de la Baum at the top of our one-to-watch list! After all, we certainly love an it-girl who can consistently shock us with her ensembles (in a good way, of course!), and this GOTM never disappoints. Citing such designers as Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood, and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci as some of her favorite designers, you can bet this Parisian beauty's wardrobe is anything but boring.
We are certainly on board with de la Baume's unique approach to dressing, which is often expressed through an effortless combination of layers and intriguing textures. For example, at the London film premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop back in March, our style subject kept cozy in a navy jacket by Sandro layered over a gray A.P.C. knit cardigan, and accessorized with a wide-brimmed Maison Michel hat (top row, far left). But perhaps the most daring part of de la Baume's look is the nude and black abstract-print leggings--picked up at a rave shop in East London--she wore with a pair of leather leg warmers, a clear demonstration of her knack for mixing in a few unconventional pieces. A few days later, at the VIP launch party for the Greatest Fashion Show on Earth in London, de la Baume once again sported this kind of smart mishmash of materials (above, far right). This time, the foundation of her ensemble consisted of a nude Chloe tunic, American Apparel's Acid Wash Cotton Spandex Leggings ($32), and black YSL pumps. To further add interest to the look, she selected a black and white spotted fur coat from the Betsey Johnson Archives for Opening Ceremony Collection, which is sadly no longer available, and her favorite leather leg warmers. And for a truly stunning finish, de la Baume styled her fiery locks into braided pigtails and painted on deep red lipstick.
Of course, our subject's ability to create cool outfits reaches far beyond just casual wear. When certain occasions call for dressier attire, de la Baume answers with refreshingly modest hemlines and polished, ladylike silhouettes. In addition to her edgier tastes, de la Baume also appreciates classic pieces like the head-to-toe Louis Vuitton F/W 10 ensemble--Corset Top ($1504, 888.VUTTON), Bell Skirt ($1719, 888.VUITTON), Carrousel Bag ($3080, 888.VUITTON), and Beauty Pumps ($1420, 888.VUITTON)--she wore to the brand's S/S 11 show in Paris last month (bottom row, center) and gorgeous floor-length frocks. Speaking of amazing gowns, de la Baume selected a stunning white Gucci maxi dress to attend the Hel Yes! Design and Food Exhibition in London two months ago (bottom row, far left). We love the clean and classic lines of her chosen dress; the combination of the plunging neckline and Grecian draping adds up to that Bianca Jagger-in-Halston effect we adore so much. Without a doubt, each of these winning looks is magnifique!
Apart from her more formal moments, de la Baume also knows how to standout in smart cocktail attire, think: curve-hugging dresses, come-hither footwear, and tousled hair. This combination is always captivating, just take the ensemble our muse created for the 2010 Q Awards in London late last month (top row, right), for example. De la Baum was a knockout in her strapless, sweetheart-neckline Agent Provocateur Zelma Dress ($850) and a black patent pair of Charlotte Olympia Gothika Boots ($2230, 323.930.8951). Just four days earlier, our subject selected a similarly vampy look for the launch party of Lulu & Co. at Harvey Nichols in London. Although slightly conservative for our GOTM, she still turned heads in a Richard Nicoll for Lulu Kennedy two-tone gray shift dress, knee-high socks, and the same Charlotte Olympia boots (top row, center). Both of these chic party frocks are just another example of what we love best about de la Baume's personal style: an ever-changing repertoire of ensembles. She successfully tackles voluminous layers and interesting textures, makes interesting picks for black-tie events, and interprets iconic bombshell looks in a modern way--no wonder we adore her so!
Now that you're well versed on our lovely subject's personal style, it's time to discuss how you can recreate her enviable looks. One thing is certain: cooking up a de la Baume outfit requires many ingredients, so we suggest starting with the basics. Seeing as that leggings are de la Baume's go-to bottoms, you will want to pick up a few pairs. A bold print is a must when attempting to emulate de la Baume's aesthetic, so definitely check out Nasty Gal's Bleach Spill Leggings ($38), or try her exact American Apparel selection. And while her leather leg warmers may prove difficult to find, Malene Birger's Leg Warmers ($90) are a superb alternative that will help you achieve that layered look. Finally, pick up Forever 21's Wool Floppy Hat ($16) for the ultimate de la Baume accessory.
If you're intrigued by de la Baume's dressier pieces, we've got you covered there too! We love a gorgeous white frock, and Issa's Silk-Chiffon Halterneck Gown ($650) is a worthy investment in our opinion. Just make sure to give it that de la Baume stunning finish with an embellished belt. Some of our favorites are Warehouse's Metal Beaded Crossover Belt ($52) and Deena & Ozzy's Wonder Woman Belt ($38). Want to recreate her full-skirted ladylike ensemble instead? Zara has plenty of great options, like the adorable Long Checked Skirt ($80) and the Long Pleated Skirt with Waistband ($90), both of which have a similar retro femininity. And let's not forget about de la Baume's luxurious outwear selection: a faux fur jacket! If you're ready to give this fall essential a try, check out American Rag's Retro Carrie Jacket ($620) or ASOS' Patchwork Faux Fur Coat, which has a more budget-friendly price tag.
But if you are going to take on a true de la Baume-inspired clothing makeover, you must also invest in a few slim-silhouetted pieces. A sleek cocktail dress is a must for our subject, so we suggest snatching up Vero Moda's Textured Knee Pencil Dress ($43), Calvin Klein's Two Tone Sheath Dress ($96) or Reiss' Celina Panelled Shift Dress ($291). Just remember to finish your pick with American Apparel's Polyester Solid Thigh-High Socks ($15) or ASOS' Anita Buckle Lace Up Ankle Boots ($103) to give your look that certain de la Baum panache!--Jessica Baker
Photos of Josephine de la Baume, courtesy of Getty