Our November Guest Editor, the one and only Leighton Meester, is truly an actress with star power. We absolutely revel in her role on Gossip Girl--particularly the way her character, Blair Waldorf, perpetually plots titillating public takedowns in between bites of Ladurée macaroons--but our love for Meester cannot be singularly credited to this delightful small-screen performance. Said fondness is multi-faceted, much like the actress herself. See, while most young ladies would be content to ride out their time on a hit show, Meester's too creative and talented to do just that. Rather than resting on her laurels, she's working on films like the much buzzed-about Country Strong, a drama set in the country-music world (also starring Gwyneth Paltrow), which is in limited release now and will go nationwide in January. We're guessing that Meester picked this project because the part required her sing, which leads us to yet another reason why we adore this girl: her musical talent. That's right, in addition to acting up a storm, Meester's released two singles to date and is working on her debut album too. Of course, this sort of jaw-dropping range isn't limited to Meester's career; she consistently displays the same sort of skills when it comes to her wardrobe too. Like her natural ability to portray a glorious gamut of on-screen moods, the actress/singer/trendsetter effortlessly bounces between undoubtedly stylish red-carpet looks and seriously killer off-duty ensembles. Whether she's artfully assembled in a runway frock or flawlessly demonstrating how to wear a crop top, Meester routinely wows us with her directional eye and offers us a bevy of sartorial tips from which to take note.
Considering all this, we were naturally curious--okay, waiting with baited breath--about Meester's fashion must-haves and were delighted to hear about what she's currently coveting! The cool, pared-down vibe of Proenza Schouler's Resort 11 collection is at the top of her list, particularly Look 14 and its texturally-intriguing tomboy vibe. But, like the many aspects of our Guest Editor's talent, she's also inspired by Erdem's abstract floral frocks--another one of her favorites from Resort. As for other chart-topping items setting off Meester's must-have meter, well, you'll have to read on to discover her carefully curated mix. We think it's an out-of-this-world selection and have a feeling you'll agree!
Marc Jacobs Cocoa Scallop Embroidery Dress ($1500, 212.343.1490)
As an A-lister, Meester is routinely invited to all the best high-profile events, so she needs a myriad of darling dresses at her disposal. She picked this adorable patterned Marc Jacobs dress as one of her of-the-moment essentials, a selection that would easily fit the bill for any spring garden party or celebratory luncheon. The polka dots and chocolate-and-cream palette are deliciously vintage-inspired while the scalloped, tiered skirt and mixed-and-matched prints make it feel decidedly fresh. We also think she'd like ASOS's Jewel Encrusted Chiffon Dress ($90) as an another option for a party-perfect frock.
Bulgari Save the Children Ring ($370)
Meester's daily bauble of choice seamlessly marries philanthropy with fashion. The sterling band was created by Bulgari in support of Save the Children's Rewrite the Future campaign, which brings educational programs to children affected by conflict. Through sales of this ring--plus a similar pendant and an auction of rare jewels and watches--Bulgari has raised more than eight million dollars to benefit the campaign. In short: this is an accessory you can truly feel good about wearing.
Celine Neon Yellow Python Classic Box Bag ($3950, 212.941.9656)
Meester is clearly over the moon for this striking Celine bag and how could we blame her? The structured shape is classic and refined while the neon hue makes it thrillingly fresh. Use it--or ASOS's Premium Lady Bag ($103)--to accent sleek monochromatic dresses for an elevated Celine-inspired look.
Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask ($18)
We love being privy to top tastemakers' beauty routines and this insider tip is just the kind of dirt--er, clean--we love to discover! Meester's go-to soothing mask is filled with chamomile extract that will comfort sensitive skin, so pick up some today if you want to get that marvelous Meester glow!
Proenza Schouler Suede Side Button Shorts($1150, 866.877.8707)
These cool, city shorts are from one of Meester's favorite Resort 2011 presentations--Proenza Schouler--a collection she adored for its unfussy aesthetic. We're thrilled that she would be sartorially fearless enough to try out high-waisted shorts and have a hunch she'd pair them with a lightweight crop top--a style she's also mad for at the moment! In addition to Meester's selection, you might also like Lover's Cord Ono Shorts ($235) for a winter-ready corduroy iteration.
YSL Sleeveless Blouse ($790) in Green Muslin
We happen to know Meester loves a verdant hue, so we weren't surprised when she selected this gorgeous green muslin shell as part of today's picks. Extraordinarily versatile, it will work well into spring, especially paired with diaphanous pleated skirts, but in the meantime we could see Ms. Meester expertly countering its ladylike look by wearing it with slick leather pants to channel her more music-industry minded persona. If you, too, are ready to go green, try A.L.C's Open Back Sleeveless Top ($143) for a less pricey alternative.
Jimmy Choo Ciara Platform Sandals ($2995)
While Meester loves her lace-up booties and cut-out heels, we magpies appreciate that she also knows the allure of a crystal-embellished shoe. The mix of textures at play--tan suede, Lucite, and sparkles galore--are fantastically elaborate and perfect for adding to the drama of her lust-worthy red-carpet frocks. You can also try Chinese Laundry's Crystal Cuff Platform Sandals ($139) or Michael Kors' Lydia Sandals ($152) for equally festive footwear choices we know Meester would approve of!
Lanvin for H&M Sunglasses ($20)
Sunglasses are a must for any lady in the limelight, so we weren't surprised that Meester decided to include a pair in her picks. Unsurprisingly, the shades she can't live without are perhaps the most in-demand style in the country right now, as they are a part of the Lanvin for H&M collaboration. The thick frame sets them apart from other high-street finds, while the classic square shape guarantees they'll compliment any ensemble, making them a very smart choice, indeed!--Liza Kaplan