Abbey Lee Kershaw
In the grand tradition of Kate Moss, Erin Wasson, and Irina Lazareanu, we are always inspired by models who possess a totally unique perspective when it comes to their behind-the-scenes sartorial taste. Recently, while trawling through thousands of runway images, we found ourselves quite taken with the original attire of Abbey Lee Kershaw. This Australian-born beauty with icy blue eyes and a penchant for piercings has captivated us with her striking personal style: it's a mix of free-spirit flower child and grunge goddess-think Penny Lane meets Empire Records! Needless to say we found her effortless look so enthralling that we had to feature Kershaw as this month's Model Off Duty!
Though we last spotted the Aussie stunner strolling in the hay at Chanel's S/S 10 show and as the face of Gucci's Flora perfume campaign, we have been tracking Kershaw's off-the-clock élan for quite some time now, and have been consistently impressed with her personal flair. For example, at the Tuileries during the S/S 09 fashion week in Paris (above, far left), Kershaw was spotted wearing a dramatic striped long dress and combat boots. We love the way she plays with proportion in this look-it's unexpected and quirky, much like our MOD herself. Though her Marc Jacobs sheer striped dress is straight off the S/S 09 runway, we think Madeleine Thompson's Long Stripe Dress ($450) will help you achieve a similar look without having to resort to time travel. Just make sure to pair it with a substantial pair of heavy-duty lace-ups like Seychelles' Foldover Boots ($178) and you'll be ready to storm the shows-or at least the next concert on your calendar-in style!
Our next outfit selection shines a light on one of Kershaw's closet must-haves: the perfect unfussy floral mini dress. Though she has access to all the best in designer duds, we find her enviable collection of darling vintage frocks totally enchanting. Our MOD wore one such piece while prepping for Matthew Williamson's S/S 09 presentation in London last year (second from left). We love the way in which the oversized boxy blue coat from Peter Som's S/S 08 collection contrasts with Kershaw's girly dress: the result is the ultimate in masculine-feminine insouciance. Though her exact selections are unfortunately unavailable, we can recommend Silence & Noise's Silk Jacquard Pleated Dress ($68), Free People's Knitago Denim Jacket ($98), and Dr. Marten's 1460 Boots ($115) to help you achieve a look-a-like effect!
Although it's easy to see models as otherworldly creatures, top catwalkers are just like us in at least one-way: they love to incorporate their favorite breezy dresses into their cool-weather wardrobe! Seen backstage at Sophia Kokosalaki's S/S 09 show (second from right) in another flowered mini, Kershaw proves that you can update your summer staples with an interesting choice in outerwear. For instance, we love how her vintage shaggy jacket adds a cozy contrast to her petal-adorned dress-try Alice and Olivia's Oversized Sweater Jacket ($367) for a similarly textured selection with By Corpus' Floral Circle Dress ($48). Don't forget a pair of chic tights (go for classic black opaques or add an adorable pair of patterned tights into the mix) and a well-crafted buttery boot like Jeffrey Campbell's Fanning Flat Boots ($286) to complete the outfit.
Though she tends to favor dresses, for our final featured ensemble, we wanted to show the way in which our MOD rocks a killer pair of pants. Seen backstage at the Lacoste F/W 09 show (far right), Lee's selection certainly makes a strong case for breaking out your favorite dark denim skinnies this fall. We adore the way her Rag and Bone Skinny Jeans ($195) look belted and paired with a cozy printed cardigan; while her cashmere pullover is a thrifted treasure, make sure to check out Marc by Marc Jacobs' Diamond Tweed Sweater ($348) sweater for a cool autumnal evening to get that Abbey Lee-endorsed brand of off-beat chic!
Images of Abbey Lee Kershaw, from firstVIEW and Getty Images.