As a classically trained ballet dancer, Karlie Kloss never expected to find herself modeling for some of the biggest names in fashion. Yet with her innate poise and chameleon-like ability to lend herself to a bevy of diverse looks, it's no surprise she was plucked from her toe shoes at the tender age of fifteen. After landing her first editorial in Teen Vogue in 2007, she quickly jumped to the top of the industry's must-have listÂ--we'd expect nothing less than grand jetĂ©s from the girl with legs that go for days! Now Kloss regularly opens and closes important runway shows (like Christian Dior, Karl Lagerfeld, and Armani PrivĂ©), stars in major fashion campaigns (including Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, and Dior this fall), and serves as the trĂ¨s belle visage of YSL cosmetics. Though Kloss' list of accolades is almost as long as her balletic limbs, what we like best about this Chicago native is her graceful air and natural ability to look prettily pulled together wherever she goes. Always effortlessly polished and fresh-faced, Kloss' personal off-duty style is just as covetable as her designer runway duds, making her the perfect subject for this month's Model Off Duty!While you can always visit TheFashionSpot.com's Runway News for more information and photos of the lovely Miss Kloss, today we're focusing on a few of her stunning ensembles. One look that immediately caught our eye was the bright blue mini dress Kloss picked for the 2nd Annual Australians in New York Fashion Foundation Party earlier this summer (top row, far right). Her choiceÂ--Willow's Sting Ray Loose Draped Silhouette Dress ($760) in Sea UrchinÂ--is instantly eye-catching, plus we love the way the abbreviated hemline is balanced with draped sleeves. We also appreciate that Kloss tempered the dress' bold design by keeping the rest of her accessories simple and understated, while still highlighting her figure with a narrow black belt. Our MOD adopted this color-balance theory again when she selected a gorgeous Zac Posen frock for an event in New York last winter (bottom row, far left). Here, Kloss struck sartorial gold in a vibrant red dress with a waist-accenting peplum, opaque tights, and a pair of slightly metallic pumps, resulting in a seriously elegant cocktail look.
But don't think Kloss takes the festive-yet-refined route only for more formal events: she maintains this signature soignĂ©e at all times! For example, this stunner was snapped between shows in Paris a few seasons ago wearing a classically chic ensemble comprised of a bold shift and tout-noir accents (bottom row, center). Kloss grounded her royal blue dress with flat black Ferragamo bootsÂ--perfect for sashaying from runway to runwayÂ--a cozy black peacoat, and another narrow black belt. (The latter is key because it insured that her shape didn't get lost in the layers!) Our model du jour opted for a waist-emphasizing silhouette even more recently, when she picked a polka dot PureDKNY Dress ($295) for an InStyle Super Saturday 13 shopping event to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (top row, center). The print is perfectly sweet and we like how Kloss tempered the dress' flirty appeal with another of-the-moment piece: a ladylike purse with a long strap.
While Kloss clearly has a penchant for splendid statement dresses, we're also big fans of her equally stylish, casual ensembles. Kloss looked particularly inspiring when she was spotted behind-the-scenes at Narciso Rodriguez' S/S 10 show (far right). Her long black scarf tied to resemble a necktie is the sort of personal touch we live for, while her Erin Kleinberg embellished tee from their F/W 09 collection is a spot-on pick for adding a little polish to a laidback look. And we can't forget to nod to her MOD stapleÂ--Fendi's Zucca Canvas Spy BagÂ--an oversized tote perfect for carting personal items from show to show. Finally, Kloss displayed an A+ casual-cool look, when she was spotted running around New York City last fall (top row, far left). The major model added a dose of refinement to a pair of faded cutoffs with a cuffed blazer, and injected her look with personality via a graphic tee.
Recreating Kloss' personal style doesn't have to take the same genetic code for her never-ending limbs as we've done the legwork for you and rounded up the all the pieces you need. The first key to success: pick up a hero dress or twoÂ--or three! We recommend byCorpus' Polkadot Dress ($58), which would look perfect with leather lace-up sandals like Kloss' for a daytime event or with some nude kitten heels for a meet-the-parents ensemble. When it comes to dressier attire like Kloss' Zac Posen find, we like BCBG's One Shoulder Ruffled AppliquĂ© Dress ($398) or Paul and Joe's Montarg Wool-Crepe Tie-Detail Dress ($545)Â--two equally ladylike options. Next, snatch up a snazzy Kloss-approved blazer like J. Crew's Marled Knit Thandie Blazer ($158): it's the ideal piece to pas de deux with either AG Adriano Goldschmied's Ex Boyfriend Shorts ($129.50) or Urban Renewal's Cuffed Levi's Denim Shorts ($28) for frolicking around the city. If you're hankering for something heavier, try Topshop's Premium Hairy Pea Coat ($260) over a vibrant shift and knee-high flat boots to get set for fall. And finally, if you're itching to nail that backstage look, scoop up Son of John Pepper's Flasher Boyfriend V-Neck Tee ($113) and CC Skye's Love 82 Bag ($650) in Tan Python for the ultimate MOD touch!Â--Liza Kaplan