With wide set eyes, pouty lips and legs that go for days, it's no surprise that Estonian enchantress Karmen Pedaru has strut her stuff for nearly every high profile maison from Armani to Yves Saint Laurent come each fall, spring, and resort season. After being discovered at a theatre in her hometown of Tallinn in October 2005, it was only a matter of minutes before her ethereal face became one to watch and made its way into numerous high profile editorials such as Allure, Harper's Bazaar, and Vogue! Yet, despite Pedaru's manic working schedule¬--she's just coming off a non-stop week of Couture shows¬--she still manages to look fresh-faced and seriously chic whenever her feet finally touch the ground. It's this unique blend of to-die-for looks and killer sense of personal style that makes her an ideal subject for this month's Model Off Duty.One of the aspects of Pedaru's off-duty wear that thrills us the most is her predilection for strikingly chic outerwear. Sticking to a classic palette that lends itself well to her jet-setting lifestyle, she often lets the sartorial excitement lie in her textural choices and perfect, waist-skimming fit. Take, for example, the ensemble she wore while out and about in Paris in the fall of 2009 (far right); she paired a shaggy Isabel Marant jacket with Thakoon's Merino Wool Lace Inset Pullover ($795) from Resort 09, Givenchy pants from the S/S 10 collection, and Giuseppe Zanotti Black Leather Gladiator Booties ($875, 212.650.0455). We love how the snowy softness of Pedaru's jacket contrasts with the edginess of her leather Givenchy pants¬--a smart sartorial choice she also recreated backstage at Chloe's S/S 10 show (top center). There, she paired those same slick pants with Prada's Long Sleeve Capretta Fur Jacket ($4295) from the fashion house's F/W 08 collection for a luxe ensemble we can't help but covet. Putting those luscious leather pants aside for the moment, yet still adhering to her texturally intriguing aesthetic, Pedaru reached for an iconic peak-shouldered Balmain jacket from F/W 09 to throw over a vintage dress backstage at Thakoon's F/W 10 show (top, third from left). We absolutely adore how she mixed a super-structured jacket with a flowy frock¬--and how she opted for a longer skirt length¬--for an all-black look that was anything but basic.
Yet, it's not just Pedaru's hero jackets that have us spellbound by her personal style; we also admire how she composes her more laid-back off-duty looks. To complete these effortless ensembles, Pedaru often reaches for a classic black blazer to offer polish and depth. Backstage at Calvin Klein's S/S 09 show (bottom left), she used an Elizabeth and James blazer to upgrade a casual outfit, consisting of a boldly graphic Diesel tee and Dolce & Gabbana Sandals ($725) from their S/S 08 safari-inspired collection. That same season, backstage at Marni's S/S 09 show, she paired a fitted Stella McCartney blazer with gray Pepe jeans and an eye-catching flannel shirt. She finished off the look with MICHAEL Michael Kors' Luggage Amherst Shoulder Bag ($398)¬--a great neutral go-to accessory she also wore backstage at Preen's F/W 09 show to accent her Thakoon top, Cheap Monday jeans, and Gucci leather boots.
While recreating Pedaru's passport is no easy feat, we've sleuthed out all the pieces you need to let her style take flight for you. If you're in the market for some statement off-duty outerwear that will have you looking MOD in no time, try M.E.R.S.H's Fleece Lined Faux-Leather Short Jacket ($108), Youareagirl's Fleece Lined Faux-Leather Short Jacket ($200), or Express' (Minus The) Leather Moto Jacket ($98), if you'd like a more Balmain-inspired tough-girl style. However, if Pedaru's penchant for blazers piques your interest, we'd recommend Sparkle and Fade's Shawl Collar Blazer ($78), Silence & Noise's Cropped Blazer ($68), or Madewell's Sweatshirt Jacket ($78). Throw any of these ladylike staples over Madewell's Picnic Shirt ($69.50) or Ahniimura's Jessica Alba Tee ($81) and you'll have mastered an off-duty look worthy of Pedaru's personal style file.
However, while the aforementioned items should get you started on the road to Pedaru-inspired ensembles, we've discovered a few more must-haves to help you look model-worthy at every turn. Of absolute importance, bien sur, is a staple pair of black leather pants or leggings like Pedaru's Givenchy version. We'd invest in Manoush's Skinny Fit Luxury Perforated Leather Trousers ($4134) to give any year-round ensemble an instant upgrade, or Topshop's Panelled Wet Look Leggings ($44) for a leather-like look. Finally, don't forget your Pedaru-approved footwear, an imperative component for any completed ensemble. Opt for Matter Bernson's KM Gladiator Sandals ($169) in Gold Crackle or J. Crew's Cyprus Metallic Gladiator Sandals ($69.99). Looking to recreate Pedaru's backstage-chez-Calvin Klein outfit? Pick up JS by Jessica's Heidi Booties ($69.95) to finalize an outfit that's just as worthy of roaming the streets of Paris as Pedaru's stylish own!¬--Liza Kaplan