Seriously stylish and with a playful sense of fashion that tickles our sartorial fancy, Chinese stunner Liu Wen has had quite an impressive run over the past twelve months. For the S/S 10 shows, Wen walked for a record 70 labels┬--including Chanel, Chloe, Prada and Balenciaga┬--making her the second most booked model on the season's runways. And as if all that jet-setting-par-catwalk wasn't enough to fill her jam-packed cal, she was recently anointed as the new spokesperson for Estee Lauder┬--and we're hardly surprised! With her glossy hair, high cheekbones, and endearing dimples, Wen is as much a breakout beauty as a style star, making her the perfect candidate for this month's Model off Duty.
When it comes to Wen's personal style, one of the aspects we adore most is her penchant for mixing it up. Unlike some models who may reach for a go-to uniform when they're hanging out behind-the-scenes, Wen has fun with a myriad of pieces. This playful sensibility allows her to seamlessly transition from polished to laid-back looks and often involves incorporating a bold pattern or texture into her ensemble. A prime example of this aesthetic is her cozy-cool outfit backstage at the Ralph Lauren F/W 09 show (top, right), where she paired light-wash Y-3 jeans and Dr. Martens 1460 Boots ($119.95) in Black Patent with a vibrant oversized vintage sweater that immediately imbued her look with a burst of cheer. Wen also displayed how to expertly wear a festive print backstage at the Pucci F/W 09 show (far right) when she opted for Topshop's Silk Heart Bomber from their Unique S/S 09 collection atop a Topshop plaid button down, Rag & Bone/Jean's Skinny Jeans ($180, 212.727.2990) in Used Black, and her clearly beloved Dr. Martens boots. The cheeky printed bomber adds a playful touch that offers an intriguing contrast to her boyish basics. Finally, Wen used a graphic Zara tee to punch up her Rag & Bone blazer, Rag & Bone/Jean Straight Jeans ($188, 212.727.2990) in Dover Wash, and signature Dr. Martens backstage at Anna Sui's F/W 09 show (bottom, center).
Yet, while Wen loves a compelling print┬--and her combat boots┬--we like the way she sometimes utilizes other footwear to add the festivity to her ensemble, as she so impeccably displayed on more than one occasion when out and about during the Paris S/S 10 shows. Wearing a vintage graphic dress with a jean jacket and toting a Chanel carryall, Wen appeared lovely and ladylike, infusing her proclivity for textural intrigue in the form of Rochas Heels ($745) from their S/S 10 collection (bottom, left). That same season she also reached for a more streamlined silhouette, opting for menswear separates in the form of a vintage Japanese jacket, Balenciaga pants, and a Shanghai Tang button-down (top, middle). Of course, the highlight to her mix-and-matched suit is a strappy pair Givenchy shoes┬--a very model-off-duty choice!
Finally, we love the fact that Wen isn't afraid to stray from a straight-leg silhouette and how she experiments with new trouser shapes. Backstage at Michael Kors F/W 10 she changed it up by opting for Thakoon's Parachute Pants ($490) tucked into Rag & Bone's Combat Heels ($495) in Gray, a Yigal Azrouel zip-up over 3.1 Phillip Lim's Gold Fringe Trimmed Western Button-Down Shirt ($425), and then once again incorporated a textural, hero piece with 3.1 Phillip Lim's Feather Bolero ($950) from the F/W 09 collection.
We know Wen's style might seem complex, but have no fear, dear readers, because we found that with a few key pieces, her chic and cheerful ensembles are easy to recreate. Start by lining your closet with a great pair of dark-colored jeans. We like BDG's Charcoal Denim Leggings ($39) for a great staple, skinny pair. Next, make sure to incorporate some intrigue in the form of a boldly graphic piece. One great selection is the absolutely adorable We Love Vera's High Seas Dress ($138), which we'd wear under a light-wash denim jacket like Wen for a summer shower or barbeque. If you prefer to go the route of a graphic tee and blazer combo, pull on Hellz Bellz Overtone Tee ($38) underneath Theory's Jamilla Blazer ($335) or Topshop's ┬ż Sleeve Blazer ($125), both of which will instantly update a denim-centric look. However, if you're feeling really brazen and ready to dress outside the box, reach for a colorful sweater or eye-catching piece of printed outerwear; our top picks are Wildfox Couture's Faded Heart Sweatshirt ($108), Topshop's Large Heart Boyfriend Blazer ($110), or ASOS' Jersey Chain Print Bomber Jacket ($85). Throw Jalda's Italian Goat Aida Tote ($330) over your shoulder for a carry-all akin to Wen's go-to Chanel and you'll have a wardrobe that will have you looking as cool on-duty as Wen does off!
Yet, we couldn't leave you without addressing the finishing touch to your Wen-made look: her fabulous footwear, of course! For a tan pair that resemble Wen's Rochas heels, and which you can wear with tights when the weather turns cold, try Chelsea Crew's 40s Heels ($68) or Seychelles Cut-Out Platform Sandals ($170). If you're looking to up the sex appeal with a pair of strappy black sandals, we'd opt for Guess by Marciano's PM Narelle Cut-out Gladiator Sandals ($168), which you can use to add intrigue to a suit like Wen or pair with your LWD for a hot summer night. Finally, if it's a lace-up boot you're after, try Urban Outfitters' Victorian Spectator Boots ($98) or Topshop's Jaden Mid-Sack Boots ($125) which boast cool cut-outs.┬--Liza Kaplan
Need more info on major model Liu Wen? Check out TheFashionSpot.com's Runway News for a fabulous profile on this month's MOD!