Every month we consider a number of catwalk-and-campaign stars for our Model Off Duty story, a process that is invariably delightful and often illuminating. Though we're always well acquainted with their fabulous faces and willowy frames due to their appearances in fashion editorials and runway shows, we're often relatively unfamiliar with their personal style. Perhaps that's why we find these off-the-clock outfits so interesting to examine; we think there's something fundamentally intriguing about seeing these chameleon-like ladies when they're not done up to look like someone else's muse, but rather dressed as themselves. On that note, today we're turning the spotlight on one of the world's most in-demand models¬--Raquel Zimmermann¬--to discuss what she wears on her own time.
Surely you've seen this Brazillian dynamo before, as she's been snagging magazine covers and working with the best brands for over a decade now (which is centuries in model-time). Zimmermann's career is nothing short of astonishing; in fact, she's claimed more campaigns for the upcoming F/W 09 season than any of her peers: Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Hermes, Viktor & Rolf fragrance, and Shiseido Future Solution¬--and it's not yet August! But no matter how well-versed you are in her work triumphs, Zimmermann's off-duty style is a bit more mysterious. After much studying, we¬'re starting to understand how our MOD puts herself together and what kinds of pieces she favors. As you can see from the images above, Zimmermann clearly has an affinity for a few things: skinny jeans, simple t-shirts, and superb outerwear. Using these three easy-to-find items, she creates an assortment of ensembles, all of which you can easily emulate at home!
If you prefer a more minimalist ensemble, try the pared-down outfit Zimmermann opted for backstage at Christopher Kane's S/S 09 show (far left). To create a similar look, we'd start with Genetic Denim's Shane Recessive Cigarette Jeans ($198). They're wildly figure-flattering and will give you that long lean line √† la Zimmermann. Simply add a gray t-shirt with a high-neckline, like LnA's Short Sleeve Crew ($60) in Ash, a cropped black bomber jacket, such as ASOS' Premium Curved Seam Leather Bomber ($156) or S.W.O.R.D.'s Ardea Leather Jacket ($803), and your favorite black leather belt.
Occasionally Zimmermann strays from her ultra-basic t-shirts and sneaks a graphic print into her rotation. Of course, due to her insider status, the tees are usually highly covetable designer versions, such as the limited edition Stella McCartney shirt she wore with a short-sleeve cardigan and black acid wash jeans to McCartney's F/W 09 show (second from left). The ace of hearts-plus-Eiffel Tower top was created to celebrate the opening of McCartney's Paris boutique¬--so it's nearly impossible to track down¬--but you can layer your favorite tee with a chunky knit sweater, like IRO's Gali Cardigan ($155), for a similar effect.
An interesting t-shirt also made the grade at Chloe's S/S 09 show, when Zimmermann combined a black-and-gray McQ shirt with her beloved skinnies and a lively black-and-gold jacket. That day, the Brazilian model also showed off her favorite footwear: Fiorentini + Baker's Eli Boots ($485). These understated single-buckle boots could be considered her go-to piece, as she seems to live in them during the various Fashion Weeks. Though Zimmermann's exact shirt is no longer available, if you're dying for something from the same brand, check out the McQ Military Shirt ($170) or McQ Admiral jersey T-shirt ($160). Otherwise, something like Truly Madly Deeply's Birds Trees Slub V Neck ($28) will give you a similar vibe, especially when worn under a shaggy statement jacket, like Vena Cava's Vitality Jacket ($805) or Topshop's Mongolian Jacket ($370).
While we love the bold choice of a striped bomber-style jacket, of all of Zimmermann's outerwear picks, our favorite is a slightly more subtle selection. Specifically, we're crazy about the semi-vintage Balenciaga gray moto she wore backstage at Lanvin's F/W 09 show. The slouchy style is from Balenciaga's highly touted F/W 04 collection¬--hence our title of semi-vintage¬--and it looks just as fresh today as it did five years ago. It adds a little structure and formality to her hip-length cardigan and gray burnout t-shirt (the feathered headpiece brings the fancy too). While we've yet to find the perfect substitute for the Balenciaga original, Silence & Noise's Suede Bomber ($98) in Reagan Gray works for now, especially when worn with Alternative Apparel's Burnout Top ($22) and a striped cardi.
Before we close, we must address at least one of Zimmermann's evening ensembles, in this case the stunning Proenza Schouler Off-the-Shoulder Textured Dress she wore to the Met Gala (far right). While this exact dress was custom created just for our MOD, you can get a hint of the look with the label's Off-The-Shoulder-Textured Top ($1875) and with their Patent Booties ($1360), which will arrive at Barneys shortly. Otherwise we suggest getting your body-con fix with something like Alexander Wang's Long Sleeve Fitted Dress ($490)¬--it's the perfect piece to ensure supermodel-style status!
All photos, from firstVIEW.