S/S 12 Backstage Style
As evidenced by our recent roundup of Fashion Scene stories, the S/S 12 show season definitely raised the bar in terms of fashionable attendees and phenomenal street style! However, there's still one very important aspect of the month-long festivities we have yet to address: the well-dressed models! Catching a glimpse of these catwalk VIPs dashing from one show to the next or hanging out backstage is always a sartorial treat, especially since they're often sporting the most inspirational and thoughtfully assembled ensembles! As such, we couldn't think of a better way to wrap up our coverage of the many Fashion Weeks than with a collection of thrilling looks brought to you by a few of the runway's beloved veterans and exciting new faces. So if you're crazy about Abbey Lee Kershaw's velvet coat or intrigued by Fei Fei Sun's '70s-inspired outfit, you'll want to read on because we've also included an assortment of stellar products to help you create likeminded looks!
We can't say enough good things about Herieth Paul's outfit at the BCBG show. For starters, we like that she opted for a jumpsuit (by said brand), which is a very fashionable and on-point choice for the season, plus, we appreciate the way she styled the all-in-one with glittery heels and a sleek Herve Leger jacket to keep it from feeling too casual. Finally, we approve of her red headphones, which give the overall look a nice pop of color. Fortunately, there are many stylish jumpsuit options available on the market, like Theory's Garvie Cotton and Modal-Blend Jumpsuit ($215), Juicy Couture's Silk & Velour Jumpsuit ($198), and 6 Shore Road's Plunge Jumpsuit ($99) in Concrete to name a few.
Black jeans look good with a plethora of things, but we're partial to the way Ming Xi styled this year-round staple at the Peter Som show. The up-and-coming model elevated her noir pants with a silky green Celine button-up shirt from the S/S 11 collection, but it was her sleek two-tone tote that really caught our eye and gave her backstage ensemble a wonderfully polished finish. Want to update your fall wardrobe with a similar look? First, if you don't already own a pair of black jeans, please consider Forever 21's Destroyed Skinny Jeans ($25) or J Brand's 912 Pencil Leg Low Rise Jeans ($185). Next, add a bright, eye-catching blouse, like Clover Canyon's Foulard Print Blouse ($212), and then accessorize with Brahmin Aubergine's Tri-Color Rebecca Shoulder Bag ($345) to complete your Xi-worthy look.
Models have the fortunate opportunity to work closely with designers and editors on a regular basis, so it should come as no surprise they know a few things about executing the latest trends in a noteworthy way! That said, we'd like to give Emily Senko an A+ for the way she incorporated one of this season's must-have wardrobe essentials-the turtleneck-into her backstage attire. At the Bluemarine show, the American model paired the neck-hugging piece with a tan knit vest and kept the whole look chic and sophisticated by adding a mini skirt and calf-grazing, pointy-toe boots. To achieve a Senko-inspired outfit, you'll want to pick up a turtleneck-Majestic's Black Turtleneck T-Shirt ($74) and Splendid's Jersey Turtleneck ($50) are both affordable options worth trying-then add a sleeveless vest, like Gryphon's Cotton-Twill Vest ($118.50) or Ralph Lauren Blue Label's Luxe Knit Glen Plaid Vest ($99). The result is sure to be an equally smashing look.
Abbey Lee Kershaw
We're just going to go ahead and say it: Abbey Lee Kershaw is the definition of cool. When she's not busy walking in the most coveted shows-including Gucci and Chanel-the Australian stunner plays keyboard, tambourine, and vocals in her band, Our Mountain, designs cool baubles for Australian jewelry gurus ManiaMania, and puts together an array of dreamy '90s rock-inspired outfits. Speaking of the latter, we spotted Kershaw backstage at the Dolce & Gabbana show, and went completely gaga for her vintage gold velvet coat, which she wore over a vintage maroon mini dress and with Ermanno Scervino black lace-up boots. Of course, her killer accessories, including an Emilio Pucci cross necklace and Matthew Williamson fringed bag, were not lost on us either! To give your fall looks some Kershaw-inspired panache, pick up a velvet jacket or two, like T Tahari's Cupid Long Sleeve Embroidered Velvet Jacket ($328), American Gold's Fountain of Youth Kimono ($162) in Purple Velvet, or One Teaspoon's Velvet Tux Jacket ($269), all of which are sure to give your winter ensembles a luxe finish.
While Iris Egbers may still be considered a rookie on the runways, she's definitely a pro when it comes to putting together smart off-duty outfits. Take the ensemble she wore backstage at the Michael Kors show, for example. The Dutch model showed up wearing a rust-colored, boatneck sweater with white cropped skinnies and flip-flops for a look that is simple and casual, yet very put together. To create a similar mix, try pairing either Vince's Long Sleeve Boatneck Sweater ($175) in Pumpkin or Gap's Solid Thermal T ($15) with Paige's Roxbury Crop Jeans ($179) in Optic White, and you'll have a chic weekend outfit in no time.
Fei Fei Sun
A rising talent on the runways as well as a stylish tastemaker off the clock, Fei Fei Sun is one model you'll want to keep an eye on! The Chinese beauty caught our attention before the BCBG show this year thanks to her Zara Snake Print Shirt ($50), which she tucked into a pair of vintage flared jeans. We also totally appreciate her on-point accessory pick: a small Chanel chain-strap bag! The combination of these three simple ingredients adds up to one chic and sophisticated take on the lingering '70s trend. If you have your heart set on channeling Sun's outfit, we recommend first snagging Equipment's Printed Silk-Chiffon Shirt ($220) or Vero Moda's Snake Print Blouse ($27). Once you have your top sorted, tuck it into DL1961's Melissa Wide Leg Jeans ($168) and accessorize with Milly's Allie Bag ($335), and you'll be ready to hit the streets in style.
If you're unsure of how to incorporate a leather mini into your daily rotation outside of a GNO ensemble, we'd like to direct you to the look Bette Frank assembled during Paris Fashion Week! The veteran Dutch model-after a two-year hiatus, she made an exciting return to the runways this season opening for Barbara Bui, Valentino, and Akris-wowed us backstage at the Dries van Noten show when she paired a high-waisted leather skirt by The Row with an Alexander Wang striped tee and gray Rick Owens leather waterfall jacket. The result: a downtown look that's perfectly suited for a fashion party or a creative office. A leather skirt should be a primary item on your fall wardrobe must-have list, so we suggest investing in Zadig & Voltaire's Jem Deluxe Leather Mini Skirt ($480), Twenty8Twelve's Ella Leather Skirt ($285), or ASOS' Just Female Leather Skirt ($203) today.
We have to applaud Arizona Muse for the all-noir outfit she put together at the Michael Kors show; it's not only super chic, but also a practical choice for the on-the-go model! The fashion favorite selected an airy Preen halterneck dress, which she teamed with a pair of throw-on-and-go black Yves Saint Laurent boots and a shopper bag (also by Yves Saint Laurent), resulting in a simple, unfettered outfit that can transition from a full day of shows to a night of after-parties with ease. To mimic Muse's easy-breezy ensemble, check out Marc by Marc Jacobs' Lurex Piped Jersey Dress ($398) and Kors by Michael Kors' Natalie Boots ($295); these two items should definitely do the trick!-Jessica Baker
All photos, courtesy of First View