Backstage

Unlike their celebrity counterparts, typically models are not ambushed by swarms of paparazzi documenting their day-to-day routines (and outfits). Despite this lack of quotidian evidence, models do exist off the runway and out of frame, and generally look very chic in their about-town clothes! Even better, when these girls are snapped between jobs, it's practically guaranteed that they haven't enlisted stylists to show them how to rock the coolest trends. They've got natural personal style in spades; just take this crop of fresh and familiar faces from the fall shows for example. They deftly mix key seasonal pieces with tried and true wardrobe staples, and have mastered a look that is edgy, playful, and absolutely au courant.

After trawling through hundreds of behind-the-scenes images, we have gathered a group of standout looks and will break down the major style trends seen backstage during New York Fashion Week. We hope that you are inspired to take some cues from the catwalkers featured in today's story and make these off-duty-model style trends your own, tout suite!

Denim Redux
While it's easy to assume that models would turn to liquid leggings, leather pants, and all the other body-conscious bottoms out there, it seems that most prefer to stick to something simpler: denim. Despite the brisk February weather, a preponderance of girls chose to wear beat-up cut-offs over opaque black tights, as seen backstage at Oscar De La Renta, Thakoon, and Alexander Wang. Though this is not a new pairing, certainly, it is noteworthy because it's an indication that this long-loitering look still has legs.

If you haven't invested in some vintage-looking cut-offs, now's the time to do just that. We can recommend two of our recent favorites: Current/Elliott's Boyfriend Cut-off Shorts ($187) and Urban Renewal's Destroyed Denim Shorts ($28). Additionally, you might consider a variation of the shorts-plus-tights look, as spotted at Preen. Try dark tights with ripped boyfriend jeans in a versatile light wash, like J. Brand's Ripped Tie Dye Skinny Jeans, ($218) to get a transitional spring look.

Nude et Noir
When you are a model, there are many serious professional perks, including getting gifted by designers with the latest shoes, bags, and clothes before they are available to the world at large. Additionally, this early exposure allows models to test-drive the newest looks and figure out how to make a blooming trend their own, long before everyone else catches on. As such, we weren't shocked to see that many young ladies were already displaying their own seasoned variations of spring's nude trend.

Some of our favorite examples were spotted behind-the-scenes at Jason Wu and Preen, where we noticed that most models chose to wear the color in a cold-weather appropriate way. By juxtaposing a nude ruffled frock or taupe heels with dark tights, a cozy flannel shirt, or well-worn Chucks, they're able to stay on-trend without looking overdone. While the heels shown above are fresh off the Preen runway, we think that Banana Republic's Rocio Platform Sandals ($167) or Pour La Victoire's Pascale Sandals ($325) would look equally chic with contrasting black tights. Add a simple nude dress like Free People's Encinitas Dress ($68) in pumice to complete the look.

Proportion Play
Models spend their days in the company of the industry's elite editors and designers, so naturally they pick up a thing or two about pulling a look together. Whether they learned by observation or osmosis, today's subjects could teach a master class in the art of making different proportions work for their bodies. In less-skilled hands, different textures and lengths could add up to make for a frumpy silhouette, but, as the girls above show us, playing with proportion in a smart way can yield amazing results.

As seen backstage at Diane von Furstenberg and Alexander Wang, a long cardigan under a short faux-fur coat or a bomber jacket layered over a heather-gray sweatshirt and printed sweater is executed brilliantly and looks fresh. Splendid's Loose Knit Cardigan ($115) is perfectly thin and would drape beautifully underneath a short denim jacket or this season's go-to motorcycle jacket.-Kate Mulling

EXPLORE: What They Wore, Coco Rocha, Lily Donaldson, Alexander Wang, Chloe, Rag & Bone
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