Backstage

Backstage
Wednesday, November, 17, 2010 There are so many reasons to love the fashion-show season, but aside from the obvious--viewing the upcoming trends, enjoying the distinctly chic cities on the circuit, and seeing flashbulb-worthy street style--one of the things we like best about this biannual event is what goes on backstage. Yes, we are suckers for behind-the-scenes coverage, especially when it involves our favorite models in their own pre- or post-show outfits. See, we're always intrigued by what these slim specimens wear when they're not styled in head-to-toe runway looks, especially since the results are often just as intriguing. On that note, we're pleased to report that we've finally sifted through all of the photos from the recent S/S 11 shows and have gathered the crème de la crème of model-off-duty ensembles for your perusal. In addition to just being inspirational, today's installment of What They Wear: Backstage has plenty of fall wardrobe ideas to get you in the cold-weather spirit. Whether it's examples of how to wear a chunky-knit dress or style suggestions about balancing lots of layers, there's sure to be something for everyone, so enjoy!

Mixed Neutrals Neutral hues, especially when styled together, have certainly taken center stage on and off the runways this season--check out Trend Report: Mixed Neutrals to see what we mean--and from the looks of things, it was a popular outfit choice for models backstage too! For example, we spotted the stunning Ruby Aldridge addressing this smart dressing idea at the Valentino show, wearing a pair of cocoa-colored trousers paired with a white tee and black tuxedo-style blazer. To complete her nuanced ensemble, Aldridge accessorized with a distressed brown leather belt and small tan and brown satchel. We saw a similarly savvy neutral mashup by Jacquelyn Jablonski at Narciso Rodriguez. Like Aldridge, Jablonski (who was our September MOD) selected a tan bag, albeit a slouchier messenger style, to finish off her outfit of silky taupe shorts and white button-up shirt. If you're looking to create a neutral mix of your own, make sure to pull out your favorite pieces in these key hues--think: army green, camel, chocolate brown, gray, tan, and taupe--and pair them as you wish. In addition to what you may have already, we recommend checking out Equipment's Hard Feelings Satin Blouse ($198) in Mink, Topshop's Flannel Camel Boyfriend Open Jacket ($135) and ASOS' Tailored Flannel Wide Leg Pants ($62). Now, when finalizing your look, it's important to keep your accessories in the same spectrum. That being said, we suggest picking up a chic carrier like Kimichi Blue's Sophisticated Satchel ($68) or Topshop's Metal Handle Mock Crock Detail Cross Body Bag ($65), or you can always try a belt like True Religion's Leather Belt ($143), if it's Aldridge's directional look you're after.

Bold Elements Although a majority of today's catwalkers selected dark hues and neutrals for their on-the-go ensembles, we noticed a few beauties making bold statements via a mix of eye-catching patterns or a big dollop of vibrant color. For example, backstage at Valentino, Frida Gustavsson turned heads in a bright red dress with a modest silhouette, which she styled with all-noir accents, while Hanne Gaby Odiele caught our attention in contrasting prints--plaid wide-leg trousers and animal-print loafers--at the Rag & Bone show. Now some might consider these to be unconventional choices for a MOD, but we definitely appreciate their daring selections. If you're interested in creating your own model-inspired standout look, our first recommendation is to try a dress in a lively hue as the foundation of your outfit. Modcloth's Dish to Pass Dress ($65) has a retro look that's similar to Gustavsson's pick, or if you're seeking an updated silhouette, Winter Kate's Lucy Dress ($285) is a perfect choice for the holiday season. Looking for your own version of Odiele's quirky combo? Just pick up J. Crew's Glasgow Plaid Wool Pants ($130) and Zara's Leopard Print Moccasins ($80), and we guarantee you'll be the talk of the party.

Chunky Knits It's safe to say that these fashion-forward insiders are always brilliantly clad in the season's must-have essentials, so right now that means our MODs are all about the season's chunky-knit pieces. With so many brands showing covetable options--Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Rag & Bone--it's no surprise that our style subjects are embracing the trend's cozy spirit. We love how Daiane Conterato (seen here at Marni) cleverly juxtaposed the sweetness of her slouchy nude sweater with a pair of black leather shorts and lace-up boots for a superb transitional look. But of course, these knits are not just a top option for cardigans and crewnecks; they also makes for the perfect winter frock, as demonstrated by Magda Kulicka at Jil Sander. The Polish native cinched her oversized sweater dress with a leather belt, and rounded out her comfy outfit with a pair of vintage chocolate brown boots. Are you still looking for that perfect chunky knit? Topshop's Knitted Slubby Back Boxy Top ($85) will certainly keep you warm this winter. If it's Magda's oversized dress you're after, check out Zara's V-Neck Poncho with Hood ($80). It's a spot-on alternative you can wear all season long!

On-Trend Outerwear The S/S 11 Fashion Weeks started in mid-September, so it's no surprise to see our lanky subjects sporting great outerwear options ranging from lightweight jackets to heavy coats. Speaking of the former, Sigrid Agren (at Michael Kors) and Jac Jagaciak (at Marni) were both snapped wearing one of this year's essentials: the army green flak jacket. Not only are their picks perfect in keeping with the ongoing utilitarian trend, but these lightweight layers are also a must when temperatures begin to cool down, so make sure to try Urban Renewal's Army Surplus Jacket ($48) or Sandro's Army Jacket ($655) before it gets too chilly. However, sometimes our industry pros required a little more coverage when they were running from one show to the next. For these situations, ladies like Alana Zimmer (at Akris) opted for a charcoal, double-breasted coat over a white button-up shirt and black pants, resulting in a perfectly chic ensemble. A week earlier at the D&G show in Milan, Sara Blomqvist showed up in a khaki trench coat, which she wore over a pair of light-wash skinny jeans and peep-toe ankle booties. Both of their picks are must-buys styles, so be sure to snag either J. Crew's Dapple Coat ($350) or French Connection's Macks Trench Coat ($298) to emulate their on-trend outerwear.--Jessica Baker

All photos, courtesy of First View
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