Anja Rubik

Though we have long since given up on trying to replicate models' physical form, we are still completely infatuated with trying to reproduce their off-duty élan! Though there is always lively debate at Who What Wear headquarters about which catwalk contender is the best-dressed, there is one young lady we all universally and unequivocally revere: Anja Rubik. Her ability to look effortlessly modern, sophisticated, and epically chic on a day-to-day basis is as confounding as it is inspirational, and we cannot get enough! Needless to say, when it came time to showcase the fashion choices of our next Model Off Duty, we immediately thought of Ms. Rubik, whose intriguing, androgynous, and impeccable personal style is completely obsession-inducing.

We'll refrain from raving about Rubik's singular style for long enough to brief you on her career highlights thus far. Currently channeling an international spy on the cover of Vogue Italia, Rubik is a constant presence in magazine editorials due to her uncanny ability to inhabit the spirit of the shoot-plus, those legs, lips, and wide-set eyes certainly help! Industry insiders have dubbed her the "campaign queen" because of her dominance in the advertorial world. Currently the feet, err, face of Giuseppe Zanotti, Giorgio Armani, and spokeswoman for Chloé Parfum and Estee Lauder's Beautiful fragrance, she has also been snapped for the Gap, Chanel Eyewear, Oscar de la Renta, and Dolce and Gabbana adverts, just to name a few. Since her Parisian runway debut nine years ago (an infinity in model years) Rubik has also been a runway constant, opening such landmark shows as Fendi and Gucci, where she was also the final face to appear during the F/W 09 season-not too shabby!

Unlike the Kate Mosses, Agyness Deyns and Irina Lazareanus of the world, Rubik rarely opts for over-the-top, showy, or retro/vintage looks when she's off the runway; she clearly prefers a decidedly clean, crisp and modern aesthetic when it comes to her own wardrobe. Minimalist, structured, and architectural pieces rule Rubik's closet, and though these staples may seem somewhat basic, they are all beautifully constructed. In Rubik's deft hands, these easy and elegant separates combine to create a nuanced simplicity that compliments her insouciant attitude.

Though Rubik keeps black basics such as cropped or skinny trousers, boyfriend blazers, and leather jackets in regular rotation, she is also able to seamlessly weave in playful patterns or a shock of colour into her monochromatic wardrobe. Backstage at Michael Kors' S/S 09 show (above, far left), Rubik showed off her take on girly gear with a Derek Lam printed blouse, which she anchored with neutral pieces, like Peter Som's nubby grey sweater and Maison Martin Margiela leggings. As an alternate for her printed top, try Diane von Furstenburg's Marla Blouse ($225) paired with your favourite skinny bottoms for an understated feminine look.

Backstage at Stella McCartney F/W 09 (second from left), Rubik wore Topshop black jeans, a Gap t-shirt, and a Balenciaga blazer with Fiorenti + Baker's Eli Ankle Boots ($505) and a bright blue Stella McCartney cardigan. This final key piece added a pop of colour to her more somber ensemble, thus enlivening the entire look.

At Chloé's F/W 09 show (second from right), Rubik styled her all-black uniform with a little animal-print flair, by wrapping the label's scarf around her neck. We love the way that this simple accessory works as a perfect finishing touch and totally transforms her outfit. Try adding on bebe's Cheetah Scarf ($19) the next time you find yourself in head to toe black, and see what wonders it will do!

Another way the mannequin masterfully mixes up her look is by playing with volume and pattern. Sitting front row at Chloé's S/S 09 Parisian presentation (far right) she wore a wide-leg pair of plaid pants. This style has the potential to go seriously wrong, but Rubik smartly keeps the billowy proportion of her bottoms under control. Instead of picking another loud print or a boxy top, she combined a crisp white blouse and a cropped, fitted biker jacket to create a fresh interpretation on the silhouette. Sadly, Rubik's Chloé madras pants are no longer available, but we think Express' Linen Wide-Leg Pleated Pant ($70) in twill stripe would help you make a similarly smashing statement.

While it's obvious that we are completely enamoured with her sartorial selections, we're also quite taken with her no-fuss approach to beauty and hair. When she isn't on the clock, she keeps her skin clean and fresh, and it seems as though the only makeup she opts to wear is what remains after her latest runway show. As for hair, her ultra-modern short locks are either drastically parted to one side or sleekly pulled back, which provides the perfectly Rubik-esque polish to her already stellar off-duty-style! -Kate Mulling

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