Hanne Gaby Odiele

Like most people, when watching our favourite shows (such as any instalment of the Real Housewives franchise) or listening to the radio, we tend to fast-forward through commercials or simply change the channel. Yet, when flipping through a stack of fashion magazines, our attitude is quite different. We love looking at the luxury labels' latest advertisements, as they're more fantasy than infomercial. Plus, these pages are the perfect scouting ground for our Model Off Duty stories! We figure that if a girl can coax us into buying something or create such a beautiful image, she just might have similarly striking personal style. Today, the theory proved true once again, as we found that one of the stars of Balenciaga's Spring 09 campaign-Hanne Gaby Odiele-is just as intriguing her in own clothes as she is on the page.

While you might have noticed Odiele on the March cover of Vogue Italia, in the Terry Richardson-shot French Vogue calendar, or in editorials for magazines like Harper's Bazaar or Numero, we've been tracking her personal style. As you might have noticed from today's art, Odiele has never met a pair of peep-toe lace-up booties she didn't like! She'll occasionally break out a party frock, like the pink Miu Miu dress she styled with a Marni bag, Miu Miu shoes, and black opaques for a Prada party (above, far left), but tends to stick to her favoured skinny pants for most occasions.

Those cigarette trousers were the foundation for Odiele's look while in Milan, where she walked in Prada's F/W 09 show (second from left). The Belgian model accented the slim lines of her Balenciaga pants with a boxy, vintage, acid-wash jean jacket, then added a Dries Van Noten scarf and her favourite purple Balenciaga Arena Giant Brief ($1695) to finish the look.

Odiele selected a similarly svelte pair of pants for the Balenciaga S/S 09 show (second from right), though she went for a totally different top. Rather than wearing a jacket with a squared-off shape, she pulled out a bold-shouldered Balenciaga topper from their S/S 08 collection. In fact, everything Odiele wore that day was Balenciaga, as the fashion house is one of her favourites.

Aside from Odiele's fondness for simple skinnies and toe-showing shoe-boots, she also demonstrates a loyalty to one bold colour: violet. Whether it's her aforementioned electric grape Balenciaga bag or the bright purple Dries Van Noten jacket she wore to a party celebrating the New York launch of Topshop (far right), this model regularly turns to this rich hue. In regards to the latter, Odiele used the purple piece to set off a khaki pair of Balenciaga pants and a grey-and-pink tiger stripe scarf. The result is a masterful mix that's worth watching and emulating.

On that note, since many of our MOD's favourite items are high-fashion garments from seasons' past, we found a few items that have an Odiele-like look and more affordable prices. Obviously the proper footwear is of paramount importance, so we grabbed a slew of shoes for your browsing pleasure. Steve Madden makes two of the most affordable versions; try the Towwer Bootie ($150) or the Raceyy Bootie ($150) for bit of high-street flair. New York boutique Oak also has a version that's easy on the pocketbook, heavy on the style. Their Peep Toe Lace Up Wedges ($220) are available in black suede or black leather and have a great look. If you'd rather splurge on a fancy pair, Givenchy's Lace Up Ankle Boots ($499, on sale) are definitely in order.

As far as outerwear goes, we'd like to direct you to Urban Renewal's Studded Denim Jacket ($148) and Doma's Washed-Leather Bomber Jacketicon ($505). The wash on our denim-jacket pick isn't quite as Whitesnake as the one Odiele's wearing, which might make it more appealing for some of you. Additionally, though the bomber is technically cobalt, it's got a similar tone and shape as her Dries Van Noten version. Our final suggestion is for Odiele's favourite accessory: the oversized print scarf. While neither of the above scarves are available online, we can suggest Topshop's Neon Zebra Silk Scarf ($44) as an admirable substitute for her animal-patterned piece. If you want her exact scarf, you'll have to wait; the Yarnz Zebra Scarf ($165) in Pink doesn't hit Shopbop.com until the end of July. In the meantime feel free to enjoy the neutral Camel ($165) version, which is currently available. Toss either option artfully around your shoulders and pull on your favourite pair of peep-toe booties for a well-executed ode to Odiele!

Photos of Hanne Gaby Odiele, from firstVIEW and ImaxTree.

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