Models Off Duty

Though studying the latest Fashion Week looks on runway models is a particular obsession of ours, we have a small confession to make: we're just as inspired by what said models wear when they're off duty! We noticed that when these catwalk stunners aren't prancing down the runway in designer ensembles, they're rushing from fittings to shows to events--and always doing so in the most stylish attire. We particularly love how they dress comfortably (not surprising, considering their jobs often require wearing towering heels and cumbersome couture creations), but with an expert's eye for cool layers and the right accessories. From Ginta Lapina's bohemian vibe to Bonnie Chen's casually elegant look, we tracked down eight model-off-duty outfits we're sure you'll appreciate too. Read on for all the details in today's What They Wore story and tell us which look inspires you most!

WHO: Hanne Gaby Odiele
WHAT: Snapped on the street last September.
WEAR: Despite the fact that Hanne Gaby Odiele isn't strutting down the runway here, the Belgian model is the perfect example of daring sophistication in her designer ensemble. For one thing, she's not shy about combining two totally bold pieces, like her textured yellow Balenciaga top and Acne's Lee Tulle Pant ($720) in Black from F/W 11, which are sadly no longer available. Odiele's animal-print Marni heels and chic clutch also infuse her look with extra flair, fitting for someone who's accustomed to wearing out-there couture on the catwalk!

WHO: Sara Blomqvist
WHAT: Posing at Paris Fashion Week F/W 12.
WEAR: When you're constantly on the go, like most models are, learning how to quickly assemble a chic yet low-maintenance look is key! For example, take Sara Blomqvist's expertly layered outfit, which gets a boost of fashion-forward panache with the addition of brightly coloured pants. The Swedish stunner's white blouse, olive green coat, and cosy knit scarf certainly look stylish together, but it's her mustard yellow trousers that really make the outfit stand out. We suggest starting with Edun's Cotton Trench Coat ($159) and Club Monaco's Eleanor Scarf ($50) to mimic Blomqvist's attire, then adding a punch of yellow with either Dries Van Noten's Cropped Trousers ($695) or, for a more accessible option, BDG's High-Rise Casual Pant ($59) in Yellow.

WHO: Ginta Lapina
WHAT: Hanging out after a show.
WEAR: We picked up one important lesson from Ginta Lapina's inspiring getup: when in doubt, start with the basics. The Latvian model's simple American Apparel t-shirt, Helmut Lang skinny jeans, and go-anywhere Yves Saint Laurent satchel form the basis of her downtown-cool outfit. Lapina, however, raises the style factor by shrugging on a luxe Isabel Marant jacket, floral-print scarf, and knee-high boots for the perfect day-to-night look.

WHO: Ruby Aldridge
WHAT: Photographed on the go at Paris Fashion Week F/W 12.
WEAR: If you think that humdrum black separates don't create a very visually intriguing outfit, we must direct you to Ruby Aldridge's grunge-inspired look, which will no doubt change your mind! The American model's black t-shirt and blazer--basics that most people already own--get a major upgrade when paired with slightly baggy jeans rolled up to display high-heeled booties. Accented with a sharp fedora and silver jewellery, Aldridge's look is equal parts effortless and edgy. To steal her look, you'll first need jeans with a similar loose-fitting silhouette, so consider Citizens of Humanity's Bandit-Light Blue ($238) or PF Paola Frani's Denim Pants ($98). Then add black basics (Mango's Short Sleeves Linen T-shirt ($25) in Black and Sparkle & Fade's Knit Chiffon-Back Blazer ($50) will do the trick), and the right accessories, such as Belle Noel's Hexagon Drop Necklace ($40), ASOS' Wide Brim Fedora Hat ($14), and BCBGeneration's Women's Pallin Ankle Boot ($110) in Black/Taupe Multi to channel an Aldridge-esque vibe.

WHO: Alana Zimmer
WHAT: Dressed down in between shows.
WEAR: While leather skirts have been on our radar for quite a while now, we adore the way Alana Zimmer sported her tan-coloured version. The Canadian model aimed for a slightly tomboy-inspired vibe, pairing her leather mini with a denim button-down top, cream knit sweater, and lace-up oxford shoes. Of course, like so many models, Zimmer isn't without a statement bag; her Proenza Schouler PS1 Tote Leather ($1995) in Black, with its cross-body strap and roomy shape, is the ideal choice for girls with packed calendars! Thankfully, Zimmer's ensemble is easy to replicate; layer Topshop's Knitted Slubby Chuck On Jumper ($76) over Capulet's Denim Shirt ($98), then choose either Vince's Leather Mini Skirt ($495) or Gap's Leather Mini Skirt ($199) in Honey to wear with it. Lastly, you'll need comfy oxfords to polish off the look, so we suggest GH Bass Shoes' Joyce Oxford Flats ($79) in Black as a great alternative to Zimmer's chic pair!

WHO: Cato van Ee
WHAT: Looking casual and cool off-duty.
WEAR: When you're trying to bundle up and look fashionable (a tricky task, as anyone from a colder climate will tell you!), it's crucial to pull your outfit together with a memorable outerwear piece. Dutch model Cato van Ee is clearly familiar with this sartorial rule; her leather Acne jacket with contrasting brown sleeves injects her otherwise effortless look--consisting of a Zadig & Voltaire grey sweater, Zara scarf, and Cheap Monday Tight Jeans ($65) in OD Almost Black--with cool-girl attitude (sadly, her jacket is no longer available, though a similar one is here). A couple hardware-heavy accessories, such as Alexander Wang's Brenda Chain With Nickel Hardware Bag ($725) and Fiorentini + Baker's Eternity Biker Boots ($585, 212.226.7229), complete van Ee's model-off-duty ensemble!

WHO: Bonnie Chen
WHAT: Smiling for the cameras in between fashion shows.
WEAR: We think Bonnie Chen's outfit--a clever mix of preppy and girly elements--is the perfect low-key look for a weekend outing. The Chinese model paired a striped COS top with a pleated Zara skirt, but made sure to add a few tough-girl accents with Bottega Veneta ankle boots and a multicolored Celine bag. A neon pink J. Crew belt not only lent her overall look a charming burst of colour, but also cinched in her waist for a more defined silhouette.

WHO: Anais Mali
WHAT: Taking a break in between New York Fashion Week F/W 12 shows.
WEAR: It's not surprising that, sartorially speaking, French-born Anais Mali exudes that distinct je ne sais quoi quality so many French women seem to possess! The model's off-duty look is an interesting mix of textures; she topped a Helmut Lang shirt and 3.1 Phillip Lim Blousant Jacket With Zip Out Neoprene ($775) from F/W 11 with a shaggy black jacket. Mali smartly kept the rest of her look simple with Rag & Bone's Skinny Jeans ($198) in Preston, Michael Kors' Bedford Large Satchel ($428, 866.709.5677), and Dr. Martens boots, three versatile accessories that ground her fashion-forward ensemble.--Tiffany Tse

Photos of Hanne Gaby Odiele, Alana Zimmer, Ginta Lapina, and Bonnie Chen, courtesy of Stockholm Street Style; photos of Anais Mali and Cato van Ee, courtesy of Vanessa Jackman; photos of Sara Blomqvist and Ruby Aldridge, courtesy of Imax Tree.

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