By Joyann King
Whether it’s their lithe hangerlike figures or their immersion in the world of tastemakers, supermodels have always had great personal style. Being a trendsetter is as much of the gig as much as having flawless skin. Sure they have a leg up over us normal folk—freebies from top designers, tips from influential stylists, and the high-class problem of everything-I-put-on-looks-fabulous. But it’s that je ne sais quoi attitude about style that puts them in a cool-girl category above the rest. From the body-con dresses that put bods like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell’s on the map to the leather, leggings, and lace I’m-with-the-band look that Daria Werbowy, Gisele Bündchen, and Gemma Ward make so enviable, it’s hard to decide which decade to emulate!
The style mantra of the ’90s supermodel was “tight, tight, and tighter.” With bodysuits all the rage and tapered, high-waisted jeans that were easier to paint on, this was no wallflower look. Thanks to Cindy Crawford, LBD’s were tossed aside for a less practical, more vixen little red dress. Strong gold hoops, chokers, and pointed-toe pumps that make your legs look miles longer, emphasized the va-va-voom of this decade’s style. Aside from an occasional oversize double-breasted blazer (worn with a micro mini, of course) the Linda’s and Christy’s of the past wouldn’t be caught dead in anything that didn’t show off their sexy shape.
Enter the present, where the loose, layered look disguises the svelte figures of supermodels like Karolina Kurkova and Natalia Vodianova. Never caught trying too hard, today’s girls are the epitome of grunge-chic, where a leather jacket is a staple and leggings really are pants. Lingerie is not just to create cleavage anymore, but is an accessory worn best when peeking out the side or back of their slept-in tanks. Time off is spent in boyfriend jeans and hipster Chuck Taylors, and a uniform of slinky dress, layered chains, and hard-core platforms for nights when working the scene is just part of the gig.