The New It Girl

So this time last year it would've seemed nobody could oust Cara Delevigne from her throne; her star had been on the rise for a while and she had been THE model of 2013. So ubiquitous and cool was she that it was widely accepted she was the next Miss Moss - a notion that was endorsed by Kate herself with their close relationship and brand-boosting joint modelling campaigns. London has always dictated the top models; yes you have your Brazilian beauties, Swedish stunners and German godesses but are there any bigger than Kate, Cara, Naomi or Twiggy? Ours have the real identity, the marketable brand, the lasting legacy. Cara and her besties Suki Waterhouse, Jourdan Dunn and Georgia-May Jagger were the new cool set, the ultimate London girls, who everyone wanted to be and they were untouchable. Cara was the perfect ringleader and fashion trailblazer.

Well, that's all changed.




Of all people, an American reality TV star is the new model of the moment. Usually the US looks up to far more mainstream, decidedly less edgy and cool celebs for fashion inspiration, which is why Kim Kardashian managed to work her way into the fashion elite. Over here, the clothes maketh the star (case in point: Alexa Chung), whereas in America, fame and fortune comes first and only then will people emulate that person's style. And even then, we Brits largely stick to our own, preferring to champion homegrown stars, particularly when it comes to the elitist modelling world. They usually come from rock royalty, society families or are plucked straight from obscurity just strutting the street in everyday life. But never from reality TV shows.



Yet lo and behold, Kendall Jenner is now fashion royalty and official 'Coolest Girl in the World' (according to GQ). She was also named Tumblr's Model of the Year at the end of 2014, after being reblogged more than Cara. Ironically, her friendship with Miss Delevigne was partly what helped propel her into the spotlight and have her accepted by the rather superior powers-that-be. That and a certain short-lived boy-band romance of course:



Another reason Kendall has managed to shake off her populist Kardashian ties is because her circle of friends are as achingly cool as she is. Together with fellow reality TV-offspring Gigi Hadid and movie-dynasty-member Hailey Baldwin, she has created a brand new cool set to rival those with The London Look. And their style is so much more New York, so understated and slick compared to those vintage threads-loving, tracksuit-wearing, bedhead-sporting Londonders. So Kendall's gang manage to be fresh, up-and-coming and yet mature all at the same time. Theirs is a style which could be emulated by thirty-somethings and tweens alike. Clean lines, muted colours, luxurious fabrics (including a lot of well-cut leather) and slick footwear all add up to their highly polished look. They make good use of all the time they have to spare lounging around their Beverly Hills family mansions; never a hair is out of place or a crease to be seen when they leave the house.


Kendall has also gone about her business very cleverly, never playing up or embarrassing herself in public, not over-exposing herself too much and carrying herself ever so elegantly. I was all for Cara injecting some much-needed fun and rebellion into the modelling industry, but perhaps after all the gurning, clowning around and wacky dressing, she was always going to have a shelf life. Kendall plays down everything she does, always looks so well put-together and radiates good health from her porcelain skin and exceedingly shiny hair. In a society which is increasingly obsessed with health and fitness, this is important. Kendall is a model for the modern age of mindful eating, moderate drinking and innovative exercising.


Her recently-announced contract with Estée Lauder is emblemic of her classic beauty and mature image, which is still achingly dewy-skinned and glowing with youth.


I also think that something which is seldom mentioned, but is very important, is that Kendall brings an exotic look that is rarely up-front-and-centre in the modelling world. Perhaps this is largely due to Kendall emerging in the 'Insta-girl' era, when 'Social Media Modelling' allows girls to self-promote for all their worth. She may be coy and restrained when she's walking around in public (especially compared to camera-courting Cara or party-loving Kate) but that doesn't mean she isn't eternally giving the media what they want via her Instagram and Twitter accounts. The same goes to explain why Gigi (new Model of the Year, according to the Daily Front Row Fashion Awards) and Hailey (is-she-isn't-she Bieber squeeze) have been thrust so far into the spotlight, despite their relative lack of commercial work compared to other top models.


I have been admiring Kendall's style for a while now, ever since festival season 2014 ended and she ditched the OTT boho garb circa Glastonbury 2004 for a much more grown-up look. I think the moment I realised she was an actual bona fide style icon was when she wore the white bandeau jumpsuit to the British Fashion Awards, and I subconsciously stored this in my memory before realising that the outfit I had bought for my company Christmas party had been modelled on that very piece.



 

Kendall no.



Kendall AND Kylie no.



Kendall - YES.

Here are a few of Kendall's street style looks I've loved:

 

She definitely loves her black - it's failsafe on anyone but is particularly stunning on raven-haired, flawless-skinned Kendall. She always looks great when she pairs it with a bright red lip. The cutout jumpsuit she wore with plimsolls, I have one very similar so was extra-chuffed to see it on her (I wore it first this time!).



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