Last Fashion Week, in the midst of the cold that wouldn't end, there was a particular ray of sunlight that comes to mind. During one of our daily recaps in which we scroll through a whole lot of photos, both backstage and street style, we stopped to take a second look at an otherwise nondescript shot of models waiting around backstage at Alexander Wang.
'Who's the girl in the ball gown?” someone asked.
'Irina Liss?” Tom responded.
'Is the dress part of the show?”
'No, that's just what she wore?” he responded. Photo below for proof:
At this point, “Model Off Duty” is a uniform for models and non-models alike. Slim jeans, clean lines, all in neutral. It’s formulaic, which means it's easy—and for that, it is great. But it's also a bit...boring—and we say that as fully committed members of the tribe. Suffice it to say that Irina put us all to shame, if not with her literal outfit (though that blue is gorgeous, and who doesn't love a dress with pockets?), than at least with the fact that it looks like she tried a little harder than everyone else. In a good way.
“I didn’t want to feel like other models you know?” she told us when she stopped by a few weeks ago. “Everybody was asking me, ‘Oh Irina, is that your dress for the show?’ and I was like, ‘No, it’s just my own.’ It’s one of my favorite dresses, but it’s really big, and I can’t carry it around with me everywhere?” She assured the dress is safe at home in Russia in the hands of Mom—waiting to be FedExed once Irina's not moving around so much.
For the time being, she's got plenty to work with—when in the office, she had a bag full of costume changes. There were multiple pairs of Prada sunglasses, a few lacy bras, a Wang dress that wasn't necessarily day-time appropriate...Eventually, she tried on a pair of light, gridded À MOI overalls, making a surprisingly strong case for the mandarin collar. Also making a good case to give up your skinny black jeans and gray tank top. Come on guys, it's summer.