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OLIVIA She represents the fashion dream: a designer wardrobe (with a healthy dose of high street), friends in chic places, and the ability to look incredible having just rolled out of bed (unconfirmed, but we have our suspicions). Some girls just have it. by LAURA COLLINS

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whose intuition about these matters you should trust, it’s Olivia. She has a sixth sense for trends that translate to women everywhere. That face is one of the most recognisable in the industry, posted on the personal moodboards of fashion fans worldwide. Ever since we saw her playing bad cop to Whitney Port’s good cop in The City, she’s held our attention – for all the right reasons. When the reality show ended in 2010, Olivia’s on-screen style formula transitioned off-screen with ease. Her capsule closet is the kind you can build a career on: designer dresses teamed with sleek blazers she’s just as likely to have scored at her chain favourites Zara and Topshop  as designer houses Valentino, Christian Dior or Tibi.

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cover: olivia wears christian siriano top and iceberg skirt. photography: Bleacher + Everard. Styling: Charlotte Stokes. HAIR: RYAN TRYGSTAD/EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS MANAGEMENT. MAKE-UP: GITA BASS/EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS MANAGEMENT USING SIMPLE SKINCARE. STILL-LIFE STYLING: AMANDA STAVROPOULOS. STILL-LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: JAMES EVANS; CHRIS JANSEN. getty images.

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t’s a sunny Friday morning in Midtown, New York. We’re setting up for today’s shoot when in breezes an impeccably polished Olivia Palermo – she’s exactly what you’d expect, all five foot six of her. She’s not alone; her Maltese Terrier, Mr Butler, scampers alongside and it has to be said – both have phenomenal hair (hers is tousled and shiny; his a chic bob). Watching Olivia flick through the racks of high-street and high-end fashion, you start to see why the 27-year-old has become an international inspiration and was just named the 2013 Icon of Style by the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest shopping centre, Melbourne’s Chadstone. It’s where she also launched the spring/summer collections, casting her expert eye over the fresh new lines from Australian designers. Her top picks? Willow, Thurley, and Zimmermann: “I love Zimmermann bikinis! They’re amazing.” If there was ever a person

So, what does a style icon do when she’s not sitting front row at fashion week or having her picture taken for streetstyle blogs? Technically, being a model is her day job, but the majority of her time goes into running her own style blog, oliviapalermo. com. The editor’s gig was a natural progression after working in the accessories and fashion departments at top mags in NY, not only rubbing shoulders but getting insider tips from major names like Joe Zee and Diane von Furstenberg. “I travel so much and I have so many great tips

t, we ‘At our shoo agle eye watch her e oes as she zer of in on a mix , colours nd prints a ites…’ h w l a r u t c u r st on boutiques… just being able to see all the different markets around the world,” says Olivia. “Plus, it’s a great way to give a platform to young designers for people to showcase, and to see.” With almost unlimited access to designer gear, both established and emerging, does she ever have a day when she feels like she’s got nothing to wear? “I think we all have those days. I think you would be abnormal not to.” Her break-out-in-case-of-emergency outfit: pants, ballet flats and a cashmere

sweater. Olivia knows what suits her, so she sticks with it. But back to the shoot: we watch that eagle eye zero in on the pieces she wants to wear: it’s a mash-up of bold colours, quirky prints and structural whites that are striking in their simplicity. When she hits the makeup chair, it’s for what could only be described as a touch-up – she’s that genetically camera-ready. She keeps her skin primed for a pap shot; her favourite facials are by Fere & Co. from the Neville Hair & Beauty salon in London, and she uses Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare in-between. She’s instantly at home in front of the lens, dancing to Phoenix (although she includes Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life on her personal soundtrack) and moving exactly like someone who has spent the past six years perfecting the art of looking good. When Olivia shows up to fashion events, it’s no different, and she pulls off jeans and a white shirt with the same effortless chic as she does working head-to-toe Armani. The reality is, few fashion heavyweights can pull off outfits as different as dramatic hems, froufrou lace or in-your-face prints (not at the same time, although we reckon she could) quite like Olivia. Her boyfriend of six years (and at time of print, rumoured fiancé), German photographer and model Johannes Huebl might be the exception – his style MO (think traditional English suits, with a twist of Italian flair) perfectly matches her polished yet unexpected aesthetic. The pair are such regular fixtures on Best Dressed Couple lists, they’ve even been shot together in fashion campaigns for Hogan and Mango. Talk about inspirational and inseparable. The only other thing Olivia couldn’t live without? That salon-fresh blowdry… and we love it almost as much as Mr Butler’s high-fashion bob. shoptilyoudrop.com.au f

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SHOP THE COVER

5.

LUXE Florence Sweat Top, $129 (4-14), Saba, saba.com.au. Jacquard Cotton Skirt, $320 (0-8), Elizabeth and James from matchesfashion.com. Leather reversible Belt, $39, Marcs, marcs.com.au.

L E SS

all under $50

Kimono Sleeve T-Shirt, $49.95 (xxsml-xlge), Country Road, countryroad.com.au. Pieces Pina Slim Waist Belt, $16.64, Asos, asos.com/au. River Island, au.riverisland.com. Miller Scuba Skirt, $29.95 (6-14), Co. by Cotton On, cottonon.com/co-women. Maybelline NY Color Sensational Color Whisper Lip Color in Orange Attitude, $14.95, 1300 369 327.

6. 1. Maybelline NY Fit me! Blush in Deep Coral, $14.95, 1300 369 327.

Maybelline NY EyeStudio Color Tattoo Eye Shadow in Bad to the Bronze, $11.95, 1300 369 327.

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