It Girl: Karen Elson

The scarlet-haired model has a penchant for bright red looks (go figure) and vintage silhouettes.

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Known for her flaming red locks and rocker-chic style, supermodel and singer Karen Elson has become a style icon in her own right since exploding onto the fashion scene in the early 2000s. At last week's CFDA awards, the redhead reached for a knockout emerald green bodice top and matching A-line skirt from Proenza Schouler's fall collection.
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Like ex-husband Jack White (who generally sticks to a red, black and white color palette), Elson often styles herself in strong shades of scarlet—no doubt to compliment her bright red locks. Here, the model strikes a pose in a long-sleeve red dress with sheer sleeve details and a subtly ruffled hemline at a Tanqueray promo party in Brooklyn last summer.
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Not one for piles of accessories or glitzy jewelry, Elson tends to rely on perfect tailoring and figure-flattering styles. At a Cinema Society screening of "La Dolce Vita," Elson donned a smart flower-printed sundress (in red, of course) and silver metallic flats.
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Though she has a flair for rocker-chic looks and vintage pieces, Elson also seems to mine Old Hollywood for glam inspiration. In 2009, Elson paired this chic, one-shoulder gown in a deep shade of scarlet velvet for the British Fashion Awards.
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Elson tried a similarly glam ensemble for a WWD anniversary party in 2010, styling a ruffled satin Lanvin dress (with a contrasting burgundy velvet belt) with a feathery red sandal and leather mini-bag.
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With her statuesque frame, Elson can pull off some truly tricky trends. This cream fringed number by Tom Ford (which darkens to a rich red shade at the hem) may not look particularly flattering on the rack, but Karen pulled it off easily at a party for the designer's new L.A. flagship.
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Stark white looks tend to look especially high-impact on the redhead. At last year's amfAR gala, Elson tried a dramatic white strapless look dripping in satin fringe by Atelier Versace.
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At a MoMA party last fall, Elson paired a creamy tux jacket and embellished cream cocktail dress with metallic flats (an Elson signature) and a big, oversized clutch bag.
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Elson clearly was looking to '20s-era glam for this year's Met Ball, to which she sported a flappery V-neck Marc Jacobs dress and silver Mary Janes.
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Occasionally Elson will go for something altogether unexpected like the dramatic, ruffled-collar look with a thigh-high skirt slit she donned for the 2009 "Model as Muse" Met Ball.
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Elson sported a graphic black-and-white look with sheer sleeves and a pair of classic black flats to the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund in 2009.
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For last year's "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" gala, Elson sported an uncharacteristically glitzy gold number (that she'd actually modeled on McQueen's runway back in 2004) with a shredded hemline and sheer detailing.
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For daytime dressing, Elson often reaches for vintage-inspired looks, like a blousy Marc Jacobs' romper with a criss-cross halter neckline that the model sported to the designer's fall 2011 presentation at the Armory.
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Elson looks understated and cool in an autumnal sequin wrap-dress and opaque black tights for Erin Fetherston's fall 2010 presentation.
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Likewise, this simple striped sweater dress—which Elson donned for Chanel's resort '11 presentation—had an easy-chic appeal.
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