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Porter
Art of Style

Get dressed with Alek Wek

For this year’s Fashion Awards, Wek wore an incredible bow- and Swarovski-embellished mini dress by Emilia Wickstead

The South Sudanese model and co-host of this year’s Fashion Awards changed the game when she burst onto the fashion scene in the mid ’90s. Two decades later, she still inspires with timeless red-carpet looks. This is how she does it…

Fashion

FEEL GOOD

“When it comes to eveningwear, I love a bit of glamour. I’ve had so many magical red-carpet moments that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but there are a few that really stand out: I loved the Balenciaga gown with the huge bow that I wore to the CFDAs last year – it made me feel so elegant. For the Fashion Awards this year I really wanted my look to speak to the raw, edgy side of London style – I’m looking for creativity.”

DANCING QUEEN
Wek changed into a glittering dress by 16Arlington for the Fashion Awards after-party
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NATURAL BEAUTY
The supermodel loves Marc Jacobs’ makeup range for its wide range of products for all skin tones

BE YOURSELF

“I don’t wear that much makeup day to day, and even on the red carpet I prefer to keep it simple – I want to look like myself. It’s important to get familiar with your features and learn how to highlight them. I love contouring then finishing my look with a smoky eye or a deep aubergine-colored lip gloss. I love Marc Jacobs Beauty because he makes great products for all kinds of skin tones. I think it’s really important for fashion to be inclusive – the industry is finally waking up to the fact that women from all over the world are beautiful.”

BRING A PLUS ONE (AND THEN SOME)

“Now that I’m older, I appreciate diamonds, but I don’t like to finish an evening look with huge pieces of jewelry; I prefer to keep it simple and opt for ladylike diamond studs. I also have a few great crystal pairs that people always think are real gems – I don’t want to spend the whole night worrying about expensive jewels. After dark, I always opt for a clutch bag, and as far as footwear is concerned, if I am going out I am going all out. The higher the heels, the better.”

PLAY YOUR PART

“Rihanna does a red carpet like no one else. She’s really cool and she knows how to have fun with fashion – her Met Gala looks are always epic. I loved the yellow Guo Pei dress she wore in 2015, and then this last year she arrived dressed as the Pope! No one else could even try that; it would just feel so phony. I could never do it but that’s ok, I’ve got my own vibe.”

DIVINE INSPIRATION
The supermodel loves Rihanna’s bold red-carpet choices, particularly her papal look for 2017’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Met Gala

TRUST YOUR GUT

“The most beautiful thing about your forties is that you really feel like a woman, and I am owning that. I don’t even need to try a dress on; I know which silhouettes work for me and which don’t as soon as I see them. I want to be avant-garde, yes, but still chic. I don’t want to wear something so constrictive that I won’t be able to have a drink of water or even take a breath all night. I know my body, and for me that means the best outfits are simple but tailored perfectly. This year, my team were working on my Met Gala gown until the minute I stepped out the door – I knew I wanted the slit to be higher because the look needed some leg.”

STYLE STATEMENTS
L-R: Wearing an LBD at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and a Halpern jumpsuit at The Fashion Awards 2018 nominees party

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.