From the start, Cara Delevingne has been one to watch. Just a year into her modelling career she appeared in top model Kate Moss’ 2010 Topshop campaign, but it was her work for Burberry and H&M in 2011 that catapulted her into the modelling stratosphere. Since then she has walked in countless fashion shows for designers such as Chanel and appeared in numerous advertising campaigns. She’s been the face of Burberry Beauty and Chanel Resort 2013, designed for Mulberry and DKNY and is the first model to star in a solo campaign for Topshop. Practically every fashion magazine you open will fall to a picture of Delevingne and those devilishly dramatic eyebrows, but just what is it that has made her Britain’s current top model?
Surely the most important factor in the success of any model’s career is their look. The key to standing out in the fashion industry is a sense of style that prevails regardless of the clothes a model wears. Kate Moss – one of Britain’s most iconic models and a clear inspiration to Delevingne – has proven that you can put your stamp on any outfit. Famed for defining the ‘heroin-chic’ trend, she always injects that rock and roll vibe, whether she’s wearing a fringed leather jacket and ripped skinny jeans or a vintage Christian Dior gown. By offsetting a striking red lipstick against a more pared-back, natural look – freckles and all – Moss never loses her trademark style. But it is the way she contrasts such elegant dresses with an effortlessly tousled, boho hairstyle that really brings a vibe of rebellion. And it is clear to see Moss’ influence on Delevingne’s look. Also a fan of the middle parting and warm blonde highlights, Delevingne’s no-fuss hairstyle adds an equally rock and roll edge to her outfits. By keeping her locks long and straight the style becomes less waifish and more bold, framing her face and making her stand out against the outlandish outfits of the catwalk.
Another key element when cultivating a top model look is the statement. Twiggy is thought of as being one of Britain’s first supermodels, and when you picture this sixties’ stunner you can’t help but think of those amazing lashes. Twiggy’s daring use of eyeliner to emphasise her bottom lashes shocked the fashion industry; they were so definitive of her personal style that the drawn on lashes became known as ‘twigs’. And on the topic of making a statement, it is impossible not to think of Delevingne and those brilliant brows. Not many people can say that their eyebrows were responsible for launching their career, but Delevingne’s have certainly done just that. Undoubtedly taking inspiration from Twiggy’s bold eyelashes – bigger is definitely better. By keeping her brows dark and hair light these expressive features really stand out, and when coupling this with heavy eyeliner to create a smoky effect, her eyes appear larger and more prominent. The hard edge her brows give her face when teamed up with her straight hair is striking. Even when covered head to toe in a white Chanel wedding-style gown with a matching feather head-piece you cannot help but be drawn to her eyebrows.
Every top British model has come to be credited with bringing something new to the fashion table, and while Delevingne has clearly taken tips from her model forebears, it is that distinctively Delevingne twist that has caused the fashion world to become enamoured with her. So while we can see Moss in her hair and Twiggy in her eyebrows, there’s something truly original about the beanie hats and trainers that Delevingne is seldom seen without – both on and off the catwalk. Bringing modernity and fun to fashion, Delevingne champions the 2014 slogan trend, having been spotted wearing T-shirts that bear messages such as ‘TWERKING IS NOT A CRIME’. And this aura of modernity does not stop at her clothing. She has taken the role of ‘model’ to a new level with her overwhelming presence on social media. Pushing the technological boundaries of fashion, she has created the first selfie-video shot while walking down the runway during Giles Deacon’s London Fashion Week show. And, with 7,756,843 followers on Instagram and 1.91 million on Twitter, her popularity is unquestionable. Differing from past icons who created a sense of mystery by remaining private,
it is perhaps this insight into Delevingne’s personal life which makes her so successful. The model is transformed from a poker-faced and untouchable beauty into an accessible, fun-loving human being. Far from attempting to keep up a vision of perfection,
Delevingne is just as well known for her ‘bog-eye’ as her eyebrows – posting numerous images of her pulling some rather strange and hilarious faces. So perhaps, when it comes to being a top model, it’s also what’s inside that counts.