If there were ever a person who embodied the term "It-girl," it would be Veronika Heilbrunner. The impossibly cool style editor at Harper's Bazaar Germany marches to the beat of her own drum, mixing masculine and feminine pieces in daring consort with European ease. She can style a look like nobody's business, but we made it our business. After studying literally hundreds of images, we present the key concepts that emerged.
An ankle-grazing cut is one of the biggest denim trends lately, and Heilbrunner wears the of-the-moment style in exemplary ways. Especially in lighter to medium washes and with cuffed or frayed hems, it's a more casual look so she wears relaxed footwear - flat or low-heeled boots, clogs, and loafers.
There are certain wardrobe staples that have been classics for decades - black trousers, a little black dress, a trench coat, pea coat, leather jacket, the pencil skirt. But Heilbrunner's version of the classics are always cool updates with interesting details. She doesn't just wear a basic trench coat - hers has a contrast-color lapel that pops. Her little black dress isn't just any LBD - it's a leather mini with shearling trim on the sleeves and hem (that she wears with combat boots, of course). Her black trousers are crease-front track pants with side-slit ankles. Her pea coat and leather jacket both have have fur collars that infuse a bit of bomber jacket into the look. And so on.
Though she occasionally embraces a shoulder strap, you can see from the photos above and below that she steps out with unique little hand-held bags 90 % of the time. The mini purse is having a major moment this season (we've been seeing them everywhere in L.A.), and of course Heilbrunner was ahead of the curve. She doesn't take fashion too seriously and doesn't stick to formulas - pairing a vintage-looking straw bag with an otherwise preppy ensemble of a crisp polo and slit-front pencil skirt? Why not.
We studied a ton of photos, and noticed she almost exclusively wears long-sleeved dresses. No matter the style of the dress - whether flowing and romantic, fluterry-tiered and feminine, crisp and collared, structured and edgy, simple and streamlined, angular and experimental, or sheer and revealing, she sticks to the long-sleeved look, which is more unexpected. Think about it: when was the last time you wore a long-sleeved dress? (Neither Alina nor I could think of a recent time). When the dress Heilbrunner's wearing isn't long-sleeved, she makes sure to give it sleeves by layering it over a tissue-thin turtleneck.
It's tricky to style an inspired school-girl look without leaning literal or young. We love the way Heilbrunner plays with the theme in innovative ways - a category we dubbed "new school" girl. Using collared shirts, ties, little white socks, plaid, and blazers, she creates mix-and-match ensembles that are vaguely reminiscent of an academic aesthetic, in an entirely fresh and irreverent way. They've got an element of punk (the button chain, heavy boots, leather, asymmetrical hem, sneakers), which balances the baseline silliness of school-girl style as an adult.
Because pink is so girly and Heilbrunner loves a juxtaposed look, she plays with pink mostly in pops, and toned down with tougher, utilitarian elements. A pink kimono is worn over a no-frills white turtleneck. Pink trousers are worn with an athletic sweatshirt or black boots; and her pink shoes are a sneaker rather than a quintessentially feminine style like a Mary Jane, and paired with a leather jacket.
Speaking of sneakers, Heilbrunner is known in the fashion world for being a, if not, the sneaker girl. There's almost nothing cooler than a confident girl in a unique ensemble wearing sneakers with ease.
Lastly, she doesn't dial it in with her eyewear. For someone so fond of statement fashion, you might think she'd play it safe somewhere; but we love that even with sunglasses, she goes big or goes home.
What do you think of her style? Check out all past Style Breakdowns here.