Fact: Zoe Kravitz was born with pretty badass genes—she's the spawn of her legendary rockstar dad Lenny and her stunning actress of a mom Lisa Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable in The Cosby Show. So that kind of level of unmatched badass-ery was pretty much her birthright. But even though many have drawn look-alike comparisons between her and her mom (they look like sisters in their Calvin Klein Collection ad) and style similarities between her and her dad, like their attachment to bodychains, Zoe has emerged into a multi-hyphenate and a modern-day style icon in her own right.
And if there's one thing we can take away from her streak of scene-stealers (aka her memorable performances in a few films you may heard of, like that Oscar-winning action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road or the blockbuster hit Insurgent or Dope), it's that she's committed to her craft. But when it comes to style, she just goes with her gut, which has resulted in a collection of remarkably striking, not to mention experimental red carpet looks that range from a netted fringed Valentino number to a precisely proportioned Canadian tux.
"I know so little about style and trends and designers," she previously told us as she was about to receive InStyle's Breakthrough Style Star Award. "I'm very much a visual person. If I see something and I like it, it's not because a certain designer made it or it's on trend, it's about how it makes me feel when I'm in it."
Well, Zoe may very well be onto something. For someone who prefers simplicity over everything else and who doesn't consider herself "trendy," she has inadvertantly cultivated an aesthetic that's completely unique to her (though, it helps when your bestie is designer Alexander Wang)—which is why we rounded up eight of our favorite looks of hers that we can, hopefully, emulate and apply IRL. Scroll through for eight pretty badass style lessons, courtesy of Zoe Kravitz, below.
1. Lesson: Eschew Dresses Whenever You Can
When a formal occasion traditionally calls for a cocktail dress, take a style cue and dare to break the rules. Eschew convention with a high-shine peplum top and tailored pants, like Kravitz, that's still in keeping with the dress code, but maintains edge.
2. Lesson: Up the Shock Factor (without Exposing Everything)
Wearing sheer is the surefire way to elicit shock, but Kravitz found a way to do that without actually exposing anything. She wore a full-coverage bodysuit underneath a long fringed netted Valentino number that created the illusion of scandal.
3. Lesson: Prioritize Precise Proportions, Even on Off-Duty Days
At first glance, Kravitz's doubled-denim separates look casually thrown together, but upon closer inspection, the pieces are precisely proprotioned to not overwhelm her petite frame. The jacket, while oversized, looks just right when pitted against a pair of mini denim flares.
4. Lesson: Neutralize a Too-Racy Top
Anchor a racy top, like Kravitz's Alexander Wang tank that's features a cropped silhouette, chains, and a V-neck plunge, with pairings, like frills-free jeans and simple strappy sandals.
5. Lesson: Never Underestimate the Power of an LBD
When in doubt, gravitate toward your go-to little black dress. For a signature Zoe Kravitz take, give yours a flourish of chains.
6. Lesson: Find a Balance Between Girly and Edgy
Kravitz exudes a tough exterior, but even the edgiest among us can experiment with the other end of the spectrum. Kravitz did just that, but she hardened her darling flared dress and delicate sandals with a cool leather moto and chain-strap python purse.
7. Lesson: Push Boundaries and Size Up
Oversized everything is well on its way to become a major fall 2016 trend. Kravitz got a jumpstart on the bold look with an exaggerated sleeveless coat, which could have overwhelmed her frame, but she made it the star piece by making sure everything else was fitted. A nice boost in height, courtesy of her platforms, helped too.
8. Lesson: Try One Offbeat Color at a Time
For someone who prefers all-black clothing, copy Kravitz and experiment with an eccentric shade, like this mustard-yellow camel one, but ground it with black pieces. Take it one step further and give your look a tiny dose of sex appeal with a peekaboo cut-out.