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Lessons in style from Sarah Harris of British VOGUE

Sarah Harris wearing a corset around a button up shirt at Fashion Week 2016 Sarah Harris

It should come as no surprise that someone who studies fashion for a living has impeccable taste. The wardrobe of Sarah Harris, however, reflects her uniquely sophisticated sense of style. The silver-haired fashion features director of British Vogue, who recently began her second decade at the title, has moved from overseeing some of the world’s most carefully-curated fashion pages to being featured on them, lauded for her graceful, understated, fashion-forward style.

Harris has always been known for what she wears. During my own brief tenure at British Vogue, I remember staff losing focus, craning their necks to get a glimpse of whatever distractingly chic pair of shoes Harris had on that day. Through the meteoric popularity of street style blogs, then Instagram – and her ubiquitous presence on both – her personal fashion choices have become as influential as the trend stories she pens.

When not editing and overseeing fashion features and shopping pages, Harris ricochets around the world for collection shows and events. In the space of a few weeks alone, her passport reveals a “trip to LA for the Burberry show, then New York, London, Milan and Paris for fashion month, then a ski trip directly after.”

Despite this flurry of activity, or perhaps because of it, Harris’s approach to style is famously less-is-more. With a finely tuned sense of chic – “I’m a good shopper. I can usually tell if I will look good in something from seeing it on a hanger” – she assembles her wardrobe from restrained, discreetly luxurious brands such as Céline, Balenciaga, The Row, Rosetta Getty, Lemaire and Gabriela Hearst.

The secret to her exacted style is never to stray from what she knows works. “I’m not someone who throws things away after a season, so I’m looking for longevity when I shop,” she says. “Clothes are expensive, I want to love them for years.” A Prada corset and Céline slides at New York Fashion Week; a bespoke Casely-Hayford tuxedo at the British Fashion Awards in London; a throat-to-toe sequinned gown at the Vogue Centenary party – these looks have her 130k Instagram followers double-tapping in droves. “I wear jeans 95 per cent of the time and white shirts make up a big portion of my wardrobe. That’s not to say I don’t like a sequin every now and again. Often, when it comes to evening wear, I’ll go all out.”

Does her study and identification of trends affect her own aesthetic? “Not much at all. My own style is pretty classic. It’s a blank canvas.” She does admit a soft spot for “sport” couture. “I love how fashion’s luxury brands are jumping into bed with street labels – the recent Louis Vuitton and Supreme menswear collection is one of the best examples. I’d like to wear that whole collection.”Of her status as an “influencer”, she says, “it’s a flattering term. I don’t see myself as an influencer, but if something I do can inspire someone positively, that’s a good thing.”

Words by Divya Bala

Steal her style: Sarah Harris

Street Style : Day Seven - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018 Getty Images. Sarah Harris at Paris Fashion Week

A minimal, refined approach to style has garnered Sarah Harris adulation in the fashion world. Shop below to recreate Harris's effortlessly cool Fashion Week look.