Style Icon: Karen Elson

Photo: Karen Elson

From her recently released full-length album The Ghost Who Walks, to rocking the runway of adored fashion designers like Chanel and Marc Jacobs, Karen Elson can talk the talk and walk the (cat)walk. While the frocks debuted by Elson on the runway could qualify her as an icon of style, it is her personal style as a vintage-flaunting vixen off of the runway that has our hearts, as well as Jack White’s!

Elson at her vintage boutique, Venus & Mars. Photo: BlackBook

While images of Elson can be found blazing magazines, billboards, and stores worldwide, the model herself is more likely to be found harmoniously juggling her musical acts and her  co-ownership of vintage boutique Venus & Mars in Nashville, Tennessee. In an interview with BlackBook, Elson remarked that many of the pieces that live at V&M were picked up during international modeling gigs, and date “from the late 1800s to the early 1980s.”

Since opening V&M, Elson’s time has transitioned to her budding career as a gothic-folk songstress and her two children with hubby, Jack White – whom she met while filming The White Stripes “Blue Orchid” music video!

When onstage, Elson chooses to dress in completely one-of-a-kind ensembles, whereas modeling for designers doesn’t grant her the same freedom. As quoted from, “All of my stage clothes are vintage. They’re all Southern gothic sort of gowns and little country-esque outfits.” Be still, our vintage-loving hearts!

Elson wearing some of her signature vintage gowns. Photo: Foam Magazine (left), and Lula

During Fashion’s Night Out in New York, we were able to catch a front-row glimpse of the multi-talented style icon as she performed a set of songs from her debut album. Her band mates followed in stylish suit, representing with western-inspired style and peach-hued accents, while Elson played a range of songs, including “Pretty Babies” (which can be heard on our Style of Music post!).

No detail is overlooked, Elson even dressed the microphone stand in decadence.

What do you think of Karen’s revival of vintage, ’30s-meets-’70s romantic gowns? Does her style strike a chord with you as iconic?

About Julianne

Julie is a modern day Renaissance woman and die-hard bloody mary enthusiast. When she’s not sprinkling magic fairy dust onto ModCloth’s social media channels, you can find her eclectic point of view on food, fashion, music, and DIY documented here!

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  1. Magar 09/20/2010 at 3:10 pm #

    *cough* BLUE Orchid*cough*

  2. Libertad 09/20/2010 at 4:08 pm #

    I can’t believe it I just wrote about her yesterday in another blog project I’ve got, wow!
    I think she’s creating a revival with all that romantic sytle and beautiful music she’s performing, and yes, I think she can be an style icon with all this… I must say that I prefer her as style icon than others…

  3. Annie (ModCloth) 09/20/2010 at 5:05 pm #

    She’s a vision of incredible beauty and style! Great post, Julie!

  4. Taylor 09/20/2010 at 10:43 pm #

    This summer I visited Nashville and took my boyfriend to Venus and Mars. I found a lovely dress that was on sale and TOO SMALL!!! He on the other hand found a great shirt. I was so jealous. But really the store is great and reasonably priced. Many of the really great party dresses are only for rent though.

  5. Pam 09/21/2010 at 11:15 am #

    Karen has such beautiful haunting music. I love her style. If I’m ever in Nashville I need to check out that vintage shop.

  6. Flora 09/22/2010 at 6:39 pm #

    She’s so fabulous! I love her style and red hair, and her music is amazing. The Ghost who walks is definetely my favourite song of the month

  7. gracie 11/24/2010 at 6:46 pm #

    I Like her as a style icon! she’s awesome!

  8. Cat 12/10/2010 at 11:02 pm #

    I love this! She is musically inclined and she’s got killer fashion to boot! All I can say is, unique fashion is killer fashion…

  9. Rebecca 08/18/2015 at 12:25 pm #

    She is a stunning and beautiful, vintage style icon.

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