The phrase “style icon” is a term so casually thrown around that it’s easy to forget the qualities that make a true icon.

Today’s Style Spotlight however, couldn’t be on a more worthy and deserving subject.

Michelle Harper is the incredibly stylish and avant-garde Colombia-born, New York-bred philanthropist and business woman.

Currently serving on the board of directors for FIT’s Couture Council, Tata Harper Beauty and Casita Maria, Michelle is a prominent and renowned fixture on the New York scene.

We first took notice of Michelle’s avant-garde style back in 2009 when she attended the MOMA Film Benefit: A Tribute To Tim Burton in a gorgeous Zac Posen dress, who is one of her favourite designers.

Naming Victor de Souza, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent as more of her go-to designers, it’s no wonder Michelle’s unique style is colourful, dramatic and constantly evolving.

She also loves accessories, wearing designs by milliners such as Yazbukey, Rod Keenan and Piers Atkinson – a favourite of another fashion superstar, Anna Dello Russo.

Michelle doesn’t shy away from bright colours and we’re big fans of her outfits that incorporate bold primary shades.

Mixing a lemon yellow jacket, neon green belt and pink harem pants with all black accessories, including her trusty Hérmes Birkin bag, studded cuff and patent leather platforms, makes for an exciting, eye-catching look.

Wearing loose electric blue silk pants with a revealing Katie Rodriguez black mesh top and a Yazbukey ‘Jackie O’ necklace, Michelle looks every inch the style maven. I love the dark colours against her ivory skin.

Opting for a short feminine ruffled red dress with black Chanel shades is a pretty, but still fashion forward outfit on her.

A lady-like eggplant dress nipped in at the waist is brightened up with yellow YSL ‘Palais’ pumps, a vintage handmade fur coat and amazing 1960′s Olivier Goldsmith butterfly-shaped sunglasses.

Michelle’s most dramatic looks come courtesy of her favourite designers including this stunning fuchsia pink Victor de Souza creation, a designer to whom she also plays muse to. This is such a defining moment for Michelle as she looks unbelievably amazing.

Wearing a champagne Zac Posen gown, Michelle wore a wig made from gold and dyed her eyebrows to match which created a stunning shimmering effect. The details on her dress are exquisite.

Choosing another Zac Posen dress with an oversized fishtail hem, Michelle accessorized with an intricate gold headpiece and several cocktail rings.

Headpieces are one of Michelle’s favourite ways to accessorize her outfits.

Adding some colour to a black and white tuxedo style dress, Michelle wore a Piers Atkinson Autumn/Winter 2011 ‘Aubergine Knotted Ultra-Fringe’ piece. She also added a sexy pair of red Trib Too’s.

Choosing another Piers Atkinson creation from his Spring 2011 collection, Michelle’s ‘The Green Lady’ beret was a fitting choice for the Runway to Green event earlier this year and beautifully complemented her textured lilac mini dress and nude Christian Louboutin ‘Lady Daf’ heels.

In one of Michelle’s most recognized looks, she paired a simple strapless black dress with two standout accessories from Parisian designer Yazbukey. Her black circle hat and necklace with lasercut plexiglass decorated fingers are equal parts fun and chic. Her simple red heels and black Birkin keep the focus on her other amazing accessories.

A vintage red Adrian dress with a headpiece by Rod Keenan is a show-stopping look and one my absolute favourites from Harper. She wore her hair in a towering bun and weaved the delicate headpiece around it. She finished off this amazing look with a black tasseled clutch and matching red lipstick.

We think that Michelle has already cemented her status as a style icon and know that it’ll be an incredible journey to watch her evolve.

If you want to know more about this month’s Style Spotlight, check out Michelle’s very own Tumblr for a glimpse into her glamourous life.

Credit: Getty, Williamyan, Streetpeeper, Susan Tabak, Tommy Ton, Style.com & Tales of Endearment