Elle Fanning has without question had a lot of Moments in the past year — for example, her super Met Gala campstravaganza, and everything she wore at Cannes, especially That Dior With The Hat (which she says was her idea; she also said she and her stylist “only” had a month to plan that, which is an interesting glimpse, and makes me wonder how much time one typically would take or want). It actually stretches back even further; this extremely memorable Valentino from February 2018 STILL makes her stylist’s Instagram fairly often, as a forever favorite. And so it was that she nabbed November’s “Best Dressed” InStyle cover. I’ll say this: While I may not always love every outfit Elle chooses, something she said resonated with me, and that is, “You can tell when somebody is forced into something.” It’s true that no matter how wacky, Elle never seems like she’s in an outfit under duress (well, hardly ever; I might put this one up for debate). That’s a good thing.
The interview itself is very perky. She comes off like a person who’s never had a bad thing happen to her in her life, never had an insecure moment, never wanted for anything — not in an obnoxious way; just in that sense that she is just a blessed individual, an Ann Perkins-style “beautiful sophisticated newborn baby,” who seems happily unaware of just how a rare thing that is — and how, for example, it’s rather unusual to be able to head out with mom to buy a vintage Gaultier for your 10th grade Prom (even if it is resale). It honestly makes me protective of the beautiful tropical fishness of it all. She’s like a modern Cher Horowitz, well-meaning and just fortunate, that I need to cup in my hands forever to keep her pure core safe from douchebags.
But there are also some cute details:
LB: You wore a bias-cut Galliano to your 10th-grade prom! That is very advanced.
EF: Oh, yeah! I haven’t worn it since. I should wear it to a red carpet. You know, I’ve always just been interested in fashion. I love dressing up and playing characters. Growing up, my sister, Dakota, and I would do scenes but just for each other. There was a lot of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada and a lot of desk jobs.
LB: Oh, poetry. Was your desk job always in fashion?
EF: From what I remember it was. We would dress a certain way and then put Coca-Cola in wineglasses. It was a lot of Dakota screaming at me.
LB: Well, that’s what it’s like. [laughs] Who were some of your style heroes as a kid?
EF: I loved Samantha from Bewitched. I would put a Brownie uniform on for some reason and make tea. That was me playing Samantha.
My first takeaway from that is, “Oh, her parents MUST be great, if she’s 20 years younger than I am and still knows what the original Bewitched is.” My second is that I love imagining them drinking Coke from wine glasses and Dakota stomping around yelling in her face. My version of that was, I would make my friends play Annie with me, and I would be Annie, and they would play everyone else, but any song that wasn’t Annie’s got cut for time.