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LILY: THE REBIRTH As she hangs up her mic to move

into fashion, we ask Lily Allen to turn ELLE Style Advisor. Kerry Potter poses your questions and discovers what’s behind the radical career change

Photographs by RANKIN Fashion by ANNE-MARIE CURTIS

Vintage silk kimono from Lucy in Disguise. Silk dress by Azzedine Alaïa at Selfridges

‘Hello, please sit down over there and I’ll be with you in a minute,’ says the receptionist, politely. Except, on closer inspection, it’s not a receptionist. It’s Lily Allen. Britain’s biggest female pop star – outspoken, outlandish and out to party on all previous sightings – is quietly doing some paperwork at her desk in her central London office. It’s like seeing Madonna driving a bus. All Lily’s business projects – a new vintage clothing shop, an independent record label – operate from this cramped, shabby space, a venue that makes Piccadilly Circus seem peaceful. People flit around us, delivering packages, playing music, making tea. The room would make for a good DalĂ­ painting: sharing floor space with a rails of dresses are a mini trampoline, one hi-top trainer (men’s), a metre-high bronze palm tree ornament and a black acoustic Chanel guitar. Lily’s priority at the moment is Lucy in Disguise, the vintage clothing store she co-owns with her sister Sarah Owen, due to open in September in a quiet street behind London’s Oxford Circus. Fashion rather than music? It seems that way, for now at least (aside from this month’s collaboration on Professor Green’s single, Just be Good to Green, she’s adamant she won’t be releasing any more records and gets cross when I mention it). Right now, however, the 25-year-old

looks as though she should be in bed – she thinks she may have picked up a tummy bug on her recent trip to the Brazilian rainforest, filming a documentary for the World Wildlife Fund. But even illness won’t get in the way of her role as ELLE’s Style Advisor this month – she’s eager to answer your fashion questions. Dressed in a Prada cashmere cardigan and Citizens of Humanity jeans, she manages to do ill with a touch of rock’n’roll panache, teetering dangerously in YSL Tribute shoes and puffing on a new cigarette roughly every five minutes. Cut through the chaos, smoke and weird Amazonian stomach bugs, and you actually find a pretty neat idea. Lucy in Disguise (the name comes from a cheesy romance novel belonging to her mother) was inspired by the fact that Lily’s vast wardrobe was functioning as an unofficial hire shop for her friends and family. If you can’t afford to buy a dress from this shop, you can hire it for a weekend. The stock will consist of pieces sourced by Lily and her 30-year-old sister from vintage fairs, auctions, flea markets and eBay, plus Lily’s own tour costumes and outfits from red-carpet events and TV performances. Isn’t it sad to part with your own clothes, I wonder. ‘Not really,’ shrugs Lily. ‘I’m not precious about these things. I love clothes and I love consuming clothes and it’s not ethical to do that, so I’m quite happy to turn it into a business and see other people having enjoyment out of it. What good are they doing lying in the back of my wardrobe?’ She does, however, keep special heirloom pieces – the Chanel jackets, the good jewellery – for her future children. ‘When I’m buying expensive things I tend to think, “Yep, that’s something timeless that I can give to my daughter.�’ Lily has babies on the brain. ‘I don’t think I’m that young to have a baby. My mother had me when she was 23,’ she says. Setting up shop will give her something ‘more solid, something that exists, that makes me feel more grounded’. She is tired of performing and touring, and the itinerant lifestyle that it brings. ‘It’s difficult as a woman who wants a family. Kids take up your whole life, particularly in the first two or three years. So it wouldn’t be very responsible of me to commit to doing a world tour if I had a baby.’ She has sold over 2.6m copies of her debut album, 2006’s Alright, Still, and this year bagged a Brit Award for Best Female Solo Artist and Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriter of the Year, Best Song and Most Performed Work (for single The Fear from her 2009 follow-up album, It’s Not Me, It’s You). Yet despite this, Lily Allen just wants to be at home in her newly renovated London townhouse with builder boyfriend Sam Cooper, 31. Tellingly, she perks up when talking about her plans to visit Sam’s brother’s newborn baby daughter later. It’ll make you broody, I warn. ‘I know!’ she says, brightly.

‘When I’m buying EXPENSIVE things I tend to think, “Yep, that’s something timeless that I can give to my daughter.â€? I don’t think I’m that YOUNG to have a BABY. My mother had me when she was 23’ Sam appears to be a calming influence on her life and, presumably, one of the reasons why she’s dipped out of the limelight in recent months. Recent public bust-up with Courtney Love aside (Courtney accused Lily of hogging the best Chanel dresses at the Brit Awards), the loudmouth, party-hopping Lily of legend has been largely absent from the tabloids. She hasn’t drunk alcohol for a month, she says, as she’s got too much going on in the office. She’s learnt not to share her every thought, secret and ‘photos of my dinner’ on social networking sites (@Lilyroseallen is back on Twitter after a four-month leave of absence, but these days tweets to her two million followers are primarily about social issues) and she is more at peace with the endless public scrutiny of her looks that comes ¢ 0770


This page, on set: appliquĂŠd lace and silk dress by Miu Miu. Gold and diamond bangle by Annoushka Opposite: vintage ostrichfeather shawl from Lucy in Disguise. Silk and lace dress by Preen at Selfridges


This page: silk dress (worn throughout) by Dolce & Gabbana and leather belt (worn throughout) by Lanvin. Opposite: leather gloves by Carolina Amato

This page: silk dress (worn throughout) by Dolce & Gabbana and leather belt (worn throughout) by Lanvin. Opposite: leather gloves by Carolin


‘Kids take up your whole LIFE, so it wouldn’t be very RESPONSIBLE

This page: vintage ostrich-feather shawl, as before Opposite: silk-tulle headpiece (worn as dress) by Piers Atkinson. Ponyskin shoes by Yves Saint Laurent

with the territory of being a famous woman. ‘When I was on tour earlier in the year, I’d be on stage for one-and-a-half hours a night, so since the tour finished in March, I’ve put on about half a stone. But I do Pilates three times a week. I am still body conscious, but I’m not so concerned with it; I don’t care as much.’ For now, she’s happy nesting with her boyfriend and indulging her love of clothes. The cheeky ingénue who burst into the spotlight four years ago wearing vintage prom dresses, Nike trainers and giant Creole earrings has, in recent times, been embraced by the world of high fashion. Karl Lagerfeld, who cast Lily in his Chanel Coco Cocoon campaign, remains a firm, if unlikely, friend. ‘I always enjoy the Chanel shows – they’re like going to the ballet,’ she says. When did she and Karl become close? ‘It was at a big party in Coco’s apartments in Paris. I was drunk and got lost in the building. I wandered into an attic room and Karl was there. I got really embarrassed and apologised, but he said, “No, come in.” We had a chat – although I can’t remember what about, I was so drunk. I do remember asking him about some shoes he’d designed that had a green ring in the heel [from the Chanel a/w 2009 collection]. I asked how they worked. He drew a diagram explaining the physics of making the shoe. I’ve still got the drawing. A week later I was asked to do the campaign.’ Time to get down to business. Lily stubs out her cigarette, sits up straight and turns her attention to your Style Advisor questions… I’VE GOT LOTS OF NICE PIECES BUT STRUGGLE TO PUT THEM TOGETHER. HOW CAN I MAKE DRESSING IN THE MORNING EASIER? Assess how you feel – mood is very important. Then choose one base item, something you really like that day, and build your look around it. Having a neat wardrobe helps – Practical Princess [] organised mine; it’s divided into seasons. I have dresses divided by length and T-shirts and more casualwear divided by colours. And my shoes are in boxes with photos on the front. If all else fails in the morning, chuck on a dress. I do that quite a lot – it’s just one piece, but it’s a whole outfit. I FIND VINTAGE SHOPPING REALLY DIFFICULT. WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS? First, ignore the sizing. A size 12 now is different to a size 12 in the 1970s; vintage shops that divide clothing into sizes may not have taken that into account. If something is too big but you love it, get it taken in – we’re going

doing grown-up – I’ve just bought a vintage Balmain white-as-snow fur coat in Paris, which I love. If you love it, buy it. I FIND SHOPPING DEMORALISING. HOW CAN I MAKE IT MORE FUN? I feel selfconscious shopping – my size fluctuates so I never know what to gravitate towards. And because I’m famous people are always staring at me. Timing is important – avoid after school, after work and the weekends when it’s just so busy. Have a plan – when I don’t have a plan of what to buy and where to shop, I get distracted and come back with things I don’t need. And don’t forget online shopping – I love Net-a-Porter because of the next-day delivery. My mum does loads of online shopping but just puts it in her basket and doesn’t buy it. She likes a browse, and still gets that shopping thrill without spending the money.

of me to COMMIT to doing a world tour if I had a BABY’ to have an alteration service in our shop. Don’t go with the mindset that you want to reference a certain era. Just try lots of things on, and have fun with it – I like to play with clothes all the time. Some eras are good for certain things – the 1920s are good for summery, beaded dresses, the 1970s are great for maxi floral dresses and the 1980s for harder-looking jackets and jeans. And don’t worry about looking too vintage – many current designers go shopping for vintage for inspiration for their lines, so you can get a modern look. I’M MID-TWENTIES, LIKE YOU, AND DON’T WANT TO LOOK TOO POLISHED. HOW CAN I DO ELEGANT WITHOUT LOOKING BORING? It’s important to have an element of humour in what you’re wearing. I think that’s one of the reasons why the Chanel campaign came about for me. Karl could see I was already wearing all of those clothes before they got involved with me – I always thought it was funny to be a 19-year-old girl wearing a beautiful Chanel tweed jacket with trainers. So wear a ladylike piece with something quirkier, or a flash of colour; mix it up a bit. Don’t be afraid of RANKIN

I’M CURVY AND SHORT. LOTS OF THE CURRENT TRENDS LOOK AWFUL ON ME. WHAT WORKS BEST FOR MY SHAPE? Empire-line dresses, jeans with a heel and a top that covers your bum are good. And anything cut with an A-line. I’m wary of following trends that don’t work for me – I don’t have a model’s body, ¢

Topshop Unique. They feel lovely against your skin, you can layer them and they look great with everything. Stay clear of eBay if you’re on a budget – you don’t want to risk buying the wrong size. And you can be reckless when shopping online, as it doesn’t feel so much like you’re spending. Where I wouldn’t scrimp is on tights – fancy tights are worth the money. I like Wolford. Just make sure they fit – if they dig in to your tummy, the outline of your outfit will look weird.

‘CONFIDENCE is what makes someone look great, so if you find something that you LOVE and feel that you want it in every COLOUR, go for it. If it makes you feel comfortable and HAPPY, why not?’

so I wear what I can work with. You won’t catch me dead in the new kitten heels, for example – I’m 5ft 2in, if I’m going to wear heels, they’re going to be five-inch ones. My friend Miquita [Oliver] does that thing of ripping looks out of magazines of people she wants to emulate but that doesn’t work for me. I KEEP BUYING VARIATIONS OF THE SAME PIECE. HOW CAN I MIX IT UP A BIT? I do that. I’m obsessed with Prada’s printed sundresses at the moment. They are such a good fit and a great summer staple, so I bought five! And I see how Topshop, New Look or Oasis bring out the same dress in different colours, so it’s tempting. But I wouldn’t worry too much – remember that you are paying a great deal of attention to what you’re wearing, but it doesn’t mean that everyone else is. Confidence is what makes someone look great, so if you find something that you love and feel that you want it in every colour, go for it. If it makes you feel comfortable and happy, why not? I DON’T HAVE MUCH MONEY. HOW CAN I UPDATE MY WARDROBE CHEAPLY? For unique pieces, try somewhere like the Affordable Vintage Fair – they’re all around the country. And there are brilliant things to be found in charity shops, you just have to put the time in. My best bargain buys are the cashmere-mix T-shirts from

I WEAR JEANS ALL THE TIME – HOW CAN I GET OUT OF MY STYLE RUT? Just go for it. I wear crazy stuff for shows to grab attention – I wouldn’t wear those outfits to lunch! So create an opportunity where you could wear something outlandish and feel comfortable – throw a party with a theme or plan a girls’ night out. And, day-to-day, wear jeans with quirky accessories, try a brightly coloured shoe with a jacket that has a flash of the same colour. It’ll look like you’re fashion conscious but not trying too hard. Your outfit should look like you’ve thought about it a bit, but not too much. WHAT BASICS SHOULD I INVEST IN FOR A/W? I’d spend a good amount of money on a nice coat – but not necessarily a black one. Camel and lighter colours suit most people and there are lots around this winter. Get a good handbag that you want to show off – it will always make you feel like you’ve dressed up your outfit. Underwear is important, too – I think you should change it every six months. It makes you feel so much more confident if you’ve got something nice to put on under your outfit. I love Liberty’s underwear department for Stella McCartney, Elle Macpherson and Spanx. I ALWAYS SEEM TO GET JEWELLERY WRONG. WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS? It’s important not to overdo jewellery. Start with a key item and then add in smaller items. Like today, I’m wearing lots of chunky gold rings and a subtle chain necklace. Don’t wear big earrings, a big necklace and lots of rings all at once. WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF FASHION ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Karl gave me some good advice once. I remember turning up at one of his shows wearing a YSL skirt with my Chanel top and shoes. Normally people are dressed in head-to-toe Chanel at his shows, but I didn’t feel comfortable like that. I got a bit embarrassed about it, and said, ‘I’m really sorry, Karl, I’m wearing YSL.’ He said, ‘Don’t be ridiculous. It looks silly when people are too head-to-toe matchy-matchy.’ He’s right. And my final advice is about shoes: if they don’t hurt, they don’t look good. Yes, I know this goes against my whole ‘be comfortable’ thing – I think it might be to do with me being short… N Lily Allen’s shop Lucy in Disguise opens in London in September; enq lucyindisguiselondon. com. Watch behind-the-scenes footage of ELLE’s cover shoot with Lily Allen at 0770



HOW CAN I DRESS FOR MY 30TH BIRTHDAY PARTY WITHOUT LOOKING TOO TRY-HARD? I’ve found that my understated red-carpet looks get the best reaction. Less is more. Spend money on make-up and getting your hair done, but don’t go too styled. Wear something that you feel comfortable in – maybe a floaty dress in a beautiful fabric – and can dance easily in.

This page: silk dress (worn throughout) by Dolce & Gabbana and leather belt (worn throughout) by Lanvin. Opposite: leather gloves by Carolin

This page: silk and lace dress by Preen at Selfridges. Feather boa from Annie’s Vintage Opposite: ostrich-feather shrug by Temperley London. Silk dress by Agent Provocateur





WORLD This month, we put your questions to our cover star. What’s on Kylie’s iPod? Who would design her wedding dress? Is it love? ELLE’s Kerry Potter was there to take notes Photographs by DAVID SLIJPER Fashion by ANNE-MARIE CURTIS


Silk top by Peter Pilotto. Leather belt by Etro



For this month’s Stylephile, where we put your questions to our cover star, we asked what you most wanted to know about Kylie via Twitter and HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR NEW ALBUM? I’d say ‘emotional pop’. It makes me think about girls getting ready to go out, putting their make-up on. About driving. About sunshine. It has some rave-y elements. I visualise a festival, a concert – that great rush of everyone being together. I wish I could tell you that she was three hours late, that she was drunk, that she swore, that she stormed out. But, of course, she wasn’t like that. She is Kylie and she is delightful and lovely, even after two decades as a very famous person indeed. She is concerned that the sun blazing in through the window is blinding me. She confides that she painted her jade-green nails herself last night. She giggles politely when I chide her for not reading enough books. She has presents for me – this is where ‘lovely’ meets ‘cunning’ – goodie bags stuffed with fragrances and soft furnishings (both successful Kylie merchandise offshoots). She’s ethereal in floaty nudes – a peachy loose chiffon dress and cream cardigan, both from Le Bon MarchĂŠ in Paris, cream ChloĂŠ sandals and a cream shawl. She sips on her cappuccino – no oafish Starbucks bucket for Kylie, instead a bone-china cup and saucer. We talk in a room punctuated with scented candles and plates of muffins, in the beautiful converted church in west London from which her management team operates. It’s almost too much loveliness to bear. Of course, though, she’s shrewd, too – you can’t arrive at a point where you’re about to release your 11th album, a point where you’re earning ÂŁ4 million a year, without being the smartest of cookies. And given that she has 22 years of pop stardom under her belt, it’s likely that she has been doing interviews longer than you, the interviewer, so she’s better at it than you. She thinks very carefully before she answers, pondering how what she says will translate to the page. Personable, without actually giving much away, she prides herself on carving out a little bit of personal, private space, in a world obsessed with every detail of her life. She does, however, seem more relaxed than the last time I interviewed her, a decade ago. She is a woman in love, thanks to Spanish model AndrĂŠs Velencoso Segura, and, probably against her better judgement, can’t help talking about him. (Have you seen him? Do you blame her?) Five years on from her darkest hour, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Kylie finds herself in ‘a happy place’, personally and professionally. And who could begrudge such a great girl that?

DO YOU EVER THINK, ‘I DON’T NEED TO DO THIS ANY MORE’? Yeah, sometimes [laughs]. It’s been kind of gruelling. You just want to get it right. The musical landscape around you changes, you look at what worked and what didn’t on the previous album and, of course, where you’re at in your personal life. You don’t want to leave any stone unturned. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m really enjoying it. CAN WE EXPECT KYLIE: THE MUSICAL SOON? From Jason Cupitt, founder of fan website Yes, William Baker [Kylie’s friend, stylist and theatre director] and I are working on getting the story written. I’m comfortable because it’s not my life story; it’s about the interpretation of my music. SINCE BEING ILL, DO YOU APPROACH TOURING DIFFERENTLY? I’m more conscious of not getting so stressed out. I think I’ve hit my stride, finally after 20 years. Some things have just clicked. It’s ridiculous that it’s taken

‘I’m not very good at long-term plans. I guess I’m a THRILL-SEEKER; I certainly don’t always take the safe option. They say if you want to make God LAUGH, tell him your plans’ that long. Maybe it’s to do with being on tour when I felt ill, but I didn’t know I was ill [Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer during her 2005 Showgirl tour]. The last tour in North America [Light Years, in 2009] was purely for my fans. I felt like I had nothing to lose, so this immense freedom came with that. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU DON’T PUT YOURSELF UNDER SO MUCH PRESSURE ANY MORE‌ It’s being more accepting of myself – this is who I am and what I do. And believing in myself. A lot of performers have this insecurity. We think we’re frauds and that someone’s going to find us out one day. I guess that’s good in that it keeps me driven – but not to the point of doing myself in. But I can see why bands like the Stones keep on going and going. You think, ‘I can do better than last time,’ or ‘I want that feeling again’. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF RETIRING? I don’t know. I can see me going out with a purple rinse. And one of my greatest idols, Dolly Parton, keeps on doing it. We’ll see. SO YOU DON’T THINK LONG TERM, THEN? I’m not very good at long-term plans. And so many opportunities arise seemingly from nowhere and I like to have the option to, say, go to Mumbai and be in a Bollywood film, just because I want the experience. I guess I’m a thrill-seeker; I certainly don’t always take the safe option. They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. ¢ 0770"


Silk-tulle top by Chanel



‘I think I’ve hit my stride, finally after 20 YEARS. Some things have just clicked’


This page: silk kimono from Annie’s Vintage. Opposite: silk top by Yves Saint Laurent



WHICH OF YOUR SONGS BRINGS BACK THE BEST MEMORIES? Better the Devil You Know was a turning point and an exciting time for me. I was 21, I’d just started dating Michael Hutchence and a different world had opened up. CAN YOU STILL HIT THE HIGH NOTES IN BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW? I’VE TRIED AND TRIED AND I CAN’T MANAGE THEM! From Shirley Manson, singer. Aww, Shirley! That song is ludicrously high, so when I perform it on tour, we take it down a bit. Some of those songs sound simple, but when you tackle them live, they’re not easy. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIG YOU EVER WENT TO? Culture Club in the mid-1980s in Melbourne. I was resplendent with ribbons in my hair. At that time, I was so into making my own clothes – going to the market or charity shop, buying vintage things and reassembling them.

‘I stayed at KARL LAGERFELD’s house in Biarritz once, and it was just beautiful. Books, books, BOOKS, everywhere. His knowledge and his passion make him CHIC to me’

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? From Kathy Lette, novelist. TV dinners. I love Jonathan Ross and Alan Carr’s chat shows. And Pineapple Dance Studios – it’s hysterical. If I’m with Andrés, we have tapas takeaway from the restaurant at the end of my street: some jámon, some anchovies, yummy, delicious stuff. WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING ON YOUR IPOD? My vocal warm-ups. Ha ha! CAN YOU RECOMMEND A GOOD BOOK, PLEASE? From @hencehemmo, via Twitter. I have to confess books are a bit thin on the ground in my life at the moment. One I’ve liked for years is Immortality by Milan Kundera. I kind of have a crush on Milan Kundera. It talks about fame, in a roundabout way, about falling in love with a movement or a gesture. I read it about 20 years ago and it had a profound impact on me at the time. I’ve got a novel by my bed – The Stars at Noon by Denis Johnson – but by the time I get to it, I do two pages and I’m done. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE NEW S/S 2010 PIECES? I have a sexy Yves Saint Laurent silk sleeveless top in fuchsia pink and a soft grey Yves Saint Laurent skirt. And a beautiful pair of Yves Saint Laurent pink suede strappy heels – they have a rose on the front and the heel is a thorn.

WHAT’S YOUR WARDROBE LIKE? It’s a room in my home where everything is laid out – and it never looks like other people’s wardrobes do in magazine shoots. The problem is I hate putting things on hangers. I have a hanger phobia – I don’t like the way they sound when you put them in the wardrobe. And I’ve got far too many shoes, but they look so pretty I don’t like to hide them away. WHICH FASHION DESIGNER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH? Jean Paul Gaultier is adorable and I’ve worked with him a lot. NAME THREE PEOPLE YOU’D LIKE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER From Lorraine Candy, ELLE editor in chief. Marilyn, naturally! And Gandhi. Since the whole world is following Stephen Fry, let’s say him, too, for local news. WHO’S THE MOST STYLISH PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET? Karl Lagerfeld has got to be up there. I stayed at his house in Biarritz once, and it was 0770"

just beautiful. Books, book, books, everywhere. His knowledge and his passion make him chic to me. And I like that he loves fashion, but he doesn’t live fashion. WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST FASHION REGRET? The occasions when I listen to others and not myself. But that can apply to numerous aspects in my life, not just fashion. Sometimes I’ll be wearing something I feel really uncomfortable in, and I’m sure it looks awful and you’re all liars… and then I see what the photographers were seeing and it looks brilliant. And there are occasions the other way round when I see the pictures and think, ‘Oh, no, why didn’t someone say?’ WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DUG OUT THOSE GOLD HOT PANTS? They’re not even mine any more. I donated all my costumes to the Arts Centre in Melbourne. And even if they were still mine, I’m not sure they’d look quite the same on me as they did 10 years ago. YOU WORE LEATHER SHORTS AT THE YVES SAINT LAURENT SHOW IN PARIS, THOUGH, DIDN’T YOU? Yes, but with fishnets. And they weren’t so short. There’s that question of when you are too old to wear shorts. I don’t know! There are no rules, so I’m just doing what I feel. I honestly thought 10 years ago that those days were done. I went through a stage – maybe because there was so much attention on that [the hot pants and her bottom] that I wanted to play it down. And now I’ve come round to finding a happy medium. ¢ DAVID SLIJPER

‘I’m in a very happy, ROMANTIC place.

AndrÊs is so level-headed and easygoing’


Silk top, silk shorts and leather sandals, all by Yves Saint Laurent





Silk kimono from Annie’s Vintage. Silk and meshmix dress by Antonio Berardi. Hair Luke Hersheson. Make-up Sally Branka using Chanel s/s 2010 and Rouge Coco. Both at Julian Watson Agency. Manicure Jenny Longworth using Sisley. Prop stylist Trish Stephenson. Both at CLM. Thanks to Big Sky Studios




WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT OUR FIRST MEETING? From Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. It was at the Dolce & Gabbana store on Bond Street [in London]. I wandered around the shop and saw this beautiful suede coat with beaded embellishment. I coveted it, but I bypassed it, thinking, ‘I can’t choose that [as a gift] – it’s the most expensive, beautiful piece in the store.’ But I ended up trying it on. The sleeves were too long, so the next thing I knew they had these huge scissors out and were fashioning it to make it fit me. I loved watching them work. They’re adorable. WHICH DESIGNER – LIVING OR DEAD – WOULD CREATE YOUR WEDDING DRESS? I haven’t ever thought about that. I was miffed when I was younger that my mother’s wedding dress was just a straight, simple 1960s dress that her mother had made, as opposed to the Cinderella gown. For me, I don’t know – maybe Coco Chanel.

‘Dannii’s doing GREAT, but I find myself becoming an even more overly PROTECTIVE sister. At the ELLE Style Awards, I turned into a full-on bodyguard. I was really bossy’

IS CHOOSING A WEDDING DRESS SOMETHING THAT MIGHT HAPPEN? [Laughs] Who knows? It’s not on the cards now. Maybe it’s a path I’ll never go down. All I know is you can do worse than expect the unexpected. HOW ARE THINGS GOING WITH ANDRES? I’m in a very happy, romantic place and Andrés is so level-headed and easygoing. It’s enjoyable. He’s a good socialiser – which is good for me, because I could so easily do my work, which involves so many people, then go home and stay home. I’m so boring. DOES HE DRAG YOU TO PARTIES? I guess it’s having a partner, isn’t it? You go out to dinner; you go on holidays. I had a time when I had the means to do that, but not the person to do it with. I was having my Bridget Jones moment. DO YOU STILL PLAY GOLF TOGETHER? He’s playing today in South Africa; he’s working over there and had a day off. He said to me the other day, ‘How come your golf career ended so quickly?’ I haven’t played in a while. I’m a weather-dependent golfer: I don’t go out in a blizzard. I never would’ve thought you’d find me on a golf course, but it’s been fun. WHAT’S YOUR ATTITUDE TO EXERCISE? I’m not a gym bunny. It’s ironic that I was a gym bunny when I didn’t need to be, in my early twenties – I’d go from dance class to aerobics to spinning. I started Pilates lessons not long ago and try to go once a week. But it’s pretty sporadic. Nothing in my life is routine-based. I’m here this week, there next week. ARE YOU FEELING GOOD ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS? I’m feeling OK. There’s room for improvement. Because I’m not touring this year, that’s a major form of exercise knocked on the head. HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE YOU? Oh, God, that’s a really awful question. That would depend on the day. Most days my glass is half full; I think I’m fortunate and blessed in all that I have. But if there are things that bug you, they will always bug you. I wouldn’t have minded being a few inches taller, y’know. WHO GETS TO CALL YOU MIN? From Lorraine Bradley, via email. Min is my nickname – although my nephew calls me Auntie Kik. Most people call me Min – when I’m on tour that’s what the band calls me. Once we’re past the formal introductions, Min is fine. 0770""

WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR DANNII’S BABY SHOWER? From @cldavies84, via Twitter. Hmm, we haven’t spoken about that yet. She’s doing great, but I find myself becoming an even more overly protective sister. I send her texts saying, ‘Don’t work too hard!’ And at the ELLE Style Awards [in February, where Kylie presented Dannii with her Best TV Star award], I turned into a full-on beefcake bodyguard – I was really bossy with people. WHAT’S YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS GETTING OLDER? I find it frustrating that you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. If you look too good, everyone’s suspicious – how are you allowed to look so good? And if you look terrible, how dare you look terrible? Some time ago there was the headline ‘Kylie caught without make-up!’ Well, I don’t wake up with makeup on! I just thought [frustrated], ‘Ohhh.’ I don’t know. I try to make the most of what I have. I do go down a dark path every once in a while, wishing things about myself were different. And then the clouds pass. WAS YOUR ILLNESS A PERSPECTIVEGIVER? It’s definitely that. Because I do keep so much private – the public don’t know the half of what… [pauses] They know the story: I was ill, I went for treatment, I was better. But what that involved is… [pauses] it’s so much more, I can’t even go into it. So if I see an unflattering picture, I try to put it in perspective. It’s not a [hospital] scan after all; it’s just a normal picture, so that’s good. Kylie’s new album is out on Parlophone in July. Her new fragrance, Pink Sparkle, is out in July N For behind-the-scenes footage of the ELLE cover shoot with Kylie Minogue, visit


In ELLEʼs exclusive interview, the worldʼs biggest female star talks to Kerry Potter about fashion, family, fame and being a style icon…

Photographs by Sølve Sundsbø


In many ways, she is just as you’d expect. She’s bang on time. She’s direct and economical with her words, and doesn’t feel the need to witter on endlessly. She’s got that strange American twang cut through with clipped English pronunciation. And she wraps up proceedings with expert polite efficiency: ‘I have to go as I have a meeting in seven minutes.Thank you.’ But I’m happy to report that the woman who has reigned as queen of the music industry, fashion world and Planet Celebrity for the last 25 years isn’t entirely terrifying. Maybe she was just in a very good mood, as the Madonna I encountered was warm, laughed a lot and even did small talk, finding it amusing that my name sounds like Harry Potter (I get this a lot and it’s irritating, of course, but when Madonna takes the mickey out of you, well, it’s just not that annoying, is it?). At 48, Madonna remains the consummate celebrity multi-tasker: the most successful female pop star the world has ever known, business woman, mother, provocateur and winner of our Style Icon Award at the recent 10th ELLE Style Awards. ‘I’m so flattered by that,’ she says. ‘Thank you ELLE.’ Since elbowing her way into the spotlight in 1983, she has mastered more looks than most of us have had hot dinners. But it seems the only person not fascinated by Madonna’s ever-changing style is Madonna herself. ‘I don’t have any particular favourite look. I like them all,’ she shrugs. ‘I don’t like to look back. Who wants to wear last year’s clothes? There are too many new things to buy!’ Including pieces from her latest collaboration with high-street retailers H&M, M by Madonna, a sophisticated, grown-up collection featuring tailored trench coats and day dresses. ‘I’ve tried to make a very chic line that’s relatively inexpensive,’ she says. She even does her own market research. ‘I try my designs out on my husband – I put on an outfit and say, “Do you like this?” and he says, “Oh yes, that’s cool.” And I’ll go, “Yep, it’s only £20.” And I do a lot of testing when I go out. People will comment on my outfit and I’ll say, “Thanks, I designed it.” And they’ll look closely and go, “Really?”’ Madonna is also working on a children’s clothing range, a tie-in with her English Roses children’s books series for which daughter Lourdes, 10, models and test-runs the prototypes. But all is not entirely harmonious in the Ritchie household where matters of fashion are concerned. ‘My daughter is going through a phase of wearing jeans that are so tight she can’t bend her knees in them. I have a go at her and say, “Can’t you wear something else? You have a closet full of clothes and you wear the same pants every day. And please wear a belt because I don’t want to see your butt crack when you bend over.” And my son never wants to take off his Gap army fatigue pants. They both wear the same thing over and over again.’ Does she keep hold of her own pieces for Lourdes to inherit someday? ‘The only thing she’s requested to have when she grows up is my wedding dress, to wear for her own wedding,’ she smiles. If Lourdes changes her mind, she’ll find the rest of her mum’s covetable vintage collection in California. ‘I have an archive museum in a warehouse which houses all the ¢

costumes I’ve worn on stage and in videos – one-of-a-kind pieces made for me and special pieces that I’ve always loved.’ While Lourdes may be wilful when it comes to fashion, husband Guy is far better behaved. ‘I like it when my husband wears suits and I tell him that on a regular basis.’ Does he comply? ‘Yes, he does. He’s very obedient in the clothes department!’ Does it work both ways – does he pass comment on things you wear? ‘Not really. Although once he said, “I like the dress you’re almost wearing� – you know, one of those comments. But I think he pretty much approves of how I dress.’ Even the Confessions on a Dance Floor leotard? ‘He liked it,’ she says firmly. Subject closed. Just as no one can touch Madonna in the style chameleon stakes, no one can match her capacity for controversy. For a quarter of a century she has weathered storm after storm, some major (to name but two, 1992’s x-rated Sex book, various Pope-baiting activities included in her 1989 Like A Prayer video), some minor (saying ‘f***’ live on TV while presenting 2001’s Turner Prize, opining that English hospitals were rubbish before the birth of son Rocco in 2000, for instance). And all of it, publicly at least, has been water off a duck’s back. Recent months have been business as usual – at the time of writing, she’s surrounded by a maelstrom of rumour and hearsay about both the legality of her adoption of Malawian baby David Banda and the state of her six-year marriage. On the latter point, I ask if, as current headlines suggest, she’s considering leaving London and heading home to America. She deftly bats the question away. ‘Honestly, I don’t know. I can’t think that far in advance. I like living here but I still have a place in NewYork and I go to America all the time anyway.’ In order to survive being the most talked about woman alive, she’s had to develop an impenetrable shell inside which to retreat. ‘I don’t read magazines or newspapers much and I don’t go out much,’ she says.When I quiz her on British women’s style, she replies: ‘Thing is, I don’t really pay much attention to it. I just run around in my tracksuit with my sunglasses on.’When everyone in the world is looking at you, it seems you just have to look in the other direction. She admits to getting stressed – but by work, rather than the negative attention. ‘I get stressed if there are too many projects going on at the same time and I feel overwhelmed if I’m trying to meet too many deadlines and spend time with my family.’ How does she deal with it? ‘I scream a lot! Sometimes I handle it well, sometimes I don’t. I take a deep breath or sometimes it’s nice to go run really fast on a treadmill for half an hour and get out all of my aggression. And I’m surrounded by very efficient people who remind me that it’s just a job and I’m going to be OK.’ Currently in-between albums and with her design collaboration done and dusted, Madonna seems to be enjoying life beyond her day jobs. She remains enamoured with her adopted city. ‘I like the pace here in London, I like being able to walk to my local restaurants and pubs. Most of the places I go to are within walking distance. I like the community feeling and I like living right next to the park.’ Is she a proper Londoner though – can she get around without an A-Z? ‘In a car, driving by myself, absolutely not.There are too many one-way streets. I could walking or on my bike, though.’ Mornings are spent honing that famous body. ‘I’m sticking to Pilates and doing my cardio workouts. I mix it up – Pilates,

gyrotonics, yoga. I do it six days a week with Sundays off.’ So Sunday is her day of rest, then? ‘Actually, Sunday is a day of horse-riding. There’s no such thing as a day off!’ Such dedication to the pursuit of the body beautiful continues to pay off, but does Madonna ever have a fat day? I’m surprised by her answer. ‘Yes, I had one yesterday. I run longer on the treadmill and don’t eat as much the next day, so then it evens out. _SP^_dWT^_% But I’m sure it’s all in my head.’ XLOZYYLv^ The rest of her day is spent with ]TRS_SLYO the children ‘playing with them, bZXLY^[PLV^ reading with them, doing their homework with them’. One thing ,]TLYYP;STWWT[^8LOZYYLv^^_dWT^_ZQ you won’t catch her doing is dPL]^RTaP^L]L]PTY_P]aTPbZY idling around designer stores in bZ]VTYRbT_S_SP\`PPYZQ[Z[LYO London’s Bond Street, platinum 8LOZYYLv^XZ^_]PNPY_WZZVm card at the ready. ‘I’ve never liked uBSPYbPXP_8LOZYYLbL^ shopping – I don’t like going into YP]aZ`^M`_YZ_TY_TXTOL_TYR>SP a store and going through racks. bL^TYN]POTMWdOZbY_ZPL]_SLYO So I’m happy to have girls who `Y[]P_PY_TZ`^>SPPc[PN_^dZ`_Z do it for me. What’s wrong with NZXP_Z_SP_LMWPbT_STOPL^LYO me? I don’t like to shop and ^SPv^]PLWWdZ[PY_Z^`RRP^_TZY^ I don’t like to cook!’ uBT_S.ZYQP^^TZY^ZYL/LYNP While you won’t catch her 1WZZ]WL^_dPL]bP`^POOLYNP]v^ slaving over a hot stove, she does NWZ_SP^L^LU`X[TYRZQQ[ZTY_ enjoy eating out and indulging in 4QZ`YO^ZXPaTY_LRPWPZ_L]O^ her latest role – Madonna the wine Q]ZX_SP$"^4_bL^SP]TOPL_Z buff. ‘I’ve had a few wine-tasting bPL]_SPWPZ_L]O4vX^`][]T^POz sessions and a brief education. 4SLOYPaP]O]P^^POSP]TY^`NSL People have come round and ^_]T[[POOZbYbLd>SPv^YZ_^Z pointed things out, taught me the NZYNP]YPObT_SbSL_^SPWZZV^ differences. I’m particularly fond WTVP4Q4vaPPaP]^PPYSP]YP]aZ`^ of red wine – I like Bordeaux.’ T_v^MPQZ]P^SP[P]QZ]X^ As for the next big Madonna u>SPOZP^Yv_NL]PTQ^ZXP_STYRT^ reinvention? It seems the followSTRS^_]PP_OP^TRYP]Z]aTY_LRP up to the disco-diva look that :YL.ZYQP^^TZY^m^SZZ_4RLaP accompanied 2005’s Confessions SP]RWT__P]dXLWW^SZP^>SP^LTO on a Dance Floor album and tour w4OZYv_NL]PTQ_SPdbP]PÂ…Z] is some way off. ‘I’m only just Â…?SPdv]PNZZWx:QNZ`]^P getting my head back into the ^SPv^RZ_OP^TRYP]Q]TPYO^bSZ^P idea of going to the studio to NWZ_SP^^SPWZaP^M`_^SPWZZV^ make another record, and until Z`_QZ]dZ`YROP^TRYP]^ that happens I can’t think about uBP^ZXP_TXP^OT^LR]PPZY the way I want to present the WZZV^:Q_PY4vX_]dTYR_Z]PTYSP] music and the whole package,’ TYz^SPv^\`T_PQPL]WP^^>SPv^ she says. So we’ll just have to hold LWbLd^bTWWTYR_Z_]dYPb_STYR^ our horses, while she’s enjoying u>SPv^YPaP]YZ^_LWRTN>SP some time-out riding hers. With OZP^Yv_WTVP_Z]P[PL_SP]^PWQz^SP her next appointment 7.5 minutes WTVP^XZaTYRQZ]bL]O away, I finish by asking how happy 3P]^_dWP^PN]P_T^_ZLWbLd^_LVP she is in her own skin. ‘That’s a ]T^V^LYOSLaPQ`YBPL]^ZXP_STYR very big question. It depends on MPNL`^PdZ`WTVPT_OZYv_NZY^TOP] what day it is,’ she smiles. ‘I’m bSL_Z_SP][PZ[WPXTRS__STYVv proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m blessed and grateful that I have the family I have. I have an incredible life so, yes, I am happy.’ ¢ MbyMadonnaforH&Misonsalefrom22March.Forasneak previewofMadonnaĘźsnewdesigns,Ęźs The Confessions Tour – Live from London DVD is out now

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From sexpot Gabrielle in Desperate Housewives, to glowing newlywed, Eva Longoria tells Kerry Potter about her new love of fashion and gets a sophisticated makeover from ELLE ¢ photographs by james white. fashion by sasa thomann





1Z]LaP]d^XLWW[P]^ZY0aL 7ZYRZ]TLXLVP^LaP]dMTR YZT^P>SP_LWV^L_XTWP^ LYSZ`]SL^LS`RPNLNVWP ZQLWL`RSLYOT^aP]dQZYOZQ PcLRRP]L_POPcNWLXL_TZY^ Shy and retiring she ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, and good job, too, as weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re chatting over drinks at the infamous Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood, the place where celebrities come to, well, revel in their celebrity. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This is my spot,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; grins the Desperate Housewives actress. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I come here a lot. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right down the street from my house and they let dogs in â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I usually have my white Maltese, Jinxy, with me.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; She was here earlier in the week for a catch-up with New Best Friend Victoria Beckham (plus 200 hovering paparazzi), dressed to the nines.Today, though, there are no cameras outside, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in classic off-duty LA uniform â&#x20AC;&#x201C; tiny and tanned in a white towelling sundress, white hooded top and flip-flops. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail and, apart from meticulously mascara-ed lashes, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s make-up free. All very understated â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and then I spot the engagement ring from her NBA basketball star husband Tony Parker. Friend and fellow actress Eva Mendes has described it as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the size of a small catâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not wrong â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the biggest, most bedazzling diamond Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever seen, the size of a postage stamp. Just as that ring looms large over Evaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s person, her recent wedding looms large over our conversation. This summer she married Parker, her boyfriend of two years, in Paris (he plays basketball in Evaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home state of Texas but is Belgium-born and France-raised). It was a week-long bash, incorporating a bridal lunch in Coco Chanelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private apartment, a visit to Disneyland Paris, a cruise on the Seine, a ceremony in the Louvreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s church and a party in a 17th-century baroque chateau. Guests included Evaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Desperate Housewives co-stars (except Marcia Cross, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d just given birth to twins), as well as Jessica Alba, Sheryl Crow and Thierry Henry. Low-key it was not. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I am still on cloud nine,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she sighs. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;My wedding was special, memorable and beautifulâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The actress has been married before (to US soap actor Tyler Christopher between 2002 and 2004) and has said that the toughest thing about marriage is being selfless. Is that still an issue? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Timing is a big factor, and this time I was just ready, and so was Tony. Tonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s young [heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 25, Eva is 32] but he has an old soul. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way more mature than I am. I have no problem being selfless with Tony.You know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not an effort.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Things are going very right for Eva Longoria just now. Not only

is she crazy in love, but Desperate Housewives, the show that propelled her from middling daytime soap actress on The Young and the Restless (no, us neither) to A-list star, is back on form. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s currently filming series four, which reaches our screens in January. The end of series three saw her character, the impetuous glamour-puss Gabrielle, marry Victor, a mayoral candidate. This being Desperate Housewives, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no happy ending â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we learn that Victor only married her to increase his popularity among Latino voters, and Gabrielle gets busy on the sofa with ex-husband Carlos during her nuptial celebrations. Soon, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s caught in a love triangle with Victor and Carlos, which briefly becomes a quadrangle when John the gardener (Jesse Metcalfe â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how could we forget?) returns. But are things so tempestuous off-set these days? The first series was dogged by rumours of cast in-fighting, culminating in the infamous Vanity Fair magazine photoshoot-turned-bitchfest. All rubbish, maintains Eva. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The thing that killed us in the first year was all the press â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the interviews and photoshoots â&#x20AC;&#x201C; while we were filming 14-hour days. It was so tiring. But it brought us closer together. The only people we could vent to were each other. Nobody wants to hear a celebrity complain, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so tired and I have this hit show.â&#x20AC;? Stop crying and suck it up!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Does she hang out with the other Housewives off set? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Flick [Felicity Huffman] and I live down the street from each other. When Tony is in town, Marcia and I get together with our husbands â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those two are big basketball fans. And Nicollette [Sheridan] and I go shopping all the time. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a great group of girls. And some of us are really close.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Someâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; being the operative word â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Eva makes no mention of Teri Hatcher who, by all reports, is something of a lone ranger among the cast. However, she did attend Longoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wedding, which suggests thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not too much of an issue there. And thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no law saying you have to be best friends with your colleagues. There has been a brilliant Desperate Housewives rumour doing the rounds: David Beckham is moving into Wisteria Lane as one half of a gay couple â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the other half being Robbie Williams. Please let it be trueâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Nooo!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; giggles Eva. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We had a good laugh about that. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be more excited if Victoria was joining the cast â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I love her. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re an amazing couple â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so down to earth and sweet.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; What does she like about Mrs B? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so frickinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; funny! And I have such an appreciation for her style. She represents womanhood â&#x20AC;&#x201C; being a mum, being a wife and still being fabulous.Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very inspiring to me. I hope to be as dedicated to my husband and children as she is.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; So are the junior Beckhams making Eva feel broody? Her big, Bambi eyes sparkle. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always loved the idea of having lots of children. If Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ¢


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around any baby, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aaaahhhh, babies!â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Another thing Eva has in common with her new friend is a burgeoning love of fashion. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Even looking at photos from one year ago, I can see how much my style has changed,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m more aware of fashion now â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a whole world that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve stumbled upon, a Pandoraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s box. That comes from working with stylists, doing shoots â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like being able to wear that amazing Dior gown on the ELLE shoot. It makes you a moving piece of art.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; When she first became super-famous, Eva made a point of snubbing designers who had refused to dress her when she was a small-fry soap actress. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Very PrettyWoman, huh?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she grins. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;There is still a certain designer I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; One designer she certainly will wear is Karl Lagerfeld. He designed the dress she wore to her civil wedding ceremony. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I asked him to make it for me. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a big fan of Chanel and it seemed the right fit with the wedding being in Paris. It was a short, sweet, perfect dress. I felt like a princess. Karl is a genius. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is for you, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gorgeous and you are going to wear it.â&#x20AC;? And I was like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;OK, whatever Karl says! He knows!â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Eva is no fool when it comes to the fame game â&#x20AC;&#x201C; she knows how things work and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a player. As youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d expect from a girl who pitched up in Hollywood aged 20, fresh from her familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smalltown Texas ranch. She can seem cocksure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; she has a tendency to not let you finish questions and jump in with what she thinks is the answer, and she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do self-deprecation. After we meet, I read a story in a US gossip rag which refers to her as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Me-vaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and claims she has a shrine to herself, featuring all her magazine covers, in her house. OK, she may not be big on humility, but she is honest â&#x20AC;&#x201C; her life is great, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worked hard to make it that way, and she has no complaints. She attributes her self-confidence to becoming famous relatively late in life. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I was 30 when Desperate Housewives started â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I had a fairly solid knowledge of who I am. People say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;They wrote this and that about you,â&#x20AC;? and I say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;OK, whatever.â&#x20AC;? I just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t listen. I have a very thick skin.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Forever hopping between her houses in LA and Texas, Eva has two separate circles of confidantes. Her Hollywood crew â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Desperate Housewives co-stars and the Beckhams aside â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are the gang she met through celebrity hairstylist Ken Paves; singer Jessica Simpson and actress Christina Applegate among them. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Christina and I are very good

friends â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s older, like me, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grounded and cool. And Jessica has a good head on her shoulders. But my core group are my friends from 20 years ago.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Whenever she gets a day off from filming, Eva heads to San Antonio, Texas, where Tony lives during the basketball season. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Texas is home, LA is where I work. If Desperate Housewives call me and say youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re off tomorrow, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll catch a red-eye to Texas, be there in time to make Tony breakfast, fix him lunch and dinner, then fly back.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The dutiful wife these days then, but when Desperate Housewives first exploded in 2004, Eva was portrayed as something of a sexcrazed firecracker. A regular in the ladsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mags â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hottest femaleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; charts, she was keen to chat about her penchant for vibrators and how a Brazilian wax enhanced her sex life. It was hard to tell where Gabrielle ended and Eva began. Any regrets? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;No, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t regret anything,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says, irritated. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very honest. All of that was in one womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s magazine about womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sexuality, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like I was on the red carpet talking about waxing and vibrators.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; It was also around this time that, when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston split, she was pictured wearing a T-shirt with the slogan â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have your baby, Bradâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Does she <@4.614=00A, wish she hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t gone there? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really 3007>:=17,?>* think about it,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she sniffs. ,WbLd^SPPW^ 4vX Q_TY She may claim not to have consciously /=0>>:=50,9>* ditched the outspoken sexpot act, but it clearly ,NZ`[WPZQdPL]^LRZT_ makes sense to smooth out any rough edges, bZ`WOvaPMPPYUPLY^M`_ given she is eyeing up a long-haul Hollywood YZb4vXTY_ZO]P^^P^ career post-Housewives (Evaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signed up for >3:0>:=3,9/-,2>* seven seasons over seven years). In recent >SZP^4SLaP[LT]^PL^TWd times, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only been able to take on movies /0>4290=:=A49?,20* during the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two-month summer break, ATY_LRP,W_SZ`RS4OZYv_OZLWZ_ playing small roles in bleak indie film Harsh ZQaTY_LRP^SZ[[TYRzT_v^SL]O

Times and The Sentinel, a political thriller with >6499D50,9>:=B4/0702>* Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas. >VTYYd4vXZaP]_SPbTOPWPR Next up, she plays the ghost of Paul Ruddâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3,4=:=8,60@;* dead girlfriend in comedy Over My Dead 8LVP`[DZ`NLYLWbLd^_S]Zb Body, released in the UK in January. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dZ`]SLT]TYL[ZYd_LTW looking ahead to her day job finishing in three .,741:=94,?,9:=;,70 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I will be very sad to go, but ,9/49?0=0>?492* hopefully Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have children by then and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ?LY4vX8PcTNLY have more time to do movies.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 5:39?302,=/090= She drains her lemon tea and starts tapping .,=7:>:=A4.?:=* on her BlackBerry. Today is a day off from .L]WZ^3Pv^_SPZYWdZYPbSZ filming and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spent it in meetings about _]`Wd`YOP]^_LYO^2LM]TPWWP various TV shows sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s developing. Now ?A:=8:A40>* sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s off to talk about the Tex-Mex restaurant ,__SPXZXPY__PWPaT^TZY she is opening in LA. As ambitious as ever, 1=09.3:=80C4.,91::/* then? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I was pretty ambitious when I moved to 8PcTNLYSLYO^OZbY Hollywood and I succeeded,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;But -,/24=7:=2::/24=7* now I find new ambitions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I want to work, 2ZZORT]W

I want to be a great wife and I want to have 1,80:=8:90D* children.This is a new chapter in my life.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; N 8ZYPd9ZMZOdNL]P^QZ]QLXP The new series of Desperate Housewives starts >0C:==:8,9.0* on Channel 4 in January =ZXLYNP_SL_WPLO^_Z^Pc  ;4??:=.7::90D* 2PZ]RP7ZaPSTX -=4?90D:=60A49* 4^_SL_LNSZTNP*

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This page: silk dress by Miu Miu. Gold and diamond bracelet by Cartier. Gold and diamond ring by Chopard, both worn throughout. Patent-leather shoes by Natacha Marro. Opposite: cotton-jersey dress by Yves Saint Laurent. Patent-leather belt by Burberry


She’s been synonymous with New York cool for over a decade, now Chloë Sevigny, ELLE’s new style advisor, reveals her secrets to Kerry Potter Photographs by MATTHIAS VRIENS Fashion by ANNE-MARIE CURTIS


The problem with being a style icon, part one: your look gets ripped off. ‘A few years ago I started wearing these white Ray-Ban Wayfarers that my mother found at a flea market in Connecticut,’ says Chloë Sevigny. ‘I loved them and wore them every day. But I was constantly made fun of by all the tabloids, attacked over and over again. It got to the point where my publicist and my agent had this conference call with me – yes, a conference call – and said, “Chloë, we know you really like those sunglasses but people are taking the piss out of you so much that we have to advise you to stop wearing them.” I was, like, OK fine, I’m sick of them anyway. But then the next summer those white Ray-Bans were everywhere! You could not escape them. Mary-Kate Olsen wore them and it was, like, “MaryKate starts a new trend.” I never got any credit! I’m so off the radar!’ She bursts into laughter – and what a magnificent laugh she has, kind of like an asthmatic donkey. She takes a sip of green tea and reconsiders. ‘Well, I think I am on the radar for style-setters. And then it trickles down from what they do.’ The problem with being a style icon, part two: you have standards to maintain. ‘I hate tracksuits,’ says Chloë, with a grimace. ‘But I was going to the gym for a while and you have to wear a tracksuit there. I remember running into this girl once when I was on my way to the gym – girls often come up to me to talk. I was, like, “I don’t want you to see me like this, you have to go away!”’ The problem with being a style icon, part three: there’s a lot of research to be done. ‘Every season I study all the fashion shows on the Internet and make lists of all the things I like,’ she says. ‘I can tell by which model is wearing the outfit whether or not I’m going to fit in it – Lara Stone is my favourite, she’s a bit bigger. I also read all the fashion magazines, and I’m inspired by books. I’ve just been reading a biography of Nancy Cunard. She was a 1920s British socialite/ heiress, but also an activist who fought racism and fascism, and a muse to Man Ray. She was chic, but bohemian, too. She had casual elegance. Then there’s vintage shopping: I have a route I take around the New York thrift stores to check out new stuff. Sometimes I’ll go into one and they’ll say, “We had this dress and we were thinking of you, but it’s gone.” And I’m, like, “Why didn’t you call me?!” Maybe if I had a stylist it’d be easier,’ she says wryly. We’re chatting over a late lunch in a Ukrainian diner in New York’s East Village. Chloë is ladylike and pretty in a belted Dolce & Gabbana coat, grey D&G polo-neck sweater and skirt and red woollen beanie hat. She’s less the wan, waifish, indie-kid of old.

Now 33, she’s groomed and grown-up: all tasteful tan, expensivelooking honey blonde hair and immaculate mascara. She’s great company – warm, witty, unpretentious and never more than a few moments away from a funny story. Our venue, Chloë’s local, is hipster central – as you’d expect when you’re supping soup with the ‘coolest girl in the world’, as anointed by cult novelist Jay McInerney in his 1994 essay in The New Yorker. Back in those days, a teenage Chloë would take the commuter train into downtown Manhattan from Darien, Connecticut (the prim suburban town featured in The Ice Storm), where she lived with her liberal mother and her accountant father, who died from cancer in 1996. She would hang out in Washington Square Park with her skate-kid older brother Paul and his friends, go to the hottest clubs and gigs, and generally do the things that scenesters do. It was Chloë Sevigny’s unique style that got her noticed by The New Yorker. And she started young. ‘From when I came out of the womb,’ she says. ‘My dad was very stylish and my mom had a wicker trunk full of stuff from thrift shops: pearls, dresses, wigs, hats. My friends would come over and we’d play dress up. Then I got into Little House on the Prairie and would only wear 19th-century-style long dresses and sleep in a night cap. Next, I was really into Esprit, Guess and Benetton – I tried to emulate the looks from their catalogues. I adored Guess jeans and the brightly coloured Benetton jerseys. Then in high school I got into high fashion. The school library was throwing out back issues of fashion magazines and I rescued them. I also began scouring the thrift stores. My mother wasn’t a big label person, so I wasn’t aware of designers that much, but my dad would occasionally buy her an Hermès scarf, so I knew that was cool. I didn’t get into labels until I moved to the city after high school.’ By 1995, aged 21, she drifted into acting, starring in controversial teens-gone-wild movie Kids, written by her then-boyfriend Harmony Korine, a fellow New York skate-kid. Her film CV should be filed under offbeat: there was another Korine flick, Gummo, in which her character attempts to make her nipples perkier by putting gaffer tape on them and ripping it off; Studio 54-set Last Days of Disco; Lars von Trier’s impenetrable Dogville; underwhelming Woody Allen movie Melinda & Melinda, and the notorious Vincent Gallo film Brown Bunny, in which she fellates Gallo, another ex, on camera. In 1999, she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Boys Don’t Cry, in which she plays the girlfriend to a troubled transgendered man (Hilary Swank). Surprisingly, this recognition failed to propel her into mainstream movies. She thinks part of the reason is that she’s too much of an East Coast girl to fully commit to Hollywood. ‘I’d like to do a blockbuster but it’s going to take me going out to LA and spending more time pounding the pavements and knocking on doors. I think next year I’m going to bite the bullet – all my films have been independent so far, so I will have to actively pursue more studio pictures,’ she says, slightly reluctantly. Most movie actresses are endlessly ambitious, in a dead-eyed way that’s entirely alienating to normal folk, so this attitude is unusual. ¢

‘I’d like to do a blockbuster, but it’s going to take me going out to LA and 0770$

Silk dress by Lanvin. Bracelet, as before

spending time knocking on doorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MATTHIAS VRIENS

Silk, lace and silk-tulle choker dress by Rodarte. For shopping details, see Address Book. Hair Rolando Beauchamp for Bumble and Bumble at See Management. Make-up Frank B at The Wall Group

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I never wanted to be mass market with my MATTHIAS VRIENS

Perhaps she’s worried she’ll have to wear a Juicy Couture tracksuit if she moves to LA. Does she worry that her style-icon status distracts attention from her acting? ‘A little bit, but I feel the damage has already been done. My character on Big Love, Nicki, couldn’t be less stylish. That’s one of the great things about the show – people are recognising me as a good actress.’ Big Love is the HBO TV comedydrama, in which Chloë stars as one of the three wives of a Utah polygamist, played by Bill Paxton. The first series was on Five here, but you may not have recognised Chloë, decked out as she was in nasty floral blouses, dowdy skirts and a frizzy perm: ‘compound chic’, she notes drily. She’s about to start filming series three of the six she’s contracted for, and, despite having to film in LA, is clearly relishing her move from big screen to small, and even admits she’s praying for a Golden Globe nomination. Then there’s her clothing line: Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, a collaboration with one of her favourite Manhattan designer stores, which will be available in the UK at London’s Dover Street Market and Selfridges. Chloë’s got previous fashion credentials: she introduced Tara Subkoff and Matt Damhave – founders of quirky, retro-inspired New York label Imitation of Christ – to each other, and helped with styling, promotion and editing of collections in the early days. Of her own debut collection, Chloë says, ‘I wanted it all to mix and match. I had a few pieces of mine I wanted to alter a bit. And I had a few fantasy pieces in mind. I made all of the decisions but it was very collaborative – I worked with the two designers at Opening Ceremony. I didn’t want to have a show – I didn’t want to take full responsibility.’ So she won’t be giving up the day job? ‘I don’t think so – it’s too much work, coming up with new ideas, season after season!’ She isn’t hugely impressed by other celebrities’ clothing lines: ‘With mine, I never wanted to do anything that was too mass market. I wanted it to be more personal, more rare, harder to find.’ Does she like Kate Moss for Topshop? ‘I didn’t buy any of it. I liked it more when designers like Marios Schwab and Ann-Sofie Back did stuff for Topshop,’ she sniffs. Sevigny is arguably the only other celebrity who could rival Kate Moss in the style stakes. The two are acquaintances from the period in the mid-1990s when Chloë dated both Jarvis Cocker and Paul Kaye (aka Dennis Pennis), and spent a lot of time tearing up London. ‘I remember one party we were both at and everyone was having lots of fun – Brits party harder than Americans. But I was so jet-lagged I went into the next room and fell asleep!’ She refers to Kate as ‘Moss’, but it’s more affectionate than barbed: while she may not like her Topshop designs, she’s full of praise for Kate’s style, saying she always looks cool because her hair is never too ‘done’. Both Kate and Chloë are unusual among celebrities in that neither employs a stylist. Chloë says of other Hollywood actresses: ‘These people are celebrated for their style and they don’t even dress themselves. It’s so unfair!’ She’s critical of her own event dressing, though, ‘I’m more stylish in my day-to-day life. Lately, on the red carpet, I’ve been trying too hard. When I try to be overtly sexy, it

doesn’t work.’ She may not have a stylist, but she has lots of fashion friends, ‘Whenever I go to Paris, I see Nicolas [Ghesquière] from Balenciaga, and he calls me when he comes to New York. Stefano Pilati [YSL], too. I go out drinking in New York with Jack [McCollough] and Lazaro [Hernandez] from Proenza Schouler. And I’m friends with Benjamin Cho. In London I’m friends with Alistair Mackie [stylist and fashion editor of Dazed & Confused]. He’s best friends with Katie England [stylist] and that whole crowd, so I hang around with them. And Bay Garnett [stylist and editor of Cheap Date], too – she used to date my brother.’ She’s also known Marc Jacobs since she was 17, when she starred in a 1992 Sonic Youth video that was filmed in the Perry Ellis showroom, when Marc Jacobs had just unveiled his widely criticised grunge collection, which ultimately cost him his job at the label. ‘I love what he does,’ says Chloë. ‘He could easily do things that are just cute and wearable, but he’s always pushing the envelope.’ What does she make of Jacobs casting Victoria Beckham in his new ad campaign? ‘I’m sure he did it with some irony in mind,’ she says. ‘He’s always attracted to people who are on the fringe – he’s friends with Lil’ Kim. I do think Victoria looks better these days, but those shoes – I’m over the transvestite platforms. Um, not that she looks like a transvestite!’ That inimitable laugh bounces off the walls. She may be the coolest girl in the world in public, but Homebody Chloë is obsessed with her new food processor and spends lots of time in her kitchen in the apartment she shares with long-term boyfriend Matt McAuley, bassist in New York rock band A.R.E. Weapons. Her apartment houses numerous wardrobes, the contents of which she sorts by type, fabric and colour: ‘I’m anally retentive,’ she grins. She goes out bar and gig hopping less these days, because if she drinks, she smokes too much. Is she thinking about settling down? She shrugs, ‘None of our friends are married yet, so it’s not on our radar. But I’d like to have kids over the next few years.’ It’s time to dash – she’s going to a high-profile fashion party tonight, and although she’s thinking Miu Miu or Balenciaga, she hasn’t yet chosen an outfit. It’s now 5.30pm, and she’s going out at 7pm. Most celebrities would have been locked in negotiations with wardrobe, hair and make-up all day, but if anyone can pull it off at the last minute, Chloë can. What’s the secret to great style? I ask, as she pulls on her red hat. ‘It’s about knowing what’s good on you, wearing it with pride and having a certain confidence and swagger,’ she says. And with a big smile and a little swagger, she’s off. N For more Chloë, turn to page 188 for our Ask Chloë style column

collection. I wanted to be more personal, more rare, harder to find’ 0770$"

:+2“6       7+$7  *,5/" Once criticised for her bad taste in outfits, Christina Aguilera is now being courted by the fashion world. In this world-exclusive interview, the 25-year-old pop star tells Kerry Potter about her new image, Britney, and married life

Whatever you do, don’t call Christina Aguilera a diva – it makes her cross. Although not for the reasons you may think. ‘I’m kinda bored with that – everyoneís called a diva now,’ she grins, pale blue eyes sparkling with mischief. ‘It’s, like, come up with a new term already!’ She puts down her cup of lemon tea. ‘There’s nothing wrong with being in control of what you want,’ she says, her voice deceptively girlish. ‘If you know what you want and you’re a woman, they label you as bitchy. When a man does that, it’s just called being assertive. I work very hard for what I have, to be able to have what I want around me and to be able to make certain requests. I think it’s well deserved.’ We’re sitting in the Hollywood recording studio where Christina has spent the past year making Back to Basics, her third album proper, the follow-up to 2002’s 10 million-selling Stripped. It’s 8pm, roughly breakfast time for this renowned night owl. Thankfully, Miss Aguilera’s ‘certain requests’ appear to have been met in full tonight: before her (surprisingly punctual) arrival, two assistants plump the sofa cushions and debate whether the mineral water in the fridge is at the correct temperature. Once Christina is perched demurely on her perfectly plumped sofa, she talks me through her ‘creative cave’. She favours scented candles, fairy lights, a bowl of lollipops and, most importantly, a box of Pilot Precise V5 pens for writing songs. ‘I must have these pens, they’re my favourite,’ she says firmly. Christina Aguilera’s appearance is as immaculate as her workspace: skinny jeans tucked into knee-length olive leather Marc Jacobs boots, baby-pink Stella McCartney cardigan and peroxide hair pulled back into a severe bun. The multiple piercings of old are nowhere to be seen and the bling is at a minimum: she wears only her diamond engagement ring and wedding band, which click together into one piece. Both were designed by her friend, London jeweller Stephen Webster and, while beautiful, they’re not as flashy as you might expect from one of the world’s biggest pop stars. For someone so frequently derided for outlandish fashion choices (who can forget those leather chaps?), tonight she looks remarkably grown-up. Her manner is more mature than you’d expect, too: forget the brattish, confrontational wild child of legend; she’s polite, never swears and says sorry for everything – from my jet lag to needing to nip to the loo. She’s tiny (5ft 2in) and trim, but not scrawny. And while she’s no classic beauty, she’s strikingly attractive. She is, ¢

Photographs by Karl Lagerfeld Fashion by Sasa Thomann

206 E L L E

Wool top by Gucci. Denim belt by Acne

Silk-chiffon dress with crystal detail by Chanel


however, wearing enough make-up to give Pete Burns a run for his money. The scarlet lipstick and fingernails look chic, but her skin has been Tango-ed and her eyebrows are positively anorexic. Beneath the orangey surface, though, there lies the unmistakeable rosy glow of someone truly, madly, deeply in love. Christina has just returned from honeymooning in Bali and Japan, following her wedding to boyfriend of four years, 28-yearold Jordan Bratman. Most famous people dodge discussions of their love life, but she, rather sweetly, just can’t help bringing up ‘Jordy’. ‘When I look in the mirror and see this big smile, it’s so not like me,’ she beams. ‘Before, I’d never felt secure in any relationship with a man in my life. I thought love was kinda corny. Then Jordy came along and provided such a backbone for me. He’s a rock, a real man.’ She met the guy whose initials are tattooed on her forearm in Atlanta, while they were both on work trips (Bratman owns a music marketing business), and ‘couldn’t be without him from day one’. Jordan was only her third proper boyfriend: she had dated dancer Jorge Santos, the relationship failing because he was ‘extremely intimidated’ by having a famous girlfriend, before briefly falling for a man now referred to only as ‘Asshole’, who reportedly cheated on her. Happily, Jordan sounds almost too good to be true – Christina relays countless stories of his romantic endeavours, the piËce de rÈsistance being his proposal, involving a room full of pink helium balloons, a treasure hunt, love poems and that Stephen Webster engagement ring. You are pretty young to get married, I say. ‘You just know when it’s right,’ she smiles. ‘And I’ve lived quite a life for a 25 year old. I’ve grown up a lot faster than the rest.’ Webster was delighted at the news. ‘Jordan is perfect for her: grounded, loving, responsible. He’s not boring but he’s not a rock star. Before, she’d never be without a bodyguard, whereas now if we’re just going out to a quiet bar in LA, Jordan will drive.’ Ron Fair, President of A&M Records, who signed her when she was 16, agrees: ‘The smartest move she ever made was marrying Jordan. He’s a mature, Rock-of-Gibraltar kind of dude,’ he says. ‘I knew that eventually I’d want a husband, kids, the white picket fence and the whole nine yards,’ she says. ‘But I was never one of those girls who was obsessed with settling down. Singing was my ultimate dream and I was very career oriented from an early age.’ Christina became Mrs Bratman, wearing Christian Lacroix, in a ceremony at a Napa Valley vineyard, attended by only 100 loved ones, but viewed by the readership of OK! magazine. Why would someone in need of neither publicity nor money sell their wedding to OK!? First, she says, it was about controlling how the day was portrayed in the press, and second ‘because there are a lot of misconceptions about celebrities: so many people are engaged and then not engaged, and you don’t know what’s real. It was for my fans, and people who are in question of our love.’ Being in control is one of Christina’s favourite subjects.This is evident in her handling of me – she will not be interrupted when answering a question and has me waiting on standby for 10 long days before finally granting me a follow-up phone interview for this piece. Anyone who’s listened to Christina’s song Iím OK will know about the physical abuse Christina and her Irish mother Shelly

suffered at the hands of Christina’s father Fausto, an army sergeant from Ecuador. Christina was eight when her mother left him. Fausto hasn’t been part of her life since. Will she ever reconcile with her father? ‘If he wants to make a strong effort, I wouldn’t mind maybe having a lunch with him,’ she says quietly. ‘I have a forgiveness for him, but it’s not easy for me to forget.’ Growing up in Pittsburgh, Christina threw herself into singing, finding local fame performing at baseball games and on TV series Star Search, the X Factor of its day. Her success made her a target for bullies: every time she was mentioned in the local newspaper, they would threaten to beat her up or slash her mother’s car tyres. Things got so bad she had to change schools. Aged 12, she found her escape route via a successful audition for Disney’s Florida-based Mickey Mouse

ʻWhen I look in the mirror and see this big smile itʼs so not like me. Before I met Jordy I thought love was kinda corn. Heʼs a rock, a real manʼ ClubTV show, in which she famously starred alongside Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. By the age of 16, she’d landed a major-label record deal; at 19, she released her debut album, Christina Aguilera, and debut single Genie in a Bottle, a Number One smash. Of course, her old friend Britney arrived around the same time, thus marking the start of a classic pop feud, which is still rumbling on to this day, if the papers are to be believed. Except they’re not, insists Christina. ‘Britney and I laugh about it,’ she says. A couple of years back when the supposed bitching reached an apex, Christina wrote a letter to Britney. ‘It said, “We’ve got to stick together. People will always pit us against each other but we have to stay strong and remember our background.”’ Recently, a US newspaper reported that Christina said Britney had ‘let herself go’ while pregnant. ‘It’s sick,’ sighs Christina. ‘It’s lies. But I have to look at the positive, not the negative. I’m making my record, she’s being a mom – we’re both in great places. We’re really happy for each other.’ Although no longer best friends (neither attended each other’s wedding), they are still in touch. Christina sent a basket of baby goodies to Britney after she gave birth to son Sean Preston, while Britney bought Christina a wedding gift of champagne glasses and a crystal vase. One of the rules of being a pop star is that you must develop a thick skin. Christina has this down pat: take, for instance, the way she doesn’t make much eye contact. It’s not rudeness, rather the tick of someone accustomed to being stared at by strangers. She’s always been a magnet for criticism: for what she says (controversial!), how she behaves (bad role model!), what she wears (slutty!). The climax to this public tut-tutting was in response to 2002’s Dirrty. For ¢ E L L E 209

those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the David LaChapelle-directed glamour-queen image â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the red nails and raunch-fest video burnt into their memory, Dirrty was about, lipstick are just the beginning. well, having sex.The American-as-apple-pie pop starlet had gone For one so involved in image-making, bad, and America was outraged. Christina didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give a toss. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;By Christinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love for fashion continues to that point I had enough hits under my belt that I was, like, grow. And fashion certainly seems to be ROCKS ON â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alright, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s do it my way now.â&#x20AC;? falling for her (not bad for a girl who was The ring Being sexual is a huge part of my at one time a dead cert on any Worst artistry and who I am as a woman. Dressed List).The turning point When I am sexual in my videos was the spring/summer 2003 or lyrics, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because I am being Versace campaign. In photos honest. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in favour of any s3HEHASlVE MINUTEPERSONAL from that time you could mistake TRAININGSESSIONSPERWEEK woman being proud of her body.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Donatella and Christina for FOCUSINGONSTRENGTH BUILDING Did it surprise her that people mother and daughter. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;She EXERCISES@)CANDOPROPERBOY got in such a tizz about those brought a great energy to the PUSH UPSANDPULL UPSNOW bum-baring leather chaps? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I was project,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; recalls Donatella. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;She taken aback. But one of my was totally open to creating a s3HESAFANOFTHE#HEAT$AY DIETEATINGAHEALTHYPROTEIN RICH new look.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Christina hit the Paris favourite quotes is, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Well-behaved DIETTHROUGHTHEWEEK THEN women never make historyâ&#x20AC;?. Take couture shows last July on the HAVINGADAYATTHEWEEKEND Madonna: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like â&#x20AC;&#x201C; hello! â&#x20AC;&#x201C; now hunt for her wedding dress, and MR & MRS WHENANYTHINGGOES(ER sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s getting praise. But way back, bystanders muttered about bad With Jordy PREFERREDTREAT@!CHEESEBURGER behaviour (pushy bodyguards, she was getting called every name )MABIGMEAT EATER in the book and being tormented. lateness, no-shows). Christian So Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to stick to my guns, Lacroix has no such complaints. s3HESNOTINTOPLASTICSURGERY @)MTHEKINDOFGIRLWHOWILLLOOKAT â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;She was waiting for me keep pushing the envelope no ASCARORABEAUTYMARKORA matter what people say,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says, Q Had you met Karl backstage and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m here WRINKLEANDTHINKITMAKESYOU a sly smile curling onto her lips. Lagerfeld before the shoot? looking for my wedding dress.â&#x20AC;? A No â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been to so many INDIVIDUAL WHOYOUARE!ND) â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Anyway, it sells me records!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; She asked for something Spanish, THINKWOMENGETBETTERWITHAGE Jordan, meanwhile, has no fashion shows and had opulent and glamorous and it issues with Christinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s saucy relationships with John was a pleasure sketching for her.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; s7HENHEADINGOUTsans MAKE UP SHETAKESAFACE COVERING image. They got together when Galliano, Christian Lacroix What next for Mrs Bratman? BASEBALLCAPINCASEPAPARAZZI she was making Dirrty and he and Donatella Versace; This year promises to be busy: a APPEAR@4HEIRmASHBULBSAREharsh world tour, a possible foray into was, she says, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;right behind me, although Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always had nYOULOOKTOTALLYWASHEDOUT supporting every provocative major respect for Lagerfeld movies (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I want something a bit outfit, every pelvic thrust.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Has he as an innovator in fashion. gritty, like Angelina Jolie in Girl, GIRLS ALOUD ever begged her not to go out like Q How did it go on the day? Interruptedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;), sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the new face MTV Awards, 2003 that? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Never,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says.â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sometimes A I was excited to meet him, of Pepsi, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s looking heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why you covering up? and I think that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an artist. forward to married life. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re He got his vision when I told Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re sexy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; show it off!â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; unlikely to find her tearing up With the infamous chaps now him about the classic LA with the likes of Nicole or in storage (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll whip â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em out when glamour queens who Paris.â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m on a different schedule Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m 60 and hopefully Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll still be inspired my new record. He to the new girls,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I able to get those suckers on!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;), as went for a Jean Harlow look. hide out for a year in my studio. well as her Dirrty-era nickname Q Did you like the Chanel Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not naming names, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Xtina (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m definitely â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christinaâ&#x20AC;? dress that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re wearing more about the party scene these daysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;), sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moved on for on the ELLE cover? with some of those girls than album number three.Whereas the A Yes. I made sure I had doing anything creative.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And last record was informed by pain a say in what went on my further ahead? According to â&#x20AC;&#x201C; bad relationships, her father, body, like I do at every Linda Perry, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like Aretha being betrayed by employees â&#x20AC;&#x201C; shoot, but I definitely Franklin â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be this 60 year old woman who still has a huge voice.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Back to Basics promises a sunnier liked that dress. I like Christina Aguilera more than I was expecting to. She is outlook. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teamed up with QBest bit of the shoot? demanding and imperious, but doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pretend to be otherwise. As Stripped producer Linda Perry, AIt was cool to see how she drains her precision-chilled bottle of water, we talk babies. She NYC DJ Mark Ronson and P Karl would direct and explains she has a timetable worked out, and will begin trying in 18 Diddy for a record inspired by interpret each shot. Oh and monthsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time, once her tour is finished. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I always knew that I wanted Billie Holliday and Nina Simone. my hair â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I loved the stylist, to be a young mother.When I know what I want, I go for it.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; N Back to Basics by Christina Aguilera is out in May Accordingly, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s planning a retro he did a great job!


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Silk dress by Chanel For shopping details, see Address Book Hair Orlando Pita at Callisté for Orlo Salon. Make-up James Kaliardos at Callisté. Manicurist Holly Carter. Production by Stardust Visions, LA






Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl may be a multimillion-selling, exNirvana rock god but he has a sensitive side. He tells Kerry Potter about wearing stockings and taking his mum on tour

Dave Grohl has just been told that I fancy him. I stare at the floor, cheeks on fire, debating whether to kill myself (or just the smirking publicist). It is not the most auspicious of starts to an interview. Then something cool happens. Instead of calling security, Grohl unfurls a dazzling smile, yells ‘Alright!’, bounds across to the sofa and pats the space next to him. ‘Over here, ma’am,’ he grins and I find myself grinning too, my embarrassment deftly defused. Everyone always says that Dave Grohl is the nicest man in rock. Although I’ve only known him for 30 seconds, I’m inclined to agree. In the midst of Los Angeles’ suburbs lies the studio in which 36-year-old Grohl and his band mates have made the new Foo Fighters’ album, In Your Honour, a double album – one CD of, in its singer-guitarist’s


A BIG SOFTIE The dark side of Dave Grohl is hidden when ELLE meets him

words, ‘loud-as-f*** rock music’; one of ‘gorgeous sleepy acoustic songs’ (featuring Norah Jones). Later on, I sit at the mixing desk (all overflowing ashtrays and bottles of Jack, as you’d hope) as the album blasts forth and Grohl sits close by, proud as punch. This is the Foo Fighters’ fifth album (the previous four have shifted nine million copies between them). And it’s their 10th year in the business – one that sees them

headline the Reading/Leeds and T in the Park festivals this summer. Who’d have thought that the drummer from Nirvana, lurking in the shadows of tragic frontman Kurt Cobain’s fame, would, after the singer’s suicide in 1994, emerge to form another multi-million selling band? And so the nicest man in rock became one of the most successful, too – although he’s far too humble to shout it from the rooftops. ¢ E L L E 185


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drunk I said, “You’re my future ex-wife, you know that?” When she left, she gave me her number and wrote “from your future ex-wife”.’ Two years later, they were married in the garden of his house in the Los Angeles hills. Happily for Jordyn, Grohl’s romantic repertoire extends beyond getting her to poke around in his nostrils. ‘It can be as simple as a flower on a pillow, or…’ he flashes that megawatt grin, ‘…a Learjet to NewYork City for her birthday. I got one with a double bed in it.’ That’s some birthday present, you old smoothie. ‘It’s mostly the little things that matter, but now and then a grand gesture of d i s g u s t i n g we a l t h doesn’t hurt!’ he guffaws. He lights his 400th cigarette, and we move called Jennifer, who on to sillier things, such ) came to one of their as dressing up as a lady. ie t e e 1. Grohl’s band Foo (the sw early gigs. ‘We were Grohl made a fetching Fighters are young. I fell in love with air hostess in the Foo headlining her the instant I saw Fighters’ 1999 video of Reading/Leeds Festival her. She was wearing a Learn to Fly. ‘I always and T in the Park this year. strange wig. I like a say it takes a big man to See you down the front! good weirdo and she put on a pair of f***ing 2. For his wifeʼs birthday, he surprised her by chartering was one – we were stockings now and again.’ a Learjet to New York City to weird together. We got We also talk about less go shopping. What more could caught up in romance, silly things: last week it a girl ask for? the thrill of adulthood. It was the 11th anniversary 3. He takes his mum on tour. just wasn’t meant to be.’ of Kur t Cobain’s 4. The most ridiculous rumour Today, he’s happily – suicide. Grohl wrote the heʼs heard about himself is the make that, ecstatically poignant track Friend of one about him dating – married to Jordyn, his a Friend, which is on the Christina Aguilera. He wasnʼt. wife of two years whom new album, 15 years 5. When visiting London, he met in an LA bar. ago when they used to he loves to go shopping ‘Have you seen a photo share a flat. Does he still in Covent Garden. of her?’ he asks. think about him? ‘Kurt I haven’t. I ask if he is with me a lot. There has one on him. are a lot of fond memories. I tend to revisit ‘I don’t need one because I’m always that stuff more often than the dark stuff.’ with her,’ he smiles. ‘She’s one of the most The smile has a tinge of sadness. beautiful women I’ve ever seen. She looks It’s time for me to go, but Grohl’s like a f***ing angel. She sat by me in this publicist (yes, him again) is having trouble bar and I thought there’s no way I was getting his charge to can it. And Grohl, of going to have any chance with this girl.’ course, must have the final word. I gently remind him that he’s an Remembering the news that he’s considered international rock star. something of a hottie, he grabs my tape ‘That doesn’t matter. Anyway, we recorder and puts on his best rock-god laughed and laughed and got drunker and drawl: ‘Ladies of Britain, I’ll see you soon!’ drunker. At one point I remember her Here’s hoping he brings that Learjet. putting her finger up my nose to check if The Foo Fightersí new album, In Your I had hair up there – it was just nuts! I got so Honour, is out now



‘I’m funny looking and I’m skinny and I’m not the smartest guy in the world,’ he says, lighting a cigarette, ‘but I’m pretty cool with the person I am and Foo Fighters h ave a c c o m p l i s h e d m o r e t h a n I ever thought possible.’ Nice – yes. Successful – sure. But with his unruly mop, excess of facial hair and that toothy grin, Dave Grohl ‘the sexiest man in rock’ shouldn’t work, yet somehow it does. As DJ Jo Whiley puts it: ‘He’s very charismatic – girls and boys alike fall over themselves when he walks into Radio 1. He charms everyone in sight.’ The California tan, the lithe frame and the tattooed biceps certainly help, but the bottom line is that Grohl is a brilliant laugh. Far more fun than your average celebrity, he’s a superb raconteur and full of mischief. And, despite me being outed as a potential stalker, he’s hugely tactile, all hugs and gentle taps on your shoulder to make a point. There’s only one moment when he shuts up; when I tell him that every woman I know adores him, that he’s a bona fide rock’n’roll pin-up. He looks totally foxed. ‘I’ve never had anyone tell me that in my entire life. Well, that’s nice. I imagine that’s a compliment because they see me for the person I am,’ he says quietly. Growing up in Virginia, Grohl was ‘shown a lotta love’ by his parents and remains particularly close to his mother. So much so that he takes her on tour: ‘I often find her sharing a pint backstage with other rock stars.’ Mad about music from the age of 10, he dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music: ‘I had no ambition to be in the biggest band in the world, just to make enough money to put gas in the van.’ Aged 21, Grohl moved to Seattle, where he joined Nirvana, aka the biggest band in the world-in-waiting, thus ensuring that buying gas for the van was never going to be an issue again. Presumably, I say to him, you’ve had your fair share of groupies over the years. ‘No, not really,’ he says. ‘Girls would try to throw me against the wall – but it takes a little more than a pretty face to turn me on!’ he laughs. ‘I was in relationships most of the time, but when I did have the opportunity to play the field, I couldn’t juggle ladies – I’d get attached.’ Throughout most of his Nirvana days, Grohl was married to a photographer





From pop-punk queen to fashion icon, Gwen Stefani has forged a one-woman empire. She exclusively tells ELLE始s Kerry Potter about her rock-star marriage, being a beauty junkie and how hard she始s worked for that body photographs by vincent peters. fashion by anne-marie curtis



Four hours in hair and make-up and Gwen Stefani, 37-year-old multimillion-selling rock star and fashion icon, finally takes centre stage at the ELLE photoshoot. She’s immaculately painted, cartoonishly flawless and Amazonian in stature. White-blonde hair fiercely straightened, wearing a tiny pair of shorts with giant heels, she glares at the camera as her entourage (stylist, hairdresser, make-up artist, US record company execs, nanny) look on silently. So far, so intimidating, until we’re introduced and she immediately breaks into a broad, sunshiney smile. ‘Hey there!’ she says in a girlish all-American drawl and takes my hand. A few days later, we meet again, at a hotel, and this time I remember not to judge a book by its cover. Gwen turns out to be remarkably unassuming, chatty, free of pretentious pronouncements about her ‘art’, and strangely honest about everything – from how hard she works to stay trim to the problems with a longdistance love affair (she’s married to Brit Gavin Rossdale, former singer in rock band Bush). Beneath the laid-back Californian exterior, though, there lurks a steely-eyed determination and control-freakery that comes with the territory when you’ve spent 20 years being

‘If you’re going out of the house, it’s better to realise that you’re probably going to have your picture taken, to get ready properly, and think, well, it’s just part of my life,’ she says, helping herself to a bottle of water before sitting demurely next to me on the sofa. ‘And even if I’m not getting my picture taken, I’ve always enjoyed the process of getting ready. I have a high tolerance of the make-up chair. I’m the kind of person who spends most of my time getting ready for a party, but when I finally get there I have to leave within half an hour because I’m bored!’ It’s a good job Stefani is so Zen about those prying lenses, as her pregnancy and subsequent arrival of son Kingston, now six months old, were the source of a million paparazzi shots. ‘It was weird being pregnant in a fishbowl situation. Especially on the days when you feel really fat and disgusting and not cute. Pregnancy was challenging in a way I didn’t expect. I was on tour and I was so sick. It was like PMS times a million.’ Of course, we don’t like our celebrities to be fat, baby belly or no baby belly. Stefani admits she felt the pressure. ‘I worked out with my trainer throughout the whole pregnancy until about two weeks before. I cried during my last session. I was, like, “I can’t breathe, I can’t do this any more.What am I doing?” It was crazy. All of my life I’ve had to work hard to stay in shape. I’ve always struggled with it. I was a little chubby when I was younger, and I didn’t want to be that person for ever. I became a swimmer at school – but only because I wanted to be skinnier! I’m extremely vain – I like wearing cute clothes,’ she grins. On cue, her sweater rides up an inch or two to reveal abs that’d give David Beckham a run for his money. Six months on from giving birth she looks so toned and healthy it hurts. How did she do that? Boring, old-fashioned hard graft, I’m afraid. ‘There aren’t any tricks, it’s simple maths: you put this much food in, you burn that much working out,’ she says. ‘I gave myself three months – but if I didn’t have an album coming out, there’s no way I would have got back into shape in that time. I worked out with my trainer five days a week, with weekends off. I would really recommend doing weights. I’m not into yoga and Pilates – they don’t work for me and I don’t have the patience. I’m more like a man, I like going to the gym and lifting weights or doing a little boxing.’ Stefani got back into a healthy eating regime thanks to her mum, Patti, and dad, Dennis. ‘Gavin was away working, so my parents came to stay with me and Kingston, and we all ate healthily together. Once you start seeing the results, it’s great – like when I could actually fit into my size Large sweatpants again! And I had three collections of L.A.M.B [her clothing line] sitting in my closet, size 6 [UK size 10], going “Wear me, wear me!”’ Now back in her size 10 jeans, what does she make of the size 0 debate, I wonder? ‘It sucks that that’s what is supposed to look good and that’s what everyone strives to be. There’s more to life than being on a diet. Clearly, I spend time thinking about it and it’s something I’ve had to deal with in my life. As I get older I try not to focus on it, it’s boring, it’s a waste of life.What I have learned is that whether I’m fatter or thinner, people seem to not mind, they like me either way. It’s more in your own mind than anyone else’s.’ She’s similarly level-headed on womankind’s other current favourite body obsession: cosmetic surgery. ‘Each to their own. I enjoy a great surgery TV show as much as anyone – I watched a lot of those shows when I was pregnant! But it’s pretty bizarre that that’s where we’re at – that you can place an order for how you’re going to look. People take it pretty lightly, but it’s a big deal. I’ve thought it over but I’m not at that stage yet.’ When she’s not making records or designing clothes for L.A.M.B, Stefani likes ‘laying around watching TV, doing nothing’ with Kingston and Gavin in their new LA house (they have house number two in London’s ¢

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Primrose Hill but are spending the majority of their time on the West Coast at the moment). Stefani and Rossdale, 41, met in 1995, when she was touring with her ska-punk band No Doubt and he was doing the same with Bush (although British, they were huge in the States, but not at home). After conducting an on-offon again romance for years – they were often kept apart by touring commitments – they eventually got serious and married in 2002. Is it hard having a two- rock-star household? ‘There are negatives and positives but, for the most part, it works. He can tell me about things going well or badly and I can totally relate to that. But when we’re both working it’s hard to see each other.’ They try to keep those job-related absences down to a minimum. ‘We know that after three weeks it starts to get messed up. We were very lucky to find each other and we have this ongoing crazy love affair, with its hills and valleys, like everyone else’s.’ Presumably one of those valleys was the discovery in 2004 that Rossdale was the father of his old friend Pearl Lowe’s then 15-year-old daughter, Daisy. The DNA paternity test and subsequent court case, the outcome of which has never been made public, were said to have deeply upset Gwen – unsurprisingly – but the marriage survived and she’s clearly moved on. ‘Having Kingston has been the most romantic thing to have happened to us,’ she smiles. As is often the case with new parents, the StefaniRossdales enjoy hanging out with other couples with kids. One of those couples is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. ‘We saw them one time after we had our babies, which was really fun.’ Did Shiloh and Kingston play together, I ask. Gwen goes gooey: ‘Yeah! They were like two little blobs when they met.’ Maybe they’ll get married when they grow up? ‘That’d be cute!’ Stefani’s new album, and the thing she keeps politely but firmly steering our conversation back to, is called The Sweet Escape, the delayed (blame Kingston) followup to 2004’s Love Angel Music Baby, Stefani’s phenomenally successful solo debut, which saw her branch out from No Doubt’s trademark ska-punk sound into hip-hop, dance music and pure pop. Stefani has been in No Doubt, currently on hiatus, since she was 17. It was her older brother Eric’s band (he later left to become an animator on The Simpsons) but, after the suicide of depressed singer John Spence in 1987, the band decided to regroup with little sister on lead vocals.They plugged away on the local California rock scene for many years, living on a smelly tour bus and out of a suitcase. Stefani was certainly no overnight teen pop sensation. It wasn’t until 1997’s Number One single Donít Speak (remember Gwen’s blue polka-dot vintage tea dress in the video?) that No Doubt struck gold, and Stefani found her songwriting mojo. The song detailed her painful split from Tony Kanal, her bandmate and boyfriend of seven years but, despite effectively washing their dirty relationship linen in public, the two remain firm friends to this day. Although Stefani has been on our collective radar for a decade, it was Love Angel Music Baby that propelled her to superstardom in Britain, selling 1.2 million copies along the way, thanks in no small part to genius first single What You Waiting For? and its ubiquitous, trippy Alice in Wonderland-esque video. Musically, The Sweet Escape sees Stefani sticking with what she knows (insane single Wind it Up aside, with its Sound of Music-inspired yodelling), and many of her collaborators ¢ 279

_SPRbPY^_dWPQTWP Gwen Stefani, 37: fashion icon, rock star, designer, wife and mother…









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Hollywood clones, is unique. As her stylist Andrea Lieberman puts it, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;She touches on the glamorous, the tomboy, the rockabilly girl, the disco queen. Without a shadow of a doubt, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the most innovative woman in music.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Believe it or not, though, Stefaniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entry into the world of fashion was a nerve-wracking time. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I was so naĂŻve growing up. I knew about buying fabric from the store and making clothes, but I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know about real fashion. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go to a fashion show until I was 30, and that was Vivienne Westwood in New York. I met her and it was so scary â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it was like meeting the Queen. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got such an edge, I was shaking when I met her.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; remain on board, notably Pharrell Williams and But the respect is mutual. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I love that she loves clothes and getting dressed Linda Perry. The latter, a former rock singer up.You have a much more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sprinkled her writing and production Westwood. Around that time, Stefani also attended a John Galliano Dior gold-dust on the work of Christina Aguilera, couture show and admits to being reduced to awestruck tears. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;That show was Pink and Courtney Love of late, has known mind-blowing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that someone can have those ideas... Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a living, walking art Stefani since the mid 1980s, when they were the show.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; She composed herself enough to meet and become friends with Galliano, only two girls in bands on their label, Interscope. and he designed her wedding dress in 2004, which she wore to her LA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Gwen is very humble, very intelligent and London ceremonies. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;John seems shy and very dorky â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I really like that at first and you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe he had all RbPYv^WZZV% about her,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Linda. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like a that in him. But then, when he starts to talk _SPWZbOZbY secret weapon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; her humility means about what he loves, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s justâ&#x20AC;Ś the passion.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realise how powerful, Stefani sees L.A.M.B as a long-term career, <BSL_SLYOMLRL]PdZ`NL]]dTYR* talented and focused she is at first.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; not a short-term cash-in. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something ,,7,8-6TYR^_ZYMLR Visually, like any self-respecting I want to do for the rest of my life. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always <DZ`]QLaZ`]T_PT_PXZQUPbPWWP]d* pop chameleon, Stefani has moved done it, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing it on a larger scale now. ,,Yd_STYRMd.L]_TP] things on for this record, binning the And I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care if anyone criticises it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not <?SP^PcTP^_QL^STZYT_PXdZ`ZbY* Alice stuff and Harajuku girl dancers going to make me give it up if someone says ,,2QZ]2bPY ^_]TYR who trailed her during the last â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a celebrity.â&#x20AC;? I know Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m right at <1LaZ`]T_POP^TRYP]^_Z]P* campaign (the result of a longstanding the beginning and I have a long way to go. ,ATaTPYYPBP^_bZZOTY7ZYOZY love affair with Japanese fashion), But Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got really far, really fast compared to <1LaZ`]T_PSTRS^_]PP_^_Z]P* plumping instead for a trashy-sexy the music. Every collection gets better.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; ,?Z[^SZ[ new look inspired by Michelle Inevitably, Stefani has also dabbled in the <2Z_LSZ_QL^STZY_T[* Pfeifferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character Elvira Hancock in movie world. She auditioned for Mr & Mrs ,BL_NS8TNSPWWP;QPTQQP]TY>NL]QLNP the classic 1983 gangster movie Smith, the film that brought Brad and <8`^_SLaPMPL`_d[]ZO`N_* Scarface. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I was in Lake Como filming Angelina together. How different the ,=POWT[^_TNV a video, and went out for dinner with a celebrity landscape might have been if <,WW_TXPQLaZ`]T_POP^TRYP]* girlfriend who was wearing a really Stefani rather than Ms Jolie had played Mrs ,4_v^L_Z^^`[MP_bPPYATaTPYYP long, clingy, peach polyester dress. It Smithâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if I nearly got it but I BP^_bZZOLYO5ZSY2LWWTLYZ really reminded me of that movie. certainly put a lot of effort in. They were <DZ`]XZ^_Pc[PY^TaPQL^STZYM`d* I worked the look into my spring/ clearly looking for a certain girl, and you ,4_bL^XdQT]^_OP^TRYP][`]NSL^Pz summer 2007 L.A.M.B collection, couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get more opposite than me and LBP^_bZZONZ]^P__SL_NZ^_# ,_ and it rolled over into the music, too.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Angelina,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says. Stefani eventually made _SL__TXP_SL_bL^LWZ_ZQXZYPd  Although the celebrity clothing her movie debut in 2004 in Martin Scorseseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s <>_dWPTNZY^* range is often shorthand for ego gone The Aviator, playing 1930s screen siren Jean ,-ZM8L]WPdLYO>`RR^Q]ZX8LOYP^^ wild, Stefani, who launched her quirky Harlow to Leonardo Di Caprioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Howard <DZ`]MTRRP^_QL^STZYXT^_LVP* streetwear line in 2005, does seem Hughes.Yes, it was a 30-second cameo, but it ,4OZYv_MPWTPaPTYQL^STZYQL`c[L^

genuinely enthralled by the process of became an Oscar-winning Scorsese movie. designing clothes.Yes, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an extension of Brand Have the offers been flooding in ever since? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Not at all!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she pouts hammily. Stefani, a lucrative merchandising opportunity, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Of course, if Scorsese calls me up again tomorrow, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be there in a second, but but, to give the girl her due, Stefani does have itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m thinking about all the time. A film is a big commitment. previous experience. With a grandmother and Right now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m enjoying the music, the fashion and the baby.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And so she must mother who loved to sew, she grew up in leave, to tend to said baby (sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the first new mother Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever heard describe unremarkable southern California town her child as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rad!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;). Life, she concludes, couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be sweeter. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I still read a menu Anaheim (Orange County â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but less The OC, and go, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Look at the price â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I can get that. I still think, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in First Class, this is more Swindon) making her own clothes and awesome.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s insane whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in my life â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe my luck.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; N Gwen StefaniĂ­s new album, The Sweet Escape, is out now. Get all the latest scouring thrift stores, gradually developing a celebrity style news at sense of style, that, in a world of glossy


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HOLLYWOOD REBEL Since ELLE last put Keira on the cover, she’s nabbed an Oscar nomination, found a hot new boyfriend and replaced Kate Moss as the face of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle. Kerry Potter finds Miss K has even more surprises…

Photographs by Gilles Bensimon. Fashion by Lucie McCullin


Silk-chiffon dress by Giles. White-gold and onyx ring by Cartier

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ellestyle Beaded silk dress by Jonathan Saunders. Whitegold necklace and whitegold ring, both by Cartier


Move over, Gordon Ramsay, Britain has a new swearing champion. Meet Keira Christina Knightley, the English rose with the pottymouth. Favourite expletives: ‘f**k’, ‘t**t’ and – pass the smelling salts, Mr Darcy – ‘c**t’. She’s explaining how, when she gets some time off from being the hottest British actress in Hollywood, her hobby is making bracelets for her friends with lettered beads. How sweet, how down-to-earth, how Keira, I think. You spell the recipient’s name out with the beads, then? ‘No, I put CUNT,’ she guffaws, her eyes sparkling with mischief. ‘I did one for my brother that said FUCK WANK and I do DICKHEAD, too.’ Cynics might conclude the excessive swearing thing is a calculated ‘I’m so normal, me’ shtick on Keira’s part, a facet of that ‘plucky English girl goes to Hollywood’ story we’ve all heard a million times before.Well, sorry, cynics, but 21-year-old Keira from Richmond, Surrey, isn’t putting on an act. She’s just, well, nice. She’s all the things you’d imagine she’d be from Silk-chiffon dress watching Bend It Like Beckham, by Sinha-Stanic. Love Actually, Pride & Prejudice and Glass bead and Pirates of the Caribbean – pretty, metal cuff by posh, polite and terribly, terribly Chanel English. You don’t expect her to be quite such a laugh, though, and this really comes across in person – she smokes, she drinks, she swears, she tells funny stories. She’s a proper girl’s girl. We meet on a hot Sunday in Rome, at the end of a day Keira has spent cooped up in the studio. She doesn’t have any employees in tow (very unusual for one so famous), but there is someone from Team Keira lurking – her handsome boyfriend of six months, Rupert Friend, her co-star in Pride & Prejudice (he played Mr Wickham). The Italian sun is beating down outside and Rupert is pacing the studio, waiting to whisk her off into the evening. Keira, though, casual in black Diesel jeans, grey vest and green Marc Jacobs pumps, is more than happy to talk. And talk. And talk. We shut ourselves away in the make-up room, where she insists I sit on the comfy leather make-up chair, while she perches on a hard plastic one. She’s in Italy filming historical drama Silk, in which she plays the cuckolded wife of a 19th-century silk merchant. Next up is Atonement, an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel, in which Keira and James McAvoy will play lovers. Not since the emergence of Kate Winslet almost a decade ago has Hollywood got itself in such a tizz about a British actress. And Keira’s rise has been nothing short of stratospheric, even given the fact that she’s from luvvy stock (her mother, Sharman Macdonald, is a playwright; her father,Will, a TV actor). Having famously demanded an agent at three, Keira became a familiar face here at 17 with her role as tomboy footballer Jules in 2002’s hit Bend it Like Beckham. But it was Love Actually

and Pirates of the Caribbean that really made America take notice. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, though – she had to beg director John Maybury to let her star opposite Adrien Brody in The Jacket, a dark drama about an institutionalised Gulf War veteran. Maybury said Keira couldn’t act; she persuaded him he was wrong. Although she’s far too polite to say so, the Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice must surely have been one in the eye for those who said she was all pout and no trousers. It was while she was shooting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, the sequel to 2003’s blockbuster starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, that Keira’s Oscar nomination was announced. ‘They were all ripping the piss out of me. There was the running joke that I’d started saying no one was allowed to look me in the eye any more. It got reported in an American magazine as fact and my agent phoned up and said, “Is everything all right on set? You haven’t told people not to look at you, have you?”’ Of course, Keira didn’t win the Oscar (Reese Witherspoon got it for Walk the Line). ‘I knew I didn’t have a hope in hell – my dad went to the bookies and the best odds he could find were 33-1. He put a fiver on, anyway!’ But it wasn’t all bad – Keira and her date for the night, her 27-year-old brother Caleb, got to sit next to Jack Nicholson. ‘It was a true f**king Hollywood moment.’ After the ceremony, she went to the legendary Vanity Fair party. ‘It’s odd, nobody gets drunk at all. I ended up sitting in a Brit booth with Helena Bonham Carter and Rachel Weisz. We’re just sat there going, this is a bit weird, innit?’ Vanity Fair has seen a lot of Keira recently. Everything, in fact, when she posed naked, with Scarlett Johansson, for an issue that was guest-edited by Tom Ford. The actresses were only told when they arrived on the day that Ford wanted them naked. ‘I thought, “It’s the cover of Vanity Fair, I’m 20, it’s now or never”,’ explains Keira. ‘I hadn’t shaved my legs, but everyone was alright with that!’ Who stripped off first? ‘We kept looking at each other and then eventually we went… [mimes reticently wiggling out of a robe] at the same time. We had such a laugh, Scarlett’s a sweetheart. I’m not completely comfortable with my body but I just thought, “F**k it”.’ For someone who works in an industry that puts such an onus on looks, Keira has a pretty sussed take on her appearance. She says she’s bigger than everyone else in Hollywood (she’s 5ft 8in and a size 10 on top, 12 on the bottom), but she covets ¢ E L L E 73

the curves of Scarlett and Kate Winslet (‘That kind of decadent flesh is absolutely beautiful. How sexy on a woman.’). Is she happy in her own skin? ‘I am consciously trying to be, actually. I’m trying to go, “F**k it”, and have bowls of pasta or whatever makes me happy. I haven’t been to the gym since January and I’m drinking about half a bottle of wine a night. I’m not one of those people who’s going to jog five miles every morning. F**k, you’ve got one life, live it.’ That said, she hates her legs, the legacy of a photographer’s cruel passing comment when she was just 16. And she’s pissed off with the mild acne on her forehead – it’s been there on and off since she was 15. As for the rumours that those famous pillowy lips are not entirely natural? Totally made up. ‘You get letters saying, “I can’t believe you’re condoning this”, and then you deny having them done and you get told off for lying.You just can’t win.’ Her lips do seem to have a developed a career of their own, though. They had Pout Alert on the set of Pride & Prejudice, where she’d get told off for excessive pouting. ‘I’ve lost it now, though,’ she says. ‘I was always so nervous my face naturally went into it. When I started to relax and go, “OK, I’m all right at this [acting],” it disappeared.’ That said, she certainly found it again for this ELLE photo shoot. Proudly displaying a set of bitten fingernails, Keira declares she’s no beauty junkie. Her current favourite products are witch hazel and E45. She does, however, have more sophisticated tastes where fragrance is concerned – good job, too, as she’s just been signed up to replace Kate Moss as the new face of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle perfume, and a mini-movie in the style of Nicole Kidman’s Chanel No.5 ad is in the works. So you nicked Kate Moss’s job, then? ‘No, her contract came to an end,’ Keira smiles sweetly (her publicist would be proud – if she had one). As for fashion, the ‘eternal scruff’ has come good of late. Since employing hot-shot celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe (responsible for, among others, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie’s stylish transformations), Keira’s been seen in an array of gorgeous gowns at premieres and awards over the past six months. ‘For work I have to dress up,’ she shrugs. ‘When I’m not working, I’ll put a dress on and think, yeah, that looks great. But then I’ll feel a dickhead so I put my jeans on.’ At this point, Rupert sticks his head round the door. Keira says ‘Hello’ a little too brightly and they have a stilted conversation, in which Rupert urges her to hurry up and she says she’s not done yet. Keira famously refuses to talk about her love life, but no time like the present, I figure… Obviously, Rupert is here today… ‘[Prim] I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ We can’t pretend he’s not here. ‘Oh yes we can!’ Are things going well? ‘I’m certainly not answering that!’ This much we do know: Keira met 23-year-old Rupert on the set of Pride & Prejudice, while she was still dating Irish model and aspiring singer Jamie Dornan. She split with Jamie and


ʻWhen Iʼm not working, Iʼll put a dress on and think, yeah, that looks great. But then Iʼll feel a dickhead so I put my jeans onʼ Silk shirt and silk skirt, both by Luella. Whitegold and pavé diamond necklace by Bulgari. Silver dog-tag necklace and silver rings, all by Vivienne Westwood

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3 KEIRA’S RED-CARPET STYLE 1 PIRATES PREMIERE ‘I didn’t know what to wear because I’d hardly been to any premieres. If you’re not known, most designers don’t want to lend you clothes, so I thought I’d wear my own jeans and Valentino lent me the white top.’ 2 PRIDE & PREJUDICE, NEW YORK ‘This is by Calvin Klein. They made it for me with the help of Rachel Zoe. I like dramatic jewel colours. But that was the one and only time I didn’t put tit tape under a dress, and I learned my lesson!’ 3 GOLDEN GLOBES ‘This is Valentino. I went for white because the Golden Globes are supposed to be less dressy than the Oscars, so it was less statement than black. It was filthy by the end of the night – the red carpet moulted and fluff was stuck to the bottom of the dress. And people kept spilling drinks over me.’ 4 PRIDE & PREJUDICE, LONDON ‘Matthew Williamson helped me out with this. The neckline was divine and it was quite Greek goddess – if you’re going to a premiere you might as well feel like that.’ 5 OSCARS ‘I didn’t want to go all young and innocent. I thought, “F**k it, it’s the Oscars, might as well get dressed up.” It was all about the arse with that Vera Wang fishtail dress! It was so tight it made me walk in a very strange way, but when else are you going to wear something like that?’ The dress recently fetched £4,000 at a charity auction for Oxfam.



by December last year was dating Rupert (he’s one to watch, by the way: he read for the part of the new James Bond and has a clutch of new movies in the works). The one thing she will tell me is what she likes in a man. ‘I want someone I can talk to about anything, who’s going to make me laugh a lot and who I can have a damn good argument with.’ You can understand her reticence to talk men, given how the tabloid interest in Keira has gone supernova in the past couple of years. Does she find the scrutiny hard? ‘It’s impossible. You get to the point where you think, I can’t be f**ked with this. I can really see it would be a reason to say I don’t want to do this any more.’ The smile has gone. Would she really give up her career in 1 exchange for anonymity? ‘Yes, at this particular point, I couldn’t take it if it was any more than it is now,’ she says firmly. ‘Acting appealed because I didn’t want to be me, and then suddenly everyone makes up characters who are meant to be you.’ She tries not to read stories about herself, ‘but the one time I’ll pick up a magazine in the hairdresser’s I’ll read the very thing that rips me to pieces.’ My tolerance level of celebrities complaining about their fame is usually zero, but she suddenly looks so young and sad I just want to give her a hug. She’s not sure what she’ll do once Pirates 3 wraps in the autumn – the diary is unusually empty, giving her the option of a few months off. When she’s not working, Keira likes having the girls round to drink a vat of Beaujolais and stay up late putting the world to rights. Drinking is something of a recurring theme – she got ‘annihilated’ at her 21st birthday party in March, where her favourite singer, Josh Ritter, was flown in from America to perform. ‘Saying that, we were all dancing to Britney by the end. There were photographers outside, but my make-up was smeared round my face, so I put on a pig mask to leave.’ And, yes, she was sick when she got home. With that, we are done and she dashes out to Rupert, gives him a placatory hug and they head off, entwined, into the early evening Roman sunshine. The next day we are meant to speak again, but the call from Keira never comes. That’s showbiz, I think, and head out for a walk. When I return, a handwritten note is under my hotel-room door. It’s from Keira, apologising profusely for being ‘crap’ – she’s lost my mobile number, but can we talk tomorrow instead? She calls, bang on time, the next day. Her hotel room flooded last night during a heavy storm, and she had to sleep in a wet bed before a 5.30am wake-up call. Did she have a diva strop? Yeah, right. ‘It’s funny,’ she muses, ‘when you get more successful, people expect you to be a complete w**ker. So it means that you overcompensate; you go, [earnest voice], “I promise I’m not a w**ker, really, I’m not…”’ Don’t worry, Keira, we like you just the way you are. N PiratesoftheCaribbean:DeadManʼsChestisreleasedon6July

KNIGHT-TIME GLAMOUR Keira, the ‘eternal scruff’, has recently got into dressing up for premieres. She hates her legs, though, following a comment made by a photographer when she was just 16


244 0770@6.:8

VTYR^ZQNSLZ^ Minus the facial hair and with tighter jeans than ever, the swaggering bad-boy Nashville rockers, Kings of Leon, are back in town and causing a commotion. ELLE始s Kerry Potter observes the mayhem photographs by gr茅goire alexandre

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t’s an ELLE photoshoot but not as we know it. Brothers Nathan, Caleb, Jared Followill and their cousin Matthew Followill are collectively rock hipsters Kings of Leon. They are also, collectively, a pain in the bum. They run riot round the studio, refusing to collaborate with the stylists, fighting with each other over who gets to wear a certain shirt, bickering about who gets to stand next to our gorgeous model, Alice Dellal, screaming for beer and moaning about the catering. So far, so rock’n’roll. The effect is spoilt somewhat, though, when they halt the shoot to demand – wait for it – a full-length mirror. Cue a swarm of preening, pouting boys; Jared is particularly worried his hair isn’t working. He then throws a hissy fit because his trilby wasn’t placed at the right angle for the last shot. ‘If you print this picture I’ll cancel my subscription to ELLE!’ he shrieks. When someone suggests a 21-year-old boy from Nashville is unlikely to be a subscriber to UK ELLE anyway, he stomps off in a mood. This is followed by a tantrum when he’s asked to leave the dressing room, so Alice can put on a new outfit. ‘I wanna be in there when the model is changing,’ he sulks. It’s like he’s trying to channel Keith Richards but only Kevin the Teenager is available. Then, just as ELLE’s fashion team are about to suffer multiple nervous breakdowns, it’s over. The Kings have left the building. It was not the fondest of farewells. Two days and one cancelled interview later, I am finally granted an audience with the band in a quiet hotel bar. Well, 50 per cent of them – I’m relieved to find I get the two grown-ups of the operation, eldest brother/drummer Nathan, 28, and second brother/singer Caleb, 25. Jared and Matthew, 23, are nowhere to be seen. Despite the frosty start, I soon warm to Nathan and Caleb. As with any rowdy gang of boys, when you pick them off into smaller units, they are a much more palatable proposition. Nathan is a sweetheart – genial and courteous in classic Southern-gent style. Caleb is impossibly handsome, and testament to the transformative power of a good haircut – he recently shed his long straggly locks and beard to reveal the poster boy beneath – all piercing blue eyes and cheekbones framed by an angular fringe. He’s also working the whole rockstar thing to splendid effect, demanding room temperature mineral water (very Christina Aguilera) and periodically

putting his sunglasses on, in case anyone in the vicinity has forgotten he’s a celebrity. Despite this, he’s a total charmer, and together, both clad in the tightest jeans known to man, they are marvellous company, complete with an amusingly puerile line in brotherly bickering (calling each other gay is a popular theme). I couldn’t help but notice on the photoshoot, I say, that you lot are horribly vain. ‘We want to look good,’ protests Caleb, in his gravelly Southern drawl. ‘And if you’re in a fashion magazine, everyone else in there is going to be good looking.’ To be fair, you can understand their desire to look sharp. Since their debut album, 2003’s Youth & Young Manhood (a record which saw them heralded as ‘the Southern Strokes’), Kings of Leon have attracted a discerning fanbase. After one of their London shows in 2003, Kate Moss, Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney were all snapped hanging out in their Brixton Academy dressing room. You don’t get that kind of A-list entourage with your average indie rock band. ‘Maybe it’s because we don’t give a s**t about celebrity, we don’t act all “wow!”’ shrugs Nathan. ‘We weren’t allowed to watch TV and movies as kids, so it’s not like we grew up idolising these people. And I guess they just like our music.’ The brothers Followill spent their childhood travelling around the Southern states with their nomadic Christian-preacher father, Leon (hence the band name). They had a strict, religious upbringing, a million miles away from their current rock’n’roll existence. Rumours has it one of the Kings had a dalliance with Kate Moss. Caleb is my prime suspect. ‘Uh, no I don’t think so,’ he mumbles.You don’t think so? ‘It was a very drunken night but, no, none of us had a fling with her,’ he says. ‘We didn’t have the chance to get to a fling,’ elaborates Nathan. ‘The sun was coming up before we knew it.’ Kate may have resisted their charms, but many others have fallen under their spell. The band are notorious for their hardpartying, groupie-enticing ways. Far bigger in the UK than in their homeland, they see London as their nocturnal playground. Although not so much these days, it seems. Back to tour UK arenas with their excellent third album, Because of the Times, they claim to have calmed things down. ‘We were crazy back then, we were idiots,’ says Caleb. ‘We thought that drugs were what kept us going and made us work hard. But now we work harder because we’re not so messed up all the time. We still drink a lot, but we’re not always running off to the rest room to get “refreshed”.’ (Refreshment Kings of Leon-style involved beer, wine, tequila, weed and cocaine. Lots of cocaine.) And then there were the girls – and they were tenacious. Says Nathan, ‘There were these girls who convinced security they were our two younger sisters and our cousin.They walked over to us, like, “Hi brothers!”’ ‘The funny thing with the girls is if they can’t get you, they’ll go for one of the others,’ says Caleb. ‘And most times they’re successful,’ he smirks. Nathan’s lady-killing days are behind him, though, as six weeks ago he proposed to his singer girlfriend at her parents’ restaurant in New York. ‘I put the ring in the champagne glass,’ he smiles. She didn’t choke on it, then? ‘You see, that would happen to me,’ interjects Caleb. ‘And she would die!’ As Nathan recounts his happy tale, Caleb puts on his

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elleinterview sunglasses and pretends to snore. Is little brother jealous? ‘No, um, congratulations, Nate. He’s been wanting to get married since he was a little kid,’ he says. Caleb himself has been dating ‘the most beautiful girl ever’ for ‘a couple of nights’, but he still seems to be playing the field with gusto. With Nathan out of the running, he has a new partner-in-crime, another chiselled jaw-type, actor Josh Hartnett. ‘He came to one of our parties in New York and we hit it off,’ says Caleb. ‘Josh and I always run into weird situations, where we see a girl and it’s, like, oh I know her. We have the same taste in women.’ So who gets the most girls? ‘If I’ve just walked off stage, maybe me. I do all right. But he’s pretty good competition – he’s got the deep voice.’ Would Caleb like an A-list Hollywood girlfriend, perhaps, like Chris Martin or Johnny Borrell? ‘The paparazzi attention would be nice,’ he nods. Rock stars never usually say that. At least he’s honest. It’s hard to imagine Kings of Leon, dressed in their rock star finery – those skinny jeans, Dior boots, necklaces, designer sunglasses – peacocking around the backwaters of their hometown Nashville. ‘We do not dress like this back home,’ grins Nathan. ‘ You can’t go to Wal-Mart dressed like this. It’s more denim shirts and cowboy boots.’ ‘We wear overalls and stuff like that,’ nods Caleb. ‘You wouldn’t recognise us.’ The Kings were at the forefront of the skinny jeans revolution a few years back, but apparently it was all by accident. ‘Our mom cuts our hair and tailors our clothes,’ says Caleb. ‘One day she made Jared’s jeans too tight by mistake. But we thought, “Oh, that looks kinda cool.”’ They now own countless pairs (favourite brands are Tsubi, Sass & Bide, Genetic and Cheap Monday), and wear them as tight as leggings. How long does it take them to get them on and off, I ask? ‘A couple of drinks…’ says Caleb with a dangerous grin. Are there perils of wearing them so skinny? ‘Well, we haven’t tried to have kids yet,’ says Nathan. ‘Our kids will have zip marks on their foreheads!’ declares Caleb. Fashion is increasingly important to them. ‘There comes a certain point when you start paying attention to the way you look,’ says Nathan. ‘When you start seeing photos of yourself and thinking, “Oh no”.’ ‘Rock’n’roll has always been associated with fashion,’ says Caleb. ‘It’s OK for rock stars to wear crazy things because they’re onstage. I want people to relate to our songs, but I don’t want them to relate to the way we look. I want to look larger than life.’ When they met Stella at that notorious aftershow, they drunkenly discussed her making some suits for them. They like Armani, too, but Dior is their favourite. ‘Tell John Galliano to call,’ says Nathan. Have they been courted by designers yet? ‘We haven’t been to the shows,’ says Caleb. ‘But we date the girls walking down the catwalk.’ Our time is over and we’ve made friends. All that’s left is for Caleb – apropos of nothing – to unbutton his shirt and show me his buff, hairy chest (‘I got a Burt Reynolds thing going on, y’see,’ he says), before challenging me to drink shots with him. I decline – it’s 2pm on a Thursday and, really, there’s only so much rock’n’roll this girl can take.

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] Z N V^_ L] O L` RS_ P] ^ Alice Cooperʼs cane (and snake), Midge Ureʼs Vienna trench coat, Rod Stewartʼs tartan jackets… in this unique vintage fashion shoot, the daughters of some of rockʼs most controversial legends model their parentsʼ favourite and famous clothes. And yes, that really is 14-year-old Frances Bean wearing her father Kurt Cobainʼs pyjamas on the next page… ¢

Photographs by Jason Bell. Fashion by Sasa Thomann. Interviews by Kerry Potter










DAUGHTER OF: Alice Cooper, 1970s glam-rock superstar, and dancer Sheryl Cooper. FASHION: Alice Cooperʼs snake and cane. AGE: 25. LIVES: Hollywood, Los Angeles (in her own apartment)






KIMBERLY (LEFT), DAUGHTER OF: Rod Stewart, singing superstar, and actress Alana Hamilton. AGE: 26. LIVES: Beverly Hills, Los Angeles (with her dad). RUBY (RIGHT), DAUGHTER OF: Rod Stewart and model/actress Kelly Emberg. AGE: 19. LIVES: Beverly Hills, Los Angeles (also with her dad) FASHION: Both girls wear Rod StewartĘźs jackets 6TXMP]Wd_PWW`^LMZ`_dZ`]Z`_QT_?SP_L]_LYULNVP_T^L^_LRPZ`_QT_Q]ZX
























DAUGHTER OF: Pearl Lowe, singer in 1990s Britpop band Powder, and step-daughter of Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey. FASHION: Danny Goffeyʼs T-shirt and Pearl Loweʼs dress.AGE: 17. LIVES: Hampshire (with her mum and step-dad)





DAUGHTER OF: Midge Ure, singer in 1980s band Ultravox and co-creator of Band Aid/Live Aid, and Annabel Giles, a former model. FASHION: Midge Ure╩╝s Burberry trench. AGE: 19. LIVES: Notting Hill, London (with a ямВatmate)






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Sarah Jessica Parker is one of the fashion icons of our time. As the movie version of Sex and the City finally gets under way, she tells Kerry Potter how delighted she is to be dusting down Carrie Bradshawʼs stilettos photographs by mark abrahams Sarah Jessica Parker is aghast. She’s been observing Hollywood’s current crop of troubled young stars – the ones with penchants for excessive partying and outré behaviour – and she does not like what she sees. ‘I’m in NewYork, studying Los Angeles, and it feels like another planet,’ she exclaims, blue eyes wide with disbelief. ‘It seems like a world out of control to me. So reckless and destructive. It’s hard for people who are younger and find themselves getting a lot of attention and a lot of money. And I don’t know who’s helping them – I don’t understand where parents, agents, publicists, managers are – where the people who care are.’ She won’t name names of course, she’s far too polite, far too much of an old-hand at this game. And while she may have been there (she starred in a clutch of movies in the 1980s and early 1990s, including Footloose, Honeymoon inVegas and LA Story), she certainly hasn’t done that. ‘My experience of Hollywood was radically different. I don’t live that life, I never have. I was afraid to be naughty when I was younger! I was working so much.’ So a sensible sort, then, and when we meet in a Claridge’s hotel suite in London, the setting seems entirely appropriate – grown-up, impeccably mannered, expensive but tasteful. She is less diva-ish than you expect, as she leaps up from the sofa with a wide smile and says, ‘Hello, I’m Sarah Jessica, great to ¢

meet you.’ She checks if I’d like a drink, is big on pleases and thank yous, and on the two occasions when she chooses not to answer my questions (Would she like more children? And what’s the secret of a happy marriage?), she does it with such good grace and sweet humour that I feel bad for even asking. And yes, she is like Carrie Bradshaw, her character in Sex and the City – funny, personable and full of whip-smart New Yorker quips. But she has none of Carrie’s irritating qualities – she’s less cutesy, less ditzy and less super-girly than

strikingly attractive, with her vibrant blue eyes, prominent nose and glowing skin. She looks her age, but I mean that entirely as a compliment: there is nothing plastic or fake about Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s been three long years since Sex and the City finished. The wildly successful HBO show, which ran for six series between 1998 and 2004, was ground-breaking TV, a pop cultural phenomenon that spoke to, and for, a generation of young women across the world. For the first time on TV, a group of attractive, smart, sexually adventurous females were shown running their lives, careers, relationships – and wardrobes – exactly how they pleased.Women and gay men loved it. Straight men were scared by it (but secretly watched it). Its fifth character, New York, became the coolest city in the world. It was the show that made middling movie actress Sarah Jessica Parker a Golden Globe and Emmy-winning superstar and style icon. Unsurprisingly, her memories remain fond. ‘It was extraordinary – the show was like lightning in a bottle. It was one of the happiest professional experiences of my life,’ she smiles. It turns out the much-mooted SATC movie, which is said to have faltered due to Kim Cattrall’s wage demands, is firmly back on the agenda, with production due to start within weeks. Parker tries to play it cool, but it’s obvious she’s dying to get started. ‘Every time they bring up the movie, I’m, like, oh it’s a grand idea,’ she says. ‘I think the timing is more fortuitous now.’ The four leading ladies are all reprising their roles for the big screen version and, although they haven’t been in the same room since filming on the series ended (‘our lives are so geographically disparate now’), she talks via e-mail to her co-stars, Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, ‘all the time’. The legacy of Sex and the City is that Parker is now seen first and foremost as a fashion obsessive. This seems to rankle, perhaps understandably, given she’s been a professional actress for 30 years, making her debut in 1977, age 12, as the lead in Broadway musical Annie. ‘People confuse my character on Sex and the City for me. I don’t spend the best part of my day shopping. I love shopping on the rare occasion

u.,==40v>.7:?30>,=0,=.34A0/,9/>?:=0/74608@>0@8 ;40.0>?30Dv=049,?08;0=,?@=0.:9?=:770/A,@7?v her alter-ego. And the clothes? Textbook style icon. Alexander McQueen cropped highwaisted black trousers with braces: the kind of thing that would look ludicrous on most of us, but is amazing on her. A McQueen black jacket, gold necklaces from Fred Leighton and the mandatory terrifyingly high black Louboutin platform court shoes. She’s in great shape – as slim as always but with an ample bosom and womanly curve to her hips. Her hair is pulled back tight and high off her face, into an extra-long, shampoo ad-shiny ponytail, that swings from side to side when she gets particularly animated. Never a conventional beauty, at 42 she remains

I get to do it and I love beautiful clothes, but these are things that aren’t important – they don’t make you a better, more substantial, thinking person. But fashion can give you a certain feeling – it’s that feeling that shoes can give you, or a bag, or the way a pair of pants fit.’ So has Carrie Bradshaw become an albatross around her neck? Parker is far too smart to bite the hand that fed for six years. ‘No. It’s just up to me to clarify, it’s up to me to be interested in other things.’ Thankfully for the wardrobe department on the SATC film set, Parker has meticulously hoarded all of Carrie’s clothes and accessories. ‘They’re archived and stored like museum pieces. They’re in a temperaturecontrolled vault.’ Reacquainting herself with Carrie’s trademark soaring heels won’t be quite so easy, though. ‘I used to spend 18 to 20 hours a day filming in heels and now I spend a much shorter day in them and I’m, like, “Oww!” I’ve really destroyed my body by running and dancing in heels. My knees are shot!’ ¢

Parker is here in London to promote her second fragrance, Covet. Her first, Lovely, launched in 2005 and was America’s top-selling fragrance of the year, defying expectation for a celebrity-helmed perfume by selling well to late twentysomething and thirtysomething women (most celebrity scents hit paydirt with the teen market). She’s also just launched a clothing range in the US called Bitten, in collaboration with discount store Steve & Barry’s, a shop in which every piece retails at less than $20 (think a less-cool Primark). Surely she must have had countless more ‘fashion’ offers? ‘This was actually the most authentic way I could approach the idea of design,’ she demurs. ‘I don’t have draping skills, I don’t know how to sew or sketch. Because of the close proximity I had with great designers during Sex and the City, I understood what it took to be a real designer. So when I found myself with opportunities before to design, it seemed fraudulent and wrong – I didn’t have the necessary skills. Give the money to Narciso Rodriguez or someone! But along


u469:B4B:@7/9v?3,A0,77?30>0:;;:=?@94?40>414B0=09v? ,9,.?:=,9/4>?4777:A0,.?4928:=0?3,94.,90C;=0>>v came Steve & Barry’s, and it was a very different idea – the concept that quality shouldn’t be a privilege and fashion shouldn’t be a luxury.’ While it’s hard to imagine Parker wearing a $15 jersey sundress on the red carpet any time soon, you can see where she’s coming from – she grew up wearing hand-me-downs in a family of eight siblings, the daughter of impoverished intellectuals who took the kids to see free opera shows in New York City, but couldn’t always afford the electricity bills, and certainly not new clothes. Parker realises that these new projects are but a sideline, a welcome offshoot of her celebrity and her day job. ‘I know I wouldn’t have these opportunities if I weren’t an actor. And I still love acting more than I can ever express to you.’ Next up are two new films. One she’s very proud of: Smart People, a comedy -drama in which she plays a doctor who dates widowed college professor Dennis Quaid. And one she’s less enamoured with: Spinning Into Butter, an adaptation of the controversial Rebecca Gilman play about racism on a US college campus, in which Parker plays the university dean. She was initially credited as a co-producer, but since the movie has wrapped she’s removed herself from that role because she’s unhappy with the finished product. Parker also has her own production company called Pretty Matches, which has six TV shows in development for HBO, home of Sex and the City. She’s now at the age where ¢ 171 0770@6.:8




decent leading lady roles traditionally start to dwindle, so adding a producing string to her bow is certainly a very wise move. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sanguine about the ageing process, but admits, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I am sometimes distressed by what the standard has become.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; So does she look at someone like Madonna and think, Oh god? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably the most disciplined person around and so I can only pale in comparison. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just too impressive. I feel frankly I would rather have time with my friends and family than worry too much about certain things. I would err on the side of a dinner party versus the gym. Food and people are lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest pleasures.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; By people, she means primarily her FROM TOP: THE husband, actor Matthew Broderick (aka, to 2003 EMMY a generation of twenty and thirtysomething AWARDS; WITH women, the adorable rogue Ferris Bueller) HUSBAND and son James Wilkie, four. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no stranger BRODERICK; to the high-profile relationship, having dated THE SATC CAST the infamous Robert Downey Jr for seven turbulent years (no wonder she holds no truck with Hollywood excess these days) and the late John Kennedy Jr. Now she enjoys a scandal-free life with the extremely private Broderick, who she met when he was directing a play starring her brother. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because I never used to go to the movies a lot, but I had paid to see all his films before Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ever met him. I said to him recently that I always thought he was a great actor, but I never thought for a second that I would meet him, let alone date him. We FROM RIGHT: IN just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, NEW YORK; WITH and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been together for 15 years. BRODERICK AND Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very happy,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says bashfully, with JAMES WILKIE; a quietly satisfied smile. LAUNCHING HER But now Parker has some very important CLOTHING LINE sightseeing to do, and, no, she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t spend her time in London tearing up Harvey Nichols, like a real-life Carrie Bradshaw. Actually, one of her favourite pastimes is to drive around admiring the architecture and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;staring at peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You people are the hippest people Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever seen in my life!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she exclaims, ponytail bobbing in anticipation. And as we say goodbye, it happens. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ooh I love your shoes!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; she says, before demanding full details as to their provenance. (Kate Kuba, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m giving you a heads-up here â&#x20AC;&#x201C; look what this woman did for Manolo Blahnik!) I float out the door, completely SJPed, and in possession of the finest fashion compliment that has ever been known to womankind. N Sarah Jessica ParkerĂ­s new fragrance, Covet, is in shops now

STYLE CHAMELEON Kelis wears skirt by Christian Dior. Diamond pin by Mia & Company. Jewellery by Kristen Farrell



The Harlem-bred hip-hop chanteuse loves clothes that are as racy as her music. ELLE takes a peek inside Kelis’s fabulously eclectic wardobe. By Kerry Potter

‘Do I like shopping?’ asks New York singer Kelis incredulously, as we survey the vast walk-in closet that’s basically one whole room of her swish Manhattan apartment. ‘Lady, that does not even begin to describe it. I buy something new every day! I’m a shopping addict – and I don’t want help!’ The flamboyant hip-hop star, who stormed the charts at 19 with man-bashing debut single Caught Out There, is back with a hot new track, Bossy, a new album, Kelis Was Here, and a striking new haircut. Gone are the multicoloured Afro curls of old, in their place a sleek, short asymmetric-fringe cut – early 1960s Diana Ross meets 1980s rappers Salt-N-Pepa. ‘I’d wanted to cut my hair for a while, so I thought I’d cut it myself in the Bossy video,’ she grins. ‘I was going to have a bob, but it wasn’t drastic enough – I was, like, shorter, shorter! I wanted a big change.’



‘Buy vintage at What Comes Around Goes Around (351 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013; enq [00 1 212] 343 9303; www.shopnyvintage. com) – it’s fab for accessories.’



‘Everyone should have a fabulous pair of summer flat shoes. They’ll never go out of style. This season, I’m loving Marc Jacobs’ jelly gladiator-style sandals. I want them in every colour!’

Kelis, 25, is certainly fearless in the face of fashion: ‘There’s so much we women can do with our looks,’ she says. ‘And I take full advantage of that on a daily basis. I feel like I can wear a different personality every day. My style changes all the time, depending on how I feel when I wake up. One day schoolgirl and the next high fashion.’ Indeed, her wardrobe points to an eclectic style – an orange nylon jumpsuit nestles alongside pretty dresses by long-time friend Matthew Williamson, stacks of jeans (she loves Miss Sixty) and gold Lurex leggings. ‘My stripper pants!’ she cackles. ‘For my husband’s eyes only!’ Kelis married big-name US rapper Nas (Nasir Jones) last year, and the hip-hop super-couple own four homes in the US, meaning this New York crash pad houses just one-quarter of Kelis’s wardrobe. She shows me the gift Nas gave her for their one-year anniversary – an ultracool pink-diamond necklace that reads ‘Mrs Jones’. Kelis likes her rocks: other favourite pieces include a giant diamond-encrusted fly brooch by British jeweller-to-thestars Stephen Webster (‘It’s a fly because I’m a fly chick!’). She’s also an accessories fanatic – the closet floor is littered with sunglasses, scarves, belts, shoes and handbags, including a brilliant Chanel evening bag designed like a seven-inch single (above left). ‘Karl ¢


‘I had these Louis Vuitton boots (above left) two years before I wore them! They’re very uncomfortable and impractical for New York, but I love them. I will dye them when all else fails.’

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L‘Know your shape. Realise that everything does not look good on you, and that’s totally OK. There are things I love but they just don’t look great on my body.’ L‘Don’t be afraid of colour. Wearing black makes you look drab, and people treat you accordingly. I feel more confident when I wear bright colours – I love greens, reds and oranges.’ L‘Dress appropriately to avoid looking ridiculous. You might have the perfect outfit for, say, a boat party, but it may not work so well for a formal dinner. ’


‘I have about 200 pairs of sunglasses. When I first released an album, I was kinda shy and didn’t want to show my face. So I started collecting shades to cover up. I’ve got different pairs for different outfits.’

50 E L L E

Lagerfeld gavethis to me,’ she says. ‘It’s cute, but you can’t get much in it. My Sidekick [a Blackberry-style phone and organiser] is too big, so I bought what I call my “drunk girl’s phone” to take out at night. It’s really small and it doesn’t matter if I lose it.’ So who are Kelis’s style icons? Unsurprisingly, they all share an outrÈfashion approach. ‘Grace Jones was so striking, like a piece of art. And Liz Taylor because she was so glamorous. I loved Krystle Carrington from Dynasty – so fabulous for that 1980s era!’ Then there’s Kelis’s mother, Eveliss. ‘She’s one hot female! If I buy something I love, I’ll get her one, too, because I know she’ll love it.’ When Kelis was a child, Eveliss would make her school clothes, but we’re not talking grey pinafore dresses. ‘She made me a gold lamé jacket. I wore it everywhere,’ she recalls. Fastforward 20 years and suddenly Kelis’s ultra-confident, ultra-outlandish style makes perfect sense. N


Vintage rainbow heels by Garolini and sandals by Chanel



‘Jeremy Scott, Versace, DSquared2, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Matthew Williamson – he made my wedding dress’





Back on the screens in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, offbeat actor Jason Schwartzman remains resolutely geeky. Kerry Potter meets the unlikely heart-throb

t could have all worked out so differently for the luxuriantly eyebrowed Jason Schwartzman, who plays king to Kirsten Dunst’s queen in the film Marie Antoinette this month. The LA-born actor spent his teenage years as the drummer in much-fancied rock band Phantom Planet: you know the theme tune for The OC? (‘California, here we coooome!’)Yep, that’s them. He ended up plumping for acting over rock’n’roll, however, after acing the audition for 1998

cult indie flick Rushmore. Jason played Max, a high-school nerd who vies with Bill Murray for an older woman’s affections. Parts in existential comedy I b Huckabees and Shopgirl followed; in the latter he played the suitor of a lonely shop assistant, played by Claire Danes, who has to choose between Jason and his sixtysomething love rival Steve Martin: a no-brainer, surely? This hotshot 26 year old comes from celebrated Hollywood stock: Jason’s 209


actress mother Talia Shire was in The Godfather and the Rocky films, while Sofia Coppola (his director in Marie Antoinette) and Nicolas Cage are both first cousins. Jason called ELLE from LA at the very un-rock’n’roll hour of 7am to talk Marie Antoinette, being a dork and confused canines… 4vaPYPaP]VYZbYLNPWPM]T_dOZLY TY_P]aTPb^ZPL]Wd

I get up early to walk my dog. He’s a black and white French bulldog, and he has ¢

elleman many different names – I change it all the time.This week he’s called Domino. /ZP^Yv__SL_RP_LMT_ NZYQ`^TYRQZ]STX*

Yes, but because I call his name from a place of love in my heart, he always knows it’s me. He doesn’t have any identity crisis going on that I’m aware of. 3ZbOTOdZ`QTYOdZ`]VTYRWd NZ^_`XP^TY8L]TP,Y_ZTYP__P*


They really helped me to play that character. I was really scared about being Louis XVI – I didn’t think I could be from that time. But when I put the costume on, it really tricked me into believing that I could exist in the 18th century. The clothes make your body move a certain way because they’re so tight. They eliminate a lot of modern moves, like slouching. You definitely have to glide around Versailles.


Yes,Versailles was like the biggest costume of all. If you have an active imagination and they put you in those clothes in that place, you have a lot of fun.

About 10 a day. The odd thing was that in California I put on lots of weight for the role, but when I got to France they said, ‘We’re going to tailor all these costumes for you, so you can’t gain another pound.’ But, hey, you can’t tell a train to stop!





Yes, I wore tights and a garter belt. It was awesome! And I know how to remove tights better now…

Almost three stone in two months. I tried to do it all organically – an organic Super Size Me. I would set my alarm clock, wake up in the middle of the night, eat two doughnuts and go back to bed. I’d be force-feeding myself when I wasn’t hungry. Ooh, it’s a disgusting feeling. But my girlfriend at the time was so sweet, she was, like, ‘Baby, you look good.’



Definitely. And I appreciate women in general – just as a side note. I’d be


u4?v>1@99DB3098,2,E490> .,7780w?302006;=49.0x B3,?4>?3,?*4v89:?,;=49.0 ,9/m:642@0>>4,8,2006v /ZdZ`_STYV^SP bL^WdTYR* relaxing in my trailer, wearing my garter belt, long shirt and pants, and my dog would be totally confused. One minute I’d look like myself, then three hours later I’d have a wig and garter on. I could tell he wasn’t so trusting of me at that point. But if I went to work with my dog and three hours later he was dressed as an 18thcentury dog, I guess I’d be confused. By the way, can you hear him heavy breathing in the background? :SdP^&ST/ZXTYZ 4SPL]O_SP]PbL^

I don’t know.We’re not together any more. >ZSZbOTOdZ`WZ^P_SPbPTRS_LRLTY LQ_P]_SP]ZWP*

I had to go on an unbelievably strict diet. I was eating brown rice, beans and vegetables. My nutritionist said, ‘If you have to eat dessert you can have five blueberries.’ Wow, thanks. BL^T_^_]LYRPSLaTYRdZ`]NZ`^TY>ZQTL .Z[[ZWLL^dZ`]MZ^^*

No. It gave us an advantage. She knows me well enough to say stuff like, 2 11


‘Remember the time you felt like that when you were a kid?You need to play this scene like that.’ >ZQTLT^^ZXP_STYRZQLQL^STZYTNZY /ZP^T_]`YTY_SPQLXTWd*

I guess she is. But I got to become a fashion icon all on my own! >ZbSL_XLVP^LQL^STZYTNZY_SPY*

Wouldn’t it be funny if I just gave you that answer everyone gives? [Adopts breathless, fawning voice] I think, like, personal freedom, being bold, being you… It’s such bulls**t! I’m not a fashionista – I don’t crave knowing what the new thing is. [Silly voice again] Is it Derek Lam? Is it Dries this year? Is it Marc? Is it Louis? Is it Karl? Or Largie, as I like to call him. Actually, I don’t laugh at those people because I think they are supremely talented. Those people function at the peak of that business. It really ain’t no joke. BP]PdZ`LRPPVL_^NSZZW*

No, I was a nerd. Or maybe a dork. There is a difference between geek, dork and nerd – my girlfriend explained it once but I forget which one is which. I love analogue recording equipment and have lots of magazines on that subject – I get jazzed up about it. My girlfriend says, ‘Woooah, you’re such a dork!’ DZ`ZQ_PYRP_WLMPWWPOL^L^PcdRPPV OZYv_dZ`*

It’s always funny when magazines write lines like ‘The Geek Prince’. What the f**k is that?! First of all, I’m not a prince, and second… OK, I guess I am a geek. ¢

elleman BP]PdZ`LbL]PZQdZ`] QLXZ`^ QLXTWd bSPY dZ` bP]PR]ZbTYR`[*


Yes and no. My mum made a decision not to work too much when I was growing up. So I wasn’t like some idiot 12-year-old kid walking around a film set radioing someone on a walkie-talkie to demand a pretzel. And I’m so thankful for that. DZ`X`^_SLaPXP_^ZXPZQdZ`] [L]PY_^vNPWPM]T_d[LW^_SZ`RS*

Well, I did get to meet Mr T. When my mum was in Rocky III with him, we met him in the lobby of a hotel and Mr T bounced me on his lap for ages. Amazing, huh?



No. I very rarely go to bars. I like to get up early. It makes me much happier to be on this side of the day.

I need to be a baseball player…





No. I’m sure they’re fine people but I’d be too tired.






If I ask you, ‘What kind of music do you like?’, don’t say, ‘Everything.’

‘What’s your name?’




No, but neither are blue jeans and they always seem to work.

When we were on tour I ran the entire length of a hotel on the ledge of a balcony. It was very high up. BP]PdZ`YLVPO*


That came later! aT^T__ZL[ZWTNP^_L_TZYZ]SZ^[T_LW*

I’ll try to understand why. Maybe she could explain it to me. But it’s gonna be hard.

No.That would be awesome, though!



It’s sexy when a girl can get really dressed up and go out, and then the next day just wear sweat pants. Comfort is sexy. You know what’s the sexiest? When she throws on one of your big shirts. Isn’t that hot?


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Sex. No, I’m kidding. The best date scenario is to have a drink. With dinner, you feel trapped if it’s not working. And I don’t understand the date movie thing – isn’t the whole point to talk to the person? 4QdZ`NZ`WOOL_PLYdZ_SP]QLXZ`^ [P]^ZYTY_SPbZ]WOQ]ZXLYdP]L bSZbZ`WOdZ`NSZZ^P*

Debbie Harry. It’s gotta be. .LYdZ`PaP]^PPdZ`]^PWQ[WLdTYR LYLN_TZYSP]Z*

No. I had a girlfriend the entire time I was in the band. And I’m a faithful man.




Yeah, I want to. Something like Beverly Hills Cop or a Harrison Ford movie. I’d like to do everything.Twice.


No way!





Um… [long pause].The fact that it’s taken me so long to answer that question says something, doesn’t it? Neither of them have exactly paid off. I think that perhaps


Thank you. No, I don’t groom. Well, OK, just a little bit – a quick tweeze here and there. N Marie Antoinette is out on 20 October

I do.


No, they’re through with dating me. My girlfriend is an artist. 212