Jun 17, 2016
The best fashion Instagrams of the week: Bella Hadid joins a new squad
Dakota Fanning for ELLE Canada
Dakota Fanning for ELLE CanadaSource: Max Abadian
If only Dakota Fanning had been a bratty, entitled nightmare of a diva. Then, oh, what a story we might have spun, of a child star all grown up and running amok. Certainly our setting—a marble- and mirror-surface-filled private home perched high in Beverly Hills with panoramic views of a hazy Los Angeles below—was perfect for telling a cautionary tale of a youth spent in the spotlight.
But, instead, this 22-year-old actress had the audacity to arrive not only on time but early, quietly letting herself in half an hour before her call time, no entourage in sight, a camel-coloured coat draped over her shoulders and bare-faced save for a pair of round sunnies. “Hey!” she said with a smile, voice a little bit morning rough, to the surprised staffer who ran into her in the vestibule. “Where do you need me to go?”
And so it went—an easy, relaxed day in the California sunshine with a good-humoured young woman who was just plain chill, conjuring up the sort of vocabulary every journalist looking for a juicy story dreads: normal, well adjusted, professional and genuinely lovely. The worst part? Later that day, Fanning even half-
apologized for her impeccable behaviour. “Every interview I do is like, ‘Why aren’t you doing those bad things?’ and I’m like, ‘Sorry! I don’t know why!’” she said when asked if she feels like she dodged a bullet, growing up so “normal” after being a child star. She laughed as she said it, her manner hilariously overapologetic, but there was also a very real frustration behind her answer.
“People want that to happen to you, though; I’ve grown up with that energy around me,” she said, propping her feet on the table out on the patio at day’s end. “I just feel that when people like that crack, people go ‘Ha ha! You cracked!’...but, you know, maybe they might not have if you’d just let them be. Personally, for me, it was never going to go that way. Number one, my mom would have kicked my ass! Forget the public—she’s the person who crosses my mind before I do anything questionable. It’s like, ‘No, my mom would kill me!’”
Fanning, who was born in the American South but mostly grew up in L.A., was clearly genuinely disturbed by the head-craning-at-a-car-crash ill will she felt (and still feels, to an extent) as an adolescent growing up in the public eye. “Because I hadn’t gone in the...I hate to say ‘wrong’ but, like, that ‘other’ path, they kept asking me, trying to force me to go down it. And I was like, ‘I’m fine, I’m good.’”
We’d say she’s more than fine. After hitting the big time as an astonishingly talented seven-year-old in I Am Sam, Fanning hasn’t really stopped working since. She has three films—Brimstone, Viena and the Fantomes and American Pastoral (more on this later)—doing the festival circuit this fall alone and a spate of upcoming projects that stretch into 2018. And while she didn’t give us the gory revelations of a broken little girl lost, Fanning was a surprise of an entirely more edifying sort: articulate, passionate and really funny, candidly chatting about everything from her future children, her career, her relationship with her equally famous little sister...and, of course, reflecting on why going from a child to an adult in the spotlight didn’t turn her into an insecure, self-destructive wreck.
You’ve basically grown up on camera—doing movies, photo shoots, etc. What effect has that had on how you feel about yourself appearance-wise? “I don’t think it’s had much of an effect. I think of myself as a confident person. Of course, everyone has things they wish they could change—anyone who says they don’t is a big liar! But when you’re acting, if you’re doing it for the right reasons, it’s about so much more than the way you look.”
What shakes your confidence then? “God, that’s hard! [Silence] Well, sometimes I’m quite scared of public speaking, so I have to put on a brave face for that. Anything that’s live...which brings me to the fact that I’ve never done theatre. It’s because I’m scared of it, which is probably why I should do it. And I will one day—I just want it to be the right thing. But I think that it will really throw me for a loop. I paused before I answered because I don’t like doing things that shake my confidence.”
Everyone has a weak spot, right? “I’m a very literal person, very factual. I’m very pragmatic. Sometimes I’m afraid I come off as a know-it-all. And it’s not that! It’s more like, ‘You’ve got it wrong; let me tell you the right thing.’ I sometimes pull that back because I know it gets annoying.”
But it’s kind of a public service, sort of? “I think that’s what know-it-alls say to make themselves feel better!”
Do you ever Google yourself? “Anyone who says they never have is also a big liar.”
Are you aware that the number three result for you is an article titled “Why you never hear about Dakota Fanning anymore”? “That’s hilarious! No, no, no. I’ve never necessarily gone anywhere, but my career has been going for 16 years now, you know? You go through ebbs and flows and changes—it would be impossible to saturate everywhere all the time, and I don’t think anyone would want that. I wouldn’t want that.”
Did you ever go through a wobbly period in your career, in that weird transition from child to adult actor? “There was a period when it felt like people weren’t going to let me grow up. And for a minute, I thought, ‘I can either let this define my life and be about trying to prove something to people, or I can forget about it and just let it happen naturally, and people can get on the train or not.’ I guess I could have gone and done bad things to prove I’m old enough to do them, but I didn’t need to do that. I started at six and now I’m almost 23—that’s a couple of lifetimes!”
Do you feel like you’re entering a new phase right now? You’re about to graduate from New York University with a women’s studies degree.... “In the fall, I’m in my last year credits-wise. I’ve never taken any semesters off, but there were some when I’ve taken one class. I’m studying the portrayal of women in film.”
That’s kind of a hot topic in 2016, when we’re talking about things like the gender-wage gap in the movie industry. “It’s frustrating that you still have to talk about it. As part of my school, I’ve studied lots of different periods, and if you go back to, like, The Taming of the Shrew, it’s talking about the disparity between genders, and it’s crazy that we still haven’t cracked that.”
Is that something you’ve experienced in your own working life? “Definitely. I’m producing [a film version of] The Bell Jar, which is one of the most famous novels of all time and one of the greatest feminist pieces of literature. It has taken such a long time to get it made, and having to explain h why it would be interesting...it’s like, I don’t even know how to answer that question. It’s The Bell Jar—what are you talking about? Why would it not be? I hate having to explain why it’s important to make films about women. I’ve experienced a little of that, and I’m sure things that I don’t even know about have happened to me. I remember realizing that being a girl meant a different thing than being a boy, and I wasn’t raised like that. I don’t believe in that!”
So what is the Dakota Fanning philosophy of life? “I am a woman, and I’m very proud of that. I love men. I believe all human beings are equal and should be treated accordingly. I try not to worry about things, and I always say to myself that one day what you’re experiencing will be a memory.”
This too shall pass.... “Exactly! I do try to remember that the things that feel life shattering or defining or like you have to figure them out right now, one day you’ll look back on it and it will have worked out and you’ll have come out on the other side. It’s weird because as I’ve gotten older, anxiety has crept more into my life. I think it comes with the lifestyle of an actor, because sometimes you don’t know where you’re going to be and you can’t make plans. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt more of a desire to have roots. Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly waiting, like I’m in this holding pattern for something, and I have to knock myself on the head and say ‘This is it, you’re in it, you’re en route!’”
You’re definitely not alone in that. We live in a very anxious age! “I wake up in the night all the time. I’m a list person, and sometimes it’s as simple as ‘Unload the dishwasher,’ but I need to get it out of my brain for my own sanity. It’s not about the existential stuff for me; it’s about ridiculous things, like packing. Like, I have to call my mom or my best friend and they tell me ‘You’re going to live another day!’”
Do you see your life going anywhere in particular? “Working is a big part of who I am, and it’s really important to me. I’m working toward being a better actor, challenging myself more. Personally, my biggest goal in life is to be a mother. I’m really looking forward to that, and I want to get to a place where I feel like I’ve accomplished what I want for myself, and then when I have my kids, I don’t matter anymore. Not that I would ever stop working, I don’t think, but I know that changes when you experience having kids. And I’m not saying that you don’t matter when you have kids, but it’s like, ‘Phew, this is what’s important, none of that matters.’ But that’s not for a while.”
So there’s nothing you want to announce.... [Laughs] “No! I’m definitely looking forward to it. I guess when I’ve thought about the person I want to become, having kids and becoming a mother is the ultimate thing. And it’s not that for everybody, but for me, I think it is.”
I think a lot of young women would be afraid to say that. “I agree! I do think that sometimes young women now feel like saying that means that they’re just turning into a housewife. And if that’s what you want, great, but if you don’t, it’s not what becoming a mother has to mean.”
Often, it still feels like a choice—motherhood or a career. “I’m not there, so I don’t know if I will feel like I have to make a choice. But I would like to think you can try to have some sort of balance. So stay tuned for that. It’s TBD.”
One of the movies you have coming out this fall is American Pastoral, which is based on a Philip Roth novel about a middle-class young woman in the ’60s who blows up a post office. Would you call her a terrorist? “It’s set when the Vietnam War was the biggest topic, and everyone, young people especially, felt like they had to do something to make their voice heard. I’d like to call her more than that word.”
So what would you call her? “A radical. A person who is flawed.”
Is there anything you’re that passionate about? Not that you’d ever blow up a post office, but.... “I can rule that out. That is not TBD. That is a hard fact. I do work with a charity called Save the Children, which deals with early education and childhood development. I’m super-passionate about that, but I will stick to helping in a rational manner!”
Your younger sister, Elle, is also in the movie business. What’s it been like watching her career take off? “It’s cool! We definitely stay out of each other’s way. We don’t really talk about it. I think we’ll appreciate it when we’re older because it’s rare to have two people grow up in the same house who also do the same thing—so you have that automatic understanding of your childhood and you have that other understanding [of your work]. But, at the end of the day, she is totally my little sister—that’s just what she is.”
She’s family. “That’s the thing. I talk to my mom every single day, and I feel like if I’ve talked to my mom, I’ve talked to everybody. My sister and I, we go for long stretches of time where we don’t meaningfully ‘talk’—we maybe chat or whatever—but that doesn’t mean we can’t. We jump right into it, like no time has passed. We’re sisters, we’re family, and we don’t have to keep up our relationship. It is just there and always will be.”
Are there any preconceived notions about who Dakota Fanning is that you’d like to clear up? “People think I’m younger! [Laughs] People think of me as a good girl, which I am, but I have other sides to me. I am also goofy and weird and I make mistakes. I am mature, but I’m also normal. I think that’s something I want people to know. But the other side of it is: I don’t actually care. I care about the opinions of my friends and my family, and everything else is like, ‘If you get it, you get it; if you don’t, you don’t.’ What am I going to do about it? Look at my Instagram. If you still don’t like me, whatever. Everyone is so into everyone’s business. It’s like, leave that person alone. Leave me alone! Why do you care? It has nothing to do with you. Go live your life the way you want. Let me live mine.”
14 Canadian love experts weigh in with their most insightful advice.
REVERSE THE GOLDEN RULE “Treat your partner how they want to be treated. I like that this requires you to really get to know someone else’s needs and insecurities. We don’t all want the same things out of a relationship, but if you commit to someone and really invest in them, you owe it to them to figure out what they want from love and do your best to offer it.” – Mandy Len Catron, who’s based in Vancouver, is the founder of thelovestoryproject.ca, a blog about love stories.
LOSE AN ARGUMENT “Economists measure bargaining power in relationships as the probability that you will get your own way whenever there is disagreement. Happier relationships are those where that bargaining power is shared evenly. No one likes to constantly be on the losing side of a battle; that is just as true for the person you love as it is for yourself.” – Marina Adshade is an economist at the University Of British Columbia and author of The Love Market: What You Need to Know about How We Date, Mate and Marry.
FIND A FRIEND WITH BENEFITS “To meet new people, you need a friend with an ‘open world view.’ This means that he or she is open to chatting with people and doing silly, spontaneous things in new circumstances. Don’t go out with big groups to meet someone. Your best friend might not be the person to go out to bars or parties with if all you’re going to do is chat with each other. You need someone with a ‘say yes’ attitude.” – Alexandra Chong, who’s based in London, England, is co-founder of the dating app Lulu, which allows women to rate men on a variety of criteria.
CHOOSE WISELY “Do not compare yourself to other people or try to shape yourself to be like someone else. Often, people concern themselves with ‘Will this person like me?’ or ‘Will this person want to be with me?’ but think about the fact that you are not only being chosen; you are also the chooser.” – Barbara Morrison is a Saskatoon-based couples therapist.
WORK THROUGH YOUR PAST “A lot of people seek the love they didn’t receive when they were younger. Gaps, broken hearts that have been ignored or previous experiences that haven’t been unpacked don’t disappear. These things can break down a healthy relationship without us being conscious of it. We all have to be engaged in the process of working through our own histories so that we are able to be good to our partners and ourselves.” – Debra Macleod, who’s based in Calgary, is a therapist specializing in infidelity.
LOOK FOR WHAT’S EASY “It’s a lie that relationships ‘take a lot of work.’ When a couple is naturally compatible and motivated to maintain emotional and physical intimacy, relationships hum along pretty nicely. Yes, there are times when you have to recommit to each other and struggle through life’s challenges. But if you’re constantly fighting to get along or having to talk things out, then you’re not meant for each other.” – Kim Katrin Milan, who divides her time between Toronto and New York, is an educator who often speaks about love in the queer community.
BE THERE FOR THE GOOD STUFF “When we talk about relationship advice, we often focus on how to deal with the bad stuff: disagreements, setbacks and stressful events. But a growing body of research suggests that how you deal with the good stuff is just as important. Expressing excitement and enthusiasm when your partner succeeds, and being there to celebrate their achievements with them, can go a surprisingly long way toward making them feel supported.” – Samantha Joel is an Austin-based psychologist studying how we make decisions in relationships.
KNOW YOUR EXPECTATIONS “Mismatched or unspoken expectations are a big challenge in a relationship. This is directly linked to the myth of the soulmate and the idea that if your partner really loves you, he or she should just know what you need, want or mean – which is completely unfair. You can change this by regularly checking in about what you feel or want. This has to be a conversation, but it won’t be effective unless you understand where your own expectations come from.” – Reva Seth is the Toronto-based author of First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages.
STAY FOCUSED “Most people put their relationships on the back burner once they feel that that part of their life is locked down. But commitment is when the work really begins. Don’t say ‘Now that I’ve conquered finding love, it’s time to focus on my career, my friends, my car collection.’ Say ‘How can we keep our relationship healthy, fulfilling, stimulating and sexy?’ Set aside a weekly or biweekly date for setting goals for the future, talking about your interests and reaffirming your love.” – Kimberly Moffit, who’s based in Toronto, is a psychotherapist and couples counsellor.
EMBRACE CHANGE “I think one of the most challenging things a relationship can face is sudden, traumatic change. For us, it happened eight years ago, when my husband suffered a traumatic brain and spinal-cord injury at work. In a split second, our whole world changed. We survived by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and honest and kind with each other, and even when we were hurting, we made each other laugh. We advocated for each other, threw out the old expectations and committed ourselves to creating a new kind of life.” – Kara Stanley, who’s based in Halfmoon Bay, B.C., is the author of Fallen, a book about her husband’s injury.
DEAL WITH DIFFERENCES “Avoiding dealing with big issues out of fear of losing someone is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship. Ask yourself if you can accept and live with the differences in the long term. Address them up front, discuss them, talk about your reservations and see if there is room for compromise. If there is no willingness on either side to compromise, then gracefully end the relationship before making a major commitment.” – Edel Walsh is a Vancouver-based couples counsellor.
TEAR UP THE SCRIPT “Look beyond the ‘script’ that relationships are supposed to follow: meet ‘the one,’ date, have sex, get married, have kids, die. It helps to stand back and look at the big picture to see how society is feeding us these models and creating pressure to conform. If we resist the pressure to change ourselves, love will change to meet our needs and not vice versa.” – Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, who’s based in Vancouver, is the founder of The Metaphysics of Love Project, which explores romantic love from a philosophical perspective, at the University of British Columbia.
DEVELOP UNSHAKABLE LOVE “The hardest challenge for interfaith relationships is gaining the acceptance and approval of families. But persistence and determination, driven by unshakable love for each other, helps people through it. In a world where divorce rates continue to climb and communities and countries continue to fight over differences, it’s refreshing and reassuring when you meet people in love who have overcome their differences by being open, respectful and accepting of each other’s beliefs.” – Jennifer Rodrigues is the Toronto-based project manager for The Interlove Project, which captures black-and-white images of interfaith couples.
EXPLORE MINDFUL MEDITATION (FOR BETTER SEX) “Pioneering research has shown that mindfulness techniques can help boost sensation and reduce distraction and negative thoughts during sex – common issues faced by women. In other words, it helps you be present. The next time you’re making love, try to focus your attention on the sensations in your body (rather than worrying about what you should be feeling) and see what happens.” – Sarah Barmak is the Toronto-Based author of Closer: Notes from The Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality.
Text compiled by Sarah Treleaven
Soak up the L.A. scene on foot.
Pairing new sandals with a new city is kind of a rookie mistake. But, in my defence, I thought my feet would be safe in L.A., a city notorious for its car-bound lifestyle. (I mean, basically all of The Hills seemed to happen in people’s convertibles, so….) Much to my blistered heels’ surprise, however, I spent a few days in the West Coast capital almost entirely on my feet – and in all that wandering and strolling (and eventual wincing and limping), I discovered a “new L.A.” that has so much more than Rodeo Drive and In-N-Out Burger. It’s a city that’s slowly gotten cool through a gradual migration of creative thinkers, like native New Yorker Lena Dunham and Tom Ford, who showed his fall/winter 2015 collection there instead of in London. I also returned home with a perfectly-broken-in pair of Church’s Kelsey sandals.
Breakfast from Eggslut Credit: Instagram.com/eggslut
EXPLORE Here’s a recipe for a perfect L.A. morning: Start your day at the 99-year-old Grand Central Market, on the edge of the Financial District, where you’ll make two stops. First, you’ll grab an almond latte (and an almond croissant, because why not?) at G&B Coffee and sip that on a bench outside facing The Angels Flight, the old tramway local residents used back when this was the city’s open-air grocery store. Afterwards, you’ll head farther into the market (now home to 2,800 square metres of food vendors who hawk everything from Chinese food to green juices).
The Infinity Mirrored Room at The Broad Museum
Toward the back, you’ll run into a lineup. That’s the queue for Eggslut, and you should get into it ASAP if you have any hope of getting your hands on its legendary brioche-bunned bacon, egg and cheese sando. You’re now properly fuelled for your visit to The Broad, the brand-new contemporary-art museum a short walk up the hill. Warning: If you want to get into the Infinity Mirrored Room (as seen in Adele’s When We Were Young video), there’s another line in your future, but it’s totally worth it to have an existential crisis all alone in a room of reflective glass.
The Original Los Angeles Flower Market Credit: Instagram.com/chloegarcia
SHOP Downtown L.A. (or DTLA) is easily the most pedestrian-friendly part of the city. If you’re after a more ephemeral sort of souvenir, the historic Original Los Angeles Flower Market is a great first stop of the day; you can peruse over 100 varieties of in-season blooms alongside professional florists who will do more with those peonies than just Instagram them.
Poketo store display
Poketo, located in the Arts District, is one of those stores that you’ll go into to browse and emerge with a bunch of pens, notebooks and a phone case – many by cool indie designers – that you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without. If you want to get your hair cut and pick up a little something from an emerging designer, try The Well on South Olive Street: This converted warehouse boasts a salon, pop-ups of local designer goods and an in-house line of minimalist basics for men and women.
The Ace Hotel Rooftop Credit: Spencer Lowell
STAY Right in the heart of the downtown core’s renaissance – and just around the corner from A.P.C. and Acne – is the so-hip-it-hurts Ace Hotel. The refurbished art-deco building is full of quirky touches – pencil sketches on the walls of the lobby, guitars in guest rooms – that are a nod to its former life as the United Artists headquarters, and it has a killer coffee bar right by the doors, perfect for grabbing a latte and a chocolate-chip cookie before you head back out into the city. And for when you return, perhaps a little footsore, later in the afternoon? Up on the 12th floor there’s a pool and covered patio with incredible views of the city through the flower-covered railing.
The café at the Ace Hotel
EAT If you’re staying at the Ace, there’s no shortage of great options in your vicinity. Just down the block there’s the vintage-y glam Faith & Flower (get the devilled eggs), Guisados for tacos and Cole’s for the legendary “French dip” roast-beef sandwich. But if you really want to sample a smorgasbord of local cuisine, we suggest getting in touch with the infectiously-L.A.-boostering “Sally from the Valley,” a.k.a. Sally Tiongco, the founder of Six Taste Food Tours. In the space of an afternoon, she’ll take you to around seven different eateries, like, say, Jamaican joint Green Grotto and bakery Semi Sweet, for a grazing-size tasting menu of what’s hot and happening in the culinary scene at the time.
Faith and Flower's devilled eggs Credit: Instagram.com/faithandflower
Fun fact: Sally says that L.A.’s restaurant offerings are so vibrant that she and her husband have made a pledge to never go out together to the same place twice. If you want to venture farther afield than DTLA, she also offers tours for other on-the-rise areas, like the Arts District and Thai Town.
Patio at Mame Shelter
GO OUT For a night on the town Angeleno-style, start with a show at the Regent Theater, originally a cinema built in 1914 that’s now a revolving door of indie-music excellence, like How to Dress Well and Hinds, both of whom have shows there this fall. (Hint.) Keep the party going literally next door at Little Easy, a N’Awlins-themed jazz joint located in the basement of the Alexandria Hotel. We hear great things about its Sazerac cocktail. (Another hint.)
Good Times at Davey Wayne's Credit: Luke Gibson
Got a post-jet-lag second wind? These next two watering holes require a brief Uber or Lyft ride, but given that your driver is probably the next Ryan Reynolds, the quick trips are quintessential L.A. experiences in themselves. For something plein-air, head to the newly opened rooftop at Mama Shelter, where you’ll quaff pitcher after pitcher of sangria while snuggling under colourful blankets. For more of a speakeasy experience, roll up to the refrigerator door at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, which opens to reveal a bar that’s basically a living room from the 1970s, right down to the boozy snow cones on offer.
Matisee beige leather sandals ($135, at heelboy.com).
Seychelles metallic silver leather sandals ($104.94, seychellesfootwear.com).
Miista beige and silver leather and rubber sandals ($244.99, at getoutsideshoes.com).
“Walking in L.A.” – Missing Persons
“Los Angeles, I’m Yours” – The Decemberists
“Hollywood” – Marina and the Diamonds
“Hallelujah California” – Luna Shadows
George Augusto, Raquel Allegra
STAUD (120 N Santa Fe Avenue)
Shop the A-list-approved collection at this Los Angeles studio founded by former Reformation fashion director Sarah Staudinger. Open Saturdays or by appointment.
RAQUEL ALLEGRA (8372 West Third Street)
Allegra’s first flagship boutique is a 30-minute drive from downtown, but it’s worth the detour. Her boho-influenced fall collection features some of the raddest tie-dye velvet around town.
BUILDING BLOCK (970 N Broadway, Unit 104)
The flagship Chinatown shop for this L.A.-based brand offers architectural accessories that pop – think bucket bags, cylindrical shapes and oversized totes.
Packing List text by Lisa Guimond.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of ELLE Canada.
Olivier Rousteing strips back the armour and brings breezy new silhouettes to Balmain.
It looks like the #BALMAINARMY is back, but with a whole new wardrobe.
Creative director Olivier Rousteing’s vision was to “strip back all nonessential armor” this season. That meant the runway featured a lot less heavily embellished body cons and lot more flowing, vacation-ready silhouettes.
Set in Paris’s Hôtel Potocki, the runway reflected this new mood, with a canopy of foliage hanging from the ceiling to create a jungle scene.
Olivier Rousteing kept up his diverse, superstar casting this season, and the show included top models like Gigi Hadid, Natasha Poly, Jourdan Dunn, and Stella Maxwell.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Balmain show without a Kardashian presence. This season, Kim, Kourtney and Kris were in attendance, and their influence still showed on the runway in a few underboob-baring pieces and snake print elements.
It's safe to say we're loving Balmain's new direction.