Milan during fashion week is filled with heels, limos and high-maintenance behavior. So one would expect opening the door to actress Kirsten Dunst’s vast suite at the city’s celeb hot spot, the Bulgari Hotel, would give rise to chaotic scenes involving entourages, shopping bags and runway tickets. Instead, a poised Dunst sits perched on an armchair, in a striped top and black pants, reminiscent of a French Fifties actress, chatting not about front-row sightings or shopping excursions, but rather, where to locate the best spring water. After a trip to Bellagio in nearby Como, she’s particularly enthusiastic about having bottled her own water from its source.
“I’m planning to drive through Switzerland and look for other springs, too; it’s fun to do something other than drink a bottle of wine, to find things that adults can do that are fun,” she said. “My dad is German, so he’s all about bike rides and nature.”
Fast forward a few hours, and Dunst reappears in an elegant long-sleeve black Valentino gown, prim updo and about $300,000 worth of Bulgari jewels to fete her new role as the face of the Italian luxury brand’s forthcoming fragrance Mon Jasmin Noir.
Given the Italy locale, it seems only fitting that a renaissance of sorts is unfolding for the kooky hipster and one-time party girl, bolstered by an upcoming lineup of meaty film roles. She’s playing Justine in “Melancholia,” directed by the Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier, and Camille in the long-awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” by Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles (“The Motorcycle Diaries”).
Displaying a worldly air belying her 28 years, Dunst chats about how she plans to make her way to Denmark via Switzerland, after a family pit stop in Germany, where her grandparents live. In Denmark she’ll get her first look at the von Trier movie, in which she and Charlotte Gainsbourg star as two sisters who find their relationship challenged as a nearby planet threatens to collide with Earth. The forthcoming sci-fi drama also features Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt and Charlotte Rampling, and is a far cry from two of Dunst’s last appearances on the big screen in “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” and “Spider-Man 3.” Contrary to reports about the controversial Danish director’s reputation for tormenting his female leads, a giggling Dunst said the experience was not a harrowing one. “He’s the kindest, most sensitive, lovely human being. He has a funny dark sense of humor for sure, but he creates an environment that is very safe. It’s an actor’s dream, actually.”
As for fashion, rather than name-dropping specific labels, Dunst flags her “Melancholia” co-star, Rampling, as someone who influences her fashionwise, along with numerous movies. “There was a point in my life when I wanted to look like Mia Farrow in ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ then another time when I wanted to look like Annie Hall. Stella Tennant always looks cool, I like the vibe of girls in boys’ clothes,” she said confidently.
When asked if she’d consider starting her own clothing line, a definite scent of entrepreneurialism fills the room. “I wouldn’t say no, it sounds like fun. I wouldn’t want my own entire fashion line, but I’d do a collaboration, a one-off.” Though it’s unlikely she’ll have the time given two of her films are due to hit the big screen this year.
In “On the Road,” Dunst plays Camille, the alter-ego of Carolyn Cassady, an American writer associated with the Beat Generation through her marriage to Neal Cassady and her friendship with Jack Kerouac. The film stars a buzz-worthy lineup including Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund. The flick’s plot is one Dunst is certainly familiar with.
“I’ve been on a road trip with my dad through Germany before, and one with my girlfriends across the U.S. I would do that again. It’s fun to explore, and get lost and not know where you’re going to stay,” she said.
It’s a refreshing, perhaps surprising, admission from a celebrity who has long been exposed to the glamorous trappings of Hollywood that friends and family are her idea of life’s finer things. Which of course brings the conversation back to where she does in fact call home. Although Dunst has a home in New York, she said she’s been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles, as a lot of her friends are located there. Despite her life as a big star and extended periods literally on the road, Dunst can’t seem to stray far from her roots. “I was gone for so long working, I missed everybody, and so I’ve been living at my mom’s house all fall,” she said.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion