Kristen Stewart Talks Writing, Off-White Takes to the Pitch, Gucci’s New Fund

THE CHANEL CROWD: Kristen Stewart has been working on her first screenplay and teased a little of her writing prowess at the Chanel show. The show opened with a short film starring Stewart as herself, with voiceover lines, including: “It’s important to burn down your best yesterday, every day, so you can start again.”

“I wrote them,” Stewart said after the show. “I’m such a better writer than I am a candid speaker. I mean, I can at least get close to expressing myself when I have a minute alone.”

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The actress said it reflects her philosophy on constantly challenging herself, and that’s in line with the current cultural climate.

“We’re all now allowed to morph daily and evolve, and I think it’s really important, not to necessarily burn it down, but to never feel like you’ve landed or to be so proud of some fixed notion because every day the world changes,” she said.

The film, directed by Inez and Vinoodh, is a bit of a play on paparazzi and living life in the spotlight, as photographers stalk Stewart as she’s leaving a restaurant. In it she also says the world is “highly pressurized” and moving so fast it gives her “whiplash.”

“You’re not always going to be on the forefront of change in progress, because you get f–king old,” said the 32-year-old. She said while it’s hard to define yourself, particularly in the era of social media and ever-changing mores, if you don’t do it yourself, someone else will do it for you. “And that’s painful. That kind of ruins lives,” she said of the tabloid culture.

The former child star reflected on growing up in the 2000s when the media treated young female stars harshly and expected a hyperfemininity. “It was a really rough, rough time for women, so judgmental, and unbelievably rigid, in terms of what we were allowed to be. Now it just feels sprawlingly free.” She said that while she did grow up on camera in that era, she’s never had social media, which gives her an ability to distance herself from the buzz constantly swirling around her.

To that end, the star attended the show with her fiancée Dylan Meyer and sported a new short pixie mullet.

“When I was little, people would be like, ‘Oh, you look like a boy.’ Nobody would say that any more…we’re cracking open words in certain ways that to me feels like liberation,” she added.

Gracie Abrams, fresh off a tour with Olivia Rodrigo and prepping to release her next single on Friday, reflected on Stewart’s film as a 23-year-old budding pop star.

“Life gives me whiplash 100 percent. I thought that was so true,” she said. “I’m trying to stay present as much as I possibly can right now. For an anxious person it takes a lot of practice, but I’ve gotten better at it recently and it’s improved my quality of life tenfold.”

She said mediation, therapy and “writing music is my number-one tool to stay sane.” She listens to Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell as inspirations. “As a writer, I’m lucky to be living in a time where women are as vocal as we are, and so I’m kind of trying to stay quiet and listen to everybody else’s voices.”

Her new single “Difficult,” was co-written with friend Aaron Dessner and is a bit of a change in her sound and approach based on a lot of self-reflection. “This song is more introspective about my relationship to myself, less so about my relationship to other people.”

Abrams will celebrate the release in Paris before heading home to L.A. and continue work on a new album due out next year.

A very tired Jennie, fresh off of global promotions for Blackpink’s latest album, was tucked away on a white couch backstage and admitted to a little bit of jet lag on a 36-hour trip to Paris. The pop star, who has her first acting role in the upcoming HBO series “The Idol,” said she was “mesmerized” by the film screen that surrounded the room.

Stewart’s film was overlaid with scenes from Alain Resnais’ “Last Year in Marienbad,” projected larger-than-life on a screen that enveloped the runway.

“Kristen was sitting right next to me, so it felt like more of an unreal situation for me,” she said of her place in the front row next to the star.

She was sporting a cozy Chanel minidress and wrapped in a long sweater. So does she like to be more dressed up or relaxed in her personal style? “I like to be versatile, but mostly relaxed because I’m tired.”

“I think everybody would find flying too much hard … but I’m always lucky to be in Paris,” she said of her hectic travel schedule. “Fashion week is all about inspirations for me. I try to take every angle into my eyes as much as I can, because what I do at home isn’t pinpointed at one thing. We’re all about creating a visual that goes with the song and what I wear, everything has to harmonize.” That includes lots of use of color and layering, she said.

The film also showed Stewart riding the Parisian metro.

“The movie was really beautiful to see how someone really well-dressed can be worn in the metro. It was good with the theme ‘allure’ — it means moving forward — but I would not dare,” joked actress Rebecca Marder of replicating Stewart’s scene on the train in real life. “But it was a really graceful moment.”

Marder just completed “Madeleine,” co-starring Isabelle Huppert, from director Francois Ozon. She plays a lawyer in the 1930s-set comedy. “He goes really fast and as an actor you never get bored, so I was impressed how he directs it like a theater director. You never stop acting so you are really in the era.”

Jenna Coleman
Jenna Coleman

Reading the room, actress Jenna Coleman said she found the transformational message of the film “liberating and powerful.”

She just wrapped the series “Wilderness,” which shot partly in the Grand Canyon. She said the character, who is seeking revenge, “is a very different tone for me” which might surprise some fans of the period drama “Victoria.”

“You always retain a core, but what’s so interesting is that you often battle between, you know, you play a version of a certain part, and then people often want you to just be that person,” she said of living in the public eye. “I think that’s often one of the challenges. So it’s a really powerful message to do that from the inside out.” — RHONDA RICHFORD

STYLE GOALS: When AC Milan rocks up for its Champions League game against Chelsea FC in London, its players will have an extra edge in the style department, at least.

The game this week will mark the unveiling of a partnership between the Italian football club, known as the Rossoneri, and fashion label Off-White, which has designed new uniforms for the team.

The Off-White uniform for AC Milan
The Off-White uniform for AC Milan.

The suits feature an oversize red label on the sleeve that reads “I support sport for change.” The motto is a reference to the “I Support” statements introduced by Off-White’s late founder Virgil Abloh in 2020. These include an initiative called I Support Young Black Businesses, a quarterly fundraising program to support the Black community.

The pledge also aligns with AC Milan’s “Manifesto for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” launched in 2020 with the aim of sharing the positive values of sports to support the fight against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

“This union is a celebration of humanity and has a tangible commitment to using one’s platform to generate positive change,” Off-White said in a statement.

The deal marks the brand’s first collaboration with a soccer team. As the club’s official style and culture curator, it will partner in community activations and projects to support Fondazione Milan, AC Milan’s charity foundation, encouraging players and public alike to “wear your heart on your sleeve.”

Through its “Sport for Change” program, the foundation works to provide opportunities for disadvantaged young people. The “I Support” campaign will kick off with a video featuring voiceover narration by current AC Milan men’s and women’s players, juxtaposed with iconic soccer objects tagged with “I Support” statements.

Andrea Grilli, chief executive officer of Off-White, said a partnership with a football team wasn’t in its plans until he met AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis and realized they had a common belief in community building, youth culture, diversity and inclusion.

“Our shared values were the spark for this project, a partnership that goes beyond uniforms and branding. It has the ambition to create room for conversation, empathy and action,” Grilli said.

Casper Stylsvig, chief revenue officer of AC Milan, said: “We are proud to embark on this journey with Off-White, with whom the Rossoneri share a common vision and a common mission. The new journey is a further testament to AC Milan’s ability to engage with younger generations through the convergence of football with other sectors.” — JOELLE DIDERICH

NEW GUCCI FUND: Gucci has joined forces with the Sundance Institute to create the Sundance Institute/Gucci Fund. The fund supports artists from around the world in the development, production and post-production of work that looks at the world in creative ways and seeks to uplift underrepresented voices.

The nonprofit Sundance Institute on Tuesday revealed this year’s grantees for the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. A total of $1.4 million in unrestricted grant support has been provided to 35 projects in various stages. In addition to Gucci, grants are made possible by The Open Society Foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Kendeda Fund and Luminate.

The three Gucci projects are “Matabeleland,” (Zimbabwe, Boswana, Kenya and Canada) “Matinino,” (USA) and “Queendom,” (USA and France).

“Matabeleland” is about a struggling migrant truck driver who must choose between being exploited in a foreign land or returning to the country that killed his father. Out of desperation, he joins a religious cult to find an answer.

A scene from “Matabeleland.”
A scene from “Matabeleland.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Documentary Film Program, which has been a global resource for independent non-fiction storytelling. Fifty seven percent of submissions came from outside the U.S. Among the 14 U.S. films granted this year, all are helmed by at least one director and/or lead producer who is Black, Indigenous or a person of color; two of the projects are directed by Indigenous filmmakers.

Internationally, the DFP prioritizes supporting artists living and working in countries without infrastructure or support for independent film, or regions where freedom of expression may be at risk. — LISA LOCKWOOD

CHOOSING CHLOE: Garage, a part of Groupe Dynamite Inc., a Montreal-based retailer, has tapped Chloe Bailey, the 24-year-old Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and actress, as the face of the collection, B.DY by Garage.

The collection includes a variety of seamless knit tops and bodysuits, ranging in size from XXS to XL and retailing from $24.95 to $39.95.

Chloe Bailey for B.DY by Garage
Chloe Bailey for B.DY by Garage

“I am so excited to be the face of this collection and campaign that is focused on empowering women and making sure they feel sexy and own it in their body,” said Bailey. “It took me a while to be and feel confident in my own skin, but this past year I feel like I’ve really come to love, respect and accept my body unapologetically. It’s no secret that I feel most like myself and most confident when I’m on stage, but wearing B.DY by Garage makes me feel sexy, confident and fearless off stage.”

Chloe has been one half of the musical duo Chloe x Halle with her sister Halle Bailey, and together they have earned five Grammy Award nominations since 2018. In 2021, Chloe debuted as a solo artist with “Have Mercy” as the lead single from her upcoming solo debut studio album.

‘To us, there was no question that Chloe was the perfect fit for this collection. She embodies true confidence and inspires others to push boundaries. With the launch of B.DY by Garage, we are excited to bring this energy and product to our customers,” said Stacie Beaver, chief merchandising officer, executive vice president of Groupe Dynamite. — L.L.

BADER POPS UP: Augustinus Bader is unveiling its first stand-alone pop-up shop, a 250-square-foot space at The Grove in Los Angeles, California.

Open until Oct. 29, the brand showcases its range of products while offering complimentary skin consultations with beauty professionals.

Augustinus Bader
A look at the pop-up space, located at The Glass Box inside The Grove shopping center.

“We are thrilled to open the brand’s first conceptual pop-up in North America for four weeks in October,” Charles Rosier, cofounder and chief executive officer of Augustinus Bader, said in a statement. He launched the brand with professor and biomedical scientist Augustinus Bader in March 2018.

“It’s a true L.A. destination takeover with a modern introduction to our premium skin care and luxury wellness regimens,” Rosier continued.

The pop up is a collaboration with Nordstrom, a retailer partner for the brand. Open all week at The Glass Box — 189 The Grove Drive — guests can expect meet and greets with brand ambassadors, the likes of facial masseur Lord Gavin McLeod-Valentine, makeup artist Nikki DeRoest and hairstylist Glen Coco.

Utilizing stem cell research and its proprietary TFC8 technology, Augustinus Bader garnered buzz for its moisturizers — The Cream and Rich Cream — before expanding its skin care offering and introducing hair and lash products. It’s among beauty’s fastest-growing companies, with annual sales tripling to $70 million in 2020. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE

ZIEGLER’S STYLE: Mackenzie Ziegler is bringing her edgy style to Francesca’s.

The influencer and musician is teaming with the fashion brand to create a limited-edition collection that reflects her own style. The 40-piece collection includes pieces like dresses, blazers, tops, trousers, jeans, skirts and more. The collection is meant to offer pieces that are traditionally feminine and masculine.

“I always wanted to create my own clothing line and I also wanted to create something that anyone can feel comfortable in,” Ziegler said. “You can be masculine, but you can also be feminine — I really tried to do tiny tops and baggy pants. I just love stepping out of my comfort zone and I think that was the main goal of this collection.”

Ziegler looked to her own style and closet as inspiration for the collection. She stated her favorite piece from the collection is a leather jacket similar to one she owns and wears frequently. She explained the piece is a staple that goes with many styles in the collection.

She additionally wanted to bring in her edgy style with pieces like a lace-detailed floral slipdress, baggy jeans, leather trousers and checkered skirts. Conversely, she wanted to incorporate pastel colors to offer a range of options for customers.

Mackenzie Ziegler
Mackenzie Ziegler

“I like the collection a lot because there’s a lot of street style, but there’s also a lot of items that you can wear to go out or to dinner,” she said. “You can basically wear it anywhere. I think that was so important for me because sometimes I don’t want to dress up, but I can make it look like I am. It’s kind of like you don’t have to do much to look good in these clothes.”

Ziegler explained this is the first time she’s worked with a fashion brand where she’s had full creative control over the collection. The influencer was involved in the design process for the collection, meeting with designers in Houston to decide on fabrics and other details. This is also Francesca’s first fashion collaboration.

“Francesca’s is at an exciting turning point,” said chief marketing officer Jann Parish. “As we considered our first major collaboration, we wanted to work with someone who was in a transition moment, too. When we met Kenzie, there was no question she embodied the spirit of our ‘Free to Be You’ brand positioning as she enters a new stage in her life. The final collection is a perfect mix of Kenzie’s self-expression and new elevated pieces inspired by what our customer knows and loves. We are thrilled to finally see it come to life.”

Ziegler stepped into the spotlight at a young age when she and her sister, Maddie Ziegler, appeared on the hit reality TV show “Dance Moms.” She then transitioned into a music career, releasing her first studio album, called “Mack Z,” in 2014. Throughout her career she’s consistently grown her Instagram following to nearly 15 million followers. She is also still continuing her music career with a new album currently in the works.

Ziegler’s Kenzie x Francesca’s fashion collection is available at the brand’s stores and online. Prices range from $46 to $96. — LAYLA ILCHI

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