A simply luxurious life ~ Anne Hathaway gets caught up in a modern day fairy tale in Paris. She was photographed in iconic locations like the Crillon (she caused a major stir getting out of an antique car) and Maxim’s.
Once upon a time, in 1996, Anne Hathaway spent her fourteenth birthday behind the footlights at the Paper Mill Playhouse in her hometown of Millburn, New Jersey, where she was appearing in a stage version of Gigi, the 1958 movie musical that starred Leslie Caron as a little girl who grows up in the most delightful way. But Hathaway wasn’t playing the title role—she was just a kid in the chorus—and throughout the famous scene at Maxim’s, where Gigi makes her entrance as a woman, she had to sit with her back to the audience, hidden behind a prop.
Now, on a June afternoon in Paris, Hathaway finds herself front and center in the Art Nouveau dining room of the real Maxim’s for a Vogue cover shoot. Looking like a cross between Caron and Audrey Hepburn, Hathaway has spent the past two days gamely flitting about Paris wearing a series of dazzling creations and a staggering amount of diamonds. Here at Maxim’s, she stands in front of the camera in an embroidered Miu Miu top, her hair swept up into a lofty French twist. When she jokes with the crew (“It’s Holly Golightly meets Marge Simpson”), the photographer, Mario Testino, says, “Anne—less talking, more beauty.” Taking his cue, she gazes at the horizon with gentle melancholy, prompting him to say, “Just like that, just like that. Oh, darling, you’re perfect.”
“It was true glamour,” Hathaway says later. “Not just the clothes and the jewels but that feeling that glamour can produce in you, which is like a dream.” We are on our way to the Gare du Nord to catch a train to London, where she’s about to start filming the romantic comedy One Day, directed by An Education’s Lone Scherfig. But first the actress decides to pop into Hermès, on Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré. “I’ve never seen a Kelly bag or a Birkin bag in person,” she tells me, “and at my age, it’s about time.” As she strolls through the store, wearing blue patent leather Sonia Rykiel flats, a flouncy Zara skirt, and a short-sleeved Lanvin T-shirt with a pink silk rose on the shoulder that on her somehow look all-American, shoppers and clerks look up, their soigné indifference giving way to wide grins and low murmurs of “C’est Anne ’Atta-way!” It could be a scene from a sequel to The Princess Diaries, the 2001 cinematic fairy tale that transformed Hathaway, at eighteen, from an aspiring ingenue into Hollywood royalty.
Moments later, a salesman who, if this actually were one of the Princess movies, would be played by Hector Elizondo, oversees the arrival of a stack of boxes bearing the coveted items in various sizes, colors, and skins. First up: a small brown leather Kelly whose clean, classic lines exemplify the 1950s American glamour of its namesake. Hathaway oohs and aahs with appropriate reverence. But it’s the oversize Birkin, with its hippie-chic quality (and heart-stopping price tag), that really makes her gasp. “It’s Heaven,” she says.
If what we wear is an expression of who we are, then Hathaway is still exploring—mixing young, bohemian looks with vintage classics. Labels she likes range from 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone, and If Six Was Nine to Céline and Isabel Marant. (She is also obsessed with Freddies of Pinewood, whose retro denim she describes as “my new magic jeans, sort of Marilyn Monroe in her off hours.”) With a bag in each hand, Hathaway steps in front of a mirror, studying herself as she turns from side to side. “I think the Birkin would suit me more,” she pronounces. “As gorgeous as the Kelly is, I think it’s something that you mature into.”
“You are young,” the salesman says.
Photographer Mario Testino and stylist Tonne Goodman cast Anne Hathaway in the center of a fairy tale for the cover feature of the November 2010 issue of Vogue.