Hollywood Reporter

Elizabeth Olsen dishes on fashion

April 7th 2012

The first fashion show Elizabeth Olsen attended was because of family connections: The show was for her older twin sisters Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s upscale line The Row.
But her second was courtesy of a personal invitation from Karl Lagerfeld to sit front and center at his Chanel show during the 2012 Paris Couture Fashion Week.  The invite was an indication of having truly arrived in the film and fashion worlds.
Olsen was one of a few select actresses – including Cameron Diaz and Diane Kruger — who got to sit onboard a huge simulated jetliner and watch the models walk down the runway in Lagerfeld’s Fall/Winter couture designs. And yes, she wore Chanel, a smart double-breasted navy blazer with black leather leggings.“It was my first big show and it was so cool,” Olsen said during our recent chat at the Four Seasons Hotel. “It was also cool that it was Chanel and I loved how you can hear the clothes move in a show. I’m a big fashion fan, so I really enjoyed it.”.
Olsen, 23, admits she wasn’t prepared for the pressure of dressing for red carpets. She was only 20 when she began going on auditions and certainly didn’t expect the amount of attention she’s (deservedly) been getting since her breakout success in the 2011 indie film, Martha Marcy May Marlene.
“You literally have to use a stylist,” she says. “There’s no way you can figure it all out, especially when you are working on films.”She recalled being at the recent Independent Spirit Awards when Michelle Williams talked about wearing her own clothes the first time she attended the awards.
“Now whatever you wear is like a huge statement to the world,” says Olsen. “So you have to have someone help you figure it all out.”
She’s been working with stylist Cher Coulter (one of The Hollywood Reporter’s 2012 Power Stylists) whom she adores.
“I love clothes and my stylist Cher is so cool. I have a lot of fun with her. For a while I had no clue and I didn’t even like to wear dresses to begin with. Now it’s fun, like playing dress-up.”
Olsen describes her look as “schoolboy meets Faye Dunaway in Network.” Some of her favorite designers are Alexander McQueen, and Proenza Schouler. But she’s also mixed high with low, such as a Missoni for Target shift dress. While she’s not a slave to her sisters’ brand The Row, she admits: “I love all their jackets and their Spring 2012 collection” which she describes as “white Tahitian-Bohemian.”
Olsen’s recent winning red carpet looks include: An Antonio Berardi white gown with an embroidered top at the Independent Spirit Awards and a bright yellow Pucci short dress at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Olsen also gets to play dress up in her upcoming films. She sported ‘40s frocks to play Edie Parker, Jack Kerouac’s wife in Kill Your Darlings. She worked with an ensemble cast that includes Daniel Radcliffe (as Allen Ginsberg) Ben Foster (as William S. Burroughs), Jennifer Jason Leigh (as Naomi Ginsberg), David Cross (as Allen Ginsberg), and Jack Houston (as Kerouac).
“Most of my scenes are with Jack (Houston) and the script is so good. That’s why everyone wanted to be in it. It’s basically four snippets of her (Parker’s) life but my character is the glue that hooked them all up.”

-Elizabeth Snead