One of our favorite Lucky cover girls of all-time (and current star of The Ledge) spills on her love/hate relationship with leather pants and her “homegirl” fashion phase
Curled up on a couch at the Crosby Hotel, her sky-high black Louboutins tossed beside after a long day of interviews for her new film, actress Liv Tyler is every bit NYC chic as we expected. Dressed in a Alaia cardigan, a leather skirt from The Row, and a cute top with a Peter Pan collar from somewhere she can’t remember, it’s obvious why the staff here at Lucky has been style crushing on her for years. Today though, she’s here to promote a pretty deep project: The Ledge is not only written and directed by Charles Darwin’s great-great grandson Matthew Chapman (how’s that for bona fides?), it grapples with issues of religious fundamentalism, mortality, adultery and fate. So allow us a brief pit stop before we get to the all- important matter of the day, fashion!
Your character Shauna is a reformed drug addict-turned-fundamentalist Christian. What drew you to this movie?
You know, it’s such a gut instinct thing for me. I was very interested in the complexities of my character —the flaws and the sort of different notes and levels—this idea that we are all so complicated and fragile. It was just a story that I wanted to be a part of.
Have you ever had a spiritual crisis like Shauna’s?
I haven’t. I grew up with such an eccentric varied mix. Half of my family is Republican, half is Democrat. You know, we have every kind of religion there is and I’ve always had a clear sense of what I believed in, which is quite simple, and it is not necessarily any one thing as a whole.
We’ve been watching you since Empire Records. How has your style evolved over the years?
My style has changed quite a lot in the past couple years. I keep going through my closet lately, and I want to get rid of everything. Even things that I think are really beautiful—I just think I don’t really want to wear that anymore, that shape doesn’t suit me. I am very aware of my body now as a woman, and the very classic simple shapes that suit me, like a great striped blue-and-white top with a pair of jeans, or the perfect pencil or mini skirt. I suppose I might have been a little more feminine in the past. Now I’m interested in the combination between feminine and edgy.
Some of our editors noted your outfit and side-braided hair at Target’s GO International Designer Collective Launch event and thought you were going edgier.
That night, I really wanted to have my braided on one side. I asked my hairdresser if he could do it, but I didn’t think of it being particularly edgy. If anything the thing that has influenced me is my relationship with Riccardo Tisci through my cosmetic contract with Givenchy. It’s incredible what he does. It’s like this mix between very gothic and feminine and then also something very strong with an edge to it. It really suits me in a way I wasn’t aware of before.
You turn up at a lot of fashion events, the CFDAs, The Met Ball, runway shows. Is it work or fun for you?
I can’t help it; I love fashion. I grew up in New York, I was a model before, and as a woman in the world today I am interested and curious about fashion. And a lot of those people are my friends, and have been for a long time. I love what they do and there is something so exciting and amazing about going to a fashion show. It is such a different world than making films. Fashion is very immediate and spontaneous and a lot of creative energy goes into a quick moment— it’s almost like a live theatre production.
Did having rock star dads making you more willing to take fashion chances?
I mean if anything that sent me the other way! I am wearing a leather skirt today, but you could not have put a pair of leather trousers in front of me, I would have not worn them, just because I grew up around them my whole life, But in the past couple years Riccardo made me a pair of leather pants. They are tight, like a second skin, and I put them on and even just wear them with a t-shirt or a baggy sweater and they are great! I would have never thought to wear them before, but I love them.
What do you think of your dad’s (Steven Tyler) style?
Oh my god, I always have things to say about his style. It’s so unique. He has so much fun with it, and there is no question for him. Nothing could be too over the top—if he loves leopard, he’s going to wear the leopard. If he likes that shirt or that hat or that scarf, he wears it. I think that’s quite beautiful. He’s not thinking about it at all, about if it’s fashionable or cool, he is completely going from his gut.
What was your most awkward fashion phase?
Oh my god, I’ve had a few. I was a homegirl for a while when I was a teenager, and I used to wear really baggy jeans and doorknocker earrings and red lipstick. I had very thin eyebrows, and my hair was slicked back in a really high ponytail with lots of hairspray.
What’s your perfect summer outfit?
I love to wear little summer dresses and rompers, and baggy cut off jean shorts and a little sweater. Or little striped top with a pair of jean shorts. For sneakers, I love to wear Bensimon sneakers from France in the summer.
Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
Often times, I will just get an image in my mind. A lot of times it comes from a film or a classic image, you know Bridgette Bardot or all of those amazing women from another time—Jackie Kennedy, Lauren Hutton—very simple, classic looks that I definitely go back to a lot.
PHOTO CREDIT: Fairchild Archive
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