Given their closeness in age, repeatedly expressed love of The Virgin Suicides and overall obsession with fashion, we knew it was only a matter of time before Tavi Gevinson and Elle Fanning met and became best friends. That time has come.
Tavi got to interview Elle for Rookie and of course the first question is "So, I know that you really like The Virgin Suicides. Can we just freak out over how good it is for a sec?" And from there, the interview just keeps getting better and better. They talk about everything from style inspiration to school uniforms to Marilyn Monroe, but not before a glowing and perfect introduction from Tavi, who calls Elle "the best instant-happiness supplier of all" and "a goddamn fairy" (we agree and the closest we've ever come to Elle is seeing her through the window of the Marc by Marc store on Fashion's Night Out). Here it is in full, because it's so perfect:
She was sweet and secretly wise in Somewhere, and a badass in Super 8, but my (probably universally shared) girl crush on Elle is also for her her-ness. She has personality and style, and, I don’t know, maybe a slight golden glow appears around her face when she smiles! Do not, however, mistake this special quality of hers for the same surface appeal of various young and famous ladies labeled “It girls.” She’s talented, remember? And smart. So smart that I was tempted to ask about her process and career but she’s such a goddamn fairy that I just wanted to know what kindsa things are in her world instead. Her enthusiasm for art and film and fun turned out to be infectious. I became this weird, giggly, nice person talking to her, and I think my voice even ranged more than two octaves! It was amazing! My apologies to your puberty if this interview undoes any of your own voice-deepening.
What follows is the best interaction between two teenagers that has ever happened. You can literally feel the giggliness and enthusiasm. To have been a fly on that wall... Here are the best things we learned about Elle from the interview:
She gets a new Barbie calendar every year and has Marilyn Monroe's actual face cream and powder:
Every year I get a new Barbie calendar and there are all these old Barbie dolls on the calendar, and I’m very obsessed with schedules and everything, so I love writing in different things that I have each day on it. So that’s one of my favorite things in my room. I also am obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, and I went to an auction and got her face cream and powder. Her actual one!
And she, of course, has two Marilyn Monroe Barbies:
I have the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” one, and I have the Seven Year Itch one, with the white dress.
In addition to The Virgin Suicides, she takes style inspiration from '60s French singers:
I’ve recently gotten really inspired by the ’60s. I don’t know if you know her, but Sylvie Vartan is a French singer from the ’60s and she has platinum blonde hair and she wears her hair in pigtails sometimes. She’s super cute and I just discovered some of her music. It’s in French so I don’t really know what she’s saying, but it’s still pretty cool! [Laughs] And I like the way she dresses. If you look her up online you’ll see some of her pictures. She’s cute.
(She is.) Elle likes French because it's girly:
I wanna learn it. I’m trying really hard! It’s such a pretty language. So girly. I can understand people better than I can speak it. I feel sometimes embarrassed to say it to people ’cause you feel like you’re totally screwing up the language and you sound awful.
Elle has a school uniform, but Tavi doesn't. Here's how Elle makes hers her own:
I try to add belts to the high-waisted pants. I actually got these really cool ’80s khaki pants—I think they’re men’s, so they’re super big, but they look cool when you pull them up really high with a belt. Last year all the girls got in trouble for their short skirts, and it’s sort of happening again, so I’m trying to do the opposite and I’ve decided that the longer plaid skirts look sort of cuter in a weird way. If you wear them a tad longer it makes them look, like, super school-uniform. So I like it.