On Friday, Nicolas Winding Refn's fashion industry-focused horror film "The Neon Demon" hits theaters, and as someone who was treated to a preview of the flick before its release, I can assure you that viewers are in for a wildly depraved — albeit visually stunning — ride. The movie centers around three models at different stages of their careers in Los Angeles: Elle Fanning plays Jessie, the bright-eyed teen transplanted from the South with a promising future; Bella Heathcote is Gigi, an established face who's approaching her "expiration date," but keeps her look fresh through cosmetic procedures; and Abbey Lee, the unequivocal star of the bunch, portrays Sarah, a modeling has-been who'd do literally anything to get back on top — even resort to gruesomely violent tactics. We'll leave it at that.
While the colorful, glittery film is, on the surface, about modeling, it mainly delves into much deeper subject matter, leaving little time for pretty editorials and fashion show scenes. Thankfully, V magazine decided to shoot Fanning, Heathcote and Lee for the cover of its pre-fall 2016 issue, with the ladies completely in character. Shot by Steven Klein and styled by Patti Wilson, the women wear similarly dramatic ensembles as they do in the film, with bold makeup by Kabuki. Fanning is also honored with a separate solo cover — her first for the glossy.
Although the 18-year-old has had plenty of fashion experience over the years (she's posed for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Love, to name a few), Fanning learned tricks of the modeling trade from her costars — one in particular. "In a weird way I kind of idolized [Abbey Lee] when I was young because I loved fashion," she tells the magazine. "She had to teach me how to do the walk for the casting scene. I thought she was just walking, and she was like, 'No, there're rules to it. You can't move your arms. Lean back. Make your legs look longer.' It's so intense."
You can pick up the new issue of V when it hits newsstands on July 14, and see a preview of the editorial below.