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Mandy Moore Reflects on Her Early-Aughts Fashion Choices and Milo Ventimiglia's Clean-Shaven Face

"I don't recognize him!"
Mandy Moore at the alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet fall 2017 presentation. Photo: Michael Loccisano

Mandy Moore at the alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet fall 2017 presentation. Photo: Michael Loccisano

Taking a break from the award show circuit (and many on-point red carpet appearances on behalf of her hit TV show "This Is Us"), Mandy Moore graced New York Fashion Week with her incredibly sweet, gracious and just-so-perfect self. On Monday, she pulled double-duty by hitting the front row of Naeem Khan in the morning (she wore his elegant cape gown to the Golden Globes) and the Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet presentation in the afternoon.

"I totally fan-girled over here," said Bendet. "I was like, 'I'm gonna be a big nerd right now. Your show is my favorite show I ever watched.'" (Same.)

The last time Moore made the NYFW rounds was in 2012 for the Lincoln Center-era spring 2013 collections, which in the age of Instagram Stories, see now, buy now and influencer saturation seems like a lifetime ago. 

"I don't think I've had my feet on the ground here long enough to discern the differences [from then]," said Moore at alice + olivia. "I guess the impact and importance of social media and the immediacy [of] collections and what people are wearing and all of the hubbub that goes along with the show — I feel like that's more and more prominent. I haven't been here in a couple of years and that feels like a dramatic shift."

Moore, Stacey Bendet and Kate Mara at the alice + olivia fall 2017 presentation. Photo: courtesy BFA

Moore, Stacey Bendet and Kate Mara at the alice + olivia fall 2017 presentation. Photo: courtesy BFA

Moore has also been a red carpet regular since she broke out onto the scene — and our pre-iTunes playlists — at the age of 15 with her single "Candy" in 1999, and then branched out into acting (ah, "A Walk to Remember"). Along the way, she's experienced what people in our business oft refer to as a "style evolution." (But in all fairness, everyone was wearing one-inch rise boot-cut jeans and backless tops back then.) So what red carpet fashion advice would Moore give her year 2000 self?

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"Oy. You know, you can't really begrudge choices you make when you're 15, 16, 17, but I don't know if I would change anything," she said. "I made some really interesting choices, but I feel like they were sort of on par with what was happening in fashion [at the time], with just sort of the 16-year-old lens on that."

"So there were some fringe leather pants. I was just taking a peruse down memory lane a couple weeks ago," Moore added with a laugh. "I was like 'okay. I guess maybe Ralph Lauren was doing a fringe leather pant and that was my version of it."

Like many of her cohorts at the time, the actor-singer ventured into the fashion design category with her clothing label MBlem, which quietly shut down after a few years. But she isn't interested in revisiting that career endeavor. "No," Moore said. "I am a consumer and an avid fan, but I don't want to dip my toe back in the designing portion of it."

As an avid fashion fan, she also enjoys a vast and fantastic vintage wardrobe to wear on "This Is Us," thanks to costume designer Hala Bahmet's discerning eye. "Without a doubt the '70s are my favorite [decade to wear]. Beyond," Moore said. "It's so much fun, like the hair and makeup and wardrobe: the combination of all three. The confluence of all three is really interesting. And because I'm a child of the '80s and I saw the hideous fashion I grew up with and my mother and mom jeans and acid-washed pieces and floral blouses and stuff like that. It's so much fun to explore a decade and an era that I had no part in whatsoever."

She has a favorite decade for her on-screen husband, (and, let's be honest, everyone's fantasy one), Jack, played by Milo Ventimiglia. And, sorry, "shirtless" doesn't count as a time period.

"Milo is a handsome dude. He pulls off every decade," Moore said. "I like Jack in the time of when the babies are born. I like the scruffy beard, the jean jacket, the sort of Silverlake vibe." Although, to the Internet's dismay, Ventimiglia's '70s (or pourover-coffee-drinking hipster-esque) facial hair is no longer.

"I don't recognize him!" she laughed. "Like, where's the man I love? I like it. I love the ability to shift in time and jump around."

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