Jurnee Smollett prepares for the Dior show at Paris Fashion Week – WWD
Jurnee Smollett hasn’t missed opportunities to dress up lately. Last weekend she was in Armani for the opening of The Academy Museum, and before that wore Dior to the Emmys, where she was nominated for her role in “Lovecraft Country”. This week, she traveled to Paris to attend the Dior show, dressed by the brand of course, and styled by its stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn. In the gallery above, she shares a behind-the-scenes look at her day spent preparing for the show, and below discusses her Parisian adventure.
How was your first PFW? How is this different from other fashion experiences you have had?
“The last time I was in Paris was in 2013. I remember walking down the Champs-Élysées, entering the many Dior boutiques and marveling at the know-how that went into the manufacture of models. I remember dreaming of the day when I could afford even one item from the store. Needless to say, wearing a Dior Haute Couture Emmys dress designed by Maria Grazia, attending PFW at the invitation of my adorable friends at Dior, is a pretty full moment for me. It is exciting. A real dream come true.
Besides fashion, what else do you plan to do in Paris?
“It’s my birthday week and my younger brothers, Jake and Jocqui, have come here with me to celebrate. Paris is one of the most magical and inspiring cities on the planet – it is an artists’ paradise. I’m going to take a tour of a few museums and try to see as much art as possible while I am here. I really want to have a picnic in the Tuileries garden. My stylist, Alexandra Mandelkorn, is dying to take me to the Crazy Horse burlesque show, which could be fun.
How does Dior align with your personal style?
“What I love so much about Dior is the way Maria Grazia Chiuri and the brand are able to weave aspects of female and male clothing together seamlessly. It makes me feel both powerful and sweet, dangerous and self-confident There is no other feeling than to be dressed in a Dior design.
Favorite look / piece from the collection?
“I loved how Maria Grazia found a way to pay homage to the brand’s heritage while incorporating elements that make it feel modern and fresh. She boldly embraces the radical spirit of the 1960s, a time from which, as an artist, I draw so much inspiration. The contrasting colors and bold animal prints were so exciting to me. I also love the way Maria Grazia brings elements of sportswear into her collections. I’m such a sports fan and found myself drooling over boxing shorts and bathrobes. So innovative and unexpected.
Over the past year, you’ve had so many amazing times in the fashion business at press tours and awards shows: What is your recent journey in fashion like? How has your style evolved?
“I think fashion is such a form of creative expression and I really tend to take risks and be more daring with my attire. I went through an intense period of transition in my life, in my femininity. I feel a level of freedom and openness, a desire to explore different facets of my femininity, which I am fortunate to be able to express through my fashion choices. My stylist always tells me that fashion is as hot as you want it to be. I want to leave space for the expansion of ideas about what fashion can be and who fashion can be aimed at, whether it means wearing more traditionally masculine styles as a woman, or silhouettes that are not traditionally worn. in certain spaces, etc.
“I spent much of the promotional tour and even part of the awards season for ‘Lovecraft Country’ in front of a computer on Zooms. At first I thought ‘Oh, it’s silly to dress if I only go to my living room!’ But then I found the joy of being able to express myself and play, even though I never left my house. I wasn’t dressing for anyone else, I was dressing for myself, which I think really set me free and made me want to have fun and play. I take inspiration from clothes that have a certain edge, have an element of danger or play with them, whether it’s more cosmopolitan and clean, or a little more grungy and punk, it really depends on the day and my mood. My stylist Ali and I tried to incorporate an element of play into each look, with some unexpected associations. Put on voluminous moccasins with a fancy dress, layer necklaces, earrings and layered ear cuffs, suspenders and lots and lots of rings. More is more! Haha. “
What are your post PFW projects?
“I will be heading to New York to attend Comic Con next week. Hoping to catch some Broadway shows and visit the Dior exhibit at BAM during your stay.
Jurnee Smollett’s hair was styled by Nai’vasha and makeup by Vincent Oquendo.