Katherine Waterston of ‘Inherent Vice’ Shyly Captivates the Fashion World

Gassone - posted on 01/03/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




Katherine Waterston of ‘Inherent Vice’ Shyly Captivates the Fashion World
Opacity is Katherine Waterston’s stock in trade. On screen, her disarmingly childlike features are as hard to read as the fine print on a lease, a quality that has set her apart in a string of film roles, most recently that of Shasta Fay Hepworth, the oddly inscrutable temptress of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”Given her star turn as a carefree hippie turned avatar of hard-edge chic, it was startling to find that the actress, who gusted into the Maryam Nassir Zadeh boutique on the Lower East Side a full 50 minutes late, appeared to be as candid, approachable and endearingly girlie as a high school cheerleader.All contrition, but pretty sure she’d be forgiven, she made up for lost time at the racks, slipping on a discreet-looking camel-tone boy coat of Ms. Zadeh’s design, then tucking her shoulder-length hair into a Garboesque fedora that lent her the spirited yet faintly shady air of the character she plays.Her choices, she acknowledged, were not unlike the clothes that she actually wears out and about in the East Village, where she makes her home — the kind of camouflage endorsed by that breed of self-consciously stylish Manhattanites who embrace anonymity as a badge of cool.
“I’ve always enjoyed disappearing into a crowd in New York,” said Ms. Waterston, 34. “As an actor I love to spy, and it’s hard to be a good spy if everyone is looking at you. Also I’m pretty shy. I don’t really like a lot of attention.”Attention chases her just the same, impelling her, as awards season approaches, to shed her reflexively self-effacing look (which on the day of the interview consisted of a deep navy Isabel Marant coat, white T-shirt and reedy black jeans) for the kind of dazzling camera bait that befits her current drawing power.Tall and willowy, with an innocently upturned mouth, she is, so say style-world insiders, the latest in red carpet catnip. “Katherine is definitely one to watch,” said Bryan Smith of the Wall Group, which represents a roster of high-powered Hollywood stylists.

She’s been recently sighted, Mr. Smith said, in consummately camera-ready labels including Prada, Elie Saab and Altuzarra.“Inherent Vice,” which is now in limited release, will open nationally on Jan. 9. In December, Ms. Waterston appeared at the film’s Hollywood premiere in a shoulder-baring satin Christian Dior dress accessorized with nothing more impressive than a ponytail and scarlet lips.
Her stylist, Ryan Hastings, who did not respond to an interview request, directed her to the house, which lent her the dress — a good thing, she said, since while she had always longed to wear Dior, “at the time I didn’t have two pennies to rub together.”So sophisticated was the dress that Catherine Kallon, whose popular blog, RCFA (Red Carpet Fashion Awards), assesses each star’s impact on awards night, pronounced Ms. Waterston captivating. Her style, which tends toward dramatic understatement, is much like Rooney Mara’s, Ms. Kallon posted last month. “Yet Katherine appears to have much more confidence on the red carpet.”Continue reading the main storyMs. Waterston’s turnout for the film’s New York premiere in October was brazen by comparison: a sveltely tailored evening jacket sheared away to the waist to offer a teasing glimpse of breast — a look that in its starkly modern way was every bit as provocative as the slashed-to-the-navel Versace gown Jennifer Lopez so memorably wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards.Still, Ms. Waterston’s revealing black outfit is apt to strike audiences for “Inherent Vice” as positively demure. In Mr. Anderson’s puzzling and often disorienting noir, set in dissolute 1970s Los Angeles, the actress taunts her ex, played by a wild-haired, mutton-chopped Joaquin Phoenix, with an affectless soliloquy delivered entirely in the nude.
Questioned exhaustively about the sequence, which is among the film’s most riveting, she offered a studied response: “All acting is nudity,” she repeatedly told reporters. “It’s all vulnerable, and a little bit scary.”Her father, the actor Sam Waterston, took in the scene unflappably, his reaction as measured as those of Jack McCoy, his famously laconic alter ego in “Law and Order.” “It really was no big whoop,” he told Cara Buckley of the Carpetbagger blog of The New York Times the other day, adding pointedly that he found the moment “brave.”Certainly the sequence reinforced a consensus among Hollywood savants that Ms. Waterston’s was a breakout performance destined to advance her career. (She had just been cast opposite Michael Fassbender in the forthcoming biographical film “Jobs,” as Chrisann Brennan, the much put-upon girlfriend of Steve Jobs, and the mother of his first child.)“I’m thinking a lot about this label ‘breakout performance,’ ” Ms. Waterston said, turning briefly aside, as she did routinely when she needed to process a notion.
On an emotional level, it resonates, she decided after a pause. “I often feel like a caged animal: There’s a side of me that wants to emerge.”Actually, her performances have been as multidimensional and refractive as a prism, its facets displayed in succession of stage and screen roles that include “Bachelorette” (2010), “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (2013) and “The Babysitters,” a 2007 indie release that in retrospect was a kind of audition for Shasta.“Paul may have been one of two people who saw it,” Ms. Waterston joked of the film, a dark tale of a naïve lovestruck teenager who hardens by degrees in the wake of a disappointing tryst with a neighbor, ultimately masterminding a high school prostitution ring.Ms. Waterston’s flinty portrayal apparently wormed its way into Mr. Anderson’s consciousness, prompting him to cast her years later in “Vice.” As to why it so affected the director, “I would never dream of asking,” she said.


1 Comment

View replies by

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms