Welcome to Celeb Look of the Week! An MR column wherein one member of our editorial team, once a week, waxes poetic about one recently worn celeb outfit they can’t stop thinking about. Leandra kicked things off with an ode to Alexa Chung’s February footwear, then Emma explored why she loves “Tribeca” Tracee Ellis Ross, and this week, Harling’s pick comes with a heavy dose of fangirling.
I’ve always been fascinated by screenwriter-cum-actress Brit Marling, partially because her last name rhymes with my first name (a tenuous connection, I realize), but also because we went to the same college (slightly more legitimate!), and even though she graduated five years before I started, she maintained a legendary presence on campus as her film career gained momentum.
It feels like a full-circle moment, ergo, that Brit would offer pertinent fodder for Man Repeller’s “Celeb Look of the Week” series — and quite coincidentally at that. I was clicking through a slideshow on People.com, which despite not being my usual content absorption beat has proven to be useful when it comes to keeping tabs on celebrity style, and there she was. Or rather, there was a pair of Paco Rabanne purple sequin pants that me do a double take, and only when I glanced anew did I realize the person wearing them was Brit.
The pants were styled with a patterned button-down, a super-skinny brown belt and gray satin pumps. The whole outfit appeared rather discombobulated, but in a way that felt akin to spooning scoop of buttermilk sorbet into my mouth: unexpectedly refreshing, especially given the red carpet setting.
At a different red carpet event the day after sporting purple sequins, Brit wore a look from The Row (oversized tan blazer with sleeves that covered her hands, a long white maxi skirt and clunky black shoes). A cursory analysis might suggest that these two ensembles (one patterned and wacky, the other muted and minimalist) are indicative of a lack of vision. But the bigger message behind these stylistic decisions — a stark contrast to the stereotypically flattering, flowy empire-waist ballgowns and slideshow-cognizant strategy favored by many Hollywood ingenues — says otherwise.
Both red carpet looks, styled by Megan Gray, depict Brit as someone interested in shaping her own, distinctive image in the industry instead of fitting into a preconceived box. This approach seems connected in many ways to Brit’s conscious effort to write her own parts as an actor instead of leaving her career up to the whims and subjective opinions of various casting directors:
“How terrifying to surrender your life to being chosen all the time,” Marling told The Daily Beast in 2011. “Writing so that I can act became a way of having not more control over my future but not having to wait for permission. You can choose yourself. Hmm, who should play this part? I nominate me!”
Just as Brit has refused to wait for permission to play certain roles on-screen, she is also refusing to wait for permission to play certain roles on the red carpet. In both cases, she has simply chosen herself.
Photo by Presley Ann/FilmMagic via Getty Images.