INTERVIEW THE RUNAWAY BRIDE Words and styling by SALLY MATTHEWS Photography byPAVEL HAVLICEK NICOLE RICHIE’s career is moving so fast, it’s a struggle for her to find the time to arrange her upcoming nuptials – Bazaar meets the girl leaving both her former Hollywood car-crash contemporaries and her days as a single girl far behind Top, Dhs6,000; skirt, Dhs15,300; shoes, Dhs3,500, all Louis Vuitton. October 2010|Harper’s BAZAAR|169 n estled away in California, overlooking the glistening watersofSantaMonicabeachis a fabulous Spanish-style villa set high up in the Los Angeles hills. Just weeks before her final hurrah as a single girl, Nicole Richie pulls up at the house to meet Bazaar Arabia’s team, amid wardnings of paparazzi in hot pursuit. In the interestofkeepingourshootexclusivethegates are quickly boarded up and the crew put on highalerttokeeppryingeyesaway.Seemingly unfazed,Nicolebreezesinwearingaloosevest from the womenswear collection she designs, Winter Kate, with baggy faded jeans and battered Lanvin ballet pumps. In the last seven years, Nicole has successfully transformed herself from a rebellious reality television personalityandnotoriouspartyheirhead,into a style icon, successful entrepreneur and devoted mother of two. Bursting with energy, she jokes with the team and it’s not long before shehasusallinfitsoflaughter.Iamimmediately struck by how naturally beautiful she is. Her skin is flawless – she has minimal make-up on –andherfeaturesaredelicate.Peeringthrough a mane of chocolate brown hair (which she’s since dyed a more bridal shade of blonde) Nicole spies the rail of clothes and accessories we have flown over from Paris for her and heads straight for it, smiling a seal of approval as she paws through Louis Vuitton’s 1950sstyle dresses.“I love to play dress-up,”she says. “I do so many photo shoots where I’m made to look how you would expect me to, but I’m only 29 and not stuck in my ways so it’s fun to try something different and new this time.” With Stepford Wife-esque dresses and ladylikeaccessories,Bazaar’sbriefisadeliberate departure from Nicole’s trademark bohemian style, albeit one which has put her on bestdressedlistsallovertheworldandprovidedthe launch pad for two successful fashion lines; accessories brand House of Harlow 1960 (named after her two-year-old daughter), and Winter Kate, Nicole’s first clothing line which launched in the US earlier this year (see page 94 for an in depth look at the collections). Talking fashion with Nicole is like chatting to a friend I have known for years. We both profess our love for Isabel Marant – “I am kind of obsessed with her right now,”she exclaims. The French designer’s edgy rock ‘n’ roll vibe mirrors Nicole’s own inspiration for Winter Kate – she cites legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and her mum, Brenda, as her style icons. ➤ 170|Harper’s BAZAAR|October 2010 INTERVIEW Dress, Dhs15,900 and bag, Dhs21,000, Louis Vuitton. Bodysuit and stockings, stylist’s own. Ring, Nicole’s own. INTERVIEW Dress, Dhs18,000, and bag, Dhs8,650, Louis Vuitton. Gloves, stylist’s own. Earrings, Nicole’s own. 172|Harper’s BAZAAR|October 2010 INTERVIEW DUMMY SLUG “I WANT MY FASHION LINES TO EVOLVE JUST AS I CONTINUE TO EVOLVE” her into the media spotlight. Subsequent runins with the law and stints in rehab fuelled the media’s obsession with Nicole as she simultaneously became the poster girl for the size zero phenomenon.“You know, that didn’t affect me at all,”she claims of the attention she received over her dramatic weight-loss, “the only people that it affected were those who read it and believed it”. Today she is slim and healthy, nothing like theskeletalimagesoncesplashedoverthepages of the tabloid press.“Carrying around two kids at the same time will definitely keep you fit, and tone your arms,” she laughs. She also credits working out with a personal trainer – “When my crazy schedule allows me the time” – for keeping her in shape and resolutely declares that she is going to start running by thetimethisissueofBazaarcomesout,another presumable wedding prep measure. As we gear up to shoot the iconic Louis VuittongownwornbyElleMacphersonduring the brand’s A/W ’10 show, word reaches us that the paparazzi have found their way into the neighbouring house and are now hiding out in the bushes waiting to catch a glimpse of their target. Concerns over the prowling 174|Harper’s BAZAAR|October 2010 photographers(whoaredeterminedtocapture pictures of any wedding-related activity) prompt the first crack in Nicole’s laid-back, sunny disposition. Discussing“them”is strictly off limits, although as we shoo the last of them away I wonder whether this is normal for her – “Every day is the same,” she says, eyes cast downwards solemnly. The elephant in the room raises its head again – a week earlier Linday Lohan was released after a brief stint in jail, while just a week after the shoot Paris Hilton is arrested in possession of drugs – it seems alien that Nicole was once part of the Hollywood bad gal troupe herself. I ask her howshemanagedtoextricateherselffromthe scene.The answer is simple: family, specifically heradoptiveparentsLionelandBrenda,fiancé Joel and the couple’s two children. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it was having great relationships with my family. I feel so blessed and happy right now”. Her daughter Harlow is already showing signs of inheriting her mum’s love of fashion. “Sheisveryopinionatedaboutwhatshewears and getting dressed can turn into a 30 minute thing,” Nicole laughs. “I have learnt to lay her clothes out downstairs instead of in the bedroom – it makes things a lot quicker!”I am interested to know whether Nicole would be supportive of Harlow or Sparrow if they chose to follow in the family’s footsteps and pursue a career in the spotlight.“Right now I don’t have to worry about that, but I’d never hold them back from what they wanted to do,” she says. While we take a short break Nicole sips on greenvegetablejuiceandthequestioningturns on its head as she starts quizzing me about Dubai.“I’m fascinated by that place and really hope to go this year,”she says. When shooting starts again she keeps interrupting with questions about the Middle East, “I want to know everything,” she demands. As the sun begins to set over the Pacific Ocean Nicole changes back into her own garb and wipes off the last of the‘slept-in’make-up that’s been applied. It is hard to believe that the down-to-earth girl standing in front of me has achieved so much already; designer, author, actor and mother. So what’s left to tick off? “I want my fashion lines to evolve just as I continue to evolve,”she muses. With House of Harlow soon to launch sunglasses and bags, a Lolita-inspired S/S ’11 Winter Kate collection in the works and her second novel, Priceless, out on September 28, Nicole is already going full steam ahead. And so back to that impending wedding, rumouredtotakeplaceinDecember.Following lastmonth’sMexicanbacheloretteparty,which also marked her 29th birthday, with friends Christina Aguilera, Samantha Ronson and Masha Gordon, during which Nicole donned a bride-to-besashandguestsworeteesreading, ‘Tickle Your Chi Chis With Miss Richie’, Hollywood is set to get a glam new housewife. Just don’t expect her to stay at home. ■ DUMMY TEXT Changing into her first look of the day, a floral dress ruched up over stockings and suspenders,Nicoleexplainshowherchildhood colours what she creates.“I remember sitting in my mum’s empty bathtub when I was little, watching her get her hair and make-up done and modelling Alaïa dresses from her extravagant collection [which Nicole has now inherited] and I would say to myself, ‘That’s what I want to look like when I grow up.’” As we head outside for the gardening shot, I am struck by how the 1950s housewife-onthe-edge-of-a-nervous-breakdownstylingsuits Nicole’s now tamed, formerly dangerous, persona. Getting into character as a troubled Betty Draper type (particularly apt given the recenthiccupssufferedbyherHollywoodpeers Linday Lohan and Paris Hilton) Nicole jokes that she is going to take the outfit home for Joel (Madden, her fiancé and the father of her two children, Harlow and Sparrow). She has the crew in hysterics with her quick wit and hilarious one-liners, reminding me of the rebelliousNicoleRichiewhodebutedinreality TV show The Simple Life. At age 21, she stole the show from former BFF Paris Hilton with comical antics which very quickly catapulted Dress, Dhs56,000; gloves, Dhs5,150, Louis Vuitton. Prices approximate. See Where to Buy for details. Hair: Robert Vetica for Morrocanoil, at The Magnet Agency Jennifer Carter. Makeup: Mary Phillips using Chanel, at The Magnet Agency. Manicurist: J’mayka Hamilton. Jennifer Carter. Production: Workhorse Productions, Jewely Bennett. Fashion Editor: Caitlin Burke. Fashion Director: Kristen Ingersoll.
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