You shall go to the ball: Three starlets are living the Cinderella story
The gowns, the glamour, the glitz and the glory. The only difference? There's no chance of them disappearing at midnight, says Harriet Walker
Tali Lennox is fabulous. There's simply no other word: an internationally recognised catwalk model by the age of 18, she skipped working the fashion weeks this year to go the annual Burning Man festival (a radical art-muso gathering in Nevada), and she has just been appointed the face of high-street label Mango. Her predecessor in that role was Kate Moss, but Lennox isn't fazed.
"In my first season, I was trying to make a point," she explains, having taken her initial steps on the catwalk for Marc Jacobs, Prada, Christopher Kane, Miu Miu and Acne (among others) during the spring/summer 2011 collections. "I wanted to show I'm not just who my mum is. Fashion week is hard work. It was a way of proving to myself that I could do something that wasn't given to me."
Her mother, Annie Lennox of Eurythmics fame, may be present in the familiar crystal-clear skin, pouting lips and aquiline nose, but no one could accuse Tali of relying on her name.
Despite the jet-setting and inherited celebrity, Lennox is refreshingly down-to-earth. Interested in art, she sequesters herself to paint whenever she can. "I can switch off while I'm doing it. I might be rushing around but I can sit and paint portraits for six hours at a time. I'm drawn to dark, distorted artists, such as Francis Bacon and Cindy Sherman, the sunken eyes and bruised faces. It's ironic, given my job is about being pristine, but it's liberating to be a bit messy."
That messiness comes across as a lack of artifice in Lennox's work, which also includes a Burberry campaign shot by Mario Testino, as well as her personal style, a mix of high-street ("Topshop, of course," she says, having modelled for the brand's Christmas campaign last year), gifts from designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, and pieces rooted out at vintage fairs in London and Paris.
What is there left to do when you have scaled the dizzying heights of celebrity by the age of 16? Plenty, says Bonnie Wright, now 20, who entered the public eye aged nine, when she landedthe role of Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise.
"I'm in the last year of a film degree," she says. "I'll graduate as a director, but it takes years to get the stories and the confidence to be a good director, and I'm scared to do it immediately. So I'm acting for now, stretching myself."
There aren't many students who spend their final year starring in blockbusters while pondering their coursework, but in the past 12 months, Wright has not only written and directed her own film, inspired by the countryside around Dungeness in Kent, where she spent much of her childhood, she has also taken a role in an independent movie filmed in Indonesia about thought experimentation. The Philosophers will be released next summer.
Since her parents are behind the jewellery label Wright & Teague, based on London's Dover Street, she is also well versed in the fashion canon, and has become a front-row regular since she came of age, when she took up her place as one of the industry's favourite clothes horses. "I love costume in film and how it develops characters," she says, "and, of course, some of the shows are very theatrical. When I was young, I used to love dressing up."
Wright claims she had no inkling that she would get the part in the Harry Potter films; her brother, meanwhile, was convinced she was the girl for the role and it was his idea that she audition. "I'd love to do theatre," she adds. "It's another experience, isn't it? Something different every night."
One thing's for sure, Bonnie Wright isn't about to get bored.
"It's Gwen Stefani meets Where's Wally? with a bit of Bianca Jagger," says singer Rita Ora of her look, which is normally rather more low-key than these pictures suggest. "I mix and match high and low, so cheap jewellery and vintage clothes, maybe a vintage Chanel bag. I live on Portobello Road [in west London], so I'm always at the market there."
She cuts a striking figure, with a shock of curly blonde hair and eyes deep enough to lose yourself in. And her musical style is similarly eclectic. "I was brought up on The Beatles, Duran Duran and Eric Clapton as well as a lot of soul, so I have an open mind. My music is pop, but with a twist. It's natural and honest, it's about real life and feelings, but it incorporates a lot of different genres."
The 20-year-old Kosova-born singer-songwriter was raised in London, where she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Eighteen months ago, she was signed to rapper Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation; a single is due out this year, ahead of her first album in 2012. As part of the project, Ora has worked with Jay-Z himself, Kanye West and Beyoncé. "Beyoncé was one of my idols growing up, so having her involved... I had to pinch myself. But you have to act calm; they're normal people. It's part of the process, these friendships you gain on the way."
She's certainly well-grounded for one so young, but then she's been in the studio and cutting records since the age of 14. Yet, Ora will admit to a frisson of excitement at being invited to the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2012 show earlier this month, where she was seated on the front row and dressed from head-to-toe by the atelier. She's fascinated by fashion, and dreams of one day starting a label. "I'd love to win Grammys," she adds, "maybe some acting. Right now, I just want my album to be perfect. I hope everyone likes it as much as I do."
Hair: Peter Beckett at Frank Agency using Kiehls
Make-up: Annabel Callum using Diorskin Forever
Prop stylist: Lucy Spink
Photographer's assistants: Will Bunce, Ant Prothero
Stylist's assistants: Emma Akbareian, Dominique Major
Prop stylist's assistant: Andrew Lavin
Thanks to: The White House at Location Works
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