In fact, engaging a stylist at so tender an age is no longer a verboten practice. After all, between those premieres and tabloid pictures, a high-schooler can certainly benefit from the designer access such celebrity dressers provide. Last year Emma Roberts, star of this summer’s Nancy Drew, now 16, hired styling partners Emily Current and Meritt Elliott—who collaborate professionally through their company, Maude—to put her in the likes of Marc Jacobs, Fendi footwear and, of course, Chanel.
“I had worked with stylists before, and then I heard about the Maude girls, and I thought that they seemed really cool,” explains the actress. Roberts is no fashion slouch, having obsessively read glossy mags for years, but in today’s highly critical climate, she understands the reason for enlisting an extra set of eyes. “Even though I like to pick things out for myself, you kind of want to know what other people think.”
Just a few years ago, young actresses weren’t troubled by such considerations or pressures. “It wasn’t like this when I was younger and working,” says the actress Camilla Belle, who made her first film, A Little Princess, at six. “I never used to feel pressure. My mother [Deborah Gould, a former Brazilian fashion designer] would know what looked good and would dress me the way I liked.”
In 1996, a 14-year-old Natalie Portman turned up in the campaign for Isaac Mizrahi’s lower-priced Isaac line, creating much furor. “I didn’t think it would cause the controversy that it did, because I didn’t think she came across as 14,” says Mizrahi of Portman. “She came across as a woman. She reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in that girl-woman thing that has no age.”