Getting Ready With Ava Phillippe For a Night Out in Los Angeles

The recent college graduate hit The Wiltern for Celine’s winter 2023 show.

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Ava Elizabeth Phillippe attends Celine at The Wiltern on December 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, Californi...
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At 23 years old, Ava Phillippe isn’t old enough to have experienced, firsthand, the rise of the Y2K indie rock style that Hedi Slimane made famous. But that isn’t stopping her from embracing it now. Last Thursday, the recent college graduate and daughter of Reese Witherspoon attended Slimane’s winter 2023 presentation for Celine staged at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. The occasion marked the debut of a new beauty look for Phillippe: bright reddish-orange hair that was reminiscent of famous front women Shirley Manson (Garbage) and Hayley Williams (Paramore). For her outfit she wore a matching mini skirt set over a string bikini top. A pale yellow Celine bag added rounded out the look.

Titled “The Age of Indieness,” the runway show was a tribute to nights out in the Noughties—from the historic music venue where it was set and the soundtrack—which was simply The White Stripes’ 2000 track “Hello Operator” blaring on repeat—to the layers of leather and silk that made up the nostalgic collection. Kaia Gerber strode down the runway as the collection’s de facto muse while her family, including Cindy Crawford and brother Presley, cheered her on. They were joined by a who’s who of stars from all generations including Doja Cat, Paris Hilton, Beck, Kid Cudi, Paris Jackson, Sky Ferreira, Miles Teller, Kim Gordon, and Priscilla Presley.

“I'm friends with Kaia Gerber, and I said to her after the show that it was so fun and I wanted to stomp right out of there once it was over,” Phillippe told W over the phone the day after the show. “It was just so rock 'n' roll and so glamorous all at once, and I felt the energy come through me.”

For Phillippe, the presentation was a chance to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones. “Everybody was there to have a good time,” she said. “I sat near Maggie Rogers and Bailey Madison who were both very lovely, and I also sat with Clara McGregor who I hung out with. It was really nice to make some new friends and to see some lovely pretty faces.”

Having graduated from UC Berkeley earlier this year, Phillippe is ready to nourish the creative side she’s been putting aside in favor of academics. Whether it’s acting or writing, she’s open to all the different paths she could take. Here, Phillippe discusses how she preps for a night out and her plans for the future.

Ava prepping for Celine with a pre-show drink.

Photo courtesy Ava Phillippe

What’s your go-to getting ready routine for events like this?

I really love doing my hair and makeup on my own. I'll just take my time to do it exactly how I like it, looking in the camera, looking in the mirror, seeing what everything looks like and making sure I feel confident in whatever I'm wearing, makeup-wise or doing with my hair.

I feel like it’s taking those moments of, ‘Okay, check in with Ava, is Ava feeling good about this? Is Ava feeling confident?’ And then tweaking whatever doesn't feel quite right.

“When you walk out the door with confidence, your whole night goes differently, more positively.”

Photo Courtesy of Ava Phillippe

What was the inspiration for your orange-red hair?

It wasn't initially what I planned. Every once in a while, you need to change it up. My style is such an outward expression of what I'm interested in and what I'm interested in is exploring. I feel like for fall, reddish, auburn-y hair is really just good with all the fall colors and so I was like, why not? You only get one body, one set of hair so you might as well do it the way you want to do it and have fun with it. I think that's always been my approach. I've done so many colors, but this one's really fun. I feel like such a rock 'n' roll chick in some moments and in other moments I feel like I am learning what it is to be a redhead, which I didn't know came with so many compliments and so many stares.

“The new SZA album is really fun. Some of those songs were definitely playing in my bathroom while I was getting ready. Just kind of taking that time to myself is my favorite.”

Photo courtesy Ava Phillippe

When were you first introduced to Celine?

What really drew me to Celine in the first place was just that their leather goods are really insanely well done, and [they have] that kind of rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic while still being feminine and chic and elegant all at once. I feel like that was my first impression of the brand and it definitely held up last night.

“I was looking for something a little more natural, a little more like, ‘Oh maybe she is naturally redheaded,’” Phillippe says of her current hair olor. “But I actually feel like the bolder orange is just really doing me some favors, which is cool. I didn't expect it.”

Photo courtesy Ava Phillippe

What’s next for you?

It’s that post-college feeling of, where are we going? Who is this person that is now somehow educated and done with those years of her life? I don't know a ton of 23-year-olds who know their whole career path from the get go. But for me, I'm looking into a lot of creative projects, maybe pursuing some performance stuff like acting — or I've been writing a lot. I'm trying to figure out where all of those things can kind of align and take me, and just embracing after being in my academic self at Berkeley, trying to embrace my creative side as well that I feel like I've put at bay for too long.

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