What does an It Girl luncheon look like? When it’s hosted by W Magazine’s Lynn Hirschberg and Stefano Tonchi and Jimmy Choo’s Sandra Choi, it is not merely a collection of pretty, interchangeable faces, the likes of which we may or may not see peppering the front rows of the upcoming shows during New York Fashion Week like sparklers at varying points in their short-lived moments in the spotlight. No, at a W Magazine It Girl lunch, like the aforementioned one thrown Wednesday afternoon at the buzzy French eatery Le Coucou, you are likely to stumble upon the following conversation.
“Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Natasha.”
“I’m a fan of yours.”
“I’m a fan of yours, too!”
That would be the actresses Natasha Lyonne and Dakota Fanning enjoying a moment of mutual admiration as waiters bearing trays of oysters and picked eggs with tuna swirled around them. Lyonne’s hair was unusually styled, teased out into a hedged lob that prompted one guest to ask if she was channeling the late designer Sonia Rykiel. Indeed, she was.
“She’s incredible. I was reading this article about her and her whole attitude about life is just uncanny. And she’s such an individual and real maverick and I just thought it seemed more fun, why not? You only live once,” said Lyonne, who was wearing a mixture of Miu Miu, Proenza Schouler and Dries van Noten pulled from her own closet. She did, however, have a very fond memory of a vintage cream and black striped cardigan by Rykiel that made the rounds of her friends (just don’t reference a certain movie that has “pants” in its title). “Tara Subkoff, it originated with her, went through Chloe [Sevigny]’s closet, came to me. I ended up, of course, stealing it, not returning it. It was like the loaner sweater.”
Given Lyonne’s currently thriving career, she has a more generous view of the term “It Girl,” than you might expect—within reason.
“I’m 37—I still consider it an honor. I remember being an It Girl in the '90s. And I’m just impressed that I’m still invited… ‘It Girl’ is one of those phrases we tend to throw around too much, but it certainly never stops being flattering.”
Nina Agdal, Nicky Hilton, and Rebecca Hall tell us what they were in a past life at the It Girl lunch:
Unsurprisingly, new mother Nicky Hilton had a less positive association with the moniker—“I never liked that term” she offered with a tight smile—but Choi didn’t see it as something inherently pejorative.
“It’s about evolution… It Girl today is actually a really nice established title for girls who actually have something to look forward to and want to get dressed up and want to make something of a difference for themselves,” she said, adding, “I think the package is important because it opens doors, but I think having inner depth of self-belief, of self-confidence, of style, all that needs to come from within. You can look fantastic, but I want the substance.”
“As I’m finding more and more interesting roles, I love the idea of disappearing into those and being less known as Morgan,” said Saylor, who is about to start her sophomore year at the University of Chicago. “I don’t know if it’s something I fully embrace. I just want to be a girl.”
Dakota Fanning and Uzo Aduba talk party rules at the It Girl lunch: