“Do you think this is too much?,” asked the stylist Kate Young, holding up a evening bag in the shape of a Chanel No. 5 fragrance bottle. Kristine Froseth, standing in a private dressing room at Chanel’s midtown headquarters didn’t miss a beat. “No, I don’t,” she replied. “It’s major.”
It was the day before the 2019 Met Gala, where the theme is “Camp: Notes on Fashion” and presumably nothing would be “too much” when it came to Monday’s red carpet. So, the perfume clutch it was. This was, after all, a big moment for the 22-year-old actress—not only was this her first Met Gala, but it would also double as the official unveiling of her new role as U.S. Chanel Brand Ambassador.
“I got the phone call from my agent, and, I mean, I still don’t really believe it,” the actress said, perched on Chanel’s appropriately tweed couch. “Chanel has been a brand that I have so much respect for, from day one and how [Coco’s] journey was started and how she created the brand. And not to mention the people—it just feels like family. People can put up a front, but this is real and intimate.”
It had been just over a year since Froseth attended her first Chanel show in Paris, and she still reveled in the experience. “It smelled like an actual forest, which was crazy to me,” she said of the Fall 2019 ready-to-wear show. “It’s almost like acting, where they build a set and you’re in this different world and you are all experiencing it together.”
Monday, though, will be her own Chanel moment, as Froseth makes her Met Gala debut—a major event for a major dress: specifically, look 47 from the Fall 2016 haute couture collection, a silk-embellished ivory dress with a black feather trim. The dress involved 270 hours of work on the trim and flowers alone, with an additional 400 hours on the upper dress, including flowers in pleated organza, black feathers, cultured pearls, and gold & white ribbons.
“Words don’t do justice. It’s magnificent,” she said after changing back into her street clothes following the final fitting. “It has such strength. I feel like I’m putting on armor.” It was also, she noted, remarkably comfortable (it even had pockets), which helped steady her nerves ahead of the big night. “The red carpet is obviously going to be really scary,” she said. “I don’t want to fall; I just want to do it justice.”
To be fair, her excitement seemed to be winning over her nerves. “There are so many people [at the Met Gala] that I look up to, and going to be so much creativity in that space,” she said. “I’m hoping J. Cole will be there. I admire him so, so much, but I don’t know if he goes to these things. Him and Steve Carrell. Do you think he’ll be there? I’ll die but man up and go up to him.”
In addition to the Met Gala, Froseth just premiered her new film Low Tide, at the Tribeca Film Festival, her first time at the festival—and seeing the film. “Just rewatching our journey with everyone, and with an audience, was really weird,” she said. “It’s such a vulnerable thing. You work so hard and you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.” And this Friday, she will see the release of her new Netflix series, The Society, in which she co-stars with a buzzy young ensemble cast that includes Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, and Grace Victoria Cox. “It’s a good bunch,” she said. “Shooting was very intense. It was brutal brutal, but we had each other to get through each day and each scene. It was a good support system.”
On top of all that, she was also two months into shooting what may be the biggest project of her career to date: the long-awaited film adaptation to John Green’s young adult novel Looking For Alaska, in which she portrays the titular Alaska. “It’s beyond magical,” she said. “Every day is so special. I feel like I’m living a new life every day. It’s so emotional, too, because this is John Green’s story and he is entrusting us. They’ve been trying to make those movie for 13 years, and to be making it now… I’ve carried the character with me for four years now because I’ve wanted to play her for so long. To finally do it is just… yeah.”
The production is almost halfway through, shooting in New Orleans, which meant Froseth had to be back on plane first thing on Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., which is typically when the Met after-parties are just shutting down. “You know… I’m here for the ride,” she said. “Sleep’s for the dead.”