Milla Jovovich is no newcomer to fashion week. In the ’90s and early aughts, she was a runway regular, walking for designers like Miuccia Prada and Gianni Versace, and also a frequent face in the front row. This season, Jovovich attended only one show: Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut collection for Christian Dior at Paris Fashion Week.
You’re constantly traveling for work, what are your survival secrets? I always like to be really moisturized. I have this amazing mask, it’s almost like the Dauphin eye mask. It’s jelly that you put around your eyes and it’s really moisturizing. I get two big bottles of water and drink a lot of water on the flight, as well, because I know I cant resist eating the food on airplanes. There’s just something about the compartmentalized aspect of the little portions. I cant stop myself. Between that and having a couple of drinks on the plane, which I also cant stop myself from having to put myself to sleep, I like to keep completely, super hydrated.
I try to bring pajamas with me. I bring something simple, like sweatpants and a t-shirt, just to have with me so I can relax and not have to worry about coming off the plane looking haggard. And, of course, you have to have your sunglasses. The worst thing in the world to me is wearing makeup on the plane. I feel like your skin like changes on the flight and makeup just doesn’t sit right, so I just bring sunglasses.
What is the first thing that you do when you get to a hotel room? When I don’t have time to take a nap, I take a nice hot bath to wash the flight off and get into wherever I’m at. And I do these incredible Chinese masks that I got in Beijing, at this little facial place. They are incredible, and really moisturizing. I was introduced to them by Li Bingbing, an actress I worked with a few years ago. So I take a hot bath and I use these masks, and just to kind of be a bit reborn after the flight.
What did you do next? Yesterday, I had a couple of fittings. One for the Dior show, and then one for Elie Saab, who is a good friend of mine and I love his couture collection. I am going to wear some of his dresses for some premieres I have coming up and press, so went to do a fitting there. And then went to see one of my good friends, Peter Lindbergh, who had a book signing last night at the Taschen store.
How do you choose a look for attending a runway show versus a red carpet event? I tend to be pretty casual for fashion shows, because I’m a pretty laid back person, so for the most part I try to dress pretty laid back as well. A premiere is obviously a couple of steps above my norm, but then again it’s not like going to an award ceremony, either. It’s a little bit of a balancing act between overdone and underdone. You want to find a dress that’s amazing and beautiful, but it’s not like an Oscars dress. You don’t want to look crazy either.
How did you choose the look for Dior show? I am a big fan of blouses and showing a bit of your bra, very Bonnie and Clyde-ish. I’ve been going through this Bonnie and Clyde where I have the blouse and the pencil skirt or my high waisted jeans. I rewatch that movie every couple of years to reconnect.
And what about your hair and makeup look? I like to be pretty like chill with hair and makeup as well, for the most part. I feel like I look the best when I look like myself. I don’t like to do too much makeup, especially in Europe. I think the less makeup you wear the better, just because I’ve always grown up with a European sense of style and the European girls just don’t do the makeup thing. But that’s always been my thing to just look natural. Obviously do your foundation nice so your skin looks good, but not too much more. My hair… I’ve got a pretty cool haircut right now, so I’m just like rocking it the way it is.
When did you get it cut? Actually just a few days ago, I’ve been getting ready to shoot a film and I am kind of going to cut it shorter, but I go in stages. So I cut my hair like a month ago shorter, and now I cut it again a little bit shorter, and then by the end of the month it will be kind of shorter again. I’m working my way into it, going in stages. I plan my haircuts months ahead of time. I don’t want to regret stuff so I like to take a couple of weeks to feel it and then go back and do a bit more, and feel it out. It’s fun, too, because then your look changes as well and you can have different incarnations of yourself.
Do you change the way you dress based on your hair? Definitely. I’ve been missing wearing hippie clothes, but I feel like my hair right now is not like a hippie-friendly cut, so unfortunately I haven’t been rocking any of my Free People clothes because I don’t have the hair for it. But I like myself with short hair and boys suits, baggy jeans and button-up shirts, so that’s where I’ve been for the last year. I like to mix a bit of conservative, rock-and-roll feeling. That’s always something I’ve gone back to, over the years. I’m about to have another birthday in December, I’m going to be 41, so I’ve been sort of feeling a certain style lately, so that’s kind of been my thing.
Who did you talk to before the show? Haley Bennett had an amazing Leica, 55 millimeter, which I thought was so cool. I always love a girl with a Leica. You can sense that she has a real personal world that’s very interesting, so we had a really nice time sitting and chatting for a while. It was great to see Marion Cottilard, who was very sweet and so excited about her pregnancy. I saw quite a few people that I hadn’t seen in a while. It was nice to come here and just do one show, rather than spend a week. I was able to dodge the fashion flu but still managed to say “Hi” to everyone and have a good time.
What did you think of the collection? I loved the lace and the embroidery. So gorgeous. It’s funny, it really reminded me of these beautiful Russian cartoons from the ’60. They did like “Alice in Wonderland” and “Cinderella.” It was almost like children’s story books, but mixed with this kind of bondage leather and lace feeling. I thought it was very modern. I loved the whimsical mixture between the s&m feeling and children’s illustrations.
Backstage, you got to speak to Maria Grazia Chiuri, the brand’s new creative director. How was that? It was obviously a mess backstage, but she invited me personally so I was really happy to come and support her. We didn’t get a chance to chat, per say, but it was nice to give her a kiss and congratulate her. She agreed with the Russian fairytale thing. She was like, “Oh my god, I’ve seen those cartoons and I know exactly what you’re talking about.” So that’s cute.
Behind the Scenes with Milla Jovovich in Paris
“Pajamas on and ready for our flight to Paris! So long Los Angeles.”
“Waiting with [my manager Chris’s dog] Cheeky for our luggage ad CDG Paris. She was well behaved [on the flight]. She gets mad when we put her in the bag. Once we take off and he’s able to let her out she’s good.”
“We made it! Waiting for the elevator in the lobby of the Le Meurice Hotel. [The first thing I do] when I arrive if I have somewhere to go I take a nice hot bath to wash the flight off and get into wherever I’m at.”
“Yay! I LOVE my petit suite!”
“Arriving at the Dior showroom for my fitting. A dream come true for any girl who loves fashion!”
“Here I am pulling looks at the showroom.”
“Look option number 1. I love the capped shoulder sleeves and the fabric…”
“This little black dress is so beautiful and simple. I’m keeping this for date night with my husband!”
“I think this is a perfect look for a show at the Musee Rodin. I just need to find some shoes and a bag now!”
“It’s the morning of the show and I’m loving being pampered by Methta, who is doing my make-up. I like to be pretty like chill with hair and makeup, for the most part. I feel like I look the best when I look like myself I don’t like to do too much makeup, especially in Europe. European girls just don’t do the makeup thing.”
“Stephan Bodin doing my hair. I just cut my hair a few days ago. I’ve been getting ready to shoot a film and I am kind of going to cut it shorter, but I go in stages, so I cut my hair shorter like a month ago, and now I cut it again a little bit shorter, and then by the end of the month it will be kind of shorter again.”
“Hmmmm, which bag shall I choose?”
“All dressed up and ready to go! First, I stopped to take a picture with my favorite valet at Hotel Meurice.”
“I’ve arrived! Which way should I look?”
“Posing under the Iconic Dior Logo… it makes my heart skip a beat to be included in the history of Christian Dior.”
“Oh there’s my seat. I’ll put my bag down and do some pre-show socializing.”
“Posing for a pic with the enchanting actress Haley Bennett. She had an amazing Leica, 55 millimeter, which I thought was so cool. I always love a girl with a leica.”
“Time for a pre-show selfie.”
“One of my favorite looks from the show.”
“I loved the lace and the embroidery. So gorgeous. It really reminded me of these beautiful Russian cartoons from the ’60, but mixed with this kind of bondage leather and lace feeling.”
“Another of my favorite looks.”
“It was obviously a mess backstage, but I was really happy to come and support Maria Grazia Chiuri. It was nice to give her a kiss and congratulate her.”
What do you think she brought to the house of Dior as creative director? I feel like she made a huge statement, we haven’t seen Dior do something really different and really unique like that in a long time. I was obviously a big fan of Galliano’s Dior and it’s nice to see Maria give a really modern flair to it. Also, I think it’s wonderful for a woman to be head of this prestigious old house that is so timeless and really represents chic to such a level. I think she gave it this very strong modern edge, while still keeping the structured chicness that the house has always had.
What is your favorite part of attending a fashion show? First and foremost, I love to support designers and to see the collections. It’s very inspiring. I had a clothing line a while ago, and I’ve always been interested in design and love to know what’s going on. I think it’s amazing to be a part of something from the ground up in a way, and being here for Maria’s first collection for Dior was very special, more than any of her next ones. I mean, this was first time. And I feel really happy that I was able to support her for that.
Inside Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dreamy, Daring First Collection for Christian Dior
The inspiration: Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first collection for Dior.