Something happened to Anne Hathaway prior to New York Fashion Week. Taking her seat alongside Anna Wintour at the Michael Kors show – a stroke of PR genius if ever there was one – the actor looked two inches taller. Rocking the kind of outgrown French-girl bangs that are nigh on impossible to execute and Andy Sachs-appropriate chocolate coords, Hathaway executed Upstate polish to perfection. If the devil wears Prada, Hathaway looked heavenly in Kors.
It was the “secret sauce” that did it. Although her stylist Erin Walsh is not about to dish out the recipe any time soon, she will boil it down to three essential ingredients: joy, fearlessness and fun. “I think many kinds of styles of look work when you embrace your inner confidence to pull it off,” says the woman behind Hathaway’s red-carpet refresh. “Annie is literally glowing. That doesn’t just come from clothes. It comes through stepping into your potential and embracing possibility.”
The pair met when the WeCrashed star was pregnant with her second child, Jack, and hit it off owing to a shared belief that fashion should put “love and light” out into a world that needs it. This is something Anne’s previous collaboration with Law Roach was also based on, but arguably the stylist was too out-there for her natural style inclinations.
Under Walsh, the focus is on great tailoring and silhouettes that let Hathaway’s personality shine, rather than competing with it. Yes, there’s bold colour (hello yellow David Koma dress), snazzy patterns (that boxy Christopher John Rogers blazer was autumn fashion personified), and a dash of the daring (crop tops and denim suiting? Hathaway says yes), but these elements never compromise an outfit by looking busy. “It’s not about ego,” asserts Walsh, whose sessions with her client sound positively life-affirming.
If confidence is the message Hathaway projects, it’s also the building block that allows her to try on that crystal-studded Valentino couture dress rather than the black one. “We have so much fun with fashion and aren’t afraid to experiment,” explains Erin. “It’s about achieving that balance of effortless cool without rules – I call it ‘incidentally fabulous’.”
While Walsh is keeping the specifics of their next sartorial moves close to her chest, details of the duo’s moodboard give us an indication of where they’re headed. David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust is name checked. Ditto Jane Birkin. Mixing the eclecticism of the former with the insouciance of the latter is working wonders so far. Fashion’s new double act? Well, that’s Walsh and Hathaway.
CreditLead image: James Devaney via Getty Images