SUMMER IN THE CITY
This is Summer Phoenix's moment. The hippie style of her childhood is sizzling, and so is her kooky career. Actress, vegan chef and handy with a needle and thread, she's boho perfect.
Summer Phoenix was born to flit. And, oh, how beatifully. Today she's flitting round London's hip East End restaurant Les Trois Garçons, wearing a vintage salmon-pink jumpsuit (unzipped at the back, a pair of silky white knickers peeking out) and chatting to her mum on her mobile. Well, actually, inviting her mum down to the ELLE shoot. 'My mommy's coming!' she whoops as she hangs up and skips from one elengantly dishevelled armchair to the next. Summer looks at home in the restaurant's perfectly mismatched shabby-chic décor. But that's no surprise given the boho LA lifestyle the actress shares with boyfriend Casey 'brother of Ben' Affleck. They live in a Hollywood-stylre commune, the same apartment block as Summer's Oscarnominated brother Joaquin. Another notable neighbour is Gus van Sant, who directed Joaquin and Casey in To Die For. Then there's Summer's hippie-trail upbringing, she and her family roamed from one commune to the next, her parents being at one time missionaries for the Children of God sect. Factor in the family's bohemian valeus, Summer's vegan and refuses to wear clothes or make-up made from animals products (putting ELLE's make-up artist Lisa through her paces) and you've got one kooky girl. With such a quirly credentials, who better than Summer Phoenix to model the oh-so-hot vintage folk threads that pay homage to the lazy, hazy hippie vibe of her childhood? Sliding into a yogic stretch to wake her lithe self up, she poses for the camera, with only one request. 'Can I sit down? I really want to sit down this morning.' She may be tired, but Summer's ready for her close-up. It's time folks paid attention to the youngest member of the Phoenix clan. 'I've been plugging away for years,' says the 24 year old of her career, which began when she was three. After turns in TV shows such as ER, she took a five-year break from acting in her teens, working as a chef at a vegan restaurant in Costa Rica. but now she's back. She already has indie films roles under her belt (the heartbreaking heroine in Esther Kahn and the masochistic, morally ambiguous Carla in the Believer), and she's just finished her triumphant London stage debut in This Is Our Youth with another of her A-list buds, Matt Damon and her boy, Casey. 'It was awesome. None of us had done theatre, so it was great to be with people I trusted.' But right at this moment, Summer's enjoying fooling around on the ELLE shoot. She yaks with jack, the restaurant's parrot, in Spanish (she kept parrots in Costa Rica), coos to Casey on her mobile, sings to herself, and puts on a (very accurate) london accent ('Nice one!....'Ello, mate!'). She brightens when her earth-goddess mum, Heart, arrives, swathed in charcoal layers that set off her silver-white crop. More touching still is hearing mama Phoenix scold her screenstarlet daughter into sweeping her hair off her face and smile more in photos. 'Well, you've got a bit of a smile in this one, I suppose,' she chuckles, pointing at a polaroid of Summer. As her mum perches on a chaise longue, Summer throws sultry poses one minute and goofs about in sexy tiger positions the next, maintaining a conversation about what Casey's up to ('He's still in bed!') and her mum's junk-food binge yesterday ('Spring rolls and French ries? I can't believe you ate that'). Judging by her plans, Summer is one of those sickeningly creative types. Her next film project is at that delicate negotiations stage, but she still has a busy summer. In august, she hits the recording studio with big sister Rain ('She's doing an album and I've laid down some piano tracks for her'), and she's launching a recycled clothing line. 'My friend and I have been toying with the idea for ages.' It's a hectic schedule. Summer grins. 'You know how it is. When it rains, it pours. When it doesn't, you just have to sit back and chill, I'm good at doing nothing, too!'
First picture:'I'd love to dress this jumpsuit down. It's got a real vibe. Maybe I could cut the bottom off and wear it as a top, or just wear the trousers. At the moment, I'm not sure how I would negotiate a public bathroom in it, since it's an all-in-one. I love the fact that it's second-hand. There are just so many new clothes out there, I think it's great to recycle.' Summer wears early-70s jumpsuit and vintage choker, both from Rellik.
Second picture:'This dress is so loungey and comfortable. I always feel sexy if I'm comfortable. Emerald green is my favorite colour. It's vibrant, so it creates the illusion that I'm awake. It reminds me of the clothes I find in Legacy on Thompson Street, SoHo, where they make clothes from vintage fabric. It's been there, like, 20 years, but no one knows about it.' Summer wears mid-60s dress by Frank Usher and vintage ring, both from The Lounge at Selfridges.
Third picture:'This whole bohemian style is great. It's so cosy. I don't understand the need to wear what's in. I wear what makes me feel good about myself. It doesn't matter what everybody else is wearing. I adore these accessories too. I'm really into them at the moment. I love belts and earrings and shoes., all mixed up, none of that matching accessories style.' Summer wears mid-70s coat from Steinberg & Tolkien. Vest Summer's own. Vintage necklace from The Lounge at Selfridges. Flip-Flops by Muji.
Last picture:'This is my favorite dress. It's beautiful. The neckline is stunning. It's reminiscent of some of the things modern-day designers have been sending down the runway. But vintage clothing is special because it's unique. You never know what you'll find when you go out shopping. You get an individual look. You never walk into a store and see 12 of the same things hanging on a rack.' Summer wears early 70s dress by Ossie Clark from The Lounge at Selfridges. Flip-Flops by Muji.