Pret-a-Reporter

Rowan Blanchard Talks Intersection of Fashion and Politics at NYFW

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"It can be difficult to find the line between living in a bubble and being out in the world, while still pursuing what you want to do creatively. I’m trying to find that now," said the 15-year-old at the Milly show.

Rowan Blanchard, the 15-year-old star of Disney Channel's Girl Meets World, is wise beyond her years.

The eloquent actress has used her platform as a role model for young girls to open discussions about feminism, LGBTQ rights and politics — she was even a speaker at the Los Angeles Women's March in January, where she addressed a crowd of 750,000. On top of all that, she has killer red-carpet style.

Pret-a-Reporter caught up with Blanchard, who was sitting front-row at the Milly show on Friday afternoon, to chat about fashion, social activism and where the two intersect.

What is it about Milly that you're excited about?
What I love about Milly is it combines these factors of being young and mature. I think there’s a very careful balance, especially when you’re my age, of not wanting to dress too old and not wanting to dress like a little kid. I think [Milly designer Michelle Smith] finds that balance really well.

Are you attending any other shows this week?
Tomorrow I’m going to Creatures of the Wind, but then I’m going home [to L.A.]. The snowstorm is a lot to handle. (Laughs.)

You’re very vocal about your beliefs. What do you think about designers who are using their platform to spread a social message?
I think it’s really important. It can be difficult to find the line between living in a bubble and being out in the world, while still pursuing what you want to do creatively. I’m trying to find that now. I think it’s really important when I see designers talk about things in a way that feels not counterproductive. It’s a hard thing to do, but when most people do it, they do it right.

 

Tis cold @milly

A photo posted by Rowan Blanchard (@rowanblanchard) on

Would you say it has to do with authenticity?
It’s interesting because there are some [collections] that just look like they’re trying to sell something. And there are some where the show gets very smart and very political in a way where it makes everybody recognize how lucky they are to be someplace like this.

You’re known for great red-carpet style. Do you ever feel the need to tone down what you’re wearing to reflect the current political climate? Or does it vary by event?
After the election, I sort of chilled out on going to events for, like, two to three months. I don’t know if that was totally reactionary — it probably was — and me not wanting to be photographed.

My friend also said to me, “You know, this isn’t exactly about you. It’s not like we’re all going to wait to see what you’re doing. This is about, for example, the black trans women in Missouri.” So I think we’re still allowed to have fun on carpets, but I think it’s important to be like, “I’m very lucky to be able to wear these clothes and be at this thing where all of these people are being entertained.” It’s a careful balance.

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