Hollywood is lousy with pretty girls. Trussed up in bandage dresses, perched on pencil-thin heels, and coiffed with uniformly beachy waves or sleek blowouts¬--sometimes it's hard to tell one from the next. Homogeneity is the name of the game and though it feels like everyone's playing, sometimes we do find a fresh talent who is uninterested in joining that competition. The tremendously talented Ari Graynor is the perfect example of this rare breed: she's a head-turner, to be sure, but you would never categorize her as one of the aforementioned blank and beautiful facsimiles. This rising star has heaps of integrity, serious acting chops, and the sort of grounded, self-awareness that women twice her age wish they possessed. And did we mention that she has the kind of hourglass curves that fall's ladylike looks were surely made for? Yup, Graynor's definitely got it all.
The 27-year-old Boston native has been building her resume for years through a steady mix of films, theater, and TV shows, but it was her scene-stealing turn in Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist that first grabbed our attention. In the romantic comedy¬--Michael Cera and Kat Dennings play the titular tentative twosome¬--Graynor's part calls for her to be wickedly, ridiculously, hysterically drunk for the duration of the film. Her performance is side-stitch inducing, yet she manages to infuse the role with an outrageous amount of credibility and charm. Since then, Graynor's appeared in a number of other cult hits (Youth in Revolt, Whip It, and even our favorite sci-fi TV show, Fringe), leading up to her current must-see movie: Conviction. The true-story film stars Sam Rockwell as a convicted felon serving time for a crime he might not have committed and Hilary Swank as his sister who goes to extremely dedicated lengths to prove his innocence. Graynor's role is small, but played to heart-breaking perfection and shows her incredibly wide range. (Think about it: how many actresses can make you seriously laugh and completely cry?)
In addition to her fine acting skills, Graynor's one-of-a-kind looks and thoughtful sense of style are sure signs that this young woman is one to watch. Her pin-up figure lends itself perfectly to fall's fabulous '50s-inspired looks¬--as you no doubt can tell from today's editorial!¬--so it's no surprise that Graynor appreciated the shoot's aesthetic. "I loved all the clothes," she says. "They were so romantic and felt feminine and girly, but sophisticated at the same time." Of all the outfits, the one that most spoke to the actress' sensibilities involved an H&M bustier paired with a Lauren by Ralph Lauren full skirt, Cardigan by Lynne Hirisk striped sweater, and a vintage Schreiner pin from House of Lavande at her waist. "That look really encapsulates what I try to do on a daily basis with my clothes," Graynor says. "There was an idea for a different outfit, but we loved the bustier, so we added the skirt and a beautiful brooch and the cardigan with colorful stripes. They're not pieces that you think would work together, they're eclectic, but they create something really unique and special." We agree that the resulting look is an unexpected, delightful surprise¬--just like Graynor herself.
Personal Style Icons: "I know it's sort of a clich√©, but I love Annie Hall and [Diane Keaton's] style there. I also love the sort of effortless sensuality of Monica Vitti and Brigitte Bardot. I think Sienna Miller always looks amazing and I love the risks that Sarah Jessica Parker takes and the way she puts things together."
"I'm really excited about all of the black lace out there right now. I also love big slouchy things, and I've seen some really beautiful poncho/cape/jacket type things this season. I stay pretty far away from "trendy" items, but I'm always excited about classic ideas and looks, especially if they have a little bit of a fresh shape or fresh color or can be paired in unexpected ways."
Go-To Outfit: "I love black opaque tights and have three different go-to boots: a vintage riding boot that I wear almost every day, a mid-calf Frye boot with a little heel, and a great pair of DKNY or Donna Karan stacked heel over-the-knee boots that I've had for years. I wear the tights and boots with lots of skirts, dresses, and layers for fall."
Favorite Piece in Her Wardrobe: "When I get dressed up, I like pieces that are nipped in at the waist and really celebrate the female form. I have a dress I love that I found at a vintage store in LA called Found By. I wore it to the Youth In Revolt premiere and to several weddings since: it's this incredible emerald green color and it's sort of high at the neck and down to the knee, but it's so sexy in its shape."
Favorite Places to Shop: "I get staples from Topshop and H&M, but I wear a lot of vintage clothes. I have a place in LA¬--Shareen Vintage¬--that I've been going to for seven years: a lot of my stuff is from Shareen!
Photographer: Justin Coit; Creative Director: Katherine Power; Producer: Liza Kaplan; Style Director: Laurie Trott; Assistant Stylist: Nikki Tavdi, Hair: John D., Tenfold Talent ; Makeup: Rachel Goodwin, The Wall Group; Nail Technician: Barbara Warner, Barbara Warner Beauty; Props, Juliet Jernigan.
Shop The Spreads
Talbots Mock-turtleneck Sweater ($69.50) in Storm Heather, American Apparel Houndstooth Jacquard Woven Jacket ($72), H&M Black Knot Headband ($7.95), Rachel Leigh Sapphire Nico Oval Clusters Ring ($144), Ring, Stylist's Own.
Rachel Comey Lurex Turtleneck ($299), Rag & Bone/JEAN Washed Lipstick Leggings ($180, 212.727.2990), Topshop Petit Leopard Fur Coat ($190), Kenneth Jay Lane Silver Crystal Flare Star Earrings ($100, 877.953.5264), Rachel Leigh Stella Keepsake Pyramid Necklace ($98), Steve Madden Ulltra Pumps ($69).
H&M Black Lace Dress ($34.95), House of Lavande Kenneth Lane Pearl Necklace ($848), Forever 21 Party Glam Bracelet Set ($6.80), Forever 21 Ribbon Tie Beaded Bracelets ($4.80), Rachel Leigh Peridot Simone Cluster Ring ($86).
Agent Provocateur Love Bra ($170), Ann Taylor Cashmere Cardigan ($148), Paul Smith Skirt ($1350, 323.951.4800), Giles and Brother by Philip Crangi Chevron Day Necklace ($345), The Way We Wore Thin Belt ($195), Forever 21 Lavish Beaded Ring ($5.80), Giuseppe Zanotti Mirrored Platinum Pointy Pumps ($550).
Agent Provocateur Love Bra ($170), H&M Corset ($24.95), Cardigan by Lynne Hirisk Etienne Cardi ($240), Lauren by Ralph Lauren Full Pleated Skirt ($179), House of Lavande 1950's Schreiner Yellow Brooch ($548).