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Fashion

Dakota Fanning: I'm Learning to Wash Clothes

Updated

Mario Sorrenti for W

“Before Somewhere, they asked me if I was Dakota Fanning, because we looked alike,” Elle Fanning recalls in the December issue of W. “I’d say, ‘No, I’m her younger sister.’ And they’d say, ‘Oh, okay.’ But now I think they are starting to realize I’m my own person.”

It’s true: Elle has had quite the year, with a breakout role in Super 8 and a fashion star that’s on the rise. She even met Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld during Paris Haute Couture Week in July on her first-ever trip to the City of Light. “When I found out that I was invited to the Chanel show — that was the loudest I’ve ever screamed in my life,” she says. “That was the best day of my life.”

As Elle finds her footing in the world of fashion, big sis Dakota is settling comfortably into the role of college student at New York University. “Because I’m only 17, my mom is staying with me in my apartment for a little bit,” Dakota shares. “She’s teaching me how to wash clothes and such. But I’m so excited to be on my own.”

Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning
Mario Sorrenti for W

Dakota says she wanted to go to college for the same reasons she wanted to go to high school. “You hear people say, ‘Oh when I was in high school’ or ‘When I was in college,'” she says. “That defines a lot of who people are, and I didn’t want to miss out on that.”

She’s not your ordinary college student, though: Dakota has been modeling for Marc Jacobs since she was 12 (Elle just started, too). “When I did that first campaign for Marc Jacobs, I really wasn’t old enough to wear the clothes,” she recalls. “He made all the clothes from the runway in my size. I still have them.”

Unfortunately, she wasn’t always able to wear them. “They were too adult, and my school had uniforms,” she continues. “But on Fridays we could wear anything we wanted. There would always be at least one Friday where you’d forget and show up in uniform. It would be so embarrassing. I did that once actually and made my dad drive me back home to change.”

Read more with Elle and Dakota in the December issue of W and on wmagazine.com.

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