Between slaying it for Chanel’s Métiers d’Art Paris-Dallas collection campaign with braids and then chopping off all of her hair and dyeing it red before the brand’s haute couture show, Kristen Stewart has been giving us beauty inspo all year. But how exactly she stepped into that role for Chanel, after leaving Balenciaga along with its former creative head Nicolas Ghesquiere has remained an unknown—until now. In Kristen’s gorgeous new Vanity Fair France cover story (which gives us an even better look at her short hair), the actress opens up about how she got into the campaign game and what working with Karl Lagerfeld is really like.
According to Kristen, “he’s awesome, man.” At first, Kristen was a little daunted by Lagerfeld: “When you say Karl Lagerfeld, you almost picture the silhouette before the actual man. You can see the shape in a drawing.” Once she got to know him, though, she developed a deep respect for him. “What really shocked me is how prolific he is,” she says. “His capacity is really obvious. He’s like an enormous vault of information. It’s crazy.”
Not surprisingly, Karl—the king of cool aloofness—makes anyone around him feel cool. “He told me, ’You know my girls are very excited about you,'” Kristen said. “I thought that was really sweet. The way it all came about was just really natural. It was very old school. But he instantly made me look 100 times cooler in one breath. When he was photographing me he’d walk over and just say, ’Put your legs down and just relax a little bit and hold the toothpick like this, do this, move your finger up a little.’ The way he could identify cool was something I had never seen before.” So, really, Karl is as cool as we’ve always imagined he is. Noted. In permanent marker.
Kristen, who’s earned an entire fanbase just for her willingness to wear sneakers on the red carpet—and not just any ol’ sneakers—also talked about how she finally accepted heels into her life. Spoiler: She credits Nicolas Ghesquiere. Kristen explains that once she was introduced to the inspiration surrounding an artist, she didn’t mind wearing heels. She says, “I had found what I was attracted to. Before that it was just annoying that I had to wear these heels and, like, try and satisfy people who wanted to talk about the heels. Now it was, ’This is cool and artistic and fun, and basically a rad thing to do.'”
Kristen doesn’t wear any sneakers in the shoot for her story, though she does show us how to look classy in a gown and bare feet. Twice.
You can check out the full spread and interview in Vanity Fair France’s September issue, which is on newsstands now.