Has Cara Delevingne become fashion’s anti-model?
It’s a fair question. An even fairer question is whether this hasn’t in fact been the case from the beginning of the 24-year-old It Girl’s career. Since the start, Cara has been a heroine because of her unusual appearance, complemented by her even more unique personality.
“Embrace your weirdness,” she regularly recommends to her eight million Twitter followers, while in interviews she insists, “I’m a weirdo, I’m a goofball.” Her quirky, contradictory, and candid personality traits clash with each other in precisely the same charming way that her blasé eyes, adorable nose, and fierce eyebrows do. Karl Lagerfeld struck a chord when he pronounced, “She’s a character. She’s the Charlie Chaplin of the fashion world.”
Since making a deliberate shift away from modeling to acting, Cara hasn’t hidden her distaste for the discipline that made her famous. She’d rather be an actress, or a singer, or a therapist, she divulged to Esquire. Since nabbing a bit role in 2012’s Anna Karenina, she has cautiously and methodically built an acting portfolio, appearing in 2015’s Paper Towns and 2016’s Suicide Squad.
The fashion industry, it’s fair to say, has been a bit perplexed. Models who get their start on the catwalk and then turn to acting are not so few and far between. But supermodels who make a complete career shift are rare indeed. When the whole world is accustomed to seeing someone as the face of Chanel or Burberry or Saint Laurent, there’s a little friction that naturally builds up against the idea of suddenly seeing their face on the silver screen.
Consequently, the odds were stacked against Cara becoming a respected actress, but now those odds don’t seem quite so long. The real test is coming up with the release of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Cara landed a starring role in the science-fiction-action-adventure film, notably the most expensive movie ever to have been produced in Europe. If the movie is a success, it will secure Cara’s status as a true movie star.
But no matter what happens with Valerian, it would take something really catastrophic to diminish Cara’s fashion reputation. Whether she’s turned her back on modeling for the moment (or forever) does nothing to tarnish the impact she’s had. One of the most distinctive and fearless personalities ever to have captivated the catwalk, has anyone really made “weirdness” as cool as Cara has? With an already extremely accomplished career under her belt, this is an exciting time for fashion’s most ambitious It Girl. — jas