Dakota Fanning Is Picking Clothes for College

09/21/2011 at 06:00 PM ET

Dakota Fanning Oh Lola
Courtesy Coty

Dakota Fanning just celebrated her move from Los Angeles to New York at her first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, but the star is busy tackling an even bigger milestone now: starting her freshman year at NYU.

“Going to college is a bit different than going back to high school,” the new student told PEOPLE recently at a Marc Jacobs bash. “You can kind of wear whatever you want, and I had a uniform in high school.”

But don’t think you’ll catch Dakota, who’s living in a Manhattan apartment instead of the dorms, taking on sloppy student style. “If you ever catch me in sweatpants in class, that’s not good,” joked the star. “I’ve tried not to dress like that.”

However, the former Angeleno did come prepared for the East Coast temperature changes — sans sweatpants. “I knew to bring a lot of coats, and my Hunter rain boots,” she shared. Still, Fanning admitted that shopping for school is intimidating. For instance, “What pencil case do you buy for college?” she asked.

Fanning might have a little help in the wardrobe department courtesy of her pal Marc Jacobs. The actress — a muse for his line (as is her sister) — serves as the face of his latest fragrance, Oh, Lola! “It’s been such an honor to work with someone who you admire and actually love wearing their clothes and love their brand,” she said. “I think Marc is such a genius and so creative, and I think he proves time and time again that he can do anything. To be involved in anything he touches is a pleasure.”

Though the Oh, Lola! campaign stirred a bit of controversy thanks to its provocative imagery, Fanning said she had a blast during the photo shoot. “It was amazing,” she told reporters at a recent Oh, Lola! event in N.Y.C. “Getting to work with Juergen [Teller] again, it’s always so much fun.”

And she definitely had faith in her crew — and the designer. Fanning showed up to set without having seen the bottle, and unaware of the scent’s smell. “I got there … and it was exactly what I love, and it’s pink — which is my favorite color,” she shared. “So it couldn’t have been more perfect for me.”

–Kate Hogan and Catherine Kast


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Showing 127 comments

Sherri on

Good for her.I wouldn’t be caught dead in sweatpants in public.I love deciding what to wear…I never understand people who wear their pjs to go shopping,etc.Have some self-respect!

Marky on

The idea that Dakota Fanning is a “spoiled brat” for any reason is just ridiculous, let alone because she doesn’t want to wear sweat pants to class! Like several others posting, I’m wondering what makes some of you think it’s okay to complain about her lifestyle–where she lives, what she wears–when what you should be saying is, “Congrats on going to NYU and hope you do well and have a wonderful time!”. This young actress has kept a level head and done well in a decent school, so why not say “great job”, instead of wishing her ill?

ashley on

sweatpants and pencil cases?? really?
when you have 4 exams in a week followed by 2 exams per week for the next 2 months lined up the wazoo and you’re busting your ass trying to get a real degree in college, you don’t have time to be picky about not wearing sweatpants and picking a pretty little damn pencil case. SERIOUSLY? is she going to college or taking a stroll at central park?

Katalina on

I am a current student at NYU and have to say I don’t find her comments the least bit snooty. Our campus is buildings throughout a concentrated area in the city, so the commute to class includes walking through very busy city streets where you will encounter people who aren’t students or professors out and about their daily lives. Some people just don’t feel comfortable walking the city streets in their PJs or even sweatpants (though that’s completely fine too.) I can understand her need to dress nicely and avoid sweatpants, since NYC is a hotbed for paparazzi. Or even just to look nice. If you knew you were going to see people that were going to recognize you, you’d probably want to be dressed up to. And beyond that, it is NYC after all. Everyone comes from all different walks of life, economic backgrounds, etc. And I think NYU is a good school for a person of her fame who wishes to remain at least partially anonymous. On a smaller campus, her presence might be more obvious but at NYU, the chance you’ll see other famous residents of the area on the way to class, out and about, or even teaching your class is just as high as the chance you’ll see Dakota Fanning. For example, James Franco was a fixture at our campus Starbucks while a student here, and now a professor at the school. Plus it’s a big school, where you can walk by unnoticed. Sure there was excitement about her coming, but it’s not like people stop her on the rushed walk to class to ask for an autograph. Students have their own classes, jobs, clubs, etc to worry about. Congratulations on her acceptance to the school and I hope she has an amazing time here.

innocentia on

wonder what she’s studying

E.P. on

Everyone’s fashion choices are different. I am with Dakota on this one though. I refuse to wear sweat pants unless I’m working out. Didn’t wear them in college and don’t wear them now that I’m a mother of three young children. To me they just scream “I don’t care about how I look and I just rolled out of bed!”

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Karyn on


There’s a huge different between humble and dishonest. Everyone knows that she was in numerous movies as a kid and probably has a leg up financially. It would be one thing for her to snub kids who wear sweat pants, she just expressed her preference. As for the privileges she has, if she pretended like she didn’t have them people would call her a phony. Dakota seems very level headed for someone who has been famous for most of her life.

Mel_M on

I took a heavy load of Electrical Engineering, math, and science courses in college, and the idea that there’s no time to dress and think about little things is ridiculous. (BTW, she mentioned a simple “for instance” question about which pencil case to buy; there wasn’t a single word or hint in the article about her worrying about how pretty it is. Lighten up!) Millions of people have gone to college and handled dress and other small things quite well. She hasn’t even been to school a month yet; I expect she’ll get it all figured out and be just fine. However, Dakota has some big movie commitments, so she’ll have to really watch her use of time. An interview at the end of her first semester would be interesting.

A far more interesting interview would be about what her course of study is and how she sees its relation to her career.

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