The fashion renaissance of Anne Hathaway – and the woman behind it

Anne Hathaway has entered a whole new era of fashion-forward dressing, turning heads at every event she attends.

With a decades-long career, the 39-year-old actor is no stranger to the limelight. From her cute Mia Thermopolis “The Princess Diaries” days to her assistant-turned-fashionista “The Devil Wears Prada” character Andy Sachs, to becoming an Oscar-winning star, Hathaway demands attention on and off screen. And these days, she’s doing it with her style choices.

Call it a fashion renaissance or call it having an amazing stylist like Erin Walsh, but Hathaway is having a moment.

“This is a really cool new chapter (for Hathaway), but she’s always had these extraordinary ongoing, long-term designer relationships because she’s been working since she was 16,” Walsh, who has worked with Hathaway for about three years, told TODAY via telephone. “I think she is so phenomenal and inspiring on so many levels. She’s the kind of person who uses every aspect of her being, every aspect of her platform to pay it forward, to be of service and to be a conscious example … and that’s the kind of person I want to work with.”

Hathaway wearing Valentino at a Bvlgari event on June 6, 2022 in Paris. Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Bulgari

Over the years, Hathaway has had incredible fashion moments that include her 2015 Ralph Lauren gold sheath dress at the Met Gala, her white Oscar de la Renta ensemble while pregnant at Amazon’s Museum of Love pop-up in 2019, and another golden creation by Atelier Versace who showed off her baby bump at the 2020 Critics Choice Awards.

But earlier this year, while promoting the historical drama “Armageddon Time” and the Apple TV+ series “WeCrashed,” Hathaway appeared with a glow and wardrobe that people couldn’t stop talking about — like her “Titantic” moment at Cannes , wearing Armani Privé with a 107.15 carat Bulgari Mediterranean Reverie diamond and sapphire necklace. She also perfectly rocked the seaside grandma look.

“It’s pretty obvious, even fashion-wise, people are very excited about what happens with her,” Walsh said. “But to me, it resonates so strongly because there’s so much more going on than just the clothes, right? It’s this woman that people associate with, how she is and who she is.”

“She’s already a fashion icon from ‘The Devil Wears Prada.'” People want to see that side, she noted. “They want to see it go there, and we’re going there.”

There’s a newfound sense of confidence around Hathaway, and even she agreed while chatting with Hoda Kotb in March about life after the pandemic: “You have to feel good about whoever you are in the moment because you don’t want to miss out something . .. It’s something you have to learn, it’s something you have to figure out how to be at peace with yourself.”

The actor wearing Louis Vuitton on
The actor wearing Louis Vuitton at the ‘Armageddon Time’ press call on May 20, 2022 in Cannes, France.LIONEL HAHN/Getty Images

Walsh grew up with a passion for clothes after watching her hard-working grandmother and lawyer mother “be so methodical and thoughtful” about what they wore. She takes that approach to dressing her clients, which also include Sarah Jessica Parker, Alison Brie, Lucy Hale, Lana Condor and Freida Pinto among others.

As for Hathaway, Walsh said the actor “brings some substance to the table.”

“She wears things that project that joy and that confidence and that possibility to people because there’s a certain beauty and accessibility that she’s always had,” she exclaimed. “So when people see her … I think it feels very comforting and cool. Like “I can wear that too”.

And if there’s one piece of advice Walsh — who’s working on a book about “the power of what you wear” — can give her clients or anyone, it’s this: “Life is too short not to make bold decisions.” And in fashion you have nothing to lose, it’s just clothes.”

Below, Walsh breaks down four of Hathaway’s recent show-stopping looks from the past few months.

“Are you wearing…pink Valentino?”

The actor at the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 22/23 fashion show in Rome, Italy on July 8, 2022.
The actor at the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 22/23 fashion show in Rome, Italy on July 8, 2022.Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Walsh: That look was specific to (Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 22/23 fashion). I have to give total credit to (Valentino creative director) Pierpaolo (Piccioli) and that collection because what she wore was an amazing look from that collection. But the whole collection is like pushing the statement and I like how it came across. And it’s entirely his idea.

“Are you wearing… custom Armani Privé?”

Hathaway makes her Cannes debut at
Hathaway made her Cannes red carpet debut “Armageddon Time” on May 19, 2022.Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Walsh: Armani made a custom dress for us and we had a lot of back and forth with colors and we had tried different color combinations. I’m so glad we finally figured out (that look). One of my favorite mentors told me this a long time ago, (stylist) Elizabeth Saltzman, who I love…but we talked about the power of a “reset moment” and (using the color) white.

I didn’t realize it until we started fitting for Cannes, but this was her first Cannes she’d ever been to, because it just seems so crazy that it was the case. I thought she had been there 10 times, but it was her first. So it was, it was kind of the announcement of her as the face of Bulgari, which was very exciting. Armani…they’ve been dressing her since her first movies became part of the cultural zeitgeist. So it all just felt very full circle.

We fit in Cannes and Roberta Armani was there and it was just perfect, it was amazing. What I also loved was the hair and makeup was so simple. It just felt like, “Oh, I happen to be here looking amazing.”

“Are you wearing…David Koma cut-out dress?”

The actor in Los Angeles
The actor at the Los Angeles “WeCrashed” premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on March 17, 2022.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

Walsh: It was wild and how it worked on the carpet was so funny. We didn’t expect (she was going to match the event).

It’s the kind of dress that just worked so well because she just shines in her own skin…and you have to do that to wear that kind of dress. If you don’t feel it, it’s not going to work. It simply felt like the finishing touch. It’s cool to me too when you see designers who are able to pull off that balance of showing skin without being vulgar, and David Koma is amazing.

“Are you wearing that…colorful Christopher John Rogers set?”

The star is seen outside
The star is seen outside of ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ show on March 15, 2022 in New York City. James Devaney / GC Images

Walsh: (Christopher John Rogers) is a designer who puts joy out there, and we want to be a part of spreading that message. Period. He is so good at what he does and it is unique among his peers and the quality and the way he designs and how it is executed is just phenomenal. His color palette, it’s psychedelic happy. It’s so fun.

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