So innate is Dakota Johnson’s affection for Hollywood, her sometime hometown, that she can scarcely finish a sentence about her style without swerving off to the subject of the silver screen. “I like to pull together a bunch of different looks,” she begins. “I get some of them from movies, you know? Like Almost Famous? I love that seventies style, all the crazy colors and the huge flared bell-bottoms. That’s my favorite movie in the whole world,” she gushes. “Kate Hudson is so cool and awesome.”
It’s only when she concludes her breathless little outburst by citing one time when the starlet “sort of” babysat for her that Dakota fully sets herself apart from every other fourteen-year-old film freak. See, mom is Melanie Griffith, dad is Don Johnson. and she calls Antonio Banderas, her stepfather, Papi. Factor in that her grandma, actress Tippi Hedren, was a favorite of Alfred Hitchcock’s back in the sixties, and it’s easy to explain Dakota’s avid interest in the industry – Hollywood glamour is in her blood.
Which isn’t to say that she cruises around the campus of her all-girls Catholic boarding school clad in the Working Girl’s old Oscar gowns. `My mother always looks beautiful and elegant,” she explains, ” but my style is very laid-back.” Asicleirom the unavoidable plaid-skirt uniform-which Dakota makes more palatable by raising the hem “a bit higher” than the three-inches-above-the-knee regulation-C&C California shirts and anything from Abercrombie & Fitch are her favorites. “I like that both their clothes are beachy,” she says, “and a little worn-out. You might as well be comfortable.”
But never sloppy: “One thing I learned from my mom is how to make an outfit look pulled together, even if that just means adding a pretty accessory.” Dakota’s signatures? A gold heart locket and colorful stacked bangles. She pairs them with everything from her ripped-up Chip & Pepper jeans and a sequined cardigan to the minidress she layers under a short-sleeved skater sweatshirt.
When she arrives at her Teen Vogue interview wearing white jeans, a turquoise cami, and a pale teal Juicy Couture jacket, however, the look is very Don Johnson, circa his days as an eighties fashion icon. Back then, he pioneered the white-suit-over-a-pastel-tee look on the hit police drama Miami Vice. Today, his fashion tips fall strictly into typical dad territory. “He’ll tell me my jeans are too low, or that too much of my stomach is showing,” says Dakota, grinning.
She seems more inclined (or maybe just more obliged) to follow his advice when it comes to her future. “I really want to act,” she says. But Melanie and Don-who’ve been married to and divorced from each other twice, having moved in together after meeting on a movie set when Melanie was about Dakota’s age-want their daughter to finish school first. “It’s better to start as an adult,” she agrees. “Hopefully I have some of my mom’s charisma-that goofy blonde thing. But I’d like to be my own person.”
It’s an individualistic impulse of which her parents doubtless approve. “My mother wants to let me develop my own style,” Dakota explains. “Like the other day, I put on a striped mini with red fishnets, bright red lipstick, and black-lined eyes, and I did my hair all crazy. Most moms would freak out and say, ‘Get back in your bunny pajamas,’ but my mom took pictures! She thought I looked cute.”