On the new “Gossip Girl”, Savannah Lee Smith plays Monet de Haan, the Evil girl terrorizing Constance Billard while aiming for a PR career at all costs – friendships included, as the show reached its midseason finale with Monet MIA after a betrayal in a costume contest. It’s such a compelling performance that you couldn’t be blamed for assuming that Smith herself could, for example, throw a turmeric latte in your brand new sweater. But she’s (thankfully, for the sake of my own cream-colored Marc Jacobs sweatshirt) the exact opposite in person when we catch up at the Kate Spade New York event on Wednesday morning: lovely, bubbly, and super friendly.
“This is my very first fashion week! So I’m really excited,” she says. “It’s crazy. Little girl, I grew up watching the Met [Gala] and fashion week and all the catwalks and I dreamed of being a part of it. “
Another way Smith differs from the character she plays on TV? While Monet was probably born knowing the difference between Balmain and Balenciaga, for the young actor, “Gossip Girl” served as a crash course in the industry. She has always been interested in lowercase F fashion, but it was working with extraordinary costume designer Eric Daman that Smith invested in the genre of capital F fashion that rules the Upper East Side.
“After seeing the way Eric works with individuality, you can tell that each character is so designed in his clothes, so specific to him. It gave me an idea of where I wanted to go with fashion. “, she says. “Every time I go to a fitting he says ‘Do you know this brand?’ And I’m like ‘No no no’; I’m looking, I write it in my Notes app, like, ‘I need this dress.’ It’s an educational thing for me. “
Smith turns out to be a quick study, showing up at the show’s premiere at Louis Vuitton, then brightening up her simple black Kate Spade New York jumpsuit with a matching set of jewelry – a chunky cocktail ring and chandelier earrings – and glittering Mary Jane pumps. She loves to experiment with colors and pieces that catch the eye. “I also have a bit of an androgynous side that I’m trying to cultivate right now,” she says. “I love combat boots.”
Smith’s key accessory, however, was an apple-shaped “I Love NY” bag, as Wednesday’s event aimed to celebrate Kate Spade’s collection sporting Milton Glazer’s iconic tourist logo. That’s totally fitting for the Los Angeles native, who moved to New York in 2018 to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts only to land a starring role at one of the lesser properties. more in vogue on television a few years later.
Smith was already in love with the city, but “Gossip Girl” deepened her appreciation for her new hometown. “My life changed instantly. It made me fall in love with New York even more, because ‘Gossip Girl’ is like a love letter to New York,” she says. “The show showed me parts of New York that I had never seen before.”
Then, with a smirk, Smith leans in to share one of his favorite jokes: “It’s funny, because ‘Gossip Girl’ gives New York very handsome, and he is – sometimes! There is no trash on the street in “Gossip Girl”, but it is there in real life. “
Garbage Joke: Just another reason Smith is so much more lovable and relatable than his on-screen character.
Want the latest news from the fashion industry first? Sign up for our daily newsletter.