Just imagine it. At the tender age of fourteen, you land a mega TV role and before you can say ‘racoon eyes’, you’re a rock-star with Madonna and John Galliano knocking at your door. Oh that Taylor Momsen is a lucky old thing, eh? But that’s the wonder of it all – she’s not ‘old’ at all. In fact, she’s still a wild child teen, enthralling the world with her controversy-courting ways and enigmatic style. So where did it all begin? Well hold onto your Manolos, for we are taking you on a trip in the Grazia Daily time machine to find out…
We begin ten years ago when Taylor was a chubby-cheeked cutie pie from St. Louis. And let us tell you this: at seven years old, we were happily playing with our Polly Pockets and reading Enid Blyton books - but this little lady was on the red carpet alongside Jim Carrey for her role in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. How deprived our childhoods were! And by the look of things, Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks were her fashion inspiration. Didn’t it start so well?
Still all sweetness and light, Taylor gives Miley Cyrus a run for her child-star money with, God love her, a Tammy Girl wardrobe. How Britney Spears circa 1998! It's already clear this kid has her finger on the fashion pulse, because although admittedly that fringed denim coatigan with pearlescent trews is rather *cough* questionable, matching her faded jeans with a baker boy cap (complete with oh-so-glam diamante buckle) is a feat NOT to be sniffed at.
In her teens, Taylor hits the bottle (no, not THAT one) by turning a foxy shade of brunette while dressing like a umm, Chinese lantern. Does she want to let the world know that she’s, like, a grown-up, yeah? Probs.
Then BOOM! the starlet rocketed onto everyone’s radar as Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl. She accordingly sticks to cute, kicky cocktail frocks and a penchant for yellow shoes to amplify her character's wholesome fluffiness. Who’da thunk there was an inner goth desperate to break free?
And here's the turning point! In 2008, the pretty girl went grunge with the discovery of black eyeliner, a healthy dash of bleach, and a whole heap of attitude. But, oh honey, is that a mullet? What WOULD Rufus say?! Nevertheless, with some serious leg-flashing added into the mix, Taylor is getting funkier by the minute without entering TMI territory. Just do keep a grip on that hemline, dear...
The transformation continues, and oh my Little J, how you've grown! The “so what?” face? The permanent attachment to biker jackets? Yep, you really HAVE got that surly, sultry look down to a fine art. Style-jacking Debbie Harry with some edgy outfits certainly helps too… Rock 'n' roll, here you come!
It was last year that Taylor’s hardcore angst reached new heights as the frontwoman of The Pretty Reckless, sealing her transformation from girlie tween. Obviously, this gives her oodles of rocker cred, enhanced by morphing into Courtney Love’s Mini-Me. Seriously, get the girl a hairbrush, a pair of trousers and a good face flannel! Because panda-eyed as ever and flaunting her XOXO, Tay’s stage attire consists of John Lennon-esque glasses, saucy underwear as outerwear (GASP!) and clear heels complete with money slots (DOUBLE GASP!). Aw yes, sweet sixteen and wearing stripper shoes... Quite frankly, it’s enough to give us nightmares.
In truth, T.Mom’s OFF-STAGE style is just as scandalous. Having fired her stylist and still going through a pot of eyeshadow a day, she’s become the hot mess du jour - and the new darling of the fashwan world. Her vampy style won our high-street hearts as the face of New Look, secured her the Material Girl campaign, and caught the eye of Galliano. So what’s her sartorial inspiration? “I have a doll collection and I look at their outfits and kind of imitate them.” We’re guessing they’re not Malibu Barbies then...
So, to recap: budding acting and music careers, a signature rebellious style, A-list pals, a whole bunch of naysayers, and still only seventeen. Wow, we are ancient. But let’s look to the future - what could possibly be next for the hot young prodigy? For now, all we can do is speculate. And marvel at the eyebrow-raising, head-turning phenomenon that is Ms Momsen.
by Jessica Vince