You may know Pom Klementieff for her roles as Mantis in the Marvel films Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, but fall down a Google rabbit hole and you'll soon find that she's also a style powerhouse. A front row fixture at fashion shows across the world, the actress is a master at playing with shape and silhouette. It's no wonder, then, that Chanel tapped her as an ambassador for the brand, inviting her to New York's Shelter Island to celebrate the relaunch of its iconic J12 watch nearly 20 years since it first debuted. As she got ready we took a little bit of her time to chat personal style, fashion inspiration, and pre-party playlists.
What inspired your hair and makeup for this event?
I wanted to go for a natural look for the makeup, since it was a dinner at the beach. I didn’t want to look overdone. I love to create bold looks with Ralph Siciliano, but for this one we wanted something more glowy that feels like you’re on a holiday. For hair, Cameron Rains and I thought hair down would give a more chill “I spent the day at the beach” vibe. I thought a hair accessory would be a nice touch. I’m obsessed with velvet, and Cameron came up with the idea of the velvet ribbon. It adds a preppy vibe and frames the face in a nice way. I had never done this hairdo before, and I love to try new looks, so that was fun!
How about the outfit?
I love black and white. It makes me think of a “Nouvelle Vague” look. I love the sailor vibe as well. I had lilac nail polish on, but we switched to black to make the looks less “cute” and edge it up. Also, the look reminds me of the '60s in some way. Anna Karenina could have worn something like that.
How do you decide what you're going to wear to an event?
I usually work with [stylist] Petra Flannery, and I trust her impeccable taste. But I also often choose the looks myself, or send her a picture of several outfits I like, and she tells me what she prefers. I go with my gut and what I feel more at ease in. If you don’t feel comfortable in an outfit, it shows and the pictures don’t look great. I send inspo shots to the glam team for sure. I find it really fun. I like to take risks. Otherwise, it’s boring.
What’s your first Chanel memory?
I remember my first Chanel show. I had flown from LA to Paris and went straight to the fitting, then hair and makeup. The show was at the Ritz and it was tea time. We were seated at tables and the collection was stunning, and we got to eat amazing pâtisserie. Eating the cakes and watching the show felt like I was in a dream (combined with the jet lag!). I, myself, was wearing a pink dress with ruffles so I kinda felt like a strawberry cake.
How would you describe your personal style?
It’s hard to describe because I can be so versatile from one day to the other. I love to be elegant but also playful. I love all the Chanel accessories. I was gifted a Chanel bag I love, and there is a tiny owl on the zipper. Things like that make me smile, they make life softer.
Who do you look to for style inspo?
Tilda Swinton is always so elegant, chic, and special. I love menswear also, I always feel the most comfortable in a blazer. I get inspired by movies, by people, by an attitude, a song—things you keep in your brain subconsciously.
What’s on your playlist when you’re getting ready?
I love Blood Orange. I went to Dev [Hynes's] show in Paris a few weeks ago and it was so beautiful. I’ve been listening to “Dark and Handsome” on repeat. Or Gainsbourg, Air, or some music that puts me in a good mood.
What’s one thing you tell yourself before you’re leaving the house or the room?
Let’s do this! Let’s have fun!
For more information on the Chanel J12 watch ($5,700 to $7,000), head to chanel.com.
Nikki Ogunnaike Style Director Nikki Ogunnaike, Style Director of ELLE.com, is the go-to style expert for the 25 million+ users, fans, and followers of what is now the largest fashion and beauty magazine website.