Model Fernanda Ly has a simple dream. “I want to cut my hair,” she says with longing, cozied up on a couch after the day’s photo shoot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “I’ve thought about this for so many years. One day it will happen, I guess.” But not anytime soon.
Ly’s long, cotton candy–pink manga-princess locks are her calling card. It’s a trademark look that got her discovered at age 17 while strolling the mall back in her native Australia, and it scored her a runway début at Louis Vuitton’s fall 2015 show two years later, along with an ad campaign and a rare three-season exclusive with the house. “I think I was 14 when I started dyeing it. I went through all the colors—red, orange, blond,” says the 21-year-old, now based in New York.
But despite wishful thinking (going back to her natural black is also on her fantasy to-do list), the shade suits her idiosyncratic tastes: Ly is an anime devotee—she and Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière love the Evangelion series—and she’s obsessed with playing Tetris-esque games on her phone and binge-watching Chef’s Table. As for her personal style, it’s “whatever makes me happy,” she says, which can mean anything from schoolgirl plaid accessorized with a bondage-lite choker to a frilly dress. While still eclectic, it’s far less conceptual than what she favored during her early days in the business. “I was in a weird phase where I was only wearing white clothes,” she recalls, laughing. “White socks, shoes, skirts, sweaters, shirts... But then my mom complained about washing everything too much!” No matter—one signature has proven to be more than enough.
Sequined blouse and skirt, Rodarte, price upon request; modaoperandi.com. Diamond and 18kt white gold ring (left hand, $3,280) and diamond, onyx, and 18kt white gold ring ($1,740), Chopard; at Chopard.
Jersey shirtdress, Céline, $3,750; at Céline, 212-535-3703. Velvet and leather sandals, Gabriela Hearst, $595; net-a-porter.com.
Cotton sweater, Me and You, $55; itsmeandyou.com. Denim jeans, Industry Standard, $125; industrystandardny.com. 9kt rose gold ring (right hand, $467) with diamond charm ($327), Loquet London; at Broken English, 212-219-1264. Diamond and 18kt rose gold ring (left hand, index finger, $1,990), diamond, onyx, and 18kt rose gold ring (left hand, middle finger, $1,740), and mother-of-pearl, diamond, and 18kt rose gold ring ($1,740), Chopard; at Chopard.
Silk dress, Fendi, $3,700; fendi.com. Metal eyeglasses, Miu Miu, $320; at select LensCrafters stores.