Spring Minimalism with 'Camelot's' Claire Forlani

Au revoir, embellishment. In this minimalist moment, pared down is what looks prettiest: a boldly constructed sheath, an architectural A-line, a wide-leg trouser. Actress Claire Forlani of the Starz series Camelot proves that less is more.

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Pillar of Strength

Early in her career, Claire Forlani was the beneficiary of a certain kind of niche casting. “I played ‘the girlfriend,’ ” she says. “And, yes, usually death was involved in some way.” No kidding. She’s been a suicidal girlfriend (The Last Time I Committed Suicide), a girlfriend on the brink after a betrayal (Basquiat) and a girl dating Death himself (Meet Joe Black). “I also played the all-- American girl, in Mallrats,” she says, laughing. “That was a stretch for me!”

 

Dress: Jil Sander polyester dress, $1,365; Neiman Marcus, 888-888-4757

 

Bangles: Hermès lacquered wood bangles, $225 each; 800-441-4488 for stores

Photo by: Micaela Rossato

Bare Bones

Forlani grew up in London, and by the time she hit her tweens, she was serious about acting. After she begged her parents relentlessly, they enrolled her in the Arts Educational School, London’s top tier for performer wannabes. Early auditions yielded bit parts until Forlani landed a recurring role on the British TV series Press Gang. At 19, she headed to L.A. “I hit the tarmac and felt like I went into Technicolor,” she has said of those days.

 

Top: J.Mendel silk chiffon tank, $895; 800-563-6335 for stores

 

Skirt: J.Mendel silk chiffon skirt with grosgrain belt, $2,250; 800-563-6335 for stores

Photo by: Micaela Rossato

Building Block

Forlani is currently time-traveling for the Starz production of Camelot. “I’ve always dreamed of doing something in the medieval time period,” she says. The project, filmed in Ireland, also allowed her the luxury of working closer to her hometown. “It feels good to be back,” she says. “There is so much that’s English about me. I drink lots of tea and love to eat mince pies. I love the English countryside, and I love irony.”

 

Jumpsuit: BCBGMAXAZRIA silk georgette jumpsuit, $398; bcbg.com for similar styles

 

Necklace: Ports 1961 vinyl and vachetta necklace, $250; 323-951-1930

 

Heels: Calvin Klein Collection leather heels, $1,950; 212-292-9000

Photo by: Micaela Rossato

Sleek Engineering

Vagabond lifestyle aside, acting is what feels right to Forlani. “I’ve worked solidly for 20 years. I feel lucky that I’ve never had to have another job,” she says. Not that she hasn’t given some thought to her options. “Oh, God, there’s lots of good jobs out there. I’d love to paint, I’d love to be a doctor, an archaeologist, an inventor . . .” She trails off, then sums up wryly, “What I would love to do and what I’m capable of doing are two different things. I mean, I’d love to play Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, but it’s too late for that, I’m afraid.” Too late for another turn as a -girlfriend tinged with death? “Yes, darling, it is.”

 

Top: Rachel Roy cotton denim bustier, price on request; rachelroy.com

 

Pants: Calvin Klein Collection silk crepe pants, $2,295; 212-292-9000

 

Bangle: Max Azria wood bangle, $68; 888-636-2224 for stores

Photo by: Micaela Rossato

Bold Foundation

Top: Doo.Ri viscose blend shirt, $645; shopbop.com

 

Skirt: Bally silk cady skirt, $1,495; bally.com

 

Bangles: Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co. lacquered Japanese hardwood bangle, $395; tiffany.com

Photo by: Micaela Rossato

Formidable Footprint

Top: Callula Lillibelle poly blend top, $242; Studio Soho, 432-682-5877

 

Pants: Calvin Klein Collection silk pants, $2,295; 212-292-9000

 

Necklace: Vhernier 18k rose-gold and jet necklace, price on request; 305-445-9356

Photo by: Micaela Rossato

White Angle

Dress: Nicole Farhi patent leather dress, $1,064; nicolefarhi.com for stores

 

 

Another thing we're loving for spring and summer—graphic prints in bold colors, inspired by days spent in art school.

 

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Photo by: Micaela Rossato
First Published April 25, 2011

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