25 in 2009: Josephine de la Baume

Born: 10/08/84 In: Paris, FR Is: Actress/Singer

The truth is, some Halloween costumes just don't work. Take, for example, Joséphine de la Baume's stab last year at proto-punk feminism, dressing up as Corinne "Third Degree" Burns, the lead character from the 1981 cult film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. "My friend convinced me to do it," de la Baume explains. "He was like, 'It'll be the dopest outfit -- everybody's going to know what you are. And then I went to the party and it was like I was a broken CD the whole night. No one knew what I was dressed as." She continues with a laugh, "I got kind of pissed off with my friend. After the fiftieth time I explained it, it was kind of annoying."

It's easy to see why the character's aesthetic attitude so appealed to de la Baume -- Burns's stage outfit consists of skunky punk hair, a sheer red blouse and pantlessness -- but her own personal style is slightly more highbrow. She's cited a diverse group of designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens and, of course, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy as being among her personal favorites. And, most recently, at her fake wedding to boyfriend Mark Ronson, de la Baume wore a lacy feminine gown by Delphine Manivet. "It was probably the most fun I've ever had at a wedding," she says. "But it confused a lot of people. I kept getting calls from friends in France who were upset that they hadn't been invited." The nuptials were arranged and photographed by French magazine Jalouse for their July issue. De la Baume says that the reason the shoot became such ubiquitous fashion-blog fodder had mainly to do with her boyfriend's charms: "There are a lot of girls out there, I think, who will be relieved to find out it's fake." But when asked if that means she'd like the world to know that Mr. Ronson is still on the market, she laughs and says, "Do that and I will kill you."

Who she's dating aside, de la Baume is a rising talent in her own right. For instance, she's an actress whose most recent credits include Romain Gavras's Les Seigneurs, a film she describes cheekily as being about redheads, and which co-stars Vincent Cassel; A Night at the Opera, directed by Nemo Librizzi and executive-produced by Jim Jarmusch, in which she plays the lover of the opera's diva actress (Paz de la Huerta); and a movie she's currently shooting with Adolfo Doring, the documentary filmmaker best known for his '90s music-video work with Alice in Chains and Public Enemy, among others. Later this year, de la Baume will appear in a play called L'Une de l'Autre at the Théâtre du Lucernaire in Paris. "Home is where the work is," she says.

In addition to acting, de la Baume co-fronts a band with her younger brother, 23-year-old Alexandre, who appeared with his sister in Vanity Fair's June issue as part of a shoot by Bruce Weber. (The two are the children of Baron and Baronne de la Baume, and heirs to a freight-inspection fortune.) The band is called SingTank and the siblings de la Baume write upbeat indie tunes with a warped sense of irony. "We just wrote a song called 'Dickface,'" she says impishly. "It's after an English phrase which means a really lonely wino -- not just any lonely wino, but a really lonely one." The band, which includes Alberto Cabrera on drums, have yet to play live, but have shows lined up later this year in Paris at Le Baron, Montana and the Theatre des Mathurins. "If I am inspired, I channel it into whatever seems to work -- music, acting, film." She continues, "I'm inspired by elements in my life. I create situations I can draw on. It works because my life is not really linear. Plus, of course, I am French."
Jonathan Durbin

Wears: bustier by Dolce & Gabbana, skirt by Boy by Band of Outsiders and a cuff by Proenza Schouler

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