Smythson, the legacy brand known for being the purveyors of chic passport covers and impeccable stationary for glamorous women of a certain age, wants millennials to know there’s more to them than meets the eye. And so begins Smythson’s journey to the wild side, the brand’s new travel campaign featuring the actress and model Phoebe Tonkin, playing Alice while venturing through London’s eclectic streets like a real-life Wonderland, as she makes her way to Buckingham Palace.
A “professional Cinderella,” as she describes herself on her Instagram bio to her 4.3 million followers, Tonkin’s life definitely has the touch of a fairy tale.“I’m such a visual person, I’m really drawn to photography and art and so I really use [Instagram] as a collage,” Tonkin tells Refinery29. “I was like the queen of collaging all my books and my bedroom walls and other people’s books at school. I kind-of see it as an extension, the grown up version of collaging.”
And when the The Originals actress isn’t sharing paintings, artfully-staged selfies and the books that she’s reading, filtered through Juno or Lark (her favorite filters), it turns out, she’s just like the rest of us, using the app to score her latest clothing purchases. “There’s a couple of cool vintage places that I like: a New Zealand brand called Paris Georgia” that stocks curated vintage pieces, and a jeweler, Baga Tibi that Tonkin was inspired to shop after she noticed a bunch of people that she follows photographing it. Sigh, popular Instagrammers, they’re just like us! “I don’t really shop in the stores so it’s definitely my way to find out new brands and labels.”
“I’m really lucky, a lot of my best friends are really fashionable,” she continued, “my best friend, Ilona Hamer, is a stylist and is probably the most fashionable person I know so I always go to her Instagram for inspiration. Her and my other friend Alex [Nataf] have a magazine called Unconditional ,[and] they always feature really cool girls on their Instagram as well so I kind of get into a little vortex of clicking on someone and finding someone else.” Her Instagram also played a role in her latest turn in front of the Smythson camera.
“Funnily enough, I was following this stylist, Valentine Fillol Cordier, on Instagram for like a year or two because I just thought she was so beautiful, French and cool! [Then] they told me that she was the one styling the campaign I was like oh it’s cosmic, it’s meant to be.”