Phoebe Tonkin is in need of a schnitzel. The 28-year-old actress has just arrived in Hamburg, Germany, and she is itching to try some local delicacies. “I haven’t had any super traditional German food yet, but I’m excited to try something they have called gluehwein, which I guess is a mulled wine?”
This is her first time in Germany. “It is beautiful here,” says the Australia native. “I didn’t really know much about it before I got here, and it was a really pleasant surprise. It is gorgeous.”
And lack of schnitzel be damned (for now, at least), she is doing her best to take in the local attractions. So far, she’s hit the Christmas market, gone on a tour of the Hamburg School of Ballet, and visited the famed Miniatur Wunderland, a museum of, well, miniature things.
“I was very surprised at how impressive it was. It is so detailed,” she says. “It is really quite amazing. Basically, you walk through giant rooms and it is really detailed, tiny replicas of cities and historical events. You could just stare at something for fifteen minutes and you are still going to miss little details.”
And all of this one some very extreme jetlag; very early on Saturday morning, Tonkin had filmed her final scene for The Originals, The CW’s successful spinoff of The Vampire Diaries, which she has starred on since 2013. “It was a very emotional goodbye,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve totally digested it. It has been a really big opportunity for me, and I am so grateful for the last five years, but also really excited to see what is next. I think I’d like to take a little break, but also start to work on some different material or different type of role. I was fortunate enough to do this miniseries in Australia, which gave me the bug again to find smaller, interesting, edgier pieces.”
But first, the reason she’s in Hamburg in the first place: Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show.
The Metiers d’Art show marks Tonkin’s third Chanel show, her first, ironically being a recreation of a Salzburg-themed show held in New York. “It was obviously gorgeous,” she recalls. So gorgeous, in fact, that she completely missed a rare front row appearance by none other than Beyoncé. “I think I was so awestruck by everything around me — Pharrell and Cara Delevingne performed, and it was a very exciting moment for me—that she very well was there and I was just caught up in all the things that were happening.”
Tonkin likens attending a Chanel show to a “funny summer camp.” “You end up being in different countries around the world and seeing the same people,” she says. “Stella Maxwell is a good friend of mine, though she’s normally walking the show. There’s actually been a couple of times where I’ve been lent samples and seen her name in the tag. I always say it is a good luck charm if Stella has worn the dress already on the catwalk.”
For today’s event, Tonkin selects a tea-length black dress with silver embroidery, after a serious debate over a shorter, spanglier number. “I do like to keep options, but when both options are so good, it is not such an easy decision.” To match the dress, she styles her chin-length hair in loves waves, with a nude lip and subtle smoky eye. “I like to play music, and like to do a mask or use some funny gadgets,” Tonkin explains.
She’s all set — just no Gluehwein until the afterparty. “I try to keep the wine ’til afterwards, because then I will just end up sitting and chatting and listening to music for way too long and miss my car,” she explains.
And with that, auf wiedersehen.
Published December 6, 2017
by Lauren McCarthy