The daughter of fashion royalty decides to strike out on her own in New York. Who can blame her, when an old family friend by the name of Karl Lagerfeld comes calling?
Tallulah Harlech’s first Karl Lagerfeld memory goes something like this: At age 12, she was taken by her mother, Lady Amanda Harlech, backstage at the 2000 Chanel couture show. Lady Harlech was doing walk-throughs with the models, and Tallulah specifically remembers her mother reminding Naomi Campbell to “smile to Puff Daddy” as the supermodel walked down the runway. Tallulah also recalls the hectic scene during the show, but what she remembers most is the finale, when Lagerfeld suddenly grabbed her hand and walked her out onstage to a barrage of flashbulbs. Not a bad introduction to theater, as far as they go. Now 20, Tallulah is looking to outdo her first standing ovation. While Tallulah’s famous fashion mother has always been encouraging about her daughter’s pursuit of acting, Lady Harlech has judiciously decided to let Tallulah succeed on her own merits. Skip to Tallulah leaving London for New York in 2007, briefly attending the Lee Strasberg school before trying to score a part in a stage production. “Everything moves more quickly in New York, and that’s why I’ve stayed,” she says. “Not only is London slower, but people don’t really congratulate success the same way.” Tallulah didn’t have to wait long before being cast last summer in an off-Broadway production of Richard III. Now she’s scoping out auditions to find, in her own words, “something I believe in.” She adds, “I don’t want to feed any more bad culture to the youth of today.” In the meantime, Mr. Lagerfeld has cast the ingénue in his short silent film on Coco Chanel, which premiered last December. “I play a model at Coco’s hat shop, and my mother comes in as a client,” says Tallulah, who first heard about the project when she and Lagerfeld were up late one night last summer watching silent films at his vacation house in Saint-Tropez. “It was 3 a.m., after a very long dinner,” she remembers. Sometimes it helps to have a few family connections.