British Grazia Magazine, December 2005. Scans by Levenia
She was reecently names one of the most beautiful women in the world, but actress Liv Tyler confesses that she feels like a frump next to her close friend Kate Moss
Liv Tyler is having a Cinderella moment. A gorgeous pair of plum-coloured Marc Jacobs heels lie by her feet, but something is stopping her from putting them on. They're the perfect size and colour to set off her vintage dress and purple suede Givenchy clutch bag, but Liv shakes her head and pulls her bare feelt up on to the settee in her suite at London's swanky Hempel hotel.
'Ther're fabulous aren't they,' she says to Grazia. 'I'd like to be the sort of girl who could wear them, but they just kill me. I went out with friends in London yesterday and I made a real effort to look chic and sophisticated in a dress and heels. I was trying to work the Hollywood star look. But, after a few hours of walking around Selfridges, I was practically in tears because my feel hurt so much. I sat on the floor while my friends called a cab, then hobbled out into the street clutching my shoes. I'm not very good at being glamorous. Look at me now: all dressed up and nothing but nail polish on my feel!'
This is not the sort of anecdote you'd expect from an A-list movie princess who commands up to 6 million pounds per film, from Armageddon to Lord Of The Rings. But the story is quintessential quirky Liv, and that's why she's been successful as a figurehead for Givenchy's new Very Irresistible perfume - the reason she's here today. Women warn to Liv because she doesn't play by the rules. Her free-spirited style is unique - this girl mixed classic and vintage with her husband's favourite tops and designer baggage ('I love bags, Mulberry, Fendi, Givenchy... I have about 50 pegged up in my wardrobe at home').
Yet, unlike many of her Hollywood counterparts, she has put personal happiness - marriage to British rocker Royston Langdon, and her son Milo - before fame, money or life in the fast lane. When she gave birth to Milo a year ago, she refused to snap back into shape ('It's taken me a year,' she says). She turned down work and gave up parties for walks in the park, trips to Leeds (where her in-laws live) and cosy nights in with her family.
If anyone ever had an excuse to go off the rails and end up a victim of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, it would be Liv. The daughter of rock groupie Bebe Buell, Liv was a teenager when she discovered her real father was not the singer Todd Rundgren, but infamous Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. It's difficult to imagine what effect this had on a girl often described as 'incredibly fragile'. Liv shakes her head: 'That's so far off the mark. I've never been fragile. I had these really hard things to deal with, and I did. I'm one tough cookie. I guess I could have gone off the rails but, as a child, I watched my mother suffering so much for what she went through with men and all those other things. I decided then I didn't want to go through that.' Rather than mirror the extremes of her parents' lives, Liv has done the opposite.
Her greatest achievement isn't winning the role of elfin princess Arwen in the Lord Of The Rings, or being named one of the world's most beautiful women. It is, rather more conventionally, being a wife and mother. 'I've never thought of myself as a beautiful woman,' she shrugs. 'At school, boys never looked at me that way. I was the tall, gawky one (she is 5ft 10in) and I felt really awkward around guys. I was the friend rather than the girl all the boys were after.' Yet her new perfume, Very Irresistible (right), is unashamedly sexy and sensual. She laughs and sits up straight in her chair, pouts her Jaggeresque lips and flutters her eyelashes: 'I guess I feel more womanly these days,' she says and then slouches back more comfortably: 'Being married and becoming a mother has given me a lot more confidence because I care a lot less about what people say about me. But I'll never think of myself as beautiful. I'm like one of those women who lost tons of weight but still feel fat because they've been fat all their lives. But it doesn't mean that much. Being happy is so much more important.'
At 28, she is, however, fastidious about her skincare routine. 'When I was six, I lived with my grandmother for two years and she was obsessed with the whole cleanse, tone and moisturise thing,' she laughs. 'I hated it at the time, but now I'm just like her. I give great facials to my friends and I really do look after my skin. I don't want to ever have cosmetic surgery, so I want to do the best I can with what I have. I hate that look where people's faces have just changed. It's so creepy.'
As for clothes, her style icon is Kate Moss. Just a few weeks ago, Liv's New York home was staked out by photographers who'd been tipped off that Kate was staying with her after her stint in rehab. 'It was crazy,' says Liv. 'It was Halloween and these photographers kept jumping out from everywhere...'
She is certain her supermodel friend's reinvention will be the making of her and says: 'I love Kate. I think she's the most stylish woman I've ever met. I remember going on holiday with her and she picked up a tiny canvas bag and threw in a couple of tops, trousers, shoes and a skirt. When we got there, she put them together in all these different ways and looked fantastic. I had a huge case with hudreds of clothes and could never work out what to wear. She's the most stylish woman. And she can wear heels!'