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On the outside, Courtney Love doesn't appear to be the typical Marchesa-wearing celebrity we're using to seeing (like the ladylike Blake Lively or Naomi Watts). But when we saw her sitting with friend actress Gina Gershon at the brand's fashion show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York, she looked as demure and sophisticated as ever, having arrived early in a black Marchesa shift dress and black stockings and toting an embroidered handbag.
Then we started talking to her. That's when the straight-shooting, candid rocker we've grown to love came out.
Courtney, whose battle with drugs has been documented since the early ‘90s, admits it's still hard for her to look at drugs — specifically referring to the hit AMC show Breaking Bad, which centers around the life of meth dealer Walter White. Joined by Gina, the star sat down with editor Laura Lane to rehash her memories of meth in the ‘80s, explain why she didn't "quite get" fashion designer Alexander Wang's recent show and confess that family time with her 21-year-old daughter with Kurt Cobain, Frances Bean Cobain, always comes before a fashion show.
What shows have you seen?
Gina Gershon: I saw EDUN.
Courtney Love: I missed EDUN. I hung out with my kid [Frances Bean Cobain] that night and watched Breaking Bad.
GG: You did? I had to go because of Ali [Hewson, EDUN co-founder and wife of Bono].
CL: I had to go because of Ali, too, but I didn't because my kid was watching Breaking Bad.
GG: You know what, I was really excited for them because they have a new creative director.
CL: What was it like?
GG: It's a completely different level.
GG: It's really beautiful, kind of African-inspired, like these sarongs but with pieces of leather and these incredible necklaces. [It's] really, really very chic, kind of elegant. Before it was kind of fun, kind of punky…
GG: Easy. But it was really beautiful. It's much more sophisticated.
Courtney, what about you? What trend did you love from the shows?
CL: Well, I only saw Wang, and every single piece had his name on it and I didn't quite get that.
GG: Which one? Alexander Wang?
CL: Yeah. I thought maybe Alexander Wang was inspirational in Singapore or something. Like, it looked like Louis Vuitton. It might have been a mistake. I'm not quite sure. I didn't quite get it. I love him, but I didn't quite get it. Like seriously, Gina, everything. The leather, Alexander Wang. And my stylist who's in London, who's a genius, who's considered one of the most influential stylists on the planet, was taking it apart for me, as a parody of Vuitton. I didn't quite get — like, whatever. The clothes are cute. But they all said Alexander Wang on them.
GG: Yeah, I'm not big with labels either.
You mentioned Breaking Bad. Is that your favorite show right now?
CL: No; it's really depressing, but I got obsessed with it and I had to watch it all the way through. I had seen the up-to-date episodes so I started at the beginning and in less than a week, I was done.
Wait — from season one, the beginning?
CL: Yeah. And I'm even at the point where I'm ready to start watching Malcolm in the Middle because Bryan Cranston is on that. And also, I watched Talking Bad.
GG: What's Talking Bad?
CL: It's the after thing, like Sam Jackson and Don Cheadle go on and they talk about the show in front of a live audience.
GG: That's really funny.
I've seen it. It's really funny.
CL: And Bryan Cranston playing the fuzzy funny dad.
CL: With the crazy sweater in Malcolm in the Middle, it's like —
GG: Wait, he was in Malcolm in the Middle?
CL: He's the fuzzy sweater dad in Malcolm in the f---king Middle who gets laid a lot.
GG: No way! Really?
CL: He gets laid a lot — in a sitcom way.
GG: That's so funny.
CL: So I watched two episodes of Malcolm in the Middle just to see, what the hell. And yeah, he's amazing.
GG: I love watching shows like that. See, I won't watch something until I can watch ten in a row.
CC: But it's depressing. It's depressing. I hated it because I thought it was in Riverside and I just didn't want to see meth. And then everybody I know fell in love with it — and I'm like, OK, I mean, if everybody I know is in love with it….
Plus, the meth is blue on the show so it's not like —
CL: It's the blue meth.
Like rock candy meth.
CL: It's like, wow, I've done all drugs except for blue meth.
Which doesn't exist. I read an interview with a chemist and basically, blue meth is not possible.
CL: I don't think anyone wants to do meth.
That's the thing, the show doesn't glamorize it.
CL: When I was a teenager, I did it for about a week in San Francisco.
GG: You did meth?
CL: Dumpster dived. Skated. But it wasn't, I don't think, at this level now. People didn't have brown teeth back then. We did dumpster dive and stuff. It lasted a week for me and then I was like, OK, enough.
GG: It was the hardcore punks with the Mohawks.
CL: Well that was my group on the streets, baby.
It was a different time.
CL: Oh, early ‘80s. Way early ‘80s. Teenager. Just a kitten.
With that Courtney got swept away talking to a fashion friend, while Gina began discuss the research for her upcoming role as Donatella Versace in the Lifetime original movie House of Versace. A little later movie mogul Harvey Weinstein dropped by to say hi, while Vogue editor Anna Wintour sat not too far away. The kitten days appeared to be long gone.
By Laura Lane/@LauraLaneNYC