Australian Shop Til You Drop, June 2010. Scans by Robwootton and Louise
Liv is back in a big way, with two new (non-Hobbit related) films and a campaign with jean juggernaut G-Star.
With the exception of a few pap pics of her out and about with son Milo - and the occasional sighting in the front row at Fashion Week - this all-American beauty has been on hiatus from the spotlight for the past two years. In retaliation to the perilous Hollywood practice of gracing the red carpet in per-baby form within weeks, Liv has taken her sweet time getting back in form. "I love being a mum," she says. "And it was important I got to spend those years that are so precious and will never come back again with my son."
Not that her post-baby body isn't every bit enviable - she's got girl-next-door hotness down pat - but her figure somehow seems so much healthier and more achievable than most.
With her self-imposed exile now over, Liv is back on our radar. "When I started working again this year, after being away for a few years, I chose knowingly the things I really wanted to do," she says. In addition to fronting a perfume campaign for Givenchy, the ethereal beauty has been enlisted by Dutch denim giant G-Star to be the face of its spring/summer campaign. Given that she names Kate Moss and Stella McCartney as her closest buddies, it's hardly surprising that the 32-year-old actress has a unique take on personal style, either. "I do often rely on the help and good eye of a stylist friend," she says. "I usually have an idea in mind from something in my head, or a cool photo from the past or from a magazine I've been reading, and I'll say, 'Can we find something like this?' and they'll help me hunt for it."
You certainly don't get the feeling Liv spends all her time dreaming up outfits, which is probably why her style comes across as so effortless. She undoubtedly gets it from her mum - '70s It-girl Bebe Buell. "My mum's so amazing," she says. "She was a singer and a model, so she had all these beautiful clothes and this make-up, and in the bathroom all her jewellery was pinned to the wall... It was more than a little girl could ever dream of. When she went out, she'd always say, 'Don't get into my stuff!' and the first thing I'd do was go mad dressing up."
For a girl who calls herself a "tomboy at heart", Liv has an infectious take on fashion. "One of the things I like so much in the whole world of fashion is how creative it is and how there's so much freedom for people to create... I love doing photo shoots and I love seeing the structure of the clothing and how things are being made. I really appreciate the art of it." Which is, no doubt, partly why G-Star was so keen to have the The Lord Of The Rings actress on board. "I love all the things they're doing. It's so original and you can tell they really love what they're doing. It's been such a fun collaboration so far," she says. But she's not just lending her face to the campaign. After designing jeans for the new collection, Liv has followed it up with a fashion range for the brand that will drop in stores in June.
But when she's not designing or acting, Liv is just like anyone else. "When I'm not working, I want to cook beautiful meals and eat them with my son and enjoy life. I like to have a beer, and I can't deny it, it's nice to live a little." But don't worry - the raven-haired actress isn't done with making movies yet. She stars in the upcoming superhero flick Super with Kevin Bacon, Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson, of US The Office fame. A departure from her usual fare, it's a talentfest that will make the trip to the cinema well worth it.
If we were to get right down to it, though, it's Liv's grasp of how best to flatter her famous curves that makes us heart her so much. "I feel best about my legs but I have a womanly tummy, so I always feel good when I have something a little loose on, like dresses or shirts with Wolford tights or leggings." That's not to say she doesn't froth over designer creations as much as everyone else, citing Isabel Marant, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, American Vintage, Lanvin and Stella McCartney (no surprise there) as her favourite labels.
So what's her biggest fashion indulgence? "Knickers. I go pretty bonkers in Coco De Mer." And despite being able to call Kate Moss her BFF ("I love playing dress-up with her and her closet"), Liv remains as nonchalant as ever when it comes to style. "The truth is, in my personal life, I don't think about it too much," she says. "Jeans and a striped top and blazer is a very good look for me, but I also love to wear cute little dresses or rompers with tights and Converse, or my little Lanvin black flats." For a tomboy, Liv sure has a lot to say about fashion. Which is pretty much why we adore her.