In the previous post about Brad Pitt I mentioned Mother Wolf, the new celebrity hotspot in LA. And Olivia Rodrigo was there with close friend Conan Gray last night for dinner, repping 90s nostalgia, which is dominating the culture right now; the 90s are everywhere, from television (Yellowjackets, Euphoria) to music (the Super Bowl headliners are almost all artists who came on the scene in the 90s with the exception of Kendrick Lamar) to fashion. Olivia’s hair, top, and skirt combination here is pure Gwen Stefani from that decade, right? The boots too – I wouldn’t immediately associate them with Gwen but there is definitely a Spice Girls vibe to them so the spirit is fully there from head to toe.
The other reason I wanted to cover Olivia today though is because her fame management. She’s 18 right now, turning 19 next month. She was already pretty popular before “drivers licence” became a smash hit because of High School Musical. And then the song exploded, and her debut album was one of the biggest of 2021, and all the Grammy nominations…
My point is, Olivia is the newest young superstar, but without superstar tabloid exposure – by choice. That is, unlike the young superstars of the previous generation, who were out and photographed every single night, on TMZ every single day, she keeps a relatively low profile, even though she’s based in Los Angeles. I don’t see her as a regular fixture at the photo agencies I subscribe to. And it’s not just because of the pandemic, because as we’ve seen, celebrities are still going out, and there’s always social media to sate the attention thirst. In the past, a young star at Olivia’s level would be making headlines at least weekly, not always by choice but it was heavy coverage and there’s a long list, you know the names, I don’t have to list them all here.
With Olivia, and Billie Eilish too, though, it doesn’t feel the same. Both of them seem to be processing their fame differently – and certainly wrestling with its complications with more awareness, a lesson perhaps they’ve internalised from their predecessors. Interestingly enough though, where Olivia is concerned, and specifically last night, there have been rumours circulating among fans that she and her 2021 boyfriend Adam Faze have broken up. She’s unfollowed him on Instagram and he’s apparently no longer in LA. So is it a coincidence that she showed up at Mother Wolf last night amid this speculation? If it's not a coincidence then it’s a selective and strategic celebrity move, a familiar one, long practised by many celebrities before her, and most effective when used sparingly. Which, if that’s the case, is part of the playbook she seems to have picked up on already.