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Dakota Fanning: I'm Learning to Wash Clothes

11/14/2011 at 01:30 PM ET

Dakota Fanning, Elle FanningMario Sorrenti for W

“Before Somewhere, they asked me if I was Dakota Fanning, because we looked alike,” Elle Fanning recalls in the December issue of W. “I’d say, ‘No, I’m her younger sister.’ And they’d say, ‘Oh, okay.’ But now I think they are starting to realize I’m my own person.”

It’s true: Elle has had quite the year, with a breakout role in Super 8 and a fashion star that’s on the rise. She even met Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld during Paris Haute Couture Week in July on her first-ever trip to the City of Light. “When I found out that I was invited to the Chanel show — that was the loudest I’ve ever screamed in my life,” she says. “That was the best day of my life.”

As Elle finds her footing in the world of fashion, big sis Dakota is settling comfortably into the role of college student at New York University. “Because I’m only 17, my mom is staying with me in my apartment for a little bit,” Dakota shares. “She’s teaching me how to wash clothes and such. But I’m so excited to be on my own.”

Dakota Fanning, Elle FanningMario Sorrenti for W

Dakota says she wanted to go to college for the same reasons she wanted to go to high school. “You hear people say, ‘Oh when I was in high school’ or ‘When I was in college,’” she says. “That defines a lot of who people are, and I didn’t want to miss out on that.”

She’s not your ordinary college student, though: Dakota has been modeling for Marc Jacobs since she was 12 (Elle just started, too). “When I did that first campaign for Marc Jacobs, I really wasn’t old enough to wear the clothes,” she recalls. “He made all the clothes from the runway in my size. I still have them.”

Unfortunately, she wasn’t always able to wear them. “They were too adult, and my school had uniforms,” she continues. “But on Fridays we could wear anything we wanted. There would always be at least one Friday where you’d forget and show up in uniform. It would be so embarrassing. I did that once actually and made my dad drive me back home to change.”

Read more with Elle and Dakota in the December issue of W and on wmagazine.com.

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Showing 58 comments

KC on

Dang…you’d think if they are capable of being the family cash cow that they would be self sufficient enough to do their laundry before the age of 17.

Me on

Shoot, I wasn’t doing laundry before the age of 17….guess that means I suck too.

Darian on

This girl is too pretentious…

kells on

I really like Dakota, and she seems like a sweetheart- but her parents should have taught her to do laundry by now. Come on. It’s like not knowing how to wash the dishes.

Valerie on

Oh, don’t be too hard on her! Most of us don’t really learn to do laundry until we’re on our own…how many people just bring their laundry home to mom in college? She just sounds normal. I’m happy she went to high school and is college. We have had enough LiLo syndrome with this young starlets. Nice to see one who wants to live a normal existence.

DizNuts on

Damn some people are so heartless to understand what its like to be a teenager in a BIG world.. I had to teach my bestfriend when we graduated high school how to do laundry when she went away to college… That does not make anyone heartless, some people just had there mothers do it, like mine did mine, but I learned at a young age and my bestfriend family was just messed up from abuse, so i had to teach her some new things when she moved out, I dont find it heartless at all….

Olivia on

Come on! I’m 19 and I knonw how to wash my clothes (with or w/o machine) since I was nine, n i’m not some poor girl who had no other choice.
It’s so obvious they’re not blonde, look at their eyebrows. Never understood why people who dye all their hair don’t dye their eyebrows too, to make it credible

Nikki on

I don’t think it’s uncommon that kids learn to do laundry right before they go off to college. Sure, some may have had to do it when they were younger, and some may have had other chores. I remember being 18 and calling my Dad the first time I did laundry alone because I was worried I would ruin everything.

Glad she’s at least doing her own laundry, instead of relying on others to do everything for her. Good for her!

jmmmtxx on

I never did Laundry when I was in highschool. Not that big of a deal people.

Lisak on

two more celebrity brats who never have nor ever will know what it is like to suffer. I really don’t know what is supposed to be so attractive about them. Sure Dakota was cute in I am Sam, but remove all that make-up and they are both quite homely looking.

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