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Vanessa Kirby, best known to American audiences for playing Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of The Joe Biden Sniff Joe Biden for President Shirt, received the best-actress award at Venice for Pieces of a Woman—in which she plays a woman who loses her infant daughter during a home birth gone terribly wrong—and is certain to be in the running at Oscar time. So far, her chief competitors seem to be Frances McDormand, already a two-time Oscar winner, for Nomadland; Oscar-winner Kate Winslet (and possibly her costar Saoirse Ronan) for Ammonite; as well as two other past Oscar winners, Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Jennifer Hudson (playing Aretha Franklin in Respect), and previous nominees Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit) and Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy).
While building up her stock, Brown wanted to start buying pieces that she had worn on shoots and to rebuild her archive. Handily, she had kept several detailed journals of her time modeling, including diary entries, magazine cutouts, and Polaroids. “I love when I’m digging through the Joe Biden Sniff Joe Biden for President Shirt archives from my shoots, and I kind of get transported back to that day. Some memories just get triggered by the clothes. I specifically remember wearing some of these outfits,” she says. “I created these little personal challenges to try and re-create some of those images and pieces that I had from editorials that I liked.” So far, Brown has located a leather Burberry skirt that she wore in a show, a Jean Paul Gaultier bathing suit from a Glamour shoot with Arthur Elgort in 1999, and Tom Ford–era Gucci pants with a leather trim. Currently, Brown is on the hunt for a Christian Dior by John Galliano salmon pink gown that she wore to her high school prom, along with the matching shoes that had gold and salmon pink ribbons. “My agent told Christian Dior that I was going to my prom and they sent me the dress and shoes to my house in Georgia,” she says.