in the magazine

What Are You Looking At?

Céline wool crepe coat-dress, $2,500 at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., nr. 57th St.; 212-753-7300. Long-sleeve dress with scallop tiered skirt, $3,790 at Valentino, 747 Madison Ave., at 65th St.; 212-772-6969. (Ring: Ms. Holmes’s own.)

Katie Holmes has not lived the typical Hollywood story. She’s a Catholic schoolgirl from Toledo, Ohio, who went to L.A. for the first time when she was 16; she arrived on a Sunday and was cast in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm the very next day. Dawson’s Creek came a year after that, and then there was Batman Begins, and then there was perhaps the world’s most famous courtship, and then there was the birth of the world’s most famous baby, and then, three years ago, her marriage to Tom Cruise, arguably one of the world’s most famous men.

And so for a number of years now, she’s been right at the center of our culture, the subject of an endless swirl of discussion and fantasy: What’s the deal with her marriage, does she really believe in Scientology, did Tom replace her innards with some kind of computer chip? And then there’s Suri! Piercing blue eyes, princess dresses, and a perfect combination of her parents’ very good looks, Holmes’s daughter is 4-year-old tabloid candy. She still travels with a blanket, but already she can’t move around the city without the company of someone very large and very well trained in the protective arts.

It’s not, by any stretch, an ordinary life. Yet amid this perpetual storm of attention, New York fashion director Amy Larocca discovers, Holmes stays almost preternaturally calm. Find out why by reading this week’s Fall Fashion cover story. [NYM]

What Are You Looking At?