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Manning Overboard

LOS ANGELES — "I need a coffee," Taryn Manning announces as she settles into a chair at Fred 62, rubbing sleep out of her eyes. In fact, she’s still in her pajamas — a tank top and purple-and-pink terry cloth shorts worn with high-top...

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And Manning’s drive to be unique means she’s always working to create a look all her own. She wears mostly one-of-a-kind thrift-store goods gleaned from shops like Squaresville, Wasteland and Jet Rag, but lately she says, she just hasn’t been shopping. "You know when sometimes you get stuck and you don’t know what your style is? I feel like everything that I do gets bitten," she says, her parlance for "ripped off." "Even my best friend bites all my looks, but I love her for it. Once something gets bitten, I’ve got to be on to the next. I like Marc Jacobs and Grey Ant, but I’ve never been able to afford the designer stuff, so I’ve never gotten into it. I pull stuff from magazines then I do it the way I can afford to."

It seems somewhat ironic then that the actress would agree to pose for one of Gap’s famously choreographed ad campaigns. (Her face currently peers out from countless billboards and TV screens, alongside songstresses Tweet and Marianne Faithfull.) But not surprisingly, Manning managed to make the brand’s homogenous look her own, rolling up her flare jeans and tucking them into her boots.

"It was pretty pimp, because they need to advertise what the jeans look like and you couldn’t even see them," she raves. "And I didn’t wear any shirt underneath my hoodie. It wasn’t very sexy at first, but I just unzipped it, and they were like, ‘Yeah, that’s all right!’"

Of course, by now Manning’s on to the next. Her look’s been bitten.
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