Latest News

The Unstoppable Rise Of Dakota Johnson

The star of 'Persuasion' shares some surprising truths about her rise as an actor, producer and fashion muse.

Dakota Johnson is proud of her vibrator. The actor, producer and fashion muse is due on the carpet at the Met Gala soon, and her hair and makeup teams are applying their finishing touches in a suite at New York’s Crosby Street Hotel.

Turns out Johnson included a touch all her own – she used a vibrator on her face this morning as a makeshift lymphatic drainage massager. The device was from Maude, the sexual wellness company she joined in 2020 as co–creative director. “It’s not for your face but it’s good,” she says.

“You showed me how to use it on my face,” says Kate Young, her long-time stylist and date for the night. Young turns to me and points to her cheeks, “I use her vibrator.” Johnson smiles. “My personal one.” 

She’s still in grey trackpants, sitting patiently as the teams scurry around. “I’m on a conveyor belt of beauty treatments,” she says. “You know that scene in The Wizard of Oz? One of them is getting stuffed with hay, and the Tin Man is getting polished. I feel like that’s me.”

Tonight she will be wearing a custom beaded lace Gucci bodysuit, which is hanging on a door nearby. The house’s designer, Alessandro Michele, was a close friend before Johnson came on as a brand ambassador in 2017. “We talk a lot, we text,” she says. “I don’t feel he’s elsewhere when I speak to him, which I feel most of the time when I speak to people who work in fashion.”

dakota johnson

By now, it’s drizzling outside, Johnson is running late, and there’s a camera crew at the door waiting to film her getting ready. “Wouldn’t it be nice to just stay here?” she says, only half-kidding. “[We could] go downstairs, have a nice dinner?” She prefers to do her own bangs for public appearances – a good luck charm of sorts – and once everything else is set, she slips into the bathroom to ensure that she looks like herself.

That done, she and a styling assistant privately deal with black star-shaped nipple covers that won’t stick. “We are so late,” says Young, now in her own green Gucci frock. Johnson disappears for what feels like half a second, re-emerging in the bodysuit and choosing between two black heels.

dakota johnson met gala 2022 gucci
(Credit: Getty)

“Do I need a wallet?” Johnson asks Young, hitting her marks for the videographer while subtly checking her bodysuit for pockets. There are none, of course. Just chains, beads, lace and flesh. “I got it,” says Young, emptying Johnson’s credit cards and ID into her own clutch. “We gotta go!” In the hallway, a pair of tourists stand against either wall to make way for Johnson’s velvet robe.

Only one elevator is working. When the doors open, it’s too packed. Jaws drop at the sight of her. As the doors close again, the least stunned of the folks in the lift, a mum, calls out to Johnson, “You look beautiful!” “You guys too!” Johnson replies. While we wait, she realises something and suddenly freezes in panic. “There’s a hole in my crotch,” she says.

Young’s assistant drops to his knees to investigate. “How bad is it?” Young asks. “I mean, finger-sized,” says Johnson. Hearing herself, she feigns shock and scandal in my direction. “You won’t be able to see,” the assistant says. “Just don’t twerk.” Laughter fills the hallway.

READ MORE: A Complete Timeline Of Dakota Johnson’s Changing Hairstyles

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the September issue of marie claire Australia on newsstands now!

Related stories