What's next for Katie Holmes?

The correct answer to that question is fashion and freedom. And Katie Holmes' intention to execute this newfound lifestyle is not a recent development.

Six weeks prior to serving Tom Cruise with divorce papers, Holmes sat with ELLE Magazine to primarily discuss her fashion line Holmes & Yang. Foreshadowing the split in the interview which was previewed by Page Six on Thursday, Holmes stated, "I'm starting to come into my own," adding she was entering a "new phase" in her life.

The 33-year-old actress and mother said to the publication in mid-May, "I definitely feel much more comfortable in my own skin. I feel sexier. I think in my 20s, it's like you're trying too hard to figure everything out." Holmes' ease with herself certainly shows in the August issue of ELLE, which went from a solid feature to scorching-hot commodity after last Friday's earth-shattering entertainment news. We wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be ELLE's best-selling issue in 2012.

On the Carter Smith-shot cover, Holmes dons suspenders, bares some cleavage, rocks fierce bangs, and stares into the camera with her doe-like, naive eyes that have frequently and notably appeared weary through much of her five-year marriage to Cruise. 

A source at ELLE told the tabloid that even in her interview, "Katie didn’t speak about Tom in a lovey-dovey way at all. She deflected the Tom questions and brought them around to herself." Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the brand told WWD on Thursday that Katie's "personal matters aren't affecting the line." In fact, Holmes is currently prepping for her first show at New York Fashion Week with design partner, friend and stylist Jeanne Yang.

And to show she's "alright- thank you" like she said to the NY Daily News reporter who stalked her through a Whole Foods store several days ago, Holmes has shown resilience by stepping out on the streets of Manhattan and proceeding with her everyday routine. The star filmed an episode as a guest-judge on Project Runway sans her wedding ring, she's gone out for ice cream with Suri, and Holmes has even been snapped smiling and laughing.

We're glad to see that glow return, and look forward to what she has to offer come September at Fashion Week.