Kerry Washington Gave Billie Lourd The Best Fashion Advice

Bilie Lourd/Kerry Washington
Photo: Tara Ziemba/AFP/Getty Images; Backgrid

With memorable turns on Fox’s Scream Queens and last year’s epic American Horror Story: Cult, Billie Lourd is quickly becoming one of the most exciting new faces on the small screen.

And as it turns out, when she’s not on set, the 25-year-old actress often looks to TV shows herself for inspiration, especially of the sartorial sort.

So when we asked Lourd whose look she was crushing on right now, we weren’t surprised that she rattled off primetime’s ultimate fashion boss, Olivia Pope, a.k.a Scandal actress Kerry Washington.

Ahead of Scandal’s final season (the winter premiere is Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. on ABC), we connected the two TV stars to talk shop. On the agenda? ‘90s throwbacks, the magical power of Gucci, and what they always steal from set. Listen in on their chat below.

VIDEO: Kerry Washington on Her Best Red Carpet Moments

Billie Lourd: Kerry, I’m a huge Scandal fan. And your personal style inspires me endlessly. You’re amazing at dressing funky and classy at the same time.

Kerry Washington: Wow, I’m so flattered! I feel like you also capture that feeling of being both classic and outside the box, not just on the red carpet but with your characters too.

BL: I don't know about you, but working on a TV show has really made me focus on fashion. Lots of outfit changes.

KW: Most of what I've learned about style has been through the characters I’ve played. If it wasn't for my job, I’d probably be in tank tops and jeans every day.

BL: Same! When I was Chanel No. 3 in Scream Queens, I became obsessed with all of her little mini skirts. How has playing Olivia Pope influenced your style?

KW: I wear Olivia’s suits for 16 hours a day, so I try to be edgier with my own patterns and colors. I do plan on stealing all 1,003 of her Prada bags one day, though.

Kerry Washington
James Devaney/GC Images

BL: You have to keep something, right? I learned that from my grandma [actress Debbie Reynolds]. She was the ultimate costume collector. On American Horror Story, Ryan [Murphy] always wanted my character to wear a cameo necklace, so I had to steal one of those when we wrapped.

KW: Ha! I love it.

BL: When you’re not on set, what do you like? I’m into Adidas tracksuits lately.

KW: I love that ’90s feel too. I’ve been wearing my Fenty jelly sandals to death. I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, so my off-duty look is definitely off-duty.

BL: What do you wish you knew about style when you were starting out? Share your wisdom, please.

Bilie Lourd
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

KW: In my 20s my style was definitely not as cool as yours! I didn’t know how to pronounce anything.

BL: I still don't know how to pronounce anything. [laughs]

KW: My best advice is to find an aesthetic that you love and just own it in your own way.

BL: Well, my mantra is, 'When in doubt, wear black.' You might look like you’re going to a funeral, but it’s classy.

KW: It’s the Kanye route. All black everything! [laughs]

BL: Do you work with a stylist for the red carpet? I have a lot of fun picking out my own stuff to wear.

KW: I love to pick my own looks, but it’s helpful to have a stylist from a time-management perspective. You have to find one that’ll be your partner, though. I like to think about the story that I'm telling with my clothes. I'm not looking for someone to strong-arm me into something.

BL: When we met at the GLSEN [Respect] Awards, you were wearing this colorful floral suit. It was epic.

Kerry Washington
Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via/Getty Images

KW: Oh, that was Roberto Cavalli [above]. I wasn’t sure how it was going to photograph, but I was so in love with it. What’s your favorite thing that you’ve worn?

BL: Probably my Gucci gown [below]. I love everything Gucci is doing right now because I’m a glitter whore.

KW: I love Gucci too. Everything feels so edgy and modern but still whimsical.

BL: Truly magical! My mom [Carrie Fisher] would have been obsessed with that dress. It was her vibe.

Bilie Lourd
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

KW: Do you feel like she’s in a lot of your choices?

BL: Absolutely. She loved glitter and color. I’m a little more conservative, but I've been trying to channel her eccentricity lately. I’ve definitely got her sense of humor that I live by everyday.

KW: I love that. There's this pressure in Hollywood to wind up on a best-dressed list, and sometimes I think people end up wearing what they think other people will like as opposed to expressing themselves. I love that you’re not feeling indebted to those tastemakers.

Kerry Washington
Amanda Edwards/WireImage

BL: It’s easy for me to say no to something I don’t like!

KW: It’s funny, when I walk out the door I kind of hope that somebody will hate my look. If everyone likes it, I'm probably not taking a risk, you know?

BL: Amen to that.

For more stories like this, pick up the February issue of InStyle Magazine, available on newsstands, through Amazon, and for digital download Jan. 5.

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