If you don’t already know the name Alexandra Shipp, you’re about to. The 26-year-old actress has been turning heads since 2016 when she followed in the footsteps of Halle Berry, taking on the role of Storm in the latest X-Men franchise. And this year, she’s starring in Love, Simon, one of the most heartwarming coming-of-age films of the last decade.
Off-screen, Shipp has caught the eye of the fashion world too, sitting front row at Milan Fashion Week, when she’s not working her angles in graphic looks by Ralph Lauren and menswear-inspired jumpsuits by Max Mara (below), who also gave her their 2018 Women in Film Max Mara Face of The Future award.
So while we’ve been tracking her every fashion move, we wondered: Who is she style crushin' on these days? Her answer: Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood.
“I’ve always thought that creative people have the most interesting ways of expressing themselves—and I just love how she puts things together,” Shipp told InStyle. “She wears a suit so well and is always true to herself, not conforming for any specific event or taste.”
So for our May issue, we connected the two actresses to talk menswear, rainbow brows, and shopping in the boys' department. Scroll down for their chat, and for more stories like this check out the May issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.
VIDEO: Evan Rachel Wood Testifies Before Congress
ALEXANDRA SHIPP: Evan, you're a great actress. And when I think of red-carpet glam, you come to mind. You're an original!
EVAN RACHEL WOOD: Thanks. My love of fashion came from my love of theater. When I put on new clothes, I get a new energy.
AS: I started in theater too. Now I'm just trying to figure out the difference between my version of glamour and other people's.
ERW: I get that. When I was starting out, there was this standard of beauty—super tan, big boobs, low-rise jeans. I never fit that mold. I was in Kurt Cobain T-shirts and Converse. So I had to go off the beaten path to find clothes I was comfortable in.
AS: I love that you're not afraid of a three-piece suit.
ERW: Last year was fun—I wore only suits. The challenge was to keep reinventing that. My favorite was the Altuzarra at the Golden Globes (above), which paid homage to Marlene Dietrich.
AS: I love when something looks so masculine and feminine. Right after I shaved my head, I wore this silk tuxedo vest as a dress (below). I felt like a businesswoman and a badass.
ERW: The more you feel like a badass, the more you look like one. I still love dresses, but it’s really hard to go back after you’ve worn suits. I don’t know if I will. Even when I'm shopping at Target, I make the leap over to the men's section. You realize quickly that they have better stuff.
AS: My best friend is trans, and we were just saying, "Wouldn't it be great if stores didn't separate men's and women's sections?"
ERW: Yeah, and if they offered more sizes, your gender wouldn't matter because you could just buy what you like.
AS: Totally. Some of my favorite pieces are things that I’ve stolen from my brothers. I’ve been blessed with brothers who have good style, so I’ll be like, ‘I need to borrow a sweater. Thank you—it’s gone now.’ [laughs]
ERW: Me too, actually!
AS: Ha! Has your style been influenced by any of your characters? During X-Men, I got really into Storm's shoulder pads.
ERW: I've embraced my inner mountain woman since Westworld. Cowboy boots, boot-cut jeans, flannels ... [laughs] My look is a lot more rugged because I’ve been spending so much time outdoors in crazy locations. I’m evolving into some kind of a cowgirl robot.
AS: Have you been to Sedona? The food is amazing, and so is the shopping. It's the perfect place for a modern cowgirl.
ERW: Yes! I always go to recharge and ride ATVs in the desert.
AS: It's the best. Who has inspired your style?
ERW: Debbie Harry, the Eurythmics, David Bowie—over the years, I’ve found a lot of people that I related to through art and fashion. I’m always drawn to people who expressed themselves like their life was their art. They lived and breathed their vision.
AS: I love people that dance to the beat of their own drum too, like Helena Bonham Carter. Last thing: Your makeup at the Met Ball last year was so fire (above). I need to know how you did it.
ERW: My makeup artist, Toby Fleischman, and I pulled shots of bold eyes—it ended up being part St. Vincent, part Sophia Loren.
AS: I love experimenting with beauty too. The other day I was like, "What if I did a rainbow brow?"
ERW: I say go for it. Integrity and originality have currency in this industry. It might be a slower burn, but it's still appreciated.