Laverne Cox Explains How Her Style Has Evolved—And What Makes a Red Carpet Dress Perfect

Laverne Cox
Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Crafting an unforgettable red carpet moment isn’t as easy choosing a dress off the rack and calling it a day. In fact, for Laverne Cox, the challenge lies in selecting a gown that instantly fits like a glove. “There are a lot of designers who want to dress us, which is a wonderful blessing, but I’m not sample size,” she tells InStyle of her and stylist Christina Pacelli’s approach to achieving that “Wow!” moment. “So designers, they have to have time to make custom work.”

In order to confidently step her Jimmy Choo-adorned foot forward, the Orange Is the New Black stars relies on go-to talents like Elizabeth Kennedy, Calvin Klein, and Mark Zunino, who each find time between their own collections to piece together one-of-a-kind numbers for Cox. Working firsthand with these designers has changed her perspective on style. “I think I look better than I did when I started because we have access to different, better designers, better clothes,” she adds.

“I think my taste has changed as well. Christina has had a really amazing influence on me. We always like to keep a little bit of an edge but be lady-like, sometimes be sexy,” Cox says, explaining that her approach depends on her mood. “Sometimes I want to be a little vampy, a little sexy. And sometimes I want to be a little edgy and a little more modern. And sometimes I want to be just sort of classic and elegant, and ethereal.”

Ultimately, it boils down to one secret ingredient: “It’s just about playing and not ever getting stuck into one thing.”

—With reporting by Carita Rizzo

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