Kathryn Newton is having quite the year. She starred in the Netflix summer drama, The Society; acted alongside Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies season 2; and promoted her new multi-million dollar box office hit, Pokémon Detective Pikachu — and that's just in the past year. The 22 year-old actress also made time to become an international fashion girl and Instagram phenomenon (she boasts 1.2 million followers at @kathrynnewton). But no matter how many timezones you've travelled to or how little sleep you've gotten, a call from Ralph Lauren isn't one you ignore.
We caught up with Newton during a rare free moment leading up to Ralph Lauren's New York Fashion Week spectacle to discuss what we can expect to see her in come 2020. And of course, we had to know all the details on the vintage Gatsby Collection dress she chose from the Ralph Lauren archives for the event.
Follow along as this rising star eats room service in bed, frolics through her hotel hallway, and gets one hell of a spruce up in preparation for Ralph Lauren's NYFW show.
Refinery29: What did you think of the show? What were some of your favorite looks?
KN: I loved it! The show was iconic. The visuals mixed with the music transported [us back] to the 1920s. The black and white theme was so elegant. When the models started to walk, you could feel the love for what they were wearing. They were having fun and the room was radiant! The collection felt sophisticated and strong and unapologetically feminine. Janelle Monae broke it down and I had to get up out of my seat and dance. My favorite look was the yellow tuxedo dress.
What do you love most about Ralph Lauren's designs?
Kathryn Newton: I love the fresh take on classic looks from Ralph’s show. It was timeless! I fell in love with a yellow tuxedo-style dress. Ralph Lauren is both elegant and wearable. I love how classy everyone looks in it. It elevates your everyday style without being trendy.
Tell me about how you put together this look.
KN: The look started with the professionals at Ralph Lauren. We pulled pieces from the archives while we had a cup of tea. The dress code was black and white evening and after narrowing it down to two vintage dresses, I chose one from the Gatsby collection.
What factors do you consider when choosing an outfit for fashion week?
KN: I love to take a risk and try something extra. I’m a little extra.... I want to look my best and have fun. Fashion is fun, and fashion week is the time to experiment and be inspired by everyone else’s looks.
What was your first fashion week experience like? What about your craziest or favorite fashion week moment so far?
KN: My week has been jam-packed with parties and the Ralph Lauren fashion show. For the Vanity Fair Best Dressed party, I wore a beautiful velvet Ralph Lauren gown with a large pink bow. My friend said I looked like a “present,” I loved that.
There were a lot of crazy moments this week and I have two standouts. I was talking to two perfectly dressed people about how perfectly dressed they were! Eventually, we introduced ourselves and one of them told me his name was Zac. I said “jack?” No “zac,” And I immediately was like, “wait... Zac...Posen, OMG” I started fangirling, he was laughing and it was awesome. The perfect example of a surreal fashion week experience.
The second thing I’ll never forget is that I made Anna Wintour laugh while dancing during Janelle Monae’s set at the Ralph Lauren show! That was epic.
How would you describe your personal style?
KN: My personal style is Bunny MacDougal meets casual elegance with a fresh twist, like tennis shoes with a suit. So, basically I keep it classic, timeless, but always comfy... and a little extra.
What made you fall in love with fashion?
KN: I love how fashion can transform me. Putting on a dress and feeling your energy shift is a magic feeling. I love the details of a look and changing up my look according to my mood and what I’m doing that day. You can be whoever you want and fashion puts no limits on who you can be. With the right #OOTD, you can accomplish anything.
Do you have any kind of routine for prepping for big events like this?
KN: I always have room service, blast Post Malone radio, drink tea and feel cute while getting ready. The day usually includes a face mask right before makeup. The most important thing to complete a beautiful look for me is great hair and makeup. I have been working with @nhinako_makeup and #welovecoco Chanel products. I like the consistency of working with someone who knows what looks good on me. When it comes to hair, I love to collaborate with the hairstylist to come up with a look that completes the dress. Add a manicure and pedicure and lots of confidence (from the team) and I’m ready for anything.
You've been on a red carpet frenzy this year, between promoting Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Big Little Lies and The Society. What's been your favorite red carpet look?
KN: My favorite red carpet moment has to be the Maison Valentino red dress from the Tokyo collection I wore to the Detective Pikachu premiere in Tokyo. The crowd really responded to me and I was so excited to be there. My hair was in an updo to compliment the neckline of the dress.
I also loved when I used Pokémon inspiration and dressed like a character in the movie Jigglypuff for the Times Square premiere. My dress was designed by Ralph&Russo. My manager actually carried the train for me so I could get in the car for the drive to the event. The dress took up the whole back seat! It was a total princess moment and I will never forget it.
What other projects are you working on that we can possibly tease to our readers?
KN: Next up I'm doing a Blumhouse movie with Universal Pictures starring Vince Vaughan in October followed by season two of The Society. I am so excited about season two and can’t wait to see what the writers come up with — especially with all the cliff hangers of season one!