Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper on Mad Men, is 12. Twelve! And yet, when she appears on red carpets, she can steal the spotlight from grown women with her elegant, classic and age-appropriate style. Fashion blogs have been heralding Shipka as a new style icon ever since she became the unofficial face of Portugal designer Papo d’Anjo, whose fashions she regularly wears on the red carpet. She recently did a shot for Grazia magazine in Versace.
Shipka is among a new group of Hollywood tweens and young teens who have become fashion plates for adult couture. She and her fashionable movie-star peers, like 15-year-old Hailee Steinfeld and 13-year-old Elle Fanning, are often seen on the red carpet in grown-up labels and high heels.
But with all of the expensive and attention-grabbing clothing that Shipka wears, is it fair for us to look up to girls who haven’t yet reached puberty as style inspiration? It’s easy to see why designers love them — not only are they pretty and accomplished actresses, but they’re also tinier and thinner than any adult model or actress could ever hope to be.
There’s also the issue of fashion criticism: Shipka is young enough that her parents do not permit her to watch “Mad Men,” except for the scenes that she appears in. As of a New York magazine profile last year, she was still playing with stuffed animals. If the fashion police were to criticize her for any potential red-carpet missteps, those are facts they should keep in mind.
With her teenage Grace Kelly style, it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. If her quotes from interviews with fashion blogs and magazines tell any tale, it’s that her fashion knowledge and talent is preternaturally precocious.
●“This Papo d’Anjo shift dress is one of my go-to pieces. I ﬁnd the pattern fun, but not too chaotic. I always carry around the Stella McCartney bag I’m holding. And the boots are Cole Haan.” — Lucky Magazine
●“Chloé has some amazing kids’ pieces, too, and I have a lot of D&G Junior. Grace Kelly is my fashion inspiration — a classic look, with beautiful pieces, and very pretty.” — New York magazine
● “I love organization, so I split my clothes into two closets according to seasons. Though I have to go to the guestroom to pull my fall and winter items, it’s still much easier than cramming all my clothes together in my one closet. I love ‘space’ in between hanging clothes.” — The Coveteur