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how does an actress develop personal style?
a chat with lolly adefope on her style evolution, fave designers and actress-stylist relationships
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If you’re a fashion lover and you haven’t seen Shrill, do yourself a favor and watch it. I am certain you will love it. You get to see heartfelt friendship and messy relationships play out amidst Rachel Comey clogs and Nooworks jumpsuits.
Today we are chatting with Lolly Adefope, AKA Fran from Shrill. Lolly is an actress, writer, producer and comedian. She also has impeccable personal style: vibrant and sophisticated. I especially love the way Lolly plays with shapes and colors in her outfits.
Hi Lolly! Can you tell us about your style journey? How did you come to develop your personal style?
It’s gone through a lot of stages—and each stage sort of builds on the stage that came before it. I watched a lot of American TV when I was in my early teens so went through a period of being obsessed with oversized sweaters/shirts and leggings, which I’ve never really grown out of.
A few years later at around I became obsessed with vintage shops, and 80s/90s colourful prints. Then I went through a weird phase of only really wearing black and only really buying stuff from ASOS? That stage is firmly in the past, luckily.
When I filmed Shrill I worked with Amanda Needham, the best costume designer in the world, and it definitely had a huge effect on my style—not just learning about cool brands but also putting together a lewk, so to speak. I don’t know if I’ve quite worked out exactly what my style is yet, but I saw an interview with Molly Goddard recently where she described her clothes as ‘comfortably overdressed’, which I would say is a general vibe for me too.
I’ve seen you in lots of Molly Goddard and Rachel Comey for press events. What do you like about those designers? Who are other fave designers of yours?
Molly’s clothes are just unlike anyone else’s—big and bold but always with an edge of cool. When looking for clothes for eg. an event, I often find something I love and then see that the brand only goes up to a UK12, so I add them to my burn book (jk)— everyone seems to needs a little help in the size range department.
Favourite designers atm are probably Jacquemus, Acne, Studio Nicholson and Rejina Pyo.
I’ve always been curious about the actor-stylist relationship. Have you worked with a wardrobe stylist before? What makes a good one? Can you tell when a stylist doesn’t understand your personal style?
I’ve worked with different stylists ad hoc for different events or press/photoshoots, but I don’t have a stylist that I always use—I sometimes think they’re best for e.g. an actor who has found themselves in the position of having to dress up regularly, and wants to outsource that job to someone else. I am quite fussy about clothes, and have always been interested in them—it’s never fun when someone doesn’t understand the look you’re going for, or the process isn’t collaborative, and it can be hard to communicate everything you’ve built up in your head about what works and doesn’t work for you, on a deadline, with a finite number of looks pulled. So I often style myself, and I guess what I’m saying is that I’m a double Virgo control freak.
I’m so curious about the “boring” office job you had prior to your comedy career. What you said about having a double life really resonated: being an office girl during the day and performing comedy at night. Do you think that younger version of you would be surprised at what you are doing now? Or did she know deep down all along, you’d find your way to your current career somehow?
I think I knew I would find it somehow—despite having no idea how to get there, or what that career would even look like. I was just quietly determined to make it happen. I worked the office job because I wanted to move out of my parents’ house, and have fun and live life, but I knew I wouldn’t last very long. I was just so lucky that I grew up in London, a city where you can just try out comedy at an open mic night, and also that I grew up (relatively) near Edinburgh, where a young hopeful comic actor can be exposed to and inspired by so much. Hashtag blessed! (Genuinely though).
Ok, last question: I love your friendship with Aidy Bryant! Would you say Aidy has influenced your style? Do you guys ever go to each other for fashion advice/opinions?
Aidy is my ride or die. The greatest girlie to walk this earth! We would go shopping together when we were filming in Portland, which in general were just some of the best times of my life. And whenever I’m in LA/she is in London, we make sure to set aside some time to simply shop, like we were born to. We send each other a classic ‘have you SEEN these jeans/this bag/these hoops!’ message from time to time too.
Thank you for chatting with me today, Lolly! You can follow her on IG @lollyadefope.
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