Kiernan Shipka: How ‘Mad Men’ has influenced my style


When 13-year-old Kiernan Shipka stepped into the role of Sally Draper in AMC's stylish 1960s-set drama "Mad Men," now in its fifth season, she got more than a long-running job. As the actress tells omg!, she also discovered fashions from the era of the show. "'Mad Men' has definitely influenced my style," Kiernan said at Lucky magazine's Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference in Santa Monica, California. "I love prints, and I love florals, but I was kind of introduced to the silhouette of a dress I wear pretty much all the time [on the show]. It cinches in [at] the waist and then it goes out a little bit. That's probably my favorite silhouette, and I have to say that I did pick that up from the dresses that I wore on 'Mad Men' in the beginning seasons." She added, "And definitely 'Mad Men's' inspired me to go vintage shopping and just really to look at lots of cool pictures of the '60s online to see how style was back then and how it compares to now."

The starlet — who's sunnier but just as precocious in real life as she is on TV — describes her personal style as "definitely kind of vintage inspired, but definitely mixed with lots of modern pieces to create an overall look." In a conference panel about the fashion of "Mad Men," she explained how Sally's wardrobe has changed. "Sally's style has kind of evolved and matured over the years," Kiernan said. "She started off wearing more of the bouffant style dresses and now she's kind of going towards the classic shift, and she's wearing a lot of pleated skirts, Peter Pan collars, cardigans, really cool trench coats. ... I'd say overall her style is scruffy, and she has like a typical East Coast closet [with her] Mary Janes and her saddle shoes." (A recent episode depicted Sally's rapidly maturing fashion sense when she donned a glittery dress and go-go boots, the latter of which her dad Don Draper promptly made her remove.) Kiernan's such an avid fan of fashion that she's even whipped up some of her own designs, although she didn't get to wear them. "I've designed three dresses so far, and two I've had to give away," she told the panel. "By the time I sketch them and actually go downtown, get the fabric, and have them made, I have grown out of them. [But] I just couldn't part with one of them, because it's so pretty."

Kiernan was just 7 when "Mad Men" premiered in 2007, so she's obviously changed quite a bit since then — and not just when it comes to what she wears. In school, for instance, she's now an eighth grader, thanks to independent study, which she does instead of traditional school so that she can work. "I like doing independent study," she noted to omg!. "I get through the grades a lot faster. I'm supposed to be in sixth [grade]." Still, Kiernan admitted that "real school" seems like it would be fun, but even a discussion about that goes back to clothing! "There's a school right near my house, and I want to wear the uniform so badly."

In years to come, expect to see Kiernan sporting something stylish at the red carpet premiere of something in a genre other than drama. The teen, who recently played an exaggerated version of herself on the sitcom "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," says she's a fan of comedy. However, the fellow thespian she respects the most is actually more famed for her dramatic chops. "Meryl Streep is one of my favorite actresses. I think it's really awesome how she transforms herself into every role and gets into it and does amazing work," Kiernan said. Her favorite performance from the "Iron Lady" actress, who's won the Oscar for Best Actress three times? "'Julie and Julia' is just one of my favorite movies ever, I have to say."

"Mad Men" airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT Sundays on AMC.