For most people, the cornerstones of adolescence¬--cliques, curfews, and AP classes¬--are memories best suppressed, or at least not revisited on a daily basis. But for actress Lucy Hale, the hallowed halls of high school are not only unforgettable, they're also responsible for catapulting her into the spotlight. Currently starring in ABC Family's cult-hit TV show Pretty Little Liars, the 21-year-old Tennessee native is turning heads with her role as Aria Montgomery, a high school junior embroiled in a murder-mystery scandal involving the disappearance and death of one of her best friends.
For those of you who aren't familiar with PLL, which is based on a series of phenomenally popular young adult books, all you really need to know is that it's compulsively addictive and should be immediately added to your TiVo list. The soapy show is positively packed with all the drama we love: haunting secrets, crazy miscommunications, and clique cattiness galore. The result is kind of Gossip Girl (sans New York City) meets I Know What You Did Last Summer, plus a smidge of Heathers for good measure¬--must-watch stuff, to say the least.
In addition to getting into all kinds of memorable antics as Aria Montgomery¬--like making out with her hot English teacher, oh yes, it goes there¬--Hale's character also enjoys the most noteworthy wardrobe on the show. Always flirtatiously quirky and eclectically assembled, Aria's ensembles invariably involve a number of layers, prints, and loads of accessories. The combination adds up to a look that's a little grungy, a little girly, and totally grounded. "Sometimes an outfit can look so wrong," Hale says, acknowledging the how-did-she-put-that-together aspect of her character's style. "But if you look at it more closely, suddenly you realize it's so right."
One thing's for sure: Aria's predilection for flat statement boots, edgy jewelry, and above-the-knee socks is decidedly different from what Hale wore during her high school years. "When I was 16, I wasn't a risk taker; I was very basic, just jeans and t-shirts," she says. "I loved fashion, I loved looking at it, and I could admire the people who took those risks, but I could never do it. I'm proud of myself that I'm willing to take the extra step and do something a little different now." Over the years, Hale's style sensibilities have evolved to include lots of accessories (she loves hats, belts, and jewelry) and very specific silhouettes. "I like to look really feminine¬--I'm all about dresses, heels, hair and makeup¬--but then again, I'm also obsessed with my Steve Madden motorcycle boots," she says. Hale cheerfully admits that this combination of girly-plus-tough touches (a skull-embellished knuckle duster ring is one of her favorite pieces of jewelry) is a work in progress. "I'm still finding myself and figuring out what my signature style is," she says. "There's nothing I wouldn't try at this point."
This open-minded attitude was perfect for our photo shoot, which imagines Hale as a mod muse in some of the season's most covetable pieces. Clad in a combination of fall's key trends¬--faux fur, animal accents, textured legwear¬--with loads of ladylike vintage finds, these ensembles reference the early '60s in a completely current, thoroughly wearable way. The results are unquestionably chic and, happily, Hale agrees, citing the leopard faux fur Wren Jacket as her top pick ("It's a timeless piece and I just love the cut."). She also called out two other standout items, the Anna Sui for Leg Resource print tights ("so cute and different.") and a vintage rhinestone and pearl belt from The Way We Wore, as her favorite pieces. That's right, dear readers, she's got taste and talent¬--a formidable combination indeed¬--just one more reason why we love Lucy!
Personal Style Icons: "I love the classic [style icons] like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, but I really admire girls my age, like Vanessa Hudgens and Miley Cyrus, for their everyday style."
Must-Try Trends: "I wore lots of kitten heels on the shoot, so those are something I'd like to try for fall."
Go-To Outfit: "I have lots of meetings to go to right now, so my go-to outfit is ankle-length skinny jeans, nude heels, an oversized flowy girly top, and a little black blazer that's fitted in the arms and at the waist."
Favorite Piece in Her Wardrobe: "I have two! The first one is this gorgeous black lace strapless dress I got at a vintage store. I've never even worn it, but it's so beautiful and I don't think there's another quite like it. I also have a pair of Steve Madden motorcycle boots that I've worn the heck out of!"
Favorite Places to Shop: "Free People and Urban Outfitters, but the good thing about LA is that there are so many cute boutiques here¬--on Robertson, Third Street, Melrose¬--so you can find one-of-a-kind things. I just went to Fairfax Flea Market for the first time and I literally died, there's so much good stuff there, it's amazing!"
Photographer: Justin Coit; Creative Director: Katherine Power; Producer: Liza Kaplan; Style Director: Laurie Trott; Assistant Stylist: Nikki Tavdi, Hair: Scott Cunha ; Makeup: Jamie Greenberg, The Wall Group; Nail Technician: Marsha Bialo, Next L.A..
Shop The Spreads
Cynthia Steffe Blouse (Special Order, 212.403.6200), Rebecca Minkoff Leather Clueless Skirt ($650), Vintage Rhinestone Pearl Belt ($125) from The Way We Wore, Urban Outfitters Diamond Raised Stitch Over the Knee Socks ($14), Kenneth Jay Lane White Cabochon Pearl Earrings ($40,877.953.5264), Luv AJ Fool¬'s Gold Knucklebuster Ring ($90).
Sara Phillips Bow Top ($162), Cynthia Steffe Serena Shorts ($155, 800.347.9177) in Chocolate Multi, Opening Ceremony par Robert Clergerie Drew Boots ($1300, 212.219.2688), Kenneth Jay Lane Drop Satin Drop Clip Earrings ($75, 877.953.5264), vintage Cr√®me Ostrich Structured Bag ($165) from The Way We Wore.
A.P.C. Coral Wool Coat ($560, 212.966.0069), Lacoste Tunic Polo ($79.50) in Espresso Brown, Kimchi Blue T-Strap Heels ($48) in Black, Anna Sui for Leg Resource Tights ($25, 212.941.8406), Lia Sophia Zipper Necklace ($700) in Matte Hematite, Lia Sophia Bohemian Ring ($150).
J Brand High Rise Twill Zipper Leggings ($187) in Sharkskin, Theory Mayani Bodysuit ($235), Wren Faye Boxy Jacket ($596), Vintage Ferragamo Black Leather T-Strap Shoes ($165) from The Way We Wore, Kenneth Jay Lane Crystal Flare Star Earrings ($100, 877.953.5264), Lia Sophia Bohemian Cuff ($350), Paige Novick Gunmetal Link Necklace ($625).
Katy Rodriguez Shirt Dress ($550), Urban Outfitters Diamond Raised Stitch Over the Knee Socks ($14), vintage Black Croc Belt ($395) from The Way We Wore, vintage Black Leather Slingback Heels ($165) from The Way We Wore, Paige Novick Zoe Earrings ($263) , Luv AJ Spike Knucklebuster Ring ($100).
Corey Lynn Calter Victoria Lace Shift Dress ($257), Hue Opaque Tights ($12.50), Opening Ceremony par Robert Clergerie Oran Boots ($780, 212.219.2688), Kenneth Jay Lane Flat Disc Necklace ($163, 877.953.5264), Kenneth Jay Lane Crystal Flare Star Ring ($88, 877.953.5264), Vintage Croc Structured Bag ($195) from The Way We Wore, China Glaze Nail Polish ($3.50) in Magical.