Over the past two years, Newton, who turns 22 today (happy birthday, girl!) has experienced one of the most impressive career breakouts in young Hollywood, starring in acclaimed films and series like Big Little Lies, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, and Ben Is Back. But Newton's success hasn't inspired an iota of jadedness. The night before last, Newton flew to New York to attend the Ralph Lauren show, and she gushes full-heartedly about the glamour of it all—getting to wear one of his designs, sitting alongside the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Karlie Kloss. The L.A.-raised performer, who describes herself in her Instagram bio as a "poodle person," still has zero chill when it comes to getting dressed up and going to fashion-y events, which makes talking to her about style infinitely more enjoyable.
We got to share in Newton's NYFW experience by photographing her getting-ready process and chatting with her about everything from her "hilarious" first fashion week experience to her "grandma-ish" style icon. Keep scrolling to see it all.
What was your favorite part about the Ralph Lauren show?
Well, first, just the setting. We walked into the store, and it was so beautiful. I felt like I was in a Paris café. Everyone was drinking coffee, and I was eating bagels and toast and a yogurt parfait, and then the music started, everybody went silent, and the show began. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Taylor Hill opened the show, and I was smiling so much she started laughing. I was like, oh no, I'm breaking the models' focus. I was smiling too much. I can't help it. I can't be that fierce. But the show was beautiful. All the clothes were sort of effortlessly structured. Everybody looked like a superhero. And my dress was this gold dress. I felt like I had armor on. I felt like Supergirl.
Tell me about how you put the look together.
God, I was so lucky. I got to wear a dress from the collection, and I had a fitting last week in New York. But we had to have a last-minute dress change. They called me and were like, "So actually, your dress is in the show. We have to switch it." So as soon as I landed in New York last night, everyone was in my hotel room at 9:30 p.m. for an emergency fitting. It was really fun for me. I just felt like I was having a party in my room and I got to play dress-up. I was like, can we do this every time I land in New York? I think the second dress turned out even better. It had a corset underneath. It was perfect. They just made me shine.
How did you decide on the hair and makeup?
I have naturally curly, big hair, so my hairstylist and I had a lot of fun with that. The dress is really structured, so I wanted to contrast that with something young and fresh. So I was just like, let's curl my hair and make it really big like I was at the beach or something. I didn't take it too seriously, it was just fun, and I think it came together really well.
How would you describe your style in general? And how did your love of fashion first develop?
I strive for like casual elegance. It's hard to be classic all the time, but I like classic pieces. I go for a lot of vintage. Growing up on set, I work with fashion designers all the time, and when they're putting together characters, I just ask them, "Where did you get this? Where did you buy this?" And most of the time they're like, "I pulled this from my closet," or "This is vintage," so I learned that's what I have to do. So now whenever we're on location, I always find the local vintage store. When we were filming Big Little Lies in Monterey, there were so many good vintage stores, and I got a ton of vintage Chanel pieces. When I was in Asheville shooting Three Billboards, … I walked into a vintage store and found a pair of Chanel earrings from 1995. I got them for so cheap, and they don't even know! You can get lucky sometimes. You just have to know what you want, know the value of what you find, get it, and keep it forever. So I have kind of a vintage collection now.
Are there any other fashion week events you're looking forward to?
I always love going to Paris, and actually, I'm going to Milan for the first time. Fashion has taken me to so many new places. And I'm always excited any time I get to wear a pretty outfit.
Do you have an all-time favorite look you've ever worn?
One of my favorites was actually pretty recent. It was for the Golden Globes this year at a party for W Magazine at the Chateau [Marmont], and I wore this Valentino pink feather outfit. My inspo was 1960s and '70s Brigitte Bardot, and I loved it. I looked like a pink feathery poodle. I really like to go for it, you know. I work all the time and wear sweatpants and sneakers every day, so if I have the opportunity to get dressed up, I'm gonna go all the way and have fun and stay true to myself. I mean, my ultimate style icon is Bunny MacDougal [from Sex and the City] because I'm really into grandma sweaters. That's my go-to vibe. If I'm not dressing up to go out, it's grandma sweaters all day.
But are you into little statues of mallards?
Oh, well, mine are poodles. But trust me. I have a lot of them.
Stylist and wardrobe: Ralph Lauren
Next: Don't miss our exclusive with Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi.