Last week, at a venue tucked just above Sunset Boulevard, I arrived at the Hollywood premiere of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The series, a fresh reboot of ’90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, lands on Netflix October 26 and promises to be darker—more chilling, if you will—than the original Melissa Joan Hart show. Many say it’s poised to be the next cult teen drama, masterminded by the executive producers of The CW’s Riverdale and sharing a similarly complex storyline and macabre tone. At the L.A. premiere, though, the scene was all smiles.
As the cast arrived on the red carpet, you could sense the excitement. Kiernan Shipka, who plays the lead role of Sabrina Spellman, stepped out confidently in shimmery burgundy eye shadow, pointed black Mary Jane heels, and a black-and-oxblood Elie Saab dress that matched the colors decorating the room to a T. In front of a row of flashing cameras, she and her tightknit castmates couldn’t help but beam with enthusiasm about the new series, gushing about everything from the spells they wished they could use IRL to how personally empowering it has been to film a show with so many talented women. In one of the most touching moments on the red carpet, Shipka snuck over to hug co-star Ross Lynch—a gesture that speaks to the cast’s bond.
Riverdale stars also turned up in support of the upcoming series, including Madelaine Petsch, who rocketed to fame after her show’s success. Like the casts of previous Netflix hits Stranger Things or Queer Eye, who’ve found overnight stardom, Shipka is poised to be a big name. As she explained to our sister site Byrdie, when it comes to an explosive new hit, she’s “ready for it” but remains humble at the thought of the show’s future success and her imminent rise in profile.
Paley Fairman; STYLING: Calvin Klein F/W 18 top, turtleneck, jeans, boots, and bags
Ahead of the premiere, we had a chance to chat with Shipka, who weighed in on Chilling Adventures and how her focus on fashion has changed since she started working on the show. “I love Sabrina’s style, but it’s very different from mine,” Shipka explained. “There are two types of people in the world: people who wake up and get ready and people who don’t. I’m of the latter.” While Sabrina Spellman takes the time to put together a full look each morning, Shipka admitted, she would rather concentrate on working hard right now.
“I actually do enjoy getting ready,” she elaborated, “but I’m in a season of my life where that is really not the case.” After her run on AMC’s Mad Men, she took time off to focus on growing herself personally, learning to “practice self-love and self-compassion, and make a lot of mistakes,” she said. Now that she’s filming again, though, Shipka is throwing 100% of herself into the project at hand.
She promised that she does appreciate fashion, though. “I used to be into really putting together an outfit every day,” she admitted. “Gossip Girl was my vibe.” In fact, she told me some of her most vivid fashion memories are linked to her time growing up. In a twist of fate, 2000s style is having a moment this season, so many of those same trends are top of mind for the young actress again now.
In fact, the piece she most wants to wear this fall is an iconic 2000s fashion item that she grew up in. “I had at least four Juicy Couture tracksuits as a young child,” she said, and she’s ready to bring them back. Her love for fashion goes beyond throwback pieces, though. “Style is a wonderful form of self-expression,” she explained, and it’s something she enjoys exploring for herself—that is, when she isn’t on set paving her way to becoming the next small-screen superstar.
Paley Fairman; STYLING: Fendi F/W 18 jacket and skirt; Fendi Crocodile Boots ($1590)
For more from the young star, read Byrdie’s full interview with Kiernan Shipka and see the exclusive photos.
Photographer: Paley Fairman
Photography Assistants: Anthony Espino and Mark Underwood
Stylist: Sue Choi
Stylist Assistant: Cara Catabay
Hairstylist: Ashley Streicher
Makeup Artist: Holly Silius
AD: Brenden Bonney