The Must-Watch Stars of Summer Tell Us What's on Their Shopping Lists

Can I tell you a secret? The five women in this story are going to be some of the most exciting breakout stars of the summer. How do I know this? As Who What Wear’s Entertainment Director for five years running, I’ve watched enough film and television to know a fresh face on the rise when I see them. I can assure you these newcomers (and their respective projects) will offer the perfect reprieve from the scorching summer temps.

So let’s get to know them better, shall we? From HBO’s newest bad girl to a scream queen in the making, we interviewed Alexa Demie, Nesta Cooper, Dianne Doan, Grace Van Dien, and Diana Silvers to get the scoop on their projects and personal style, as well as the fashion pieces they are buying this season. To make sure you’re a step ahead of who and what is cool right now, keep scrolling.

Diana Silvers

Photo:

Alex Hainer

Diana Silvers is everywhere. Like modeling the latest spring arrivals on Anine Bing's website, in the pages of Vogue, and on the big screen this summer with not one but two must-see films everywhere. Not that we’re complaining! The 21-year-old is poised for an exciting career and is already working alongside Hollywood giants like Octavia Spencer in this month’s Blumhouse horror thriller Ma. If you’re looking for lighter fare, Silvers has that too. Her second project is the coming-of-age comedy everyone is talking about, Booksmart. The directorial debut from Olivia Wilde is being billed as the female version of Superbad, and we’re here for it!

I’m no stranger to the horror genre, but Ma was a particularly exciting film to be a part of because… Octavia Spencer and Juliette Lewis. Need I say more?

Unless you were on the set of Ma, you wouldn’t know… The craft services set up. Kidding. You wouldn't know how much fun we were having. The thing about psychological thrillers/horrors is that when they call cut, everyone just bursts into laughter. It's almost cathartic. You're doing these insane, intense scenes, and it's such a release to get through such demanding and draining material. It's also just really funny to see people you get to know in real life doing the wackiest things in character. 

My first thought reading the Booksmart script was… Finally, a funny, fresh, coming-of-age teen comedy centered around intelligent women. 

The most valuable lesson I learned from Olivia Wilde as a director is… It's very important to own yourself and own your worth especially as a young woman in the world. Don't let others tell you who you are and be kind to everyone you meet, no matter who they are or what they do. We all deserve equal respect and recognition.

The story behind this epic Instagram with the Booksmart team is… Oh, that. Hah, that was our wrap party. The combination of some red wine, a photo booth, and many fun hats and glasses gave you that.

The women in Hollywood I most look up to are… Olivia Wilde, Octavia Spencer, Michelle Williams, Lupita Nyong'o, and Natalie Portman.

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… Hope's outfit in Booksmart. It's so sick. April did the costumes for Ladybird as well, and we just had so much fun bringing this character to life in the fitting.

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Either I'm in baggy jeans, a tee, and some sort of funky jacket and Vans, or I'm in full-blown prairie dress and cowboy boots. There is no in between.

My biggest clothing pet peeve is… Why do women's pants and jackets have significantly smaller pockets than men’s? What is that? Why am I forced to accessorize with a bag?

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow on Instagram are… @natgeo, @animalsdoingthings, @clickhole, @thekangaroosanctuary, this ’70s account called @the70z, and Life Magazine. Oh and Linda McCartney's photography account, @lindamccartney.

My summer wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“Reformation makes the dreamiest summer dresses, and it's big on sustainability and investing in eco-friendly practices. It is on the pricier side, but the quality is good and you feel really good about yourself wearing something that was consciously made.”

“I'm pretty big on hiking, so this canteen is my best friend. Please, please, please invest in a reusable water bottle. It saves you money in the long run and it's better for the environment.”

“These little shorts from Patagonia are my favorite. I wear them when I hike, I wear them out and about, I wear them to the beach. They're so lightweight and breathable and they're made from recycled nylonWe love when it's eco-friendly!”

Dianne Doan

Photo:

Bryan Carr

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure if the new Cinemax action series Warrior—a martial arts Western set in 1870s San Francisco during the Tong Wars—was for me, but the second Dianne Doan appeared on screen, outfitted in an embroidered crimson collared dress, I was all in. It doesn’t take long to see that the women of Warrior are the real powerhouses, and Doan, as the beautiful yet dangerous Mai Ling, is every bit as arresting as the show’s brilliantly choreographed fight scenes. While some of you may be familiar with Doan from her roles on Vikings and Disney’s The Descendants, we think this is her most exciting performance yet.

I was drawn to the role of Mai Ling in Warrior because… She is the opposite of what history and culture have told us women had to be back in the 19th century, especially women of a minority group. With Mai Ling, I’ve been given the opportunity to question pop cultural tropes and explore a world that Bruce Lee himself dreamt of creating. I don’t think that’s something I could have ever imagined saying.

At the heart of this action series is a story about… The Asian immigration experience coming to America that isn’t a part of the history books. This story has yet to be told.

It’s particularly exciting to be a part of this project because… I think within the last year and a half, there’s been a wave of representation in the media, and to know that we are a part of the change is really exciting. This project was dreamt up over 50 years ago, and it’s taken this long for it to be produced. Personally, I hope this movement in our industry isn’t just a phase or fad and that creators and artists continue to have the opportunities to make inclusive content.

The best part of filming Warrior in South Africa was… Our cast is so international; we’re coming from Indonesia, Canada, the States, the UK, and even Vietnam. Because we are so far away from home, being in Cape Town forced us to bond and become the family that we are! It also doesn’t hurt that Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities.

Having been a part of the series Vikings and now Warrior, I love a good period piece because… It was never a conscious decision to be a part of two period dramas, but it’s funny how life turns out. I think the most exciting part of both shows for me was the historical research that I would have to do for the character and the time. Then walking onto each set, I was blown away by the accuracies from all sides of production, from the costumes to makeup and of course the sets that they’d have to build from the ground up.

The actor I’m dying to work with next is… Nicole Kidman. I saw her at Comic-Con last year and it was like she was floating among the crowd. She can do no wrong in my eyes.

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… There are a few costumes near the end of season one of Warrior that were absolutely jaw-dropping. Our costume designer Jo Korer did a fantastic job at creating pieces that tied into the arcs of the characters. Being stuck in them for 16 hours a day with full corsets wasn’t as fun, but it looked beautiful!

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Fitted trousers, a tank top, jean jacket, and a pair of slides or sneakers.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Designer shoes and handbags. It takes me a while to commit to anything and actually make a purchase, but I’ll daydream. It’ll be after a project or a job, where I treat myself.

My summer wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“Just got a pair [of these], and I think they’ll go with everything, plus they’re shoes you could wear in the day or at night.” 

“Linen pants to lounge around in. I imagine there’ll be many weekends at the farmer’s market with them on.”

“Need to keep those lips protected and glossy!”

Alexa Demie

Photo:

Cameron McCool

Anyone who knows me knows I stan a good teen drama, and HBO is delivering the goods with its latest original offering Euphoria. The series, which is produced by Drake and based on an Israeli show of the same name, stars Zendaya alongside an ensemble of cool Gen Z-ers (Barbie Ferreira, Hunter Schafer, Maude Apatow, and Storm Reid, to name a new) as they navigate the trials and tribulations of coming of age in a social media–obsessed world. While this female-led cast is chock full of young talent, one particular lady of note is Alexa Demie, who plays Maddy. She caught our attention with her performance in last year’s indie hit Mid90s, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the actress will bring to this project.

My elevator pitch of Euphoria is… June 16!

Euphoria is unlike any other teen drama in that it’s… HBO/Sam Levinson/the best group of people I could have acted alongside for this.

I am drawn to Maddy as a character because… She pulls me out of my comfort zone. A lot. And she serves looks upon looks.

The thing I enjoyed most about being on the set of Euphoria was... Everything but the hot snack.

The women in Hollywood who inspire me are… Those who are opening it up and making it a better experience. Those who are paving new paths and giving both their physical and mental selves to telling truths that need to be told. Both on and off screen.

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… My Euphoria finale outfit.

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Vintage denim—slim, baggy, light blue, dark blue.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Designer archives and corsets.

My summer wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“The pointed toe and back detail are flattering and wide enough to wear with pants if you don’t feel like showing leg.” 

“I love sheer button-downs. They’re comfortable, sexy, and can be worn with anything.”

“I live for big sunglasses in the summer. I just bought a bunch for a trip I have coming up. These are perfect on a beach with a slicked back low bun and Dior Lip Glow.” 

Grace Van Dien

Photo:

Heather Gildroy

Sometimes all you need is a good cry, and Grace Van Dien can help with that. The actress has been giving us all the feels while serving up some major tear-jerking moments as troubled teen Katie Campbell in NBC’s newest drama The Village. A promising successor to This Is Us, the series focuses on a New York apartment building and the interconnected—and often-times complicated—relationships of its inhabitants. In a large ensemble cast, Van Dien is a standout. Next up, the actress takes on the role of Sharon Tate opposite Matt Smith and Suki Waterhouse in Charlie Says.

The best way to watch The Village is… With a tub of ice cream and a bottle of your favorite wine.

The most surprising trait my The Village character and I share is… We share a lot of the same clothes. I would walk into fittings a lot and immediately see multiple things I already had in my closet. 

My take on Sharon Tate in Charlie Says is… She was lovely. Sharon had a very beautiful heart. What happened is horrific, but Charlie Says isn't a horror movie. 

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be…  A recreation of one of Sharon Tate's dresses.

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Sweats and a hoodie. Or if I wake up feeling motivated for the day, jeans and a tee. 

My personal style icons in Hollywood right now are… I actually don’t have any current ones. Nor people. All my “style icons” are fictional characters from old movies or TV. I love Penny Lane’s style in Almost Famous

My favorite places to shop online are… Stoned Immaculate and For Love and Lemons.

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow on Instagram are… I’m repetitive, but @stone_immaculate_, @forloveandlemons, and @shopcamp all have great Instagrams. I’m a real fan. 

My summer wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“I love this one for obvious reasons and got it months before filming The Village, but then my character ends up wearing it in a little clip of a montage at one point!”

“My friend Jenny showed me this smaller jewelry company with the loveliest owner.”

“And lastly, I love sporting my favorite politician. You will find me wearing this a lot this summer.”

Nesta Cooper

Photo:

Heather Gildroy

Earlier this year Apple made an exciting announcement, and it wasn’t about the latest iPhoneX or MacBook Air. In just a few months’ time, the tech giant will give Netflix a run for its money with an all-new streaming service called AppleTV+. The service promises original stories from some of the biggest names in entertainment (think Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Steven Spielberg). One such series on its launch slate is See, starring Jason Momoa, and what we can glean from the very brief sneak peek is the show takes place in a future world where humans have been living without sight for hundreds of years. While plot details are still tightly under wraps, we did convince one of the show’s promising fresh faces, Nesta Cooper, to reveal a few tidbits.

I can’t reveal much at this point, but if you like epic world-building dramasthen you definitely don’t want to miss See.

See in five words is… a unique and epic journey.

The one thing I can say about my See character is… That she is feisty, strong, and hard-headed. 

The most challenging part of this role was definitely… The locations, weather, and physicality! I can’t say much more beyond that at this moment, but See is such a special project that we can’t wait to share with the world. Every day was a new challenge and discovery. 

The actor/actress I’m dying to work with next is…Tracee Ellis Ross. She is the funniest actress EVER! I love her. 

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… Pretty much everything I wore on #RealityHigh. That was the closest thing to my style. I felt so comfortable and confident throughout that whole film. 

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Whatever I can move easiest in. I gravitate to looser-fitted clothing. I feel most comfortable in unisex and gender-neutral clothing.

My biggest clothing pet peeve is… Having to pull my dress or skirt down over my butt all night!

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow on Instagram are… @v.ri0t always posts the most unique and artistic pieces; it’s inspiring. @jayversace always makes me laugh, and I love his style.

My summer wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“This dress in cream is so universal and comfortable. I love the length, and the color is timeless and classic.”

"A staple! Perfect for literally anything. I adore these jeans."

“I have this in shirt and tote bag version. I wear this constantly! I love when statement pieces are encouraging and meaningful to both the person wearing it and everyone who reads it.”  

Next: Shailene Woodley takes sustainable fashion to a whole new level of cool in our May cover story.