Feud, Fashion History and Feminism – A Shipka.net (Fashionist Files) exclusive interview with Kiernan Shipka

Artwork by: Shaun Nicole Williams

Fanart by: Ryley Welch

Text and interview by: Tiffany Ferrell

A few weeks ago I got to talk to one of the most informed seventeen year olds when it comes to fashion world. Kiernan Shipka got her big break playing the daughter of Don Draper in the hit show Mad Men. Since then she has been in a number of period pieces including FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan playing B.D. Hyman, daughter of the infamous Bette Davis, and Flowers In The Attic as well as more modern films like The Blackcoat’s Daughter and Fan Girl.
Aside from being a totally fashionable and chill seventeen year old, Kiernan is quite the fashion history buff and aside from talking about her role in Feud and about feminism, we also fangirled about some amazing iconic figures in fashion history like Edith Head and Grace Kelly.


Tiffany: If you could take home any of the dresses you wore in Feud, which would you and why?
Kiernan: Oh my gosh, It’s actually not a dress but if I could take home anything from B.D.’s costume it would be the white pants she wore that had a big cat on the side. They were so cute and fun and she wore them with the little blousey crop top and pants. It was matching and cute, but I think you could do that in a real modern way. Who doesn’t want a pair of pants with a giant cat on the side.
T: How did it feel playing a controversal person like B.D? I read ‘My mother’s keeper’ and ‘Mommie Dearest’. She seemed to get a lot of negative output from her book compared to Christina Crawford.
K: It was interesting playing someone that was a real person and that there was footage of, but what i was really interested in is that there wasn’t much about B.D. during that specific time in her life that I was playing her. With anything I wanted to bring humanity to the character and you want to bring a sense of understanding along with you while you’re playing a person. For me it was really just about not thinking about her as we know her now so much as thinking about her in that present moment. Really just focusing on the relationship between her and her mother that obviously developed and changed over time but at that moment it was what it was. That loving but often turbulent relationship.

T: I’ve also read some Bette Davis biographies too and after that book came out I can see a mom getting mad, but she just completely cut her out.

K: It’s definitely interesting and it’s a fine line considering where they are now or where they were 10, 15, 20 years ago and who they were in that moment. For me it was trying to stay as present as possible with her.

T: How did it feel to play a mother with two kids in that last scene that you had on Feud? I mean was it weird?

K: You know I really did not expect that coming because we were getting the scripts week by week. I was like oh! Now I’ve got two kids. How am I gonna dive into this? Yeah that was something totally new. I mean I got dogs, I feel like thats the most maternal part of me I can channel so it was sort of just about making BD feel different because it was such a time jump. It was important to me that she felt a new sense of priorities and a new sense of self. At that point in her life she had a lot of familial stability and when I was playing her before that she was kind of emotionally in a bit of an existential crisis. It was really important for me to make her tone feel a little bit calmer and more controlled and mature. That strong love that you have for a child. I asked around a bit then I kind of just went from there.

T: If you could choose any period role what would it be?

K: I mean I feel like right now I’m just on this sixties role! I don’t know if I’ll leave anytime soon at this rate, but if i could pick another era I think I would love to do an eighties thing. I think that could be really fun! Like something a little more wild and fun and edgy and on the cusp of modern but just a little bit different.

T: If you were able to meet one iconic fashion designer from history and spend a day following them around, who would it be?

K: That’s a really good question! If I could follow Edith Head around for a day and watch her work I think that would be insane! She probably had a ton to do and just like hearing, watching someone sort of create this story behind the outfit would be like watching the ultimate stylist at work.

T: So I heard you were a Grace Kelly fan. What was your favorite movie of hers?

K: I mean Rear Window man is totally like top, And you know To Catch A Thief is also is insane.

T: Did you ever have a specific dress or iconic outfit of hers that was just like “It” for you?

K: I think that as far as outfits go I loved her Oscar look. I mean I really thought it was like the epitome of classic Grace. And then also that teal silky number —I also loved that one giant tulle skirt that she wore that was kind of ballerina inspired with the tight black top.

T: I always loved her casual style too. She was so ahead of her time.

K: It was so effortless

T: A lot of the stuff she wore just going to the beach everyone wears now. It’s like man, she just called it.

K: I know it’s so true! she did call it!

T: Besides Grace do you have any other historical fashion icons

K: I mean for me growing up and learning about fashion it was really just a combination of being on Mad Men and being surrounded by it as well as just getting super interested in current fashion and what was happening at the moment. I was always pretty obsessed with it, so as far as fashion icons go its funny because theres so many peoples styles that I absolutely love past and present. I kind of taken fashion from everywhere and absorb it.

T: What are some of your favorite books? Anything recent that you have read?

K: I just read a book called Marlena which I loved. My friend Emma Roberts has a new book club online called Belletrist; it was one of the selections. It is awesome and that is the most recent book that I read from Belletrist and I thought it was so good.

T: That one is on my list.

K: You gotta do it; it’s super duper good!

T: What are some of the challenges you have faced so far in your profession?

K: It’s a hard line of work because it’s emotionally very taxing at times. It’s a whole lot of rejection that people don’t see. Nine times out of ten you’re told no. Nine times out of ten –‘you’re too this’ or ‘too that’ and it could get to a point where if you’re not having a good day and pile that on too it can get really hard, and that’s part of it. It’s my job and I love it but it definitely comes with a slew of rejection that is not normal in most other jobs. It’s something that you kind of get used to and acclimate it over time and it just is what it is but that doesn’t mean that from time to time that it doesn’t pose its own challenges. And I think that navigating the whole industry and handling the unpredictability of it because I consider myself to be quite the planner and that’s one part of my life and existence that I don’t have much control over because you never know what’s going to happen. You can only plan so much and it’s about learning to accept that. I think it’s actually a pretty good exercise for me to be in this business because you almost have to be more chill than you want to be because otherwise you’re just going to go crazy.

T: I know you have said that your parents are a big support system, but do you have other support like friends etc. to help cope with all of this?

K. Yeah, definitely. I think having an outside life from acting and having friends and family, and life experiences does more for your acting and your depth and your experience than sometimes you even think it does. For me growing up on Mad Men I was really lucky. I was able to have this amazing job but I wasn’t working 24-7 so as a six year old, seven year old, eight year old I could make friends that I still have now and have these experiences that sort of balanced this abnormal, incredible experience I was having. It’s about balance for sure.

T: If you weren’t in the entertainment industry, what do you think you might want to do as a career?
K: I was thinking about this the other day. I think it would be really fun to be a critic of any kind. I love experiencing things that I love or that I’m interesting in and then just talking about them forever so whether that be food or music or theater, I think that being a critic and getting to dive into something really deep consistantly would be super fun.

T: Correct me if I’m wrong but you have identified yourself as a feminist correct?
K: Oh yeah – hell yeah!
T: Social media is known for being a cesspool of mysoginistic people and comments. At the same time it fosters and helps to further the feminist movement. How has social media helped or hurt feminism in your experience?
K: In my experience I feel very lucky to be growing up in the time that I am growing up in, because I think that feminism has this insane platform now – which is super awesome, and yeah social media definitely exacerbates the sexist problems that have been happening since the beginning of time. I don’t think that it helps that it really is doing that but at the same token the voices that are being heard and the amount of exposure something can get now a days is so exponentially incredible that I think in the long run the pros of social media for feminism are totally gonna outweigh the cons of just social media being social media – life being life.
T: What have been some of your go to item in your closet this summer?
K: I love Rebecca Taylor she makes the prettiest dresess and flouncy tops. So into! She’s a summer staple for sure as well as these vintage Levi jeans that I got that I’ve defintely worn more often than not this summer. Just kind of having a really easy approach this summer. Keeping it simple. For the fall I get super excited and I love to layer and wear a ton of plaid and thicker fabrics and dresses and stockings — I channel my Blair Waldorf during the fall season but during the summer I just don’t care. It’s so hot and I just want to be comfortable.

T: In your opinion what’s a piece of fahion or clothing or accessory that never goes out of style?
K: I think that a good pair of jean. A well fitted classic denim pant. You can dress it up, you can dress it down; you can wear it in the summer or winter. That’s my go to classic.
T: What is your favorite movie based on costume design?
K: Marie Antoinette. That’s my favorite movie for costumes for sure. I mean just the color palette in general – that movie is just pure eye candy the whole time.

The entire series of Feud: Bette and Joan is available on Itunes for purchase and up for pre order on Amazon.com.


Get ready to enjoy The Silence

It’s official. Kiernan is currently on location filming ‘The Silence’ based on the horror novel by Tim Lebbon. She will be playing the main character Ally. Based on reading the book I can give speculation to who everyone else is playing.

The other main character in the book is Ally’s father Huw who believe Stanley Tucci is going to play since he was announced at the same time as Kiernan. Miranda Otto will be playing Ally’s mother and Kyle Breitkopf will be playing the little brother Jude. Both Miranda and Kyle have dark red hair – Hench the brownish auburn hair this weekend.

It’s an amazing book that will probably freak you out but i would definitely recommend reading it!

Emmy Weekend Updates

Hey everyone!

Sorry that it’s taken till Friday to get the albums from this past weekend complete. I have both been extremely busy and unwell – with that said though, I am happy to say that there are six albums from this weekend in the gallery totaling in over 1,100 photos for your enjoyment!

Kiernan wore some pretty amazing dresses this weekend. My absolute favorite would be the Miu Miu geometric patterned dress that gave me serious swinging 60’s vibes.

Click on the photos below to be directed to each album. Enjoy!


Emmy Weekend 2017 is off to a great start!

Brace yourselves people – The Emmy’s are coming. Meanwhile we have a weekend full of parties and events in which we can see some of the most intricate and amazing fashions. Kiernan kicked off Emmy weekend last night hitting up three different parties wearing a gorgeous outfit from the Delpozo S/S ’16 collection. She has also dyed her hair a brownish/auburn which really compliments the outfit (even though this more than likely wasn’t the reason for the change in hair color – She is set to start filming The Silence this coming up week).

We currently have over 250 photos from last nights parties and have many more to share next week! Stay tuned for updates throughout the weekend as we will be bombarding you with photos, videos, and general news! Click the photos below to see the albums.

Kiernan came to the Miu Miu Women’s Tales panel in royal style, then dressed down for a cocktail party!

Kiernan arrived to the Excelsior Hotel Kate Middleton style ?? She wore a gorgeous white and red collared Miu Miu dress at the Miu Miu Woman’s Tales panel.

Afterwards she  arrived at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Cocktail party head to toe in F/W ’17 Miu Miu. Running into her onscreen mom Susan Sarandon, Kiernan looks like she’s having an awesome time! ??

First photos are now available in our gallery. Click on the photos below!

Kiernan has arrived in Italy for Miu Miu Women’s Tales

Kiernan made her appearance at the 74th Annual Venice Film Festival today in honor of the thirteenth and fourteenth installment of Miu Miu Women’s Tales, the last of which hit the internet earlier today. Our girl looked stunning in a dress from the ’18 Resort Collection.

She will be involved in the morning panel on September 2nd so stay tuned for videos and pictures! The first images are now in our gallery; simply click the images to see the album!

Kiernan is now officially a Detention Hall Graduate

Saturday marked the end of yet another era for Kiernan. It was her last improv show at Second City Hollywood with her troupe Detention Hall – Like Mad Men, Kiernan was a weekly participant from the age of thirteen.
Will she go on to be in one of the adult troupe groups at Second City? We aren’t sure yet, but here are some photos from her last improv performance with the teen troupe group Detention Hall.  (Will be added to the gallery). Also on our vk gtroup we have video clips. – vk.com/kikishipka



Caught yet again shopping

The paps caught Kiernan yet again shopping on a Tuesday afternoon in Studio City. I feel like they are trying to figure out what she is cooking? That’s just me. At least she didn’t seem to mind too much and smiled for the camera.


Rumor Has It … that Kiernan is going to be in one of the new Miu Miu Women’s Tales short films!

I came across an Italian article today that may be of some importance. According to this article which I have translated and will post below it says that Kiernan will be one of nine celebs (the others including people like Tavi, Rowan Blanchard, and Kate Bosworth.

I have yet to see any English articles about this but since the presentation for Miu Miu Women’s Tales will be taking place in Italy for the Venice Days Of Authors  annual event it would make sense that the first news would come from Italy.  We’ll find out on September 2nd!

At the Venice Days of the Day, nine female stars arrive for Miu Miu Women’s Tales conversations

Chloë Sevigny’s and Celia Rowlson-Hall’s feminine looks start at the sixth Miu Miu Women’s Tales project in collaboration with the Days of Authors at the Lido of Venice.

The essence of Women’s Tales is a search for the complexities and contradictions of the contemporary world, told by the greatest female talents of art expressing themselves through cinema. This year’s Miu Miu women are nine and are Golden Globe winners, they are musicians, influencers and choreographers, are producers, actresses and writers.

From August 31 to September 2, a three-day program showing the character of the protagonists through two new shorts that join the Women’s Tales collection and the unusual, sincere, intimate conversations of great protagonists of the international show For you with the public. We will have some of La La Land’s “star cities” atmospheres thanks to the Rowlson-Hallshort film that returns to Days after two years. Chloë suggests some feelings from the Opinions of a Böll Clown , thanks to a contemporary portrait of a comic actress in solitude. We will know Tavi Gevinson and Hailey Gates ,

On August 31st will be premiered the 14th chapter of the Miu Miu home collection, directed by the multifaceted Celia Rowlson-Hall , choreographer, dancer and American filmmaker who presented the first feature film to the GdA in 2015 MA . The short (The [End) Illusion of History] combines the Hollywood musicals of the thirties with the nightmare of the Cold War of the sixties in a story in pastel shades between fear and desire to escape. On the same day, the 13th short film will be screened, directed by actress Chloë Sevigny , winner of a Golden Globe and Oscar nominee for the unforgettable Boys Do not Cry (1999). Carmen is starred by comedian actress Carmen Lynch and is a review of the highs and basses of the showbiz and portrait of a woman who lives from within. An interesting glimpse of the solitude that accompanies the stages of a tour around many cities.

What are the challenges and outlines of a career in film and media today? This question will try to find the answer to the protagonists of conversations.

It begins on the morning of Friday, September 1st, with the two short filmmakers. Celia Rowlson-Hall’s choreography was seen by millions of people in the TV series Girls , and in the irresistible pop video for Alicia Keys and MGMT. Chloë Sevigny , critically acclaimed, has a career of over two decades including films such as Kids and the unpublished The Snowmanand Lean on Pete .

In the afternoon, Kate Bosworth and Zosia Mamet will be revealed to the public . The first debuted in The Whispering Man , and played a prominent role in Still Alice . He has recently produced, with his Make Pictures label, the Ninth movie , which gives a face to the sexiest industry of Central America. Zosia Mamet is an actress, musician and producer (known to Mad Men and the guys are well ), especially for her unforgettable Shoshanna Shapiro role in the HBO Girls series, awarded with the Golden Globe. In the next months,

On September 2, protagonists of the morning session are Laura Harrier , Kiernan Shipka and Rowan Blanchard . Model and actress Laura Harrierdebuted in film with Spider-Man: Homecoming , and will play a protagonist in the new HBO cinematic adaptation of the classic dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451 . Kiernan Shipka has proved to be a full-length actress with Sally Draper in Mad Men , and has recently dropped into Bette Davis’s daughter in the television series Feud: Bette and Joan . Note for Riley’s role in Disney’s Girl Meets World ,

Closes in the afternoon with Hailey Gates and Tavi Gevinson . Gevinson is the founder and director of “Rookie”, an online magazine and teenage book collection. Since launching in 2011, when she was only 15 years old, Tavi has set up a whole generation of writers as a media expert influential voice for an audience of teenagers. At age twenty-five, Tavi is also an actress with three shows at Broadway (including This Is Our Youth and The Crucible ) and the movie Do not say anything else . Hailey Gates is extraordinarily eclectic: he has been the editor of the legendary Paris Review magazine, modeling in a campaign by Miu Miu, lead designer of the fashion docu-reality of Viceland States of Undress ,

Moderately, Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales Conversations could only be another female talent who came back to host for the third consecutive year: Penny Martin , director of The Gentlewoman magazine.

The appointment with the short films is at 5 pm on Thursday 31st August in Sala Perla. The conversations will be held at the Space Foundation of the Performing Arts, in the frame of Hotel Excelsior at the Lido of Venice.


The  Days of Authors , promoted by ANAC and 100 authors, are an independent section of the 74th Venice Film Festival International Biennial Exhibition.

Main Sponsor: Cinema Directorate of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, BNL BNP Paribas Group. Creative Partner: Miu Miu. Partner: SIAE, Sub-ti, Lux Award of the European Parliament.

Technical Partners: Frame by Frame, I-Club, Eco Stampa, Europa Cinemas, Cinecittà News, Cineuropa.