We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."
It's pretty apropos that I go to meet Sophie Turner — whom you probably know as lady-turned-leader Sansa Stark on "Game of Thrones" — to talk about shopping at a hair-themed event. After all, the Wella brand ambassador's elaborate braided hairstyles (and wigs) on the hit HBO series have inspired many a copy-cat attempt, possibly during music festivals, and launched a legion of conspiracy theories.
Turner, who plays Jean Grey in the current "X-Men" big-screen franchise, also has some serious fashion cred. Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquière counts her as a muse — he is a vocal sci-fi/fantasy fan — casting her in the fashion house's fall '17 and spring '19 campaigns. Plus, Turner's front row and red carpet outings place her on many a best dressed list. Never mind that Sansa's on-screen "Game of Thrones" wardrobe evolution, thanks to Emmy-winning costume designer Michele Clapton, provides constant inspiration for cos-players, plus even more fodder for painstaking "GoT" plot-point analysis — especially as she tends to emulate characters around her through her clothing (and intricate braids). But not so much anymore.
"Sansa's definitely come into her own, so she's not emulating other people's hairstyles anymore," says Turner, about her character's evolution in the much-anticipated final season of the "Game of Thrones." "She's very much brought in her own thing — and made that her signature — and nobody else's — and same with style. She's found her own style. She's not wearing those big poufy dresses that Cersei used to wear or she's not wearing like her black, Little Finger-style dress. She's got her own thing going on right now, which is really exciting."
Turner, now blonde and styled with Old Hollywood waves, was also very game to chat about how her own personal hair and wardrobe is inspired by Sansa, what it's like to shop with her "GoT" fam (spoiler: Kit Harington kind of channels Jon Snow when it comes to retail therapy) and why she loves her latest purchase from a recent trip to India (ahem).
"My personality changes from color to color and so does the way that I style my hair. For instance, when I was a redhead, I would definitely go with more classic Veronica Lake waves when I was out and about. Then when I became a blonde, I wanted to be a bit more edgy. It would affect my personality and the way that I dress — everything.
When I was a redhead, there were certain colors and shapes I would wear and wouldn't wear. It is funny how much it affects you. That's why hair color and style is so important. In terms of being an actress, I like to be able to chop and change things and the hair, I believe, is the final part of transforming into a character because it's such a drastic change.
Definitely in the beginning of [filming 'Game of Thrones'] — until I was about 16 or 17 — I just tried to emulate Sansa's hair as much as I could. I was obsessed with the braids. I would always just wear my hair back like that in a braid [as she pulls front sections of her hair back]. Now, I do miss the red. Now I'm blonde, I can't really emulate Sansa as much as I would like to.
But every time I go red, I feel really empowered and I know that that is because of Sansa and her hair. Also, [her hairstyles] told a story — like part of her story was through her hair. She would always emulate the hairstyles of people that she was influenced by the years, so it is a big part of her. So that's why I when I have red hair, I think of Sansa and I think of power and empowerment and being a strong woman.
I definitely want to go brunette. At some point, I want to try it. I probably will end up doing it for a role, which is one of the best things about my job. But I would also want to go crazy. Maisie [Williams, who plays her on-screen sister, Arya Stark] just dyed her hair pink and I would be down to do the same. Like some fun pastel colors, that could be fun.
When I think about getting dressed, I want to feel like a warrior in everyday life. I want to feel tougher with a really strong aesthetic. So that's definitely to do with Sansa. The way she ends up at the end of season seven and into season eight, she's such a strong character that like it almost filters into me. So on the carpet, I always want to wear things that are very powerful.
I would describe my personal style now as comfortable. In my everyday wear, I'm quite tomboy-ish. I used to be very, very girly and now, I like things a bit sexier and a bit more comfortable and a bit, yeah, tomboy-ish. Every day I wear a T-shirt, sweatpants and sneakers.
I like to shop at a place called Two Hands — not Two Hands, that's a breakfast place — American Two Shot, here in New York. It has this really cool '90s style clothing that's also really comfy. I get all my Backstreet Boys T-shirts, old Britney Spears T-shirts [there] — things like that. It's my favorite place.
I went to Japan recently and the Harajuku neighborhood in Tokyo, that's definitely one of my favorites for the most fun shopping. It makes you so happy, that area, and they have these crazy cool little stores. One of my favorite stores in Harajuku is called Pin Nap and it has really cool, vintage clothing. Very '90s.
I just try to look for little independent stores. You can find a Topshop or something like that anywhere in the world, but if you're looking for something really specific to the place, I always just try and find little independent stores down alleyways and things like that.
If I'm abroad in a really fun country — like whenever we were in Croatia filming 'Game of Thrones' — I would always try and get little pieces from each place, so that even my wardrobe is cultured. I have really cool pieces from places that you can't access very easily and it's very special to me and it reminds me of when I was traveling and working. It's just nice to have a little memento.
I'm not an impulse shopper. Definitely not. I take forever. I'm a four-hour shopping person. Maisie and I always go shopping together. Every day that we're not working, we just go shopping. Once, in Belfast, we did go out for a whole day, like a whole day of shopping. Maisie is my fashion shopping partner. Kit [Harington, who plays Jon Snow] and I always seem to do house shopping together. We always end up buying a bench or something — I don't know why — or duvet covers and things like that.
This wasn't when I was filming, but... I went to India recently and I got this beautiful sari and I'll never be able to wear it in my every day life, but it's just nice to have that in my closet and remind me of fun times."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.