There is something about Troian Bellisario. Take, for instance, her ability to both fly under the radar and be a global sensation in Brazil or Bali, two recent ports of call. Since 2010, Bellisario has played perfectionist Spencer Hastings on ABC’s “Pretty Little Liars.”
In the process, the actress and environmental activist (she works with Burt’s Bees on its #bringbackthebees campaign) has cultivated a following of 12 million on her Instagram and Twitter @sleepinthegardn accounts.
Having just wrapped filming the final season of the cult show, plus work on two upcoming films, the Los Angeles native is busy preparing for a new movie role with real-life husband Patrick Adams (of USA’s “Suits”).
Footwear News catches up with this captivating star.
How has California affected your style?
Troian Bellisario: Everything I did, I tried to be the antithesis [of style here]. What I saw around me was surf, skate and valley girl culture, whereas all I wanted was to wear a giant sweater, tights and boots. My style is a reaction to being a California girl. I love Patti Smith and Katharine Hepburn. They had a freedom, wildness and didn’t care. That to me is much sexier than a tight dress where you can’t move.
Any early fashion influences?
TB: My mom had the most amazing style, and when I got old enough to wear her things, she had thrown out all her insanely beautiful designer pieces and only kept the Eighties pieces, which I was convinced were never coming back. But she was right, it is coming back. She was a statuesque dancer who wore a lot of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
How do shoes play a part in character development?
TB: It’s really tough because sometimes they make you take them off for height — and that throws me off. You stand, move and talk differently in heels. It’s a very important thing for a woman. It’s her choice and a way she empowers herself, plus it changes the way you move through space. You can base a character on shoes. If somebody only wears ratty Converse everywhere, she’s going to sit and walk differently than the character I played on “Suits” with 4-inch heels.
Let’s talk about the shoes you wore at your wedding this past summer.
TB: My best friend introduced me to Pskaufman, which are coal miner dancer shoes handmade in L.A. I wore lace-up bootlets with worker-girl heels from the 19th century. We were out in the woods. I knew I wouldn’t make it anywhere in high heels. I’m such a boot person. They were just perfect. When I changed into a gold dress with red lining, I put on red Aquazzura pumps to match. So rad. They were oddly comfortable.
When you are dressing for a big event, what are some of your secrets?
TB: My stylist knows that I love to wear black. Shoes are a way that we’ll sneak in a pop of color. It’s always so much easier for me to digest. I love beautiful, simple [outfits] with really unexpected shoes.
What shoes do you crave now?
TB: There is a pair of boots I saw recently — I think it was Alexander McQueen — that were just stunning. I’m a little bit late to the game, but the Balenciaga [motorcycle] boots I just can’t get over. I couldn’t commit financially to that one, as much as I wanted them. I also need to break and get some sandals. I can’t keep getting boots, as addicted as I am.
What shoes do you have a soft spot for?
TB: Red Wings. Growing up I was such a Dr. Martens girl. I feel a little bit more grown up in them. I stole the idea from my husband.
Who is the most stylish person you know?
TB: [Former co-star] Shay Mitchell, 100 percent. Lucy Hale or Ashley Benson have similar style to me, but Shay is the most glamorous person. She has bathing suit cover-ups that are nicer than most dresses I own. Also, my friend Alex McKenna has a wardrobe we call Narnia. She’s a vintage queen.