If you’ve been sucked into a Stranger Things binge over the last year, then you already know actress Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Hawkins, Indiana’s resident tomboy who can usually be found in jeans, T-shirts, and other skateboard-friendly staples from the early ’80s. But what you might not be as familiar with is Sink’s incredibly chic off-screen style, which has been garnering just as many rave reviews as her beloved Netflix series.
Working alongside stylist Molly Dickson, the 16-year-old star has put a youthful spin on everything from classic Chanel to quirky-cool Miu Miu, the latter coming in the form of a flirty tea-length creation made just for her to wear to the Golden Globes this year. Most recently, she turned heads at the Emmys in a custom Hiraeth dress with intricate shoulder detailing (below) that she dreamed up with her pal and the brand’s founder Rooney Mara — not too shabby.
While it’s clear that she’s already developed a knack for choosing looks that land her on our best-dressed list, Sink told InStyle she’s still learning the ins-and-outs of the fashion biz and is often inspired by her fellow actresses who have been hitting their mark on the step-and-repeat for years.
Her biggest style crush of late? Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who shares Sink’s love for modern, feminine gowns, as well as similarly striking red hair, porcelain complexions, and delightfully cheerful dispositions. “Amy has been a role model and a style crush of mine for a long time,” says Sink. “When I was little, I loved her in Enchanted and The Muppets, and then when I was older, in movies like Arrival. And her style is cool and always so smart.”
So for our January issue, we connected Sink with her fashion icon to talk shop. On the agenda? The boots that Adams swears by (Rag & Bone for the win), risky red carpet choices, and why redheads should indeed wear red. Listen in on their chat below.
VIDEO: Amy Adams’ Style Transformation
Sadie Sink: Amy, you’re one of the main reasons I wanted to start acting. And your style is so elegant, smart, and awesome.
Amy Adams: Aw thanks, sweetie. You’re so great in Stranger Things.
SS: Thank you! My personal style is always going through different phases. How would you describe your look right now?
AA: Well, my red-carpet style is more classic, but my personal style is very bohemian slash mom. I love prints and long, flowy dresses that are basically muumuus — but very classy muumuus [laughs].
SS: I’m into the flowy thing too, but I like feeling supercool and edgy on the carpet. What’s been your most memorable look?
AA: I loved the silver dress that Tom Ford sent me for the Oscars [below]. It had this great deep V, and it was not necessarily something I would’ve asked him for, but when I got it, I said, “Oh my goodness. This is so beautiful.” He dressed my character in Nocturnal Animals so impeccably, it has reminded me to work toward that in my life too. Collaborating with designers in that way is a real privilege, isn’t it?
SS: Yes! My Miu Miu gown at the Golden Globes was the first time I had anything custom-made for me [below]. And for the Emmys, my friend Rooney Mara designed a dress for me with her brand, Hiraeth. It’s so neat to see a sketch turn into a full-on look. I still have a lot to learn, though …
AA: When I was 16, everything I knew about fashion was from the mall. There was a girl at my school named Kim that had really good style and I just wanted to look like her [laughs]. So I think you’ve got me beat — how about that?
SS: Ha! I’m just starting to know what I like and what I don’t and develop a distinct look. It’s become easier to speak up for myself.
AA: Yeah, over time I’ve learned that it’s OK to take chances, and it’s also OK for people not to like what you’re wearing. I used to get really caught up in if people liked it, and now it’s more about how I feel in it. It’s fun! I don’t take it so seriously anymore.
SS: I’ve seen you wear red, and you pull it off so well.
AA: Oh, I love red on red. When my hair color is really intense, I tend to stay away from bright colors, though. Not sure why.
SS: They always say [redheads] should stay away from brights, but I usually just wear whatever I want.
AA: You should! When you’re young, you can get away with it. But I look like a cat lady in brights. I do love blue, though, in literally any shade.
SS: My character in Stranger Things has inspired me to wear more color. Which of your movies has influenced your style?
AA: I’d say American Hustle. I became a lot less self-conscious after that role. I think it freed me up a little bit.
SS: Is there any particular style or trend that you’re gravitating towards right now?
AA: Prints! And flowy dresses. I used to like more body-conscious silhouettes, and now I’m feeling a little more flowy. I think that just has a lot to do with how I’ve changed as a person. I’m a mood dresser.
SS: What’s the biggest fashion risk you’ve ever taken?
AA: Sometimes the dresses that I thought were home runs become the risky ones. There was a butterfly print dress that I wore to a film festival in London and it was really different that anything I’d worn before, but it was also cut really far down on both sides of the bodice. As soon as I started walking on the red carpet, I was like, “Oh, this could be a problem.” For me, risk has little to do with fashion and more to do with the roles that I take and putting myself out there in that way.
SS: That makes sense. Is there something you buy over and over? For me, it’s bags. I have so many of them, but I just keep wanting more.
AA: I have a Rag & Bone boot problem. First was the Newbury, and then the Margot, and then the one with studs. They’re all so comfy.
SS: Comfort is number one for me with shoes. I like to do a test walk in heels to make sure I won’t fall or get crazy blisters.
AA: Anytime you want high heel training, let me know! I can teach you to walk in 6-inch ones if you want.
SS: Please do because I need the help [laughs].
AA: You’ve got time! I don’t think I could’ve worn heels at 16. I was a dancer in musical theater and on pointe, so that’s how I learned. I really love high heels, but if they kill my feet, that’s the only thing that’ll send me home before the end of a party.
Sadie Sink stars in Eli and the third season of Stranger Things, both out in 2019. Amy Adams stars in Vice, in theaters December 25. And for more stories like this, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download on Dec. 7.