Just when you’ve started to feel a pinch of fashion ennui (this onslaught of ‘90s fashion throwbacks battling it out with the ‘70s trend can really do that to a girl), Olivia Culpo breaks through to remind you that fashion is—dare we say—fun. With a couple designer collabs and her Instagram showing off look after look after lewk, the 25-year-old style star comes at us with yet another shining opportunity for us to cop her style. A freshly released collection of jaw-dropping eveningwear designed by Culpo and ultra-affordable clothing retailer PrettyLittleThing is chock full of romance, femininity, and high glamour.
VIDEO: Olivia Culpo’s Chic Vacation-Ready Swimsuit
“I knew it was going to be a great collaboration,” Culpo told InStyle, sharing how the partnership came about. “Their clothes are so accessible for people of every single body type and age range. And they make everybody feel so sexy, because it’s the nature of every single piece that they have.”
The 30-piece collection comes as a lineup of statement-making gowns, flirty minis, co-ords, and mix-n-matchable separates for all your layering possibilities (Culpo herself wore a full PrettyLittleThing x Olivia Culpo look to the collection’s launch party: a crisp white shirt dress layered under a high-shine patent leather mini skirt). You can shop the stunning collection online exclusively at prettylittlething.us.
And in the meantime, scroll through for our Q&A with Culpo in which she shares her style inspiration, why she likes the color red so much, how she deals with the #haters, and—yeah—what she’s doing on her night off.
If you could put together a mood board right now for this collection, what would be on it?
I was really inspired by Italy and the colors of Rome in the spring and walking in any sort of city where the flowers are blooming and fresh fruit is abundant. And flower markets! And I guess, on a mood board, there would probably be similar [images] to what are in the campaign pictures, which is pizza, pasta, fresh lemon, grapes, and apples. [The collection] was very colorful, very Mediterranean-inspired… It’s also classic and timeless and elegant, so it was a perfect collaboration in that way because it was fun and sexy but also timeless, which I think is really important.
I was going to say—it’s so feminine but without that glittery pink frou-frou.
I’m seeing a lot of red in the collection as well. And then I look through your Instagram, and there’s a lot of red there, too. And you’re always wearing a red lip. What is it about the color that draws you in?
For me, a red lip is iconic because of so many reasons: because of the people who have worn it and made it iconic in the past. It’s because of the way that it pairs so well with classic colors, like black and white together. And I just feel like any outfit can be elevated and be made more iconic and more of a statement with a red lip. It definitely jazzes up a look in a very sophisticated way when done appropriately… I think that, for me, if the outfit lends itself to a more classic and timeless feel, a red lip just takes it to the next level.
It’s feminine and empowering, and bold and sexy. And that’s what I’m seeing with this collection. I feel like the woman you’ve designed this collection for embodies all of that.
Thank you! It is. I think that it’s a woman who isn’t afraid to be bold and isn’t afraid to stand out and wants to celebrate her own beauty, confidence, and uniqueness.
What trends are you super into at the moment?
Right now, I’m really into the monochromatic trend. I think that that’s something that’s going to be huge every fall. I’ve also really been into mules. I’ve been loving red and magenta together, which is what I’ve been wearing a lot of lately. I’ve been really into athleisure, and I just wear loose-fitting boyfriend jeans and sweatsuits—kind of more undone. Just street style in general. Casual, undone street style.
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Any trends you’re so over?
I’m kind of over the choker trend, because they really were very sexy for a hot minute—but they’ll come back! I don’t know. Maybe if they had a little bit of a break.
In the campaign, you’re seated at a table with beautiful plate of pasta and a ginormous pizza pie. I have to ask the hard-hitting question: Which one would you rather—
Okay. This is funny. Because tonight is my night off, and I’m already thinking about how I’m going to get in bed and like eat an order of pasta. So I have pasta on the brain. I would have to say that’s my pleasure.
Wait, what kind of pasta?
I know! I’ve been asking myself the same thing all day! I just can’t decide yet. But I would say, for me, I love pesto because my family makes, like, 20 pounds of pesto every spring. And we give it to everybody for Easter. And you can freeze it, and it can last for months. So I love pesto because it kind of reminds me of being with my aunt and my mom. We do it every year together. And it’s kind of my favorite family [activity]—so that’s kind of comforting.
Comforting in more ways than one—more than just the food itself.
Yeah! Exactly. Soul food.
I saw you also celebrated 2 million Instagram followers this past summer. Congrats! That’s really incredible.
I also think it’s worth mentioning that this following you have, it’s not only because of your incredible style, but also because you’re a role model to lots of women and young women, especially. With that in mind, what’s your approach to social media?
I think that for me, I want to try to be as authentic as I can. And I think it’s been difficult—obviously—because you never know what type of backlash you’re going to get from people who are mean and who want to say mean things on the internet. But I know that it’s something everybody struggles with and it’s not a personal problem that only I struggle with. Everybody faces this. And so, because of that, I try to be strong and I try to be as authentic and candid as I can and not think about the haters. Because we all struggle with that. Doesn’t matter if you have 2 million followers or 200. There’s always going to be people with opinions and mean things to say. So I try to be brave.
Totally, and it’s a hard thing to do, too. Because it’s always going to happen, especially with how anonymous you can be on social media.
Yeah, definitely. And I also try to post things that aren’t always about my outfit or a makeup trend that I’m loving. I try to post quotes, too, to try to uplift people and just let them know that we are all a lot more alike than we think sometimes and that we go through the same things.