When you are one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars, work will suddenly become a nonstop, worldwide trip of film sets, press tour, and other high-profile appearances that could make anyone’s head spin. So it’s always wise to find one constant in whatever city you might find yourself in. And for Alexandra Shipp, that constant is karaoke.
“I always try and find a karaoke bar in the city that I’m in,” she said. “I am always looking for karaoke. So far, the best city has been…honestly, I’ve found some really great karaoke in Atlanta. But actually, I’ve found even better karaoke in Vancouver. There’s this place called Funky Winker Beans, and it is fabulous.”
At 26 years old, Shipp already has a number of high-profile, star-studded movies under her belt, including this year’s breakout hit Love, Simon and a recurring role as a young Storm in the X-Men films (she’ll next be seen in 2019’s Dark Phoenix), that it certainly begs the question: Which costar makes for the best duet partner? “Oh, I’m always trying to get people to go to karaoke with me. I love going with Sophie [Turner],” she said. “We did it in Montreal when we were filming X-Men and it was some of the best memories, just wailing with her.”
On her most recent overseas trip, Shipp may not have had time to whip out her go-to Lauryn Hill or Tupac, but there were certainly plenty of other cultural moments to take in, as she flew out to Reggio Emilia, Italy, earlier this week for the Max Mara Resort 2019 runway show. “I want to live there one day,” Shipp, who was Max Mara’s 2018 Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future award recipient, said of Italy upon returning home to Los Angeles from a whirlwind 48 hours abroad. “I was there for the first time at the top of the year when I went for Fashion Week for Max Mara. It was such a fun trip, but definitely an interesting experience. I was definitely a fish out of water. But I just fell in love with the city right out of the gate.”
While her trip this time around was a quick one, the actress still had time to take in many of the city’s cultural highlights, including the Max Mara archives. “It was so interesting, and all the clothes, I was like, ‘What do I gotta do to borrow a coat?’ And they were like, ‘Nothing, please leave the archives,'” she joked. “My God, it was so beautiful. I just wanted to live in there.”
And then there was the show itself, held at the Collezione Maramotti, the private contemporary art collection of Achille Maramotti, who founded Max Mara. “It was really cool to see the pieces that inspired some of the clothes, and how it connected to this art exhibit that is part of the family,” she said. “I got a chance to walk through because I really wanted to connect to the art so that when I walked through the show, I could see all the references that were present. It was just so stunning, and the way that they did it was just so subtle, and very impactful. I was blown away by all the pieces.
“There was this one rope that was hanging and twisted from the ceiling and hanging from an anchor. It was incredible and it really struck you with a sense of awe. They incorporated that piece of art in a lot of the [clothing], in the straps. I found it so interesting that they were able to create a correlation between this huge piece of cloth twisted around a heavy piece of metal because it is so dreamy and so gorgeous. Max Mara does a really beautiful job with it, [taking something] sticking out of the ceiling and turn[ing] that into dresses and tank tops and shirts. It was so cool.”
All together, the experience clearly made an impression on the actress. “You feel like a guest of something bigger than you,” she said of attending the show. “It’s really exciting to be a part of it in real life people they bring around are so incredible and kind and real. In fashion, that is so fabulous to have. It feels like a big love fest; a love for fashion, a love for art, and a love for the worlds that come together because of it.”
And then, of course, there was the food. This is Italy, after all. “I did get to go have some incredible food,” she noted. “I was only there for two days, but I did get to see some art and eat some food, and I think that’s really how you can get to know a city.The best thing I ate was this amazing eggplant parmesan thing. I usually steer clear of cheese, but in the moment I was like, ‘This needs to be in my face.’”