Alison Sudol, who played one of our favorite TV characters — the fully unapologetic Kaya on the award-winningTransparent — is now digging (literally) into her new role in USA’s Dig. During her promotional appearances for the show last week, the singer-songwriter of A Fine Frenzy, actress and author took things up a notch on the shoe front, eschewing conventional red-carpet designers for risk-taking new lines. While a phalanx of go-to red-carpet designers dominated awards season, Sudol leads the way this spring for embracing new footwear silhouettes, new materials and an entirely fresh point of show view, not unlike her music. We spent a little one-on-one time with Sudol and her stylist, Sissy Sainte-Marie, to find out what’s behind her latest chic shoe moments.
Pret-a-Reporter: We’ve noticed you’ve been embracing some fierce shoe looks during your promo tour for Dig. What do you look for when you’re choosing a shoe for the carpet?
Alison Sudol: Thank you! I tend to gravitate towards subtle but interesting shapes, colors and materials. Sometimes it’s a classic silhouette with a twist or a simple line with a blocky wooden heel. Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards things like wood, cork, and metal — Sydney Brown makes wonderful cruelty-free shoes incorporating leather alternatives in a unique, cool way. I like shoes that make me feel grounded, so I usually avoid anything too spindly as I’m haunted by the idea of tipping over on the carpet (or otherwise).
If your shoes could talk, what would they be saying about you?
I really wish she’d stop walking me through puddles. And grass. And snow. Seriously.
What are your favorite shoes to wear for everyday?
I’m obsessed with my A Détacher Morris Ballet Clogs and wear them with everything, from casual trousers and jeans and t-shirts to dresses. I bought them at one of my favorite shops in L.A., Mohawk General Store. They’re incredibly comfortable, and they don’t look like anything else. They’re getting a little beat up, but I like the stories that they’re carrying with them — the kind of shoes that will last a lifetime.
Photo credit: Marie Schley for Transparent
What do you think shoes say about the characters you play?
Shoes affect the way you walk, the way you stand, they change the context of your outfit. InTransparent, I wore these thick leather sandals with bright aqua socks with little bees on them. They made me laugh with delight every time I looked down because I personally would never have worn them in real life but they were perfect for my character, Kaya. And in Dig, I wore these great Fiorentini + Baker leather ankle boots. They worked with a dress but also could handle climbing rocks and running down slippery ancient tunnels under Jerusalem. When I wore them, I felt like my character, Emma Wilson, an archeology student full of curiosity and a kind of fearlessness that requires being ready for an adventure at all times.
Photo credit USA Network; Inset: Fiorentini + Baker
Stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie told us “Alison is a dream to work with because she has great style innately. She is chic and understated while still being adventurous in her shoe choices, and she looks great in everything.” With Sudol’s recent red-carpet and TV appearances for Dig, Sainte-Marie breaks down each shoe look for Pret-a-Reporter.
The Meredith Viera Show on Feb. 24
Sainte-Marie: I knew the Malone Souliers mary janes would complement so many of Alison’s looks, and indeed, the nude color worked like a charm. She looked like a vision of perfection in them on The Meredith Viera Show.
iHeartRadio appearance on Feb. 24
Sainte-Marie: Sydney Brown’s closed heel pumps in cork and wood strike the perfect balance of being earthy yet lady-like. Alison is an ambassador for biodiversity conservation groupICUN and Sydney Brown’s luxury line is environmentally friendly.
Dig series premiere on Feb. 25
Sainte-Marie: Ali and I share a deep love for all things Céline, as well as winter whites. What could punctuate her Céline cape and culottes better than those fantastic bright white Céline ankle strap pumps! Wowza!
Sudol: I fell in love with the Céline T-strap heels I wore to the Elle Women in TV dinner earlier this year. They were incredibly elegant with a beautiful line that was minimal and classic but somehow incredibly modern at the same time.
Dig “Escape the Room” event on Feb. 26
Sainte-Marie: I’m super into navy right now and I always love reptile, so the Malone Souliers Shari called to me. A heel that high could go easily go wrong, but these are just nothing but right.
PIX11 News appearance on Feb. 27
Sainte-Marie: I love Sydney Brown derbies. They go with pretty much everything and the copper is such a smart touch.