You probably know Janel Parrish as the nerdy-turned-popular-turned-insane high schooler on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, which is now in its third season. Her character Mona Vanderwaal naturally has a well-stocked wardrobe—and as it turns out, Parrish’s own closet is pretty awesome, too.
Parrish, 24, grew up in Hawaii and wasted no time launching her career. At the age of six, she entered and won a state-wide singing contest. Soon after, Parrish landed a role in a touring production of Les Misérables, which caught the Hollywood’s attention. After doing a few television gigs, she landed her first big break in Bratz: The Movie, where she was cast in the role of Jade. Parrish also guest-starred alongside Hayden Panettiere in Heroes as a head cheerleader. Recently, she announced that she will be starring alongside Jackson Rathbone (of Twilight fame) in The Concerto, an indie film about a young musician (Parrish) who travels across the country to LA and meets the man of her dreams (Rathbone)…only to discover that he’s a ghost. Spooky! Production began in December, and we all know Rathbone is a pro at playing dead people, so we’re super-excited for this one.
On the red carpet, Parrish rarely disappoints. At last April’s premiere of The Avengers, she wore a one-shouldered red dress by Stop Staring with black peep-toed stiletto booties. A couple months later, at the Young Hollywood Awards, she turned out in a skintight off-the-shoulder black dress with orange heels, her hair in a beautiful braided crown. There’s no doubt that her style improves with every public appearance. At the 2012 Teen Choice Awards in July, Parrish looked flawless in a hot pink belted Milly dress—the epitome of sweet girly-girl.
We got in touch with Parrish to talk about her upcoming movie, personal style and which of her co-stars’ closets she’s dying to raid. Don’t forget to watch the new episode of PLL on Tuesday night at 8 pm!
Lucky: Describe your typical go-to everyday outfit.
Janel Parrish: Leggings, studded boots and a big shirt.
What is your closet filled with? What are your wardrobe essentials?
Definitely tights, skinny jeans and lots of black and gray shirts.
What was it like acting alongside Jackson Rathbone in The Concerto? Are you a Twilight fan?
It was so amazing to work with Jackson. I definitely am a Twihard! I think the film is going to be amazing.
Do you have a favorite designer?
I recently fell in love with Simdog. They have amazing printed tees.
Why’d you decide to wear that pink Milly dress at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards?
I loved the way the dress fit, and the color! I always try to find something classy but a bit different.
How often do you go back to your home state, Hawaii? Do you surf?
I go back at least once a year to see my family. I am terrified of sharks, so I don’t surf!
Your character on PLL, Mona, goes through a lot of style changes. She’s gone from style-centric girly-girl to a criminally insane asylum patient. What is it like playing a character whose wardrobe (and life!) is always evolving?
It’s so fun! I’ve pretty much gotten to wear every style in Pretty Little Liars so far.
Which of your castmates from PLL do you think has the best personal style?
I love Lucy [Hale's] style. She’s funky chic.
Which PLL character’s closet would you most like to raid?
Probably Aria’s! I love her use of patterns.
Is there anything Mona has worn on the show that you’ve loved enough to keep?
All of her shoes when she was a fashion diva!
What was your last fashion splurge? Your last fashion steal?
My last splurge was an Alexander Wang purse.
In your early acting days, you played a young Cosette in the National Touring Company and Broadway Company’s productions of Les Misérables. What was it like for you watching Les Misérables on the silver screen this past December?
It was so nostalgic. That musical will always be special to me.
Photo Credit: Francis Bertrand
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