Gayle Rankin Talks Perry Mason and Fashion

I want to talk about style. You shared that your hometown of Glasgow plays a big part in your perspective on fashion and your wardrobe. Can you touch on that a bit more?

I spent the first 17 years of my life in Glasgow, and it’s a very historical and traditional town but also at the same time quite gritty, working-class, with a really vibrant music-and-art scene and a really big student population. So there’s a lot of really eclectic stuff happening from the more athleisure sportswear [look] to like Oasis Noel Gallagher vibes. He’s not from Glasgow, but you can really understand the reference—that kind of vibe mixed with the more experimental and fun vintage coming from the student community. The Scottish people, and especially people in Glasgow, are quite expressive, passionate people and are quite loud and brash, and so a lot of my sensibilities about expressing yourself and kind of getting what’s inside out really came from there.

I love that. Now that you live in Los Angeles, do you feel the style here has rubbed off on you in a way?

Oh, yes! Actually, it’s interesting. I think of myself as kind of like a sponge. It can feel like my style goes all over the place, but for me, there is a consistency there. The pieces that have come into my life or the things that I enjoy about California fashion or L.A. style feels like I got them in Glasgow, you know? 

You also said you are an emotional dresser. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Yeah, it’s very intuitive for me, and it’s connected to my work. I think I have always, since I was like a little girl, tried to express myself and expose myself honestly through what I wear. I try to understand myself through what I wear because it doesn’t always totally make sense, but I think that is what I understand what being a human being is, you know? You are just trying things and putting it out there. I haven’t worked very hard to make or form a style or box myself in. I just try to work from my gut and try to express that kind of accidentally.

You started working with stylist Thomas Carter Phillips last year. What are some of your favorite moments working together? 

I think he’s an incredible artist. [My publicist] Jenny brought him to me, and I just fell in love with him. We come from such a similar place and also a really different place, and much like in my work, I really find myself in collaboration. I think that when Thomas and I started collaborating, the first project we did was when I went to Cannes, and it was a big job. He really got to know me very quickly and was able to not only understand deep parts of me but then sculpt them. He pulled a Delpozo dress that I wore on the red carpet for the premiere of The Climb that I would have never found myself. But it was the most perfect dress. And I actually had a real emotional connection to it and the colors and the way it fell on my body. I could understand it, and it felt like a really special thing to wear for a really special moment. I think it’s a really amazing thing when you meet someone and you can collaborate with them and it’s art.