Ruby would be so proud. Mimi Keene, who plays the mean girl-turned-moral center on Netflix’s beloved teen drama Sex Education, might not be lavishing in the fan attention like her fictional counterpart would, but there are still some perks of moving from Sex Ed‘s shallow sidelines to the main story. For this year’s Paris Fashion Week, luxury fashion house Loewe invited Keene to the City of Light to experience the brand’s new SS2022 collection, and Keene decided to take ELLE—and her thousands of fans—along for the ride.
As part of her Fashion Week diary, the star walked us through her Loewe fitting, elegant hotel stay, and first time attending a PFW show. Part of the thrill was in seeing where her own style might go next, she says. Her taste in fashion has changed completely since Sex Ed came into her life. The show, known for its vibrant, wacky color palette courtesy of costume designer Rosa Dias, has pushed Keene toward brighter, riskier hues.
“My personal taste when it comes to fashion has always been quite neutral—black, white, monochrome,” Keene writes. “But in the three years I’ve been playing Ruby, I’ve become braver and more adventurous with my style choices and my style has definitely evolved as a result. What [Dias] has taught me is that, if something looks a bit scary when it’s on the rack, it can still look really amazing once you put it on.”
Keene started the weekend at a personalized fitting before snuggling into bed before a lavish display of dinner and drinks, courtesy of Loewe.
The next morning, she took a few moments to enjoy the king-sized bed all to herself before beginning styling preparations for the show. Slipping into Ruby’s costumes for Sex Ed has taught her to enjoy whatever look she happens to be sporting that day—and whatever mood it inspires. “I’m a bit too here, there and everywhere to be too into one style or trend,” she writes. “I love to mix it up and try new things.”
Ruby’s shifting characterization in season 3 didn’t shock Keene, who, of course, has always secretly known the queen bee had a heart of gold. But the fan response—and how it has accelerated her own star power—has been an unexpected surprise, Keene says. “It was great to see that people actually like her now!” she writes. “Even though she was such a meanie for the first two seasons (and I suppose she still is a bit, it’s almost a part of her character that can’t be taken away), I’m really grateful and appreciate all the love that Ruby has received.”
You can even see a bit of Ruby creep into Keene’s look for the Loewe show. Her stylists dressed the actress in a sexy high-low LBD with grey and neon-green highlights, paired with chunky black lace-up boots.
“When I was younger, I used to love matching all my clothes to be the same colour and, eventually, my mum had to say to me, ‘Mimi, you do know that your clothes (including shoes) don’t always have to be the same colour?’’ Keene writes. “So it’s quite funny that [color] has come back into my life through Ruby, like with the all-purple outfit or the completely multi-coloured rainbow outfit [in season 3].”
Keene got a front-row seat to the action during the Loewe presentation, which was inspired by the artwork of Renaissance painter Pontormo. It is undoubtedly a collection Ruby would have loved: bright tie-dye dresses feature beside sequined gowns, metallic breastplates, purple handbags, denim cape-like coats, and heels furnished with motifs including nail polish bottles and tomatoes.
Finally, she ended the night with dinner, sightseeing, and—of course—a flute (or two) of champagne, a more than worthy way to celebrate her successful year so far. Even as season 3 of Sex Ed continues to rack up viewers, Keene already has her eyes on the future, which includes the (newly confirmed) season 4.
“I’d love to continue to explore the different sides to Ruby and open her up even more as a character and delve further into the situations that we’ve seen her go through,” Keene writes. “I’d also really like to see her make some more friends, maybe some unexpected friendships. It would be great to see her become a bit more of a team player like she was at the end of Season 3 and the fight against [headmistress Hope Haddon] to save Moordale [Secondary School]. I thought the team spirit we saw from Ruby was lovely, and I hope we get a bit more of that.”
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