Though all eyes were on Brad Pitt and his chic linen skirt this week, actor Joey King has been delivering some stellar fashion moments of her own during the same bullet train press tour. The cast of the new film—which is directed by David Leitch and focused on five assassins who meet on the titular bullet train—have all been making their premiere rounds in Europe, and King has emerged as one of the best dressed (along with Pitt ). There have been no traditional or boring gowns from King: Working with longtime stylist Jared Eng, she has been leaning into more avant-garde looks that are both daring and totally striking. “She’s always been a risk-taker and force to be reckoned with,” says Eng, who has known the star since she was 13. “When I’m pulling clothes for Joey’s fittings, I generally know what she will be comfortable with, what she will never wear, and which direction I can gently push her in.”
Though Hollywood truly took notice of King when she portrayed Gypsy Rose Blanchard in Hulu’s The Act, bullet train serves as the actor’s first big movie tour—so both she and Eng wanted to pull out all the stops for it. “Even though Joey’s been working in this business since the age of four, this was her very first international press tour, and an incredibly exciting time for her,” says Eng. “It can be intimidating to be on a red carpet alongside Hollywood heavyweights like Brad Pitt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, so I wanted Joey to be able to hold her own.” To do so, the pair looked for interesting takes on timeless suits or LBDs. “To reflect her badass assassin character, I wanted very strong, hard, and edgy red carpet looks,” says Eng. “We avoided the typical Hollywood glitz and glamor by dialing down the über-feminine looks, sparkly jewels, and delicate shoes.”
The goal was to “inject life into vegan leather pantsuits, masculine shirts and ties, strong chunky jewelry, and platform shoes,” says Eng. So far, the pair have succeeded. At last night’s film screening in London, for one, King wore Marc Jacobs’s blue bodysuit and printed floor-length skirt, finished off with leather gloves and slicked-back hair. At a photo call earlier that day, she wore a mini Nensi Dojaka black dress with a triangular bra top, finished off with sheer tights and platform boots (very assassin-esque). A few days prior in Berlin, she also wore all-black looks that were anything but boring: They included Balenciaga’s wide-leg jumpsuit, and Paco Rabanne’s satiny, buttoned-up dress. It’s hard to make a mostly-black tour wardrobe memorable, but these ensembles have been all about impactful shapes.
Last week in Paris, King played with more refined—but tough—detailing. She wore a sheer Thom Browne dress with a strapless corset and pleated skirt overtop. Her vegan leather Material suit, complete with a strappy Didu bra top underneath, was the right combination of sexy and classic. Eng says King has been game for experimenting—and it’s a refreshing approach that more Hollywooders should be taking. Fashion is supposed to be fun, and Scary certainly agrees. “She’s learning more and more about looking visually interesting but tasteful—balancing a look’s femininity and masculinity, as well as having hair and makeup pull a look together,” Eng says. “This press tour has given Joey the chance to show people that she is a true chameleon, and capable of pulling off more than just your average pretty dress, pretty hair, and pretty makeup.”
Below, more of King’s best bullet train red carpet look.