Jewish Fashion Icon of the Month: Beanie Feldstein

Beanie Feldstein is so perfectly now that if she didn’t exist, you might have to invent her. Lighting up front rows and red carpets fresh from her star turn in Booksmart, the actress previously known as Jonah Hill’s little sister is the fun, inclusive style icon the fashion world needs right now.

Excuse me, Jonah who?

At the time of writing, Feldstein’s star turn in the hotly-anticipated movie adaptation of How To Build A Girl is about to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival; this comes hot on the heels of her being cast as Monica Lewinsky in the next season of American Crime Story, and a brand new rumor that she’s about to embark on a 20-year musical project with director Richard Linklater.

If the 20-something Jewish girl from California is having a moment, it’s one that’s been building ever since her big-screen debut in Neighbors 2 in 2016. A scene-stealing best friend role in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird further marked her as one to watch, and that ridiculously endearing performance in Booksmart sealed the deal. Her famous older brother seems increasingly irrelevant.

Along the way, she’s become an advocate for inclusivity. Feldstein has written candidly about coming to terms with her body — “I was chubby, and it was chill!” has to be one of the most empowering sentences I’ve read all year — and recently waxed lyrical to Who What Wear about shopping at Target and Old Navy because they offer a broad range of sizes. She’s also a matter-of-fact LGBTQ icon, who says of her sexuality, “it is a part of who I am but it is not at all my defining feature.” 

She wore her high school prom dress on the red carpet!

Feldstein’s fashion ascent has been as joyous to watch as her transformation from sidekick to leading lady on screen. In 2018 she broke with red carpet convention in the most splendid way ever by wearing her high school prom dress to the Screen Actors Guild Awards. “I put it on and it fit, surprisingly maybe better than it did in high school! I looked at myself and I was like, WHAT!? and my mom and her best friend were just laughing so hard, like, ‘You have to wear it! There’s just no other dress that would be better,’” she told The Cut.

With style clearly in her blood (her mother is a costume designer and stylist), Feldstein has an infectious enthusiasm for color and print that’s earned her the respect of the fashion press — and the princess in all of us. It’s no wonder that Italian brand Miu Miu felt moved to invite her to Paris for its resort runway show this summer. Whether she’s demonstrating how to make a candy pink tiered party frock look relevant, rocking a lamé Batsheva prairie dress, or pairing a pussybow blouse with the matching floral print skirt and a vintage-style purse, Feldstein is clearly having so much fun with the whole thing that you can’t help but admire it.

Accessories-wise, our Jewish fashion icon of the month loves a headband. But she also demonstrates that there’s one accessory you can’t be without: a warm, genuinely joyous smile makes an outfit pop every time.

Susannah Cohen is a fashion journalist, e-commerce editor (specialist subjects: lingerie and diamonds) and Jewish mom. Recently relocated from London to the West Coast, she’s feeling a lot more spiritual these days.