Gaga for Yaya

By / Cover stories / September 10, 2015

‘Chicago Med’ star Yaya DaCosta strikes a pose in fall’s chicest looks.


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It seems only right to juxtapose the hottest fall fashions with what’s sure to be the hottest fall show. Based on the success of its predecessors — “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.,” which boasted a combined viewership of over 18 million each week last season — “Chicago Med” should be an instant hit when it premieres November 17 on NBC.

Click to watch the trailer for "Chicago M.D."

Click to watch the trailer for “Chicago Med”

The Dick Wolf-produced “Med” centers on a cast of eight characters working at a trauma center in the heart of Chicago. You’ll see a lot of familiar faces — Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) is the fictional brother of “P.D.’s” Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), and characters often cross over  — but the show, which starts filming soon, also brings new talent to town.

Our hands-down favorite is the statuesque Yaya DaCosta (you might recognize her for playing Whitney Houston in the Lifetime biopic “Whitney” earlier this year), who graces our fashion pages in gorgeous autumnal looks, almost all of which can be found at local boutiques and department stores.

“[My character] April Sexton is a boss,” DaCosta, 32, says. “She’s not technically the boss, but because of her personality and her ease [in] talking to patients … she’s the go-to liaison between doctors and patients. She’s really loyal and comforting, she’s knowledgeable; even the other nurses defer to her.”

When it comes to fashion on the show, “April is going to be in scrubs 95 percent of the time,” DaCosta laughs. Even though she likes the look — “Teal is a really nice color” — we thought we’d give the actress a chance to flex her fashion muscles off script. Here, our top looks — and lines — from a day spent with DaCosta.


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Was there a moment you felt like you’d finally made it?

I’ve never felt that actually. As cliché as it may sound, I really do think of myself as an artist and as a student. I’m constantly learning, and I’m excited about this project because it is nonstop. … With TV, you really have to be on point; you have to engage your audience every episode. I want to get so good that those muscles are just really strong and my acting becomes more fluid. … But I don’t ever feel like I’ve ‘made it.’ I have pretty big aspirations — but [‘Chicago Med’] is the biggest thing I’ve done so far.

Frock: Elena Bobysheva, custom, starting at $1,200;  Belt: Anne Fontaine, $495, 909 N. Michigan;  Ring: Marshall Pierce & Company, emerald and diamond ring, $27,000, 29 E. Madison #600;  Boots: Givenchy, similar styles available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 N. Michigan;





From where do you pull your confidence?

Actually it’s the opposite; I had to stop looking to sources outside of myself. As wonderful as my mother is, as wonderful as my big sister is and my aunties and the actresses that have paved the way for me [are] … I had to learn to tap into my own personal power. … Sometimes it feels like you’re stranded on an island by yourself and you have to be your own heroine. And I’m in a moment right now where I feel like I have found new superpowers, and I’m both the damsel in distress and my savior.

Jeans: Balmain, $1,255 Blouse: Alexander McQueen, $1,635 Both available: Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 N. Michigan;  Jacket: Helen Yarmak, natural feathered silver fox caped jacket, $9,000, York Furrier, 107 N. York, Elmhurst;  Necklace: Marshall Pierce & Company, Black South Sea pearl necklace, $19,000, 29 E. Madison #600;





What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

To trust myself. We as women are plagued with rules and judgments and insecurities, and we’re brought up in this society that doesn’t encourage self-confidence. And it’s taken me a long time — both as a woman and as an actor — to just be.

Gown: vintage, $675, Lulu’s on the Avenue, 900 N. Michigan;  Coat: Helen Yarmak, blush dyed knit feathered raccoon coat, $7,000, York Furriers, 107 N. York, Elmhurst;  Ring: Marshall Pierce & Company, 18-karat rose gold and diamond openwork ring, $16,500, 29 E. Madison #600;





Describe your off-screen style.

I like the idea of a uniform. Over the years I’ve learned to limit my options — [I] just know what works for my body type, have go-to shapes, combinations of things, so that I don’t have to do a lot of thinking before I leave the house. … When I have the opportunity to dress up and go to an event, I love it; I love very classy, elegant looks — but occasionally I’ll spice it up with something funkier.

Coat: $3,600 Bag: $2,250 Both available: Gucci, 900 N. Michigan;   Pants: $495  Blouse: $295  Both available: Anne Fontaine, 909 N. Michigan;  Pendant: diamond and imperial topaz, 19.45 carats, $29,950 Bracelet: platinum mixed cut diamond bracelet, 8.01 carats, $55,000 Both available: Marshall Pierce & Company, 29 E. Madison #600;





LOOK 1: Jacket: Balmain, $4,705, Neiman Marcus, 737 N. Michigan;  Necklace: Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger sea life necklace of sapphires, emeralds and diamonds in 18-karat gold, $950,000, 730 N. Michigan;

LOOK 2: Jacket: $995 Sweater: $495 Skirt: $595 Sneakers: $295 Backpack: $495 All available:  Coach, 625 N. Michigan;   Necklace: Marshall Pierce & Company, 18-karat white gold and diamond graduated collier necklace, $42,000, 29 E. Madison #600;

LOOK 3: Dress: Dolce & Gabbana, $9,995, Neiman Marcus, 737 N. Michigan;





Photographer: Maria Ponce

Stylist: FAVIA, Ford Artists

Makeup: Rachel Spicer

Hair: Chelsea Woods, Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, 900 N. Michigan;

Shoot Producer: Katerina Bizios

Shot on location at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, 127 W. Huron;


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