July 29, 2016 10:32 PM

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If anyone knows her words have power, it’s Zoë Saldana, who’s been outspoken about everything from discrimination in Hollywood to living a balanced life as a mom. And she knows that her style can make a statement too.

“I’ve been getting this idea that I like basic colors like red and white, or just black and white and grays. I wanted to be more in black for this tour but for some reason, color is what I needed to do,” the actress, 38, tells PeopleStyle. “But when I got into fittings for this tour, we did the opposite, like beautiful fuschia and green.”

Saldana thinks that the untimely passing of her Star Trek Beyond co-star, Anton Yelchin, who died in a car accident June 19, sparked a change of heart. “Maybe it has to do a lot with what we’re going through with the loss of Anton,” she says. “Maybe color is a reminder that we should celebrate more of what we have in our lives because life is fragile and precious. Sometimes you just have to go with what life gives you because there’s a lesson there.”

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Barneys New York

So the star and her stylist Petra Flannery, who has worked with Saldana for about 10 years, created a bright, bold color story for her Star Trek promo tour (which includes the light blue Givenchy Haute Couture dress, above). “We went for a very feminine approach with color and silhouette,” she says. “We wanted really fresh, summery colors.” Flannery praised Saldana’s enthusiasm for fashion. “Zoë continuously inspires me,” says Flannery. “She’s confident and spirited, and she’s dedicated to the whole process.” The threads throughout the looks? Longer, ladylike hemlines and dainty ankle-strap heels. Read on for all the details on the looks.

Saldana’s Star Trek character Uhura wears a deep red hue in the film, but Flannery insists that any similarities to the “punch” berry color of this ladylike Oscar de la Renta weren’t intentional. “Everything we did in this tour had movement in some way,” says Flannery. “It’s a knit and has silk and chiffon, and those ruffles gave it playfulness.”

James Devaney/GC Images

For an appearance at the SiriusXM radio studios, Saldana wore a Dolce & Gabbana pajama-style blouse, high-waisted skinnies and camel Jimmy Choo d’Orsay heels. “Zoë has a very elegant, but effortless look to her,” says Flannery. “She’s very poised.”

James Devaney/GC Images

For an appearance on The Late Show, she picked a Victoria Beckham dress and red Louboutin heels. “Even though it was a black look, we incorporated a pop of red with the shoe,” says Flannery. “And it had that feminine bow.”


On Live with Kelly, she wore a floral A.L.C. wrap dress and round-toe Francesco Russo white heels, which gave off a retro-feminine vibe.

“She wears everything so well,” says Flannery of the star. But Saldana insists there’s nothing tangible that can trump confidence when it comes to looking good. “ccept yourself, work with what you have and embrace your unique beauty,” she says. “It’s not going to be a jeans cut, it’s not going to be a brassiere, it’s not going to be a lipstick, it’s going to be you. What’s inside will reflect on the outside.”

–Catherine Kast

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