Fashion of the 2010s: The Evolution of Elle Fanning’s Style in Red Carpet Dresses


Photos by Gisela Schober / Getty Images; St̩phane Cardinale РCorbis via Getty Images; Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Elle Fanning has always been a risk taker on the red carpet. Since making her Hollywood breakthrough in 2010 at the helm of Sofia Coppola Somewhere, the actress has graced red carpets at Cannes, the Berlinale and beyond with some of their most exciting, experimental and high looks. Think head-to-toe catwalks and custom couture dresses. Gladiator Rodarte dresses, Miu Miu suit, Vivienne Westwood corsetry, Loewe egg heels and the iconic “New Look” of Dior, to name a few.

She admits to being a fashion fan since her childhood and, along with stylist Samantha McMillen, the actress explores this respect for design with a demanding and playful eye. Above all, Elle’s sense of style is amusing: a breath of fresh air. Here, we take a look back at a decade of Elle’s best looks to chart the evolution of her style from teenage star to red carpet taste maker.

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At the New York premiere of Somewhere, 2010

Elle Fanning started acting when she was just two years old, taking her first role alongside her sister Dakota in the 2001 drama. I am sam. Almost a decade later, Elle made her cinematic breakthrough with a starring role in the Sofia Coppola film. Somewhere. Dressed as a Coppola heroine, She attended the film’s New York premiere wearing a directional runway look from Rodarte’s SS11 collection.

In a 2019 interview with Kate and Laura Mulleavy, she recalled the formative cut, stating, “I think I had just turned 13 and this was the first time I’ve really worn a full look. remember I designed myself with this dress and gave it to you. Growing up I had a very original sense of style and in school I made fun of my outfits. But then with Rodarte, in particular, I felt so comfortable in your clothes. Since then, Rodarte has become a mainstay of the actresses ‘red carpet. In 2012, she wore one of the brand’s Van Gogh dresses at the Critics’ Choice Awards and, most recently, one of the brand’s floral dresses at the 2020 Berlinale.

elle fanning wearing a '70s-style blue and purple suit at a 2012 film premiere

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At the Ginger & Rosa premiere, 2012

She is also the ultimate Miu Miu girl. Since the early 2010s, the actress has collaborated with Prada’s eccentric little sister on everything from collectibles campaigns to runway forays and stunning red carpet looks. She wore an ice blue Miu Miu at the Met Gala, dazzled Miu Miu at the Deauville Festival and even a Miu Miu muumuu in Cannes! Here, two years before presenting her very first Miu Miu campaign, the actress wears the look that started it all: a 70s-inspired pantsuit from the label’s AW12 collection.

elle fanning in a cream dress and flower crown at a 2014 premiere

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At a reception for Maleficent, 2014

In 2014, she starred alongside Angelina Jolie in The Sleeping Beauty prequel, Maleficent. The film’s press tour saw the actress pay homage to her character, Aurora, in a series of Disney princess dresses, including chiffon outfits by Alexander McQueen and this embroidered number by Georges Hobeika. Since she Maleficent days, the ethereal ball gown – and flower crown – has become Elle’s iconic red carpet look. Think of the Zuhair Murad bodice at Cannes or the Elie Saab filigree at the premiere of Neon demon.

elle fanning in a babydoll dress in cannes, 2016

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At the Neon Demon photocall in Cannes, 2016

Two years later MaleficentShe went conceptual with her press tour wardrobe, once again, while promoting The neon demon. The fashion horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn chronicles the descent of Elle’s Jesse, an aspiring small-town model, as she is slowly consumed by the ruthless Los Angeles fashion industry. Through previews and photocalls in Rome, Paris and Cannes, Elle oscillated between a series of ruffled mini-dresses and harsh sequined looks that spoke of her duality. Neon demon heroin.

elle fanning in a versace marilyn monroe print dress, 2017

Photo by Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

At the Instyle Awards, 2017

Did Elle Fanning play a role in the late 2010s vintage Crazy Versace? Years before Kim Kardashian and Dua Lipa sported looks from the Italian brand’s back catalog, she stopped at the In the style Rewards wearing a vintage-inspired dress from the brand’s SS18 collection. While the look isn’t technically archived, it was a recreation of one of Gianni Versace’s original SS91 models, reproduced by Donatella to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her brother’s death.

elle fanning in a sculptural japanese style gown on the dress carpet, 2018

Photo by St̩phane Cardinale РCorbis / Corbis via Getty Images

At the Berlin International Film Festival, 2018

From sparkling tulle dresses to delicate A-line mini dresses, trainer Valentino d’Elle looks sweet and pretty – perfectly suited for a teenage star. In 2018, however, the actress opted for a much more refined and directional look from the Italian label. No more delicate lace and embroidery, room for sculptural silhouettes, graphic color blocks and, of course, a single knot to tie it all.

elle fanning as malibu barbie at the 'camp' gala met in 2019

Photo by John Shearer / Getty Images for THR

At the Met Gala, 2019

“Camp is all about exaggeration and playfulness,” Elle said. Vogue, when asked about her take on the theme of the 2019 Met Gala. She’s taking “camp”? A Miu Miu “Malibu Barbie” in a chiffon cape and manicure dripping with kitschy charms – from Coors Lite bottles to McDonalds burgers. According to Elle, the look was inspired by her mother, who collected charms in the ’80s.

elle fanning in chic old hollywood look on the cannes red carpet 2019

Photo by Gisela Schober / Getty Images

At the Cannes Film Festival, 2019

In 2019, she was named a member of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival – and the youngest juror of all time, too! In this role, Elle has toured the entire Cannes tour, attending each of the festival’s red carpet premieres and, of course, serving up a number of red carpet looks. For her tour of Cannes 2019, she paid homage to the style of stars of the past with a series of looks inspired by old Hollywood – think Veronica Lake in plunging Gucci satin or Hedy Lamarr in a chiffon cape. Or this stunning Dior outfit, inspired by the house’s Mid-Century New Look.

At the Independent Spirit Awards, 2021

In 2020, Elle brought her star power to the small screen, starring Catherine the Great in Hulu’s “anti-historical” comedy-drama. Great. At the Independent Spirit Awards the following year, where she was nominated for the role, she channeled her character wearing a Vivienne Westwood gown “inspired by Catherine the Great’s love of pearls,” she said. writes on her Instagram, “and we all know nobody does a corset like Westwood !! Elle’s love for corsets Vivienne Westwood is well documented: she’s worn them in Cannes – twice! – on talk talk – late night shows and, more recently, to promote the final season of Great.

elle fanning in a cutout black chiffon maxi dress at a movie gala, 2021

Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

At the 2021 LACMA Art + Film gala

We’ve seen Elle wear Gucci before, but never like this. In 2019, the actress wore one of the Italian house’s ethereal dresses to the premiere of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Fluid, flowery and adorned with the film’s signature finger prick, the dress was designed as a tribute to Elle’s Disney princess, the protagonist. In 2021, however, she arrived at the LACMA Art + Film gala looking more like Maleficent than Aurora in a black chiffon number, also from Gucci.

elle fanning in a gold chain crop top, 2021

Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

At the InStyle Awards 2021

From Loewe’s egg heels to Balmain, Elle Fanning 2021 cropped link top Great The press tour gave us a slew of fun and slightly surreal looks on the red carpet. Here, she wears that latest look at the InStyle Awards, where her longtime stylist Samantha McMillen was named Stylist of the Year. “Samantha McMillen is my everyday stylist of the year! She wrote in an Instagram caption, celebrating the victory. A sign of many more exciting looks to come, for sure.

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