Emma Watson has gracefully transitioned from awkward child actor into full-blown movie star since wrapping her seven-picture stint in a little franchise called Harry Potter. Now with Sofia Coppola's film The Bling Ring, Watson goes through a metamorphosis yet again — this time from enchanting student to teenage burglar.
She’s also grown into one of the most fashionable young stars in the world. But that wasn't always the case. When Watson first emerged in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, she had a few missteps. The quirky mix of patterns, pouf and bedhead hair garnered mixed reviews.
While her breakout performance as Hermione Granger gained critical praise, her offbeat style choices were endlessly debated. For the first few years on the red carpet, the adorable Brit struggled to find a middle ground between posh and playful. But when she donned an edgy gold-and-black Chanel gown for a charity gala in 2007, fans realized a new It Girl had arrived.
The look instantly placed Watson on the fashion map. Top designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Christopher Bailey began to dress the young star, and the rest is Haute Hollywood history. Watson became a household name and a role model for stylish young girls everywhere. She made it O.K. to be smart and beautiful.
Once Watson closed the chapter on her Potter years, she took yet another risk by chopping her long locks into a pixie cut à la Mia Farrow. Like most actors who find fame at an early age, she longed to distance herself from the role that defined her career. The gamble paid off, and the haircut made waves in the press and among fans. Watson soon shed her teen image and blossomed into a chic star.
What followed was a slew of fashion and beauty campaigns with companies like Burberry and Lancôme, and editorial spreads in major fashion magazines across the globe. She landed coveted roles films like My Week with Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. And today she’s adored as much for her eccentric style as she is for her talent on screen.
With over a decade’s worth of movie premieres under her belt, and now her 14th film, the 23-year-old has finally perfected an edgy-but-elegant vibe. Her looks have run the gamut from sexy and skin-baring in Chanel to prim and proper in Antonio Berardi tweed.
Watson's unexpected, head-turning looks have become her signature style statement. She rolls the dice without worry or consequence. She favors bold graphic prints by up-and-comer Peter Pilotto, but she’s careful to keep her silhouettes short so they don’t overwhelm. When she opts for cutout gowns and plunging necklines, she offsets the sex appeal with muted makeup and hair.
Watson has become the ultimate mix-master. Jumping from solids to prints, sleek silhouettes to flowy frocks, The Bling Ring star has cast a spell once again. But this time, it's far away from Hogwarts.
STEAL EMMA'S STYLE:
Balance prints with short hemlines and sleek silhouettes.
Offset a statement dress with muted makeup and hair.
Dress up neutral hues with wow-worthy accessories.
Get stuck in a rut. Watson never does the same look twice.
Allow yourself to get lost in ruffles or pleats. Follow the lines of your body and proportions.
Show too much skin. Always remember: Sexy doesn't mean saucy!
Sam Saboura is best known as the host of TLC’s hit series "Something Borrowed, Something New." He has appeared as the fashion and style expert on numerous entertainment, news, and awards programs, and his sought-after style advice regularly appears in national publications. He is a personal shopper and stylist for celebrities in the film, television, and music industries, and the author of Sam Saboura’s Real Style.