Red Carpet Evolution: Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara is still relatively unknown to many people, but her red carpet style has evolved very quickly in such a short space in time.

The New Yorker who went to NYU is the younger sister of actress Kate Mara. She has already starred in many hit movies including ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘The Social Network’ and her current movie, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.

Here is her red carpet evolution.

The Blush and Bashful Years
Her first red carpet appearance was at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for the screening of ‘Dare’ where she was an unknown fresh-faced beauty wearing a pretty nude dress under a plaid coat which she teamed with a beige belt, tights and olive ankle boots.

Her love of nude dresses didn’t end there as she went on to a nude frilly confection at the Toronto Film Festival during the same year with a small leopard-print clutch and sandals that matched her dress and completed her look.

Cut to 2010 and cute nude dresses with matching shoes were still favoured by Rooney on the red carpet for the ‘Youth In Revolt’ screening and for the LA premiere for ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ where she wore an Alberta Ferretti pinafore dress with matching accessories.

The Dramatic Makeover
At the beginning of this year Rooney had made a dramatic transformation following her role as Lisbeth Salander in ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.

For W Magazine’s Pre-Golden Globe party, out went the long brunette wavy locks, and in its place was a dramatic boyish crop with bleached eyebrows. A cute nude dress was replaced by a black asymmetrical Lanvin dress with two-tone pumps.

Despite the dramatic new makeover, Rooney was still opting for girlie looks by donning this Diane von Furstenberg print dress with Brian Atwood two-tone pumps.

It wasn’t a surprise to see the actress become fully embraced by the fashion world at that point. Before she landed her first American Vogue (November) cover, she was taking a front-row seat at Rodarte in September next to Anna Wintour. Once again she wasn’t quite prepared to go head-to-toe black as she opted for nude pumps.

To The Current Day
Even with the dramatic haircut, Rooney was still opting for a delicate nude Calvin Klein dress. I wasn’t too keen on this look because of the dramatic black lip colour. For the time being this was the last time she donned her favourite colour: nude.

She was radiant in white Givenchy Couture at the London premiere last week which you voted as your best dressed of the week.

After sporting blunt bangs for so long, Rooney experimented with a side parting whilst wearing a Roksanda Ilincic jumpsuit for the Stockholm premiere.

For the New York premiere she wore a dramatic Prabal Gurung dress with sheer panelling that has to be one of her best looks to date. It was when she looked most confident as the style suited her unconventional look that was brought about from this movie.

Now that the movie is over, I wonder if Rooney will continue to showcase this look or try something new. She has evolved from the cute nude dresses from her earlier years, so it will be interesting to see what she does next.

I think she should most definitely try something new; otherwise she will end up typecasting herself and will forever play dark, tortured parts.

Other actresses like Emma Watson and Renée Zellweger couldn’t wait for their movies to wrap before they totally distanced themselves from Hermione Granger and Bridget Jones respectively by completely changing their look. Emma took the drastic route of cutting her hair whilst Renée went one step further by dropping several dress sizes.

Hopefully she won’t end up like Taylor Momsen who became so consumed by her ‘Gossip Girl’ character that she didn’t know when to shut off Jenny Humphrey.

Credit: Getty & INFPhoto

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23 Responses to Red Carpet Evolution: Rooney Mara

  1. TeaAtTwo December 19, 2011 at 16:16 #

    TGWTDT film was the best thing to happen to her wardrobe.

    • Airi December 20, 2011 at 00:43 #

      I agree! And I also noticed the hand thing when she’s on red carpets, I guess she’s still uneasy.

      I liked both of her looks. That Salander role given to her did an amazing transformation on her part. I love her now, and will be watching out for her.

  2. MatteaAM December 19, 2011 at 16:22 #

    It’s hard to believe that the girl in the first row and the girl in the second one are the same person.
    Also, notice her hands always touching? She’s still quite uncomfortable on the red carpet.
    But I think she’ll do great in the years to come.

  3. DivaDebbi (Beauty and Fashion Blog) December 19, 2011 at 16:23 #

    Thank you for this thoughtful look back and present at Rooney’s style. Quite an evolution from her Sundance premiere which was frankly, adorable!
    Since the movie has even launched and she will be doing extended press tours, I think it is smart to keep her in Lisbeth mode. I don’t think you could go through the rigors of that film unchanged (she also lost a significant amount of weight in addition to the hair and piercinging). It will be interesting to watch it unfold. My money is on Rooney figuring it all out!

  4. EmmaWoodhouse December 19, 2011 at 16:25 #

    Although she has had some great looks (the white Givenchy and the Diane von Furstenberg) since her transformation, I don’t like the dark/goth look she’s sporting. Of course the hair has something to do with it, but I hope that she can mix her soft girlie style with the avant-garde edge.

  5. Nat December 19, 2011 at 16:27 #

    I surely hope she doesn’t get stuck in the dark/goth look, although I also wish she keeps some aspects of it as it appears to suit her well (I really liked the Givenchy and the Prabal Gurung looks). No more blunt bangs, please.

    p.s. I find it kind of cute how her hands/arms are in the exact same position in the last 4 pictures. I think it’s an elegant gesture, but at the same time it gives me the impression that she’s not very at ease on the red carpet. But maybe it’s just my imagination.

  6. Laura December 19, 2011 at 16:29 #

    I’m really distracted by her hand.

  7. mol December 19, 2011 at 16:56 #

    I like the fact that she looks unique through all her phases (from girly to Gothy) and feel confident that from TGWTDT onwards she will continue to evolve in interesting ways. I’m totally looking forward to more Rooney!

    • Linda December 19, 2011 at 18:58 #

      Hey, good point. I love these features. I look forward to her evolving style too.

  8. Francois B December 19, 2011 at 17:10 #

    She was much more beautiful before!

    • Linda December 19, 2011 at 18:59 #

      She was loveliest in her natural state, just starting out in the movie/fashion world, I agree. So fresh and pretty and natural. Maybe she’ll go back to that once she can change her hair to how she chooses.

      • gurlygurl December 19, 2011 at 23:10 #

        My preference is for her soft natural look too. The dark goth look makes her more noticeable and different I guess… even though it doesn’t always work for me. With the dark hair I see glimpses of Audrey Hepburn but her make up is generally too stark. I have to say I love her hand gestures in the shots too… there is something so gentle about her… that slight awkwardness actually works for her.

  9. Hannah December 19, 2011 at 17:16 #

    I think she is too grounded and normal to become turn into a slutty goth, thank god. also, I feel like Jenny’s character on gossip girl was motivated by the tragedy that is taylor momsen. I also find it ironic that she pretty sticks to Jennfier aniston’s colour theme : nude, black and a touch of white, but is so much more interesting in her picks. She needs to learn the art of good accessorizing and better hand placement, though.

  10. justme December 19, 2011 at 17:38 #

    Her Prabal Gurung look aside, I’m not a fan of her current style. It might have been boring/too girly for some (including me) but she looked her best in her nude phase. She seemed more comfortable on the red carpet then.

  11. Paddy M December 19, 2011 at 19:27 #

    Sorry, FC, but she’s due to reprise her role in the two sequels, so the haircut looks set to stay! However, word is that they’ll be shooting back-to-back, which should allow her to change her look as soon as the third one wraps, I expect, rather than have to wait even longer.

    • Fashion Critic December 19, 2011 at 21:12 #

      Yes, thanks I just heard that in her interview on The Today show

  12. April December 20, 2011 at 01:12 #

    I am pretty baffled over the love for her fashion. Her red carpet looks bring one word to the forefront of my mind – DOUR. From her expressions, to her color choices, to the styles. This press tour has been filled with colorless cut-outs and the same exact pose. Give me something to talk about because this isn’t it

  13. Raquel December 21, 2011 at 15:54 #

    I can’t get pass of how much weight she lost, I’mk glad she is looking more healthier now. The bangs are hideous, but the dark hair color is striking. The makeup, however, fails her.

  14. glenn December 25, 2011 at 00:58 #

    i knoe everybody is gonna hate me for saying this, because she is the ne it girl.

    but i found her really boring, c’mon you finish the movie move on with that black hair !!!!

  15. James Bailey September 7, 2012 at 05:32 #

    This young lady brings a breth of fresh air to the movie industry. She has more talent than 95% of the female actress today. Also highly respect her for her charity work. Just hope she keeps a solid head on her shoulders and doesnt let Hollywood ruin her.
    Lohan is nothing compared to her.

  16. James Bailey September 7, 2012 at 05:40 #

    Foolish of me to not read comments before first post. I kept thinking through the whole movie of Dragon Tattoo, who does she remind me of from the past- Audrey Hepburn. That lady had class, style, beauty, looks and the best actress ever. Young Miss Rooney will be right up there with her. Her family must be extremely proud.

  17. Isabella June 14, 2013 at 20:29 #

    I agree her wardrobe has greatly improved. However, I think the new haircut & color and severe make-up make her look harsh, not edgy, with her very fair skin. She would be better served to opt for a lighter hair color (just a better cut) and softer make-up. It would be more flattering….just keep the new wardrobe!

  18. C December 10, 2013 at 21:38 #

    One or two of these would great to round-up the year!

    Jennifer Lawrence and Miley Cyrus would be obvious options, Felicity Jones could be cool one, Lizzie Kaplan, Ashley Madekwe, Sandra Bullock, Nina Dobrev, Rose Byrne, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Vikander, Holland Roden, Lily Collins, Elizabeth Olsen, Helen Mirren, Ruth Wilson, Vanessa Hudson or Selena Gomez – would love to see these start up again.

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