Style Icon: Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan is one of those British actresses that seemed to appear from almost nowhere, succeed in a string of films and become super bankable. Her first recognised film role was in An Education (2009), despite her small role in Pride and Prejudice (2005), but British audiences noticed her first in her role as Sally Sparrow in Doctor Who‘s episode ‘Blink’ (2007) (or in Bleak House (2005) if they watched period dramas!). I first saw her in Bleak House and then an episode of Marple. So wherever she goes, I remember her from Marple first! She is a very likeable screen presence and from 2010 she hit the award circuit in some incredible dresses.

Mulligan at various award shows in 2010. Marni at the Critic’s Choice Awards, Nina Ricci at the Golden Globe Awards, Lanvin at the SAG Awards, Lanvin at the DGA Awards and Prada at the Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon.

This was a lazy picture steal. I only love the Lanvins and the Prada. First Lanvin – it’s all about the cut and drape of that fabric. You can feel the quality of it just from looking at it. It might not be the perfect of fits on Mulligan but I still can’t get over that fabric. And the butterfly is a cute addition. The next Lanvin, for me, is again all about the drape. I like the thin, plain black band at the waist but I’m not a huge fan of the ballooning one sleeve. Or the shoes. Then there’s the Prada. I didn’t originally love it but I think its simplicity is beautiful. It’s a classic little black dress and we know that they never go out of fashion. The cut is really interesting and allows for little details like the front slit with the suggestion of the sheer panel.

Wearing Elie Saab at the 2010 New York screening of Never Let Me Go.

This LBD is much more adventurous. It shows a more comfortable Mulligan who is ready for numerous red carpet appearances and can put her best fashion foot forward. Plus it’s Elie Saab. He can pretty much do no wrong.

Wearing Preen at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards in 2010.

This one took me a little while to like. But now I love it. Those shoes help to punch the dress through to modernity while the weight of the skirt section feels like it belongs in the ’50s. The structure of the skirt compared with the delicacy of the lace top and the leather belt works together beautifully.

Wearing Prabal Gurung at the 2010 British Independent Film Awards.

I like red. I’ve been fairly clear on this. Now this dress starts off as a simple shift dress until you add all that delicate ruching and gathering of fabric on the bodice. Mulligan has the right shape to carry off all this detailing and it just makes this dress that bit better.

Wearing Vionnet at the 2010 BAFTAs.

Just beautiful. Maybe less keen on the shoes though…

Wearing Chanel at the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2010.

This is great because it is unusual and very embellished compared to Mulligan’s other outfits. It avoids being something of a showgirls dress because it isn’t revealing. It can just revel in being completely sequinned.

Wearing Nina Ricci at the New York premiere of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 2010.

I love this dress for the flow of the silk, much like I loved the first Lanvin dress. It allows the dress to feel both structured and delicate.

Wearing Roland Mouret at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards in 2012 (and at a Fox Studio party for Shame).

I think this is my favourite dress. It’s red, it has structured shoulders and a beautiful flow. I also love that a little fuss was made because Mulligan had worn the dress twice. Twice! I don’t know how she can live with herself. I never wear anything more than once.* I think she looks great in it and she was able to give it a slightly different feel merely by changing shoes. And I love a bright shoe.

*overdoing the sarcasm?

S x


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