Red Carpet Heroines: Anna Paquin

When I wrote a post about Diane Kruger’s outfits during the Inglorious Basterds promotion tour, I thought of the celebrities that are truly inspiring to me. Anna Paquin is a recent addition to my list, but I think she has got what it takes to be there.

I’m sure you all know her for being one of the youngest actresses who have won an Academy Award – she acted as Flora in The Piano by Jane Campion – and probably for being among the protagonists of the X Men saga, but she’s much more than this. She has built a successful theatrical career and has recently acted in some popular tv series (True Blood, based on Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries) and made-for-tv movies (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, based on Dee Brown’s bestseller), which has given her a larger notoriety. There are so many reasons why I think she’s a red carpet heroine, first of all because she’s so media shy. It seems a contradiction, but it’s not: most of her charm comes from the fact she’s not hungry for attention, she is not a party girl, she is not on each tabloid out there, she looks like an ordinary girl who has an extraordinary acting gift. Her beauty is very peculiar: the space between her front teeth, far from being as a flaw [1], is what makes her special and uncommon; she also has got a gothic vibe I really like: it is something I cannot really define, since she’s not a goth or else, but she could be the perfect embodiment of a gothic romance’s heroine.

Now, starting from 2006, let’s take a look at the most interesting outfits she has sported on the red carpet. Apart from the recent change in hair colour, I think her style (and her make-up) has evolved a lot, even if she’s true to some staples – simple dresses, a few accessories, nothing racy or showy, a colour palette based on white, red and black (and dark colours in general). This consistency [2] may be considered boring, but it is an enviable sign of confidence to me.

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She gained the media attention in 2006, when she attended the X Men premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. She was a vision with this beautiful Derek Lam one-shouldered dress, with draped bodice and full skirt. She chose gold strappy sandals, a Nancy Gonzalez metallic clutch and diamond jewellery.


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In June of the same year she attended the CFDA Awards ceremony in New York. She wore a sexy little black dress with a wool lace sheer bodice and split shoulders by Dolce & Gabbana. She chose Roger Vivier satin buckle strap sandals, small earrings and a black clutch as accessories. What is notice worth here is her make-up, I love smokey eyes!

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She also attended the Tony Awards in the same year, wearing a stunning red dress by Sari Gueron, with a black belt at the waist, plus Christian Louboutin Hernalux black sandals. I am quite disappointed by her make-up because I think it washes her out a bit, but I really like the diamond necklace she was wearing.

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Anna Paquin is a talented actress and she seems to bring this on the red carpet too. She can perfectly pull the vamp/goth look off, as well as the ethereal look, and the results are always lovely. She looked gorgeous at the premiere of Superman Returns, wearing a light yellow chiffon dress, with asymmetrical skirt and tiny ruffles at the shoulders; the look is completed by a Swarovski gold clutch and Kenneth Cole matching pumps.

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Anna is not a regular of gossip sites and magazines, but I think everyone has published pics of her attending a Chanel dinner during the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2007. She wore a Chanel black and white tweed dress and clutch, Marc Jacobs High Stud strappy sandals and a simple chain necklace with a ring pendant. Her make-up is flawless – the grey eyeshadow looks so good on her. Another reason why I appreciate her style is that she rarely changes her hair – colour and style: the chic updo she always have is a sort of trademark.

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She really looked like a goddess with this Badgley Mischka chiffon beaded dress during the opening night of the ballet Romeo & Juliet in New York. She wore it with Jimmy Choo Juliet light grey strappy sandals. She chose not to add jewellery or accessories, and this has to be praised because she let the dress do the talking.

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At the premiere of Blue State she wore another Chanel tweed dress, with a Chanel clutch, a diamond bracelet and amazing golden sandals. In this case, her hairstyle is a half updo, which really suits her.

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In 2007 her appearance underwent a major transformation, when she dyed her hair blonde. At first I really hated this change, because I think dark hair perfectly embodies her character, but the blonde hair slowly has grown on me. With blonde hair she changed her outfits a bit, choosing more girly dresses in lighter colours; the problem is that she started experimenting with hairstyles too, and the results have not always been good. When she attended the Emmy Awards Nominee reception (she received a nomination as outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or a movie for Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee), she wore a J. Mendel lilac satin dress with pleated bodice and Christian Louboutin black sandals. The dress doesn’t convince me much, and the same can be said for the half updo she sported, which looked a bit messy.

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At the Emmy Awards she made a big entrance wearing a stunning Giambattista Valli dress. I usually don’t like when blondes wear white clothes, but she really looked gorgeous (her hair looked fine, yay!). The accessories she chose were a Nancy Gonzalez crocodile box clutch, diamond bracelets and earrings.

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At the 60th Annual DGA Awards, in January 2008, she wore a strapless black dress with nice metalgun pumps and a gold cuff bracelet. What I hate here is her messy hair, it looks so lifeless and floppy.

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The same happened at the 14th Annual SAG Awards: the outfit was beyond safe – a Marchesa strapless black dress, Yves Saint Laurent gold sandals and a statement cuff bracelet – and the hair was messy and shapeless again, what a pity! She was nominated as outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, so I am quite surprised she didn’t wear something more notable.

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In September 2008 she attended the premiere of the first season of True Blood at her best. She wore a Narciso Rodriguez black dress, with a black clutch, Christian Louboutin Moustique satin sandals and nice earrings.  I am so glad her hair was perfectly styled here, and I also like to see her wearing a shimmering peachy blush.

One of the best red carpet moments of her career was at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards, in January 2009, when she won an award as best actress in a television series drama for True Blood [3].

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For the occasion she wore a gorgeous purple silk jersey gown by Hervé L. Leroux Couture. I love the gown, its intricate pleating at the hips and colour, I think it really suits her complexion and blonde hair. I am sure you have noticed she rarely cracks a smile during red carpets, but I think she should smile more often, because she looks so beautiful.

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Ohhh, here is my favourite (fictional) couple of the moment. I am a fan of True Blood and I absolutely adore the romantic love story between Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton. I was so happy for Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer when I knew they got engaged!

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A close-up on the accessories she wore at the Golden Globe Awards: a Neil Lane gold cuff bracelet and a Bottega Veneta Multistone knot clutch.

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Anna and Stephen attended the traditional Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February 2009. She wore a Dolce & Gabbana bustier dress, Pedro Garcia Dannie satin peep-toe pumps, Salvatore Ferragamo clutch and Neil Lane jewellery. Her wavy hair looks so summery!

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In April 2009 she attended the PaleyFest wearing a Max Azria satin black dress, an Anya Hindmarch Julietta black clutch and slingbacks. I never have enough of black dresses but I think this one is a bit boring.

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A close-up on accessories – Christian Louboutin Nooka satin slingbacks and Neil Lane jewellery. The tiny bows on Louboutin slingbacks are so cute.

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At the premiere of the second season of True Blood, she decided to wear something colourful, a nice dark blue dress by Yigal Azrouel, with ruched collar and jeweled belt. She completed the outfit with Casadei platform pumps, Asha by ADM earrings and a JT Handbags clutch. She looked very sexy with this wavy hairstyle.

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She sported one of my favourite outfits when she attended the Late Show with David Letterman in July 2009. She wore an Alexander McQueen cheongsam dress (black with red trim) and Jimmy Choo Clue slingbacks. Her make-up and hair here were absolutely flawless! The updo has a Fifties vibe and perfectly matches her oriental-inspired dress.

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The last red carpet event she attended was the Comic Con 2009 in San Diego. She posed for photographers with her beau wearing a hot red Stella McCartney dress. This is the second time she has worn such a bold colour: the first time she had dark hair, but now the dress dress makes the blonde hair pop! Unfortunately I couldn’t find a full figure pic, but the dress is so chic, with the full-shaped sleeves and bow belt.

What do you think of Anna Paquin and her style?

[1] I am glad she hasn’t the gap between her teeth corrected. I love when celebrities emphasize or do not hide their flaws, because they give important lessons about self-acceptance and self-esteem.

[2] I’ve written the same when I last spoke about Lily Van Der Woodsen’s style in Gossip Girl.

[3] If I should write this post again, I would surely include Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton among my favourite fictional couples.

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14 comments

  1. Yes! Long live the gap. 🙂
    No really – I love too those little individual distinguishing marks that pass as “flaws” to some. Singer Jewel, for example, is often criticised for not having her teeth straightened, but I think her smile is so cute and unique.
    Back to Anna Paquin, yes, I like her style. And I just realised her blond hair has grown on me. Her look as a brunette is sometimes “heavy” (or maybe it’s just the make-up?)

    1. I totally agree with you. Celebrities – even the youngest ones, take Vanessa Hudgens and Miley Cyrus, for example – end up with looking all the same, wearing the same clothes and accessories when they are trendy, sporting the same hairstyle and so on. For this reason, I’ve always thought only the celebrities with a strong personality, who aren’t afraid of their ‘flaws’, are truly inspiring (I’m thinking of Anjelica Houston or Bianca Jagger, but also of Charlotte Gainsbourg or Rinko Kikuchi).

  2. I think the blonde hair brings out her more playful and sexy side… but I really love her darker hair, she looks less hmmm, cheap, in her brunette persona 🙂 the blonde surely fits sookie’s character tho, she’s a perfect southern girl.

    I love her season 2 looks, even if she seems to play safe most of the time… or maybe I’m saying this because I just saw the awsomness of Diane Kruger’s red carpets 😀

    1. Yes, that’s true! Sookie is a Southern girl and the blonde hair is so her. Anna as a brunette is more intense and vamp-y than as a blonde, but I think it’s nice to see how different sides of her personality come out when the hair colour changes.
      She surely likes playing safe on the red carpet, but I don’t think this is bad. I prefer Anna’s boring black dresses over tasteless fashion choices we often see on red carpets.

  3. Superqueen! Che bello che parli di True Blood–sì, beh, di Anna Paquin! E’ arrivato anche in Italia? Qui siamo alla seconda stagione (che anzi finisce tra un paio di settimane), che è un po’ più noiosa della prima (forse perchè più aderente ai libri), ma è sempre un bel complemento alla domenica sera. Forse però, ad essere sinceri, mi disturba che abbiano fatto un massiccio lavoro per ignoccolire Eric e, al contempo, imbruttire Bill.

    E poi mi chiedevo: hai visto MadMen? Non so perchè, but I get the feeling it would be right up your alley 🙂

    1. Che io sappia, in Italia la prima serie di “True Blood” è stata trasmessa su Sky. Io però non sono abbonata, quindi diciamo che lo “recupero” con altri mezzi 😉 così posso guardarlo praticamente in contemporanea agli Stati Uniti. Confermo la tua impressione: anche a me la seconda serie sta piacendo di meno rispetto alla prima, un po’ perchè il personaggio di Eric non mi piace proprio (averlo visto in versione “tenerone” nella sequenza onirica con Sookie poi è stato pessimo), un po’ perchè odio con tutto il cuore MaryAnn e quello che sta combinando a Bon Temps! D’altro canto, la coppia Sookie/Bill è così romantica *___*

      No, non ho mai visto “Mad Men” e non penso di rimediare in tempi brevi. Il tempo che ho da dedicare alla visione di questi serial tv è limitato alla tarda serata, quindi ho deciso di concentrarmi su “Gossip Girl” (ovviamente) e “Ugly Betty”, altrimenti impazzisco, visto la vastità dell’offerta.

  4. . . .Hai ragione; mi dimentico che hai una bimba e una famiglia 🙂

    E poi, non ti dico nulla di specifico, ma l’episodio di ieri sera, yum yum !!

    1. Già 🙂 Più che altro, B è ancora a casa (riprenderà l’asilo la prossima settimana) e il tempo è meno del solito. Dai primi di settembre dovrei tornare a lavorare pure io, e il tempo libero si ridurrà drasticamente. Meno male che questi serial hanno delle puntate brevi, che durano meno di un’ora, quindi riesco a cavarmela in poco tempo.

  5. Actually I getting a little tired of her black/blue/white looks. Is always the same, but I love her so much that i can forgive her.

    P.S: I’M pretty sure her Tony’s dress is a Sari Gueron gown, for the Fall 2006 collection.

    1. You are right! I checked Gueron’s fall 2006 collection and I found the beautiful red dress seen on Anna. Thanks for the tip!

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