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Saoirse Ronan: A style evolution


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She's the three-time Academy Award nominated actress who first shot to fame as the villainous Briony Tallis in Atonement back in 2007. She has since gone on to star in mega-hits including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, Brooklyn and Lady Bird. As someone who has been in the public eye since the tender age of 12, we've seen Saoirse Ronan grow up on screen - but it's not just her roles that have evolved. 

From the early days back in the mid-00s to more recently slaying the red carpet at the Oscars, on her 25th birthday we take a look back through her style evolution. 

Image credit: Disney | ABC Television Group, via Flickr


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For her first ever Oscars, Ronan was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Atonement. She was up against some serious Hollywood heavyweights, with the gong eventually going to Tilda Swinton. She may not have won, but everyone knew this wasn't the last we would be seeing of the 14-year-old actress.

For her first major red carpet moment, she chose a stunning emerald green Alberta Ferretti gown. A homage perhaps to that green dress that Keira Knightley wore in the film. Either way, from that moment on Saoirse Ronan was well and truly on everyone's fashion radar.


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Her next big role came in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones the following year. For the royal premiere in London, she wore a grey chiffon mini dress and some very interesting (and of their time - it was 2009) strappy sandals. The look was pulled together with a messy up-do and smudgy dark eye makeup. 

Ronan was ready to leave Briony Tallis, the little girl from Atonement, behind, and this red carpet look showed us she meant business.


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In 2010, Ronan was well and truly a regular on the red carpet and she started to get more daring with her looks. This colourful 60s style mini dress that she wore to The Critics Choice Awards is a style she has returned to in recent years. The Gucci dress she wore to last year's British Fashion Awards is very similar in cut.

Teamed with long brushed-out waves and gold ankle boots, this look was seriously chic. 


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2011 marked Ronan's first trip to the Met Gala. The theme back in 2011 was 'Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty' and unlike a lot of the attendees, she actually seemed to stick to the theme.

She rocked the red carpet in a stunning red gown by Rodarte. The tailored upper half of the dress was complete with sharp shoulders and an exaggerated silhouette which juxtaposed the more feminine and traditional floral bottom half. The Met was also the debut of her chin-length bob - a hairstyle she still favours today.


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For the BAFTAs in 2013, Christopher Kane was the designer of choice for Ronan. This look was much more 'grown-up' than her previous looks. The full-length black gown was intricately detailed with electric blue floral embroidery. 

Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun and her eye makeup was dark and heavy, a nod to her earlier red carpet looks.


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In 2014 Ronan turned to Valentino for the Vanity Fair Oscars party. This stunning high neck butterfly detailed gown was another red carpet winner.

This marked the final year of red carpet looks before she teamed up with Hollywood styling powerhouse Elizabeth Saltzman.


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Green was the colour of choice again for Ronan's second Oscar nomination. This time she was up for best leading actress for her starring role as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn.

Saltzman was on hand to style her for the big event, and they chose a breathtaking sequined Calvin Klein gown (a brand she is now one of the faces of). Her looks before this had been good, but teaming up with ES was the best thing she ever did wardrobe-wise. The duo has since barely left the best-dressed pages of all the best fashion magazines, making for an infallible team. 


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For this Lady Bird press event Ronan's wardrobe had a retro-inspired makeover. Looking like a true 70s goddess, she wore a tropical printed shirt in a plisse fabric, teamed with thick wine coloured corduroy trousers.

The look was finished off with a lighter blonde blow-dry, and a pair of huge chunky gold hoops. 

2018 (part one)

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For the first half of 2018, Ronan was celebrating the success of Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird with yet another Oscar nomination. In perhaps her best red carpet look of all time, Ronan and Saltzman turned to one of the stylist's closest friends for inspiration. Who can forget when Gwyneth Paltrow won the award for Best Actress back in the 90s and sobbed on stage wearing a stunning bubblegum pink Ralph Lauren dress? It was iconic.

For a modern update on the look, Ronan wore an ankle length baby pink dress by Calvin Klein. A true embodiment of 'business in the front, party in the back', the gown sported a giant bow on the back which led out into the train. Teamed with a razor-sharp bob and minimal makeup, we have ourselves a look that will go down in Oscar's history.

2018 (part two)

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For the second part of last year, it was all about Mary Queen of ScotsRonan's wardrobe for the promotional tour of the film was nothing short of sublime. Turning to the Tudor queen for style inspiration, she wore this truly breathtaking Carolina Herrera gown for the London premiere.

The high neck and exaggerated sleeves were truly regal and totally queen-worthy. 


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When Ronan first met Saltzman, she told her she wasn't a fan of pink. It's somewhat ironic that all of her best red carpet looks ever since have consisted of the colour. She also wrote an essay for Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies) and was pictured on the front cover of The Hollywood Reporter in a fuschia gown.

In 2019, as part of the Mary Queen of Scots tour, Ronan attended a reception at Edinburgh Castle with First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. For the event, she wore an elegant strapless gown in a sweet dusky pink shade. 

Unfortunately for us, she skipped awards season this year - but with her role as Jo March in Greta Gerwig's highly anticipated remake of Little Women coming out at the end of the year, we haven't seen the last of Saoirse Ronan.

Happy birthday Saoirse!

Further Reading: Triple Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan's best performances and My 2018 Fashion Icon: Saoirse Ronan.

Lead image credit: Disney | ABC Television Group, via Flickr

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