Emma Watson’s iconic style has redefined red carpet glamour. As she turns 30, we look back on her 30 greatest fashion moments.
When it comes to incredible women, there are few quite like Emma Watson. Actor, activist, UN ambassador and all-round renaissance woman, we could pen an entire novel on her accolades. Of course, no conversation about the inimitable Emma would be complete without a tribute to her timeless style.
In honour of her 30th birthday, we are paying homage to her greatest fashion moments; the show-stopping red carpet dresses and elegant daytime looks that have made her a true style icon.
Catapulted to fame after being cast in the role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise at the age of 10, she made her first red carpet appearance aged just 11. While we were busy reading the books under our covers and stealing our mum’s eye liner to draw lightening bolt scars on our foreheads (just us?) Emma was already handling the Hollywood circuit with confidence and poise beyond her years.
22 blockbuster films later, Emma Watson has not only cemented her status as one of the most recognisable and best loved actors in the world, but as a true fashion icon. In 2009, while still playing Hermione Granger, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey picked her to front her first Burberry campaign, and since then her style trajectory has been unstoppable.
From Dior to Petter Pilotto, Oscar de la Renta to Saint Laurent, her red carpet wardrobe is a who’s-who of the most illustrious names in fashion. But the true magic of Emma’s style is that can take any show-stopping look straight from the catwalk and make it entirely her own. With a timeless approach and an innate sense of her own personal style, she defies trends and stands out amongst Hollywood royalty as one of the best dressed at any occasion.
Despite 20 years in the spotlight, Emma’s has yet to put a foot wrong in fashion. From her first red carpet appearance to her iconic post-Potter pixie crop, we’ve charted Emma Watson’s 30 most iconic fashion moments.
2001: New York Premier Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
Making one of her first red carpet appearances at just 11 years old, Emma exuded confidence beyond her years at the New York premier of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
2004: New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Skipping the awkward teen phase entirely, by 14 Emma already knew how to serve a look on the red carpet. In a strapless dress and ballet pumps, she looked poised and chic.
2006: Sony Ericsson Empire Film Awards
When we were teenagers, experimenting with our style meant sticky lipgloss, side fringes and badges pinned to our school uniform blazers. Even as a teenager, Emma’s style never strayed into such regrettable territories. This playful purple dress might be a departure from her signature timeless style, but is still an iconic look.
2008: Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs exhibition opening
Fast forward two years and 18-year-old Emma was already cementing her status as a fashion icon away the red carpet. Wearing Burberry at a Vanity Fair exhibition opening in London, she was already proving that she was so much more than a child star.
The essential festival look, served Emma Watson style. Calvin Klein denim shorts, a tan belt and white shirt are the proof that only Emma could take Glastonbury dressing and make it chic.
Name a hairstyle more iconic that Emma’s post Harry Potter pixie crop: we’ll wait. After 10 years in the film franchise, she bid farewell to Hermione by character’s signature long hair into her now iconic style. Wearing Valentino couture at the BAFTAs, this was a true coming-of-age fashion moment.
2011: London premiere of My Week with Marilyn
Wearing a monochrome look with a cinched waist and peplum, Emma proved that you don’t need a gown to stand out on the red carpet.
2011: Promoting Lancome in Hong Kong
Wearing a Elie Saab Couture dress and Jimmy Choo sandals for an event as a Lancome ambassador, Emma looked impossibly chic in dramatic black tulle.
2013: People's Choice Awards
Though Emma’s style file may be one of classic, timeless looks for the 2013 People’s Choice Awards Emma took a bold, colourful approach in Peter Pilotto spring/summer 2013 dress.
2013: Out in New York
While her red carpet looks have always stood out amongst red carpet royalty, her day time outfits always strike the perfect balance of laidback elegance. Case in point? A cobalt sweatshirt and white maxi skirt, worn for a chic off-duty look.
2014: Golden Globes
Standing out amongst Hollywood royalty, Emma owned the red carpet in crimson Christian Dior.
2014: Noah London premiere
A bespoke Ralph Lauren Collection gown gave Emma an ethereal look, which she accessorised with fine jewellery by female designers jewellery by Anita Ko, Monica Vinader and Jennifer Fisher.
2014: Dinner hosted by the Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle
Presenting a masterclass in timeless chic, wearing a white shirt and full-length skirt by Ralph Lauren.
2014: Berlin Noah premiere
Wes Gordon’s timelessly elegant gowns are a match made in heaven for Emma’s classic style.
2014: Madrid Noah premiere
Monochrome is Emma’s style calling card, and this J. Mendel jumpsuit is simply exquisite.
2014: Valentino show
Wearing full Valentino, toughened up with a black leather jacket, this is one of Emma’s greatest signature all-black looks.
2014: British Fashion Awards
Draping a blazer over a Misha Nonoo jumpsuit for an androgynous twist on red carpet chic at the British Fashion Awards.
2015: Time 100 Gala
Emma is no stranger to wearing tailoring on the red carpet. This Dior ensemble gives even her most delicate gowns a run for their money.
The classic camel coat has never looked as covetable as when worn by Emma with an ankle length black dress and an elegant wristlet.
2016: Met Gala
Created through a collaboration by Watson, Calvin Klein, and Eco-Age, this stunning gown Emma wore to the 2016 Met Gala was made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.
2016: New York
Street style done oh so right; blue denim and a tan biker jacket make for the perfect off-duty look.
2017: Beauty and the Beast New York screening
Presenting an iconic red carpet look fit to rank alongside Audrey Hepburn and Sofia Loren, Emma looked incredible in a black cut-out Givenchy Haute Couture dress.
2017: Paris photocall
Slipping a casual white t-shirt under an embroidered sheer gown is the styling hack that only Emma Watson could pull off. Striking the perfect balance between understated and elegant, this has to rank as one of Emma’s most striking fashion moments,
2017: Los Angeles premiere of Beauty and the Beast
Proving that a jumpsuit can be just as elegant as a gown, a single gold rose worn at her waist paid tribute to the iconic Beauty and the Beast motif.
2017: China premiere of Beauty and the Beast
A true Disney princess moment in an embellished Elie Saab gown that looked like a fairytale brought to life.
2017: London premiere of Beauty and the Beast
This gown by British designer Emilia Wickstead took our breath away with a magnificent train that seemed worthy of a Disney heroine status of its own.
2018: Vanity Fair Oscar Party
One her most iconic looks to date, Emma looked sensational in a black Ralph Lauren gown at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Channeling Great Gatsby in white suiting by Ralph Lauren at Wimbledon, and single handedly making the waistcoat cool again.
2019: G7 Advisory Committee
As a UN Women’s Goodwill ambassador, Emma’s suiting is every bit as covetable as her red carpet looks. Wearing a green Alexachung suit for the G7 Advisory Committee For Equality Between Women and Men in Paris, she showed us how to serve a look without overshadowing the political significance of the event.
2019: Little Women World Premier
Dialling up the drama in an all-black gown, Emma made a style statement at the Little Women premiere. And we are still in awe.
Images: courtesy of Getty