There are lots of words you could use to describe Kristen Stewart’s style. But safe isn’t one of them.
In the 15-plus years that the star has been dressing for the red carpet, she’s become known as a glorified fashion chameleon, consistently turning up in looks that both surprise and delight in a sea full of strapless columns. Even at the most formal (and let’s face it, sometimes stuffy) events, Stewart brings the cool factor.
Take for instance, her look at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, one of the most glamorous red carpets of the year. Stewart’s pick? A Chanel t-shirt—that she and stylist Tara Swennen cut into a cropped top—worn with a ladylike tweed skirt. No sweeping ballgown here, and yet, she never looked better.
“Kristen just knows how to work a carpet,” says Swennen, who has been styling the actress for 12 years. “She's not fearful to try new things, in fact, it’s the opposite. She really takes the opportunity to have an adventure with style.”
And sometimes those adventures happen on the fly, like in the case of the Chanel t-shirt. “In the morning when she was getting dressed, Kristen and I were like, 'Can we just cut this? Will Chanel let us make it into a cropped top?' And thank god, they said yes. Immediately after, it felt more like her. The look had the playfulness that she likes.”
VIDEO: Kristen Stewart's Most Fashionable Moments
It seems that finding that unexpected mix is the secret sauce for Stewart and her stylist. “We look for a way to put a twist on something, even if it’s just a cool shoe,” says Swennen. "And we are always searching for detailing that is a little bit edgier than what most people would do. But really, it's all about balance: finding a way to marry the rock and roll with the romantic.”
Keep scrolling to see 10 of Stewart's best looks of all-time.
1. In Chanel at the Cannes Film Festival, 2016
"Once Kristen loves a look, she just owns it," says Stewart's stylist Tara Swennen. "We cut off this white Chanel t-shirt and when she put it on there was no question that it looked cool because of her."
2. In Stella McCartney at the Met Gala in N.Y.C., 2013
"Stella McCartney had a few jumpsuits that were like this in her collection, so she took elements from all of them and made this one completely custom for Kristen."
3. In Balenciaga at the American Film Institute Fest in L.A., 2012
"For me, this was her most memorable Balenciaga moment because it was one of the shining pieces of that collection. I didn't want anybody else to wear it first. It fit her perfectly and her hair and makeup were also on-point."
4. In Chanel Couture at the New York Film Festival, 2014
"Since Kristen is a Chanel brand ambassador, Karl [Lagerfeld] gives us so many amazing looks to choose from every season. They let us play in their archives and mix and match the looks."
5. In Chanel at the Cannes Film Festival, 2016
"This is definitely another example of Chanel giving us a long leash. This gorgeous sweater dress was originally knee-level, maybe even longer on her. And I said, 'Can I take off fifteen inches from the bottom?' It ended up looking really effortless."
6. In Rodarte at the New York Film Festival, 2016
"At first, Kristen was like, 'One sleeve?! I don't know.' And I said, 'Trust me. Right now it's all about the one sleeve.' It is the best example of romantic femininity meeting rock and roll. We loved that the victorian lace and ruffles were teamed with tailored pants that are covered in safety pins. It's one of my favorite looks to date."
7. In Zuhair Murad at the L.A. premiere of American Ultra, 2015
"Since I've worked with Kristen for so long, I've really seen her style evolve. She has sort of opened up almost like a butterfly and really come into herself as a woman. Style is one of the many ways she expresses herself."
8. In Chanel at the Cannes Film Festival, 2016
"Kristen is not going to be the girl who goes to Cannes in a massive ball gown. That's just not who she is. But Chanel looks always seem to suit her. This one was for the premiere of Café Society and it matched the feel of the movie."
9. In Chanel at the brand's fall haute couture show in Paris, 2013
"We spent so many years doing dresses on the red carpet that Kristen really started leaning towards suiting and tailoring. She loves looks that have an empowered femininity."
10. In Proenza Schouler at the Met Gala in N.Y.C., 2011
"One of the things that I love about Kristen is her willingness to experiment. She is a stylist's dream because she is always up to try something completely new."