George Pimentel/WireImage
Sharon Clott Kanter
Sep 16, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

When it comes to the red carpet, Kate Winslet is a pro. No wonder she was such a natural selection to star as a pro couturier in The Dressmaker, an adaptation of Rosalie Ham's novel of the same name, which tells the story of a wrongly-convicted woman who returns home to Australia to exact her revenge. We caught up with Winslet during her short visit to Toronto this week to premiere the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she said her history of wearing well-made clothes helped inform her when she wore the film's period costumes. "I found myself quite thrilled to discover that I actually have learned a lot over the years of red carpets," she told us. "And not just about function, but also about the history of fashion."

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While her character loves to draw attention to herself through her clothes—like in one scene when she practically stops a men's rugby game by showing up in a curve-hugging, off-the-shoulder LBD—Winslet herself found that she's couldn't relate to wearing such a showstopping look. "I don’t want to turn heads when I walk into a room," she said. "I'm actually not that kind of person. I like to look age-appropriate and somewhat understated, so I don’t really like doing big statement dresses." Hence, for the premiere of the film this week, she chose a gray halter-style Badgley Mischka body con gown with crystal embroidery around the shoulder and necklines.

Her latest gown falls in line with her history on the red carpet, where she's proven her preference for figure-flattering looks in easy-to-wear neutrals, like black, gray, white, navy, and very rarely, red. Why so subtle? "I don’t really want to be the person that everyone is staring at," she said. "In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I don't think I've ever really worn a dress that I knew would turn heads, and I actually spend my time not wearing those kinds of dresses." Slaying the red carpet just comes so naturally to her—even if she doesn't intentionally set out to inspire with her style—and that's exactly what makes her one of our fashion heroes.

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