There is no one quite like Meryl Streep. Her 20 Oscar nominations and three wins prove she is able to play any part. Literally the woman has played a male rabbi, an evil witch, a fox, the world's most famous chef, and a rockstar. Now, of course, her amazing acting abilities do most of the work, but her chameleon-like ways of becoming a character also have a lot to do with finding their style. To celebrate her 68th birthday, let's take a look at some of Streep's most stylish roles.
Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979
Her role as conflicted housewife Joanna Kramer who leaves her husband (Dustin Hoffman) and young child, but then fights to get him back, was a complex one, which is why it earned Streep her first Oscar. She was the epitome of classic New York with her long Burberry trench (Hoffman sported the men's version in the beginning of the film, which worked well as their characters shifted roles in the marriage). It also helped as she was concealing her pregnancy at the time!
Out of Africa, 1985
As the Danish baroness Karen Blixen, who builds and runs a coffee plantation in Africa in the early 20th century, the costumes had to be epic (especially to woo Robert Redford). It was all hats, long skirts, elegant coats, riding boots and oh so much beige. According to Entertainment Weekly, the film led to a safari-inspired retail fashion trend with designers like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Yves Saint Laurent taking cues from costume designer Milena Canonero's work. "The costumes in Out of Africa had quite an impact on fashion. It was as though the fashion world was ready for the styles of the film; the costumes just caught something that was in the air," Canonero said.
Postcards from the Edge, 1990
Based on the real-life relationship of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, Streep plays Suzanne Vale, an actress forced to live with her mother, also an actress, after getting out of rehab. In a departure from doing so many period films, this was all about the late '80s-early '90s fashion complete with big hair, jean jackets, and cowboy boots.
Death Becomes Her, 1992
Streep had a lot of fun with this zany comedy opposite Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. As a completely vain and shallow washed up actress, Madeline Ashton is willing to do anything to preserve her youth. So she takes a potion that is supposed to do just that—well, before things go drastically awry. When you weren't watching the impressive special effects, it was all about the outfits. Fabulous lycra ensembles, dramatic trench coats and berets, and evening gowns in all their early '90s heyday.
The Devil Wears Prada, 2006
This film had mega fashion and Streep worked it, transforming herself into the dynamic, powerful and utterly terrifying editor of Runway magazine, Miranda Priestly. Though Anne Hathaway's Andi was privy to a magical fashion closet tranformation, Streep looked perfect through the entire film in stately ensembles with not a bag, bracelet, coat (which she often tossed at Hathaway) or Prada piece out of place.
The Iron Lady, 2011
Designing the style of the great Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was going to be a challenge, but with The Iron Lady's costume designer Consolata Boyle and Streep's dead-on acting (she won the Oscar for Best Actress), it was truly a work of art. Boyle told Forbes: "She used color intelligently, always knowing that she was going to be surrounded by men who were always in gray suits, dark suits—pinstripe was just about the most brightly colored they ever got. It was a monochrome world, and she was this flame of light in the middle of it."
Ricki and the Flash, 2015
In Ricki and the Flash, Streep plays rockstar Ricki Rendazzo, who left her family for life on the road. But when her daughter's (played by real-life daughter Mamie Gummer) marriage falls apart she goes back to try to be the mother she never really was. Streep shows serious fashion range, rockin' some major Stevie Nicks hair, a lot of black leather and some awesome footwear.