Natalie Portman’s Stylist Breaks Down Her 10 Best Red Carpet Looks Ever

Natalie Portman
Photo: Getty

For some actresses, it takes a while to find their fashion footing. But when you glance back at Natalie Portman’s style through the years, it’s near impossible to find a look—even early on in her career—that isn’t elegant, feminine, and perfectly executed.

“Natalie has been famous for a long time, but even from the beginning, she always had a clear sense of her personal style,” says stylist Kate Young, who has been working with the 35-year-old Oscar winner since she starred in 2004’s Garden State. “It was important to her to project a certain kind of image, so we spent time deciding what she was into and more importantly, what she wasn’t.”

Right off the bat, Young says that Portman gravitated toward vintage (“it’s an eco choice”), strapless necklines over asymmetrical, and rich, warm colors instead of blues and greens. Yes, she knew what she liked as a young 20-something, but her stylist was quick to point out that there was still a lot of room for experimenting. “Her choices are classic, but when you look closer, there’s always a twist or something more complex about them too,” says Young.

And that’s why you’ll probably never see her in something too simple. “She notices a designer’s point of view and those couture details like intricate embroidery or beautiful fabrication. And she certainly appreciates when fashion ultimately becomes a piece of art.”

Keep scrolling to see Portman’s 10 best looks of all-time. And for more stories like this, check out the June issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download May 12.

01 of 10

In Lanvin at the première of A Tale of Love and Darkness in Toronto (2015)

In Lanvin at the première of A Tale of Love and Darkness in Toronto (2015)
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

“Everything about this dress is memorable,” says stylist Kate Young of Portman’s custom-made Lanvin gown. “Nude can be hard to pull off, but Natalie loved this shade. The lace is incredibly delicate, the silhouette is flattering yet still interesting, and the star embellishment gives it a cool vintage feel.”

02 of 10

In Dior at the première of Thor: The Dark World in London (2013)

In Dior at the première of Thor: The Dark World in London (2013)
Mike Marsland/WireImage

“As a fashion house, Dior has always stood for modernism, femininity, and art. And that's very much what Natalie’s life is about. She's an educated, intelligent, beautiful, feminine woman. She's a great artist, who is also married to an artist [choreographer Benjamin Millepied]. It’s a perfect fit.”

03 of 10

In Giambattista Valli Haute Couture at the SAG Awards in L.A. (2012)

In Giambattista Valli Haute Couture at the SAG Awards in L.A. (2012)
Jason Merritt/Getty

“Natalie wears a lot of pink, purple, and red. Those are the colors that she has always gravitated towards over cooler shades.”

04 of 10

In Lanvin at the Golden Globe Awards in L.A. (2012)

In Lanvin at the Golden Globe Awards in L.A. (2012)
Steve Granitz/Getty

“[Then Lanvin designer] Alber Elbaz made six sketches for Natalie and we narrowed it down from there. We really liked the weird color combination and the fact that the silhouette had a little bit of drama. The kick on the side made it look cool and architectural.”

05 of 10

In Dior Haute Couture at the opening of the “Esprit Dior, Miss Dior” exhibition in Paris (2013)

In Dior Haute Couture at the opening of the “Esprit Dior, Miss Dior” exhibition in Paris (2013)
Francois G. Durand/WireImage

“Because of her role at Dior [Portman is a face of the brand], she definitely has an eye for couture. She has been in the atelier and she has seen how it’s all done. Most people don’t notice the difference between ready-to-wear and couture when it’s on a rack, but Natalie looks for those little things.”

06 of 10

In Azzaro at the SAG Awards in L.A. (2011)

In Azzaro at the SAG Awards in L.A. (2011)

“We find inspiration from all sorts of places. Sometimes it comes from a movie that she’s in, but usually we look to other strong, inspiring women who have a signature look.”

07 of 10

In Prada at the Golden Globe Awards in L.A. (2017)

In Prada at the Golden Globe Awards in L.A. (2017)
Steve Granitz/WireImage

“When you're pregnant, it’s hard to wear shapes that are super revealing. This gown was a way to do something that felt exciting and new, without making her uncomfortable. It had that 1960s feel, which was reminiscent of her film, Jackie, but the yellow color made it modern and unexpected.”

08 of 10

In Chanel Haute Couture at the Golden Globe Awards in L.A. (2006)

In Chanel Haute Couture at the Golden Globe Awards in L.A. (2006)
Dan MacMedan/WireImage

When we found this dress, Natalie and I were in Paris because she was filming scenes for the Wes Anderson movie The Darjeeling Limited. We went to a few places, including Chanel. I just remember being in Coco Chanel’s apartment and coming across this little black dress. She had short hair at the time and it looked adorable on her. It just felt right.”

09 of 10

In Lanvin at the Academy Awards in L.A. (2005)

In Lanvin at the Academy Awards in L.A. (2005)
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

“This dress was actually lavender in person, but everyone thinks it was brown because of the lighting on the red carpet. It was very Grecian with the velvet-beaded belts. And for her headband, we sewed a Fred Leighton bracelet on a piece of ribbon.”

10 of 10

In Dior Haute Couture at the Academy Awards in L.A. (2012)

In Dior Haute Couture at the Academy Awards in L.A. (2012)
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

“For the Oscars, we were looking at the Dior archives and we found this dress from 1954. It fit her perfectly with not even one alteration. It really was meant to be—especially once we put it with the Harry Winston necklace.”

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