An Evolution of Dakota Fanning's Red Carpet Style Over the Years

by Allie Gemmill
Feb 21, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Since breaking out in Hollywood in the early '00s as the child star of films like I Am Sam, Uptown Girls and The Cat in the Hat. Dakota Fanning has grown up right before our eyes. Now in her mid-20s, Fanning is still working hard, landing roles in prestige TV dramas like TNT's The Alienist and intriguing indies like the Star Trek-inspired Please Stand By. 

But one of the most interesting ways to track Fanning's maturation into a respected grown-up actor is through the clothing she has worn on the red carpet. She's gone from wearing very cute, ornate sleeved dresses to the most luxurious, flattering gowns. There's also a consistent through-line in her red carpet or special event sartorial choices: she keeps it ridiculously classy, and the overall effect is both stunning and envy-inducing. 

So, on the occasion of her 24th birthday, let's take a trip back in time and look at the evolution of Dakota Fanning's red carpet style. 

1 /16: Very Twee in 2001

1/16 :Very Twee in 2001

Dakota Fanning looked so, so cute in a golden dress on her first major red carpet for the premiere of I Am Sam.

2 /16: A Matching Pair in 2003

2/16 :A Matching Pair in 2003

The Fanning sisters chose to go with matching kimono-inspired knee-length dresses (red for Dakota, green for Elle) for the world premiere of Dakota's film The Cat in the Hat.

3 /16: The Belle of the Ball in 2004

3/16 :The Belle of the Ball in 2004

Fanning looked like a vision in white for the Hollywood Hits Broadway and EIF's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance fundraiser. 

4 /16: Sporting a Bold Jewel Tone in 2005

4/16 :Sporting a Bold Jewel Tone in 2005

She stayed bold at Hollywood Life Magazine's Fifth Annual Breakthrough of the Year Awards with an aquamarine and black dress.

5 /16: Looking Floral and Fresh-Faced in 2007

5/16 :Looking Floral and Fresh-Faced in 2007

Fanning made a summery statement at the Fourth Annual First Star Celebration for Children's Rights.

6 /16: Casual in a Black Cocktail Dress in 2008

6/16 :Casual in a Black Cocktail Dress in 2008

At The Secret Life of Bees premiere, her style matured a little more when she opted for a sleeveless black cocktail-length dress with a scalloped neckline.

7 /16: Fierce in Neutrals in 2010

7/16 :Fierce in Neutrals in 2010

The premiere of Twilight: Eclipse saw Fanning looking vampiric and ethereal in a barely beige dress with lace overlay. 

8 /16: Peachy Pops of Color in 2010

8/16 :Peachy Pops of Color in 2010

She opted for a peach-champagne colored dress and simple beige pumps for the premiere of The Runaways in 2010.

9 /16: Staying Super Chic in 2011

9/16 :Staying Super Chic in 2011

Fanning wore a simple pink, green and white floral dress to the Marc Jacobs Collection for Spring 2012.

10 /16: An Elegant Two-Piece in 2013

10/16 :An Elegant Two-Piece in 2013

Fanning chose a two-piece dress in glittering black for the TIFF 2013 premiere of her film Night Moves.

11 /16: Elegant in Midnight Blue in 2013

11/16 :Elegant in Midnight Blue in 2013

Fanning arrived at The Last of Robin Hood premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in a '60s-inspired knee-length midnight blue frock.

12 /16: A Black & White Beauty in 2015

12/16 :A Black & White Beauty in 2015

Dakota Fanning wore a very chic, very French black and white ensemble while attending the Dior Cruise photocall in 2016.

13 /16: A True Star Come to Life in 2016

13/16 :A True Star Come to Life in 2016

Fanning, a Save the Children Artist Ambassador, attended the Fourth Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala wearing a multicolored starry black dress with sheer sleeves.

14 /16: Soft & Simple in Yellow 2016

14/16 :Soft & Simple in Yellow 2016

Dakota looked soft and simple in a yellow frock with an empire waist at the 23rd Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards in 2016.

15 /16: Sporting a Beautiful Blush Gown in 2017

15/16 :Sporting a Beautiful Blush Gown in 2017

Fanning arrived at the red carpet of Please Stand By sporting a high pony that allowed her dramatic blush gown to take center stage. 

16 /16: Vampy & Mature in 2018

16/16 :Vampy & Mature in 2018

Fanning went one-shouldered and smoky-eyed with a frilly black dress to boot at the premiere of TNT's The Alienist