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Emma Watson: From Child Star To Style Icon

Grazia logo Grazia 26/02/2021 Ellie Wiseman
a person wearing a pink shirt: emma watson golden globes © Credits: Getty emma watson golden globes

Emma Watson is the exception to the rule that child stars burn out in their teens under the limelight's glare. She has held her own throughout her time in the spotlight, being appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 and being a vocal activist for gender equality - quite a feat for any actress. We have seen her elegantly grace red carpets every year since she was 11-years-old, transforming into a style icon with a penchant for Dior... naturally.

Emma Watson standing in front of a crowd © Getty

Recently, reports suggested that she has 'retired' from acting after her agent stated that she is 'dormant' and 'not taking any new commitments.' Luckily, this was soon debunked: her manager told Entertainment Weekly that 'her social media accounts are dormant but her career isn't.' Phew!

For most of us, the only documentation of our gawky pre-teen years, which was filled to the brim with fashion faux pas (and feather boas), is hidden away in family albums that don't see the light of day too often. However, for a child star of the biggest movie franchaise ever known, those pictures are public property. Case in point: Emma Watson's Noughties premiere attire.

Talking to Ellen DeGeneres about the long grey-blue denim dress and feather boa ensemble she proudly wore down the red carpet at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone back in 2001, Emma said, 'my mum and I planned this for weeks! It doesn't look like it, but there was a lot of thought that went into it.'

Emma's style matured quickly, though, with her red carpet dressing getting better with each Potter film that was released (probably because she got herself a stylist), and she began to make her mark on the fashion world, attending award ceremonies and fashion weeks.

In 2010, the filming had wrapped for the final Potter film. To mark the occasion, Emma, who was then 20-years-old, cut her hair into a dramatic pixie crop to symbolise a desperate departure from the character of Hermione. With the hair transformation came a new style that was edgy and more daring.

She experimented with strapless dresses, bold colours, short hem lines, lace and satin. For the ELLE Style Awards in 2011 she wore a Hakaan mini dress with cut-out sides, and at the BAFTAs in 2012 she wore a red lace Valentino gown.

Emma upped her style game in 2013, making her foray into designer territory. She attended Cannes to promote her film The Bling Ring, directed by Sophia Coppola, wearing a monochrome Chanel gown. At the Golden Globes in 2013 she wore a red Dior Couture dress with an open back over trousers: her best look to date in our eyes.

For her Oscars debut in 2014, Emma wore a sheer black-metallic floor-length Vera Wang gown, and looked amazing.

Emma was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014, and helped launch the 'HeForShe' campaign. When she delivered her HeForShe speech on gender equality at the United Nations HQ in September 2014, she dressed for the occasion in an off-white belted coat midi dress by Dior, with her hair slicked into a middle parting and tied in a low ponytail.

At the White House Correspondent's Dinner in 2016, Emma wore an Osman floral dress over trousers and Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps in Bleu, with her hair slicked back. At the Met Gala Emma diverted from her usual red carpet style when she wore an elaborate monochrome Calvin Klein gown with cut-out sides.

At the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards, Emma wore a sheer embellished Dior dress, and at Museum Of Modern Art benefit in New York she opted for a black velvet draped dress by KITX.

Emma surpassed her own style game when promoting Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. At the film's UK launch event Emma wowed in a bespoke pale blue Princess-style gown by Emilia Wickstead.

At the Los Angeles premiere she wore a black strapless jumpsuit by Oscar de la Renta, and at the Shanghai premiere she sparkled in a jewelled, champagne-hued, embellished Elie Saab gown, complete with a Belle-style cape. There is no beating this girl's red carpet style.

While on the press tour for Beauty and the Beast, Emma set up an Instagram account, to shine a light on her favourite ethical fashion brands, including Carmen March and Flippa K.

Emma uploaded a picture of herself to the Instagram page wearing a Roland Mouret jumpsuit, with the caption: 'Jumpsuit by @roland_mouret, who was a producer for the film Ten Billion, which highlights the impact of our growing population on the earth's resources and covers topics ranging from climate change, ecosystem loss, pollution, and resource depletion.'

See Emma's full style evolution in the gallery below:

a person holding a video game: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 2001.

a person standing posing for the camera: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 2001.

a little girl standing in a room: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the premiere of Scooby Doo in 2002.

Emma Watson walking down a street © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.

Emma Watson et al. standing in front of a crowd © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.

Emma Watson wearing a dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Los Angeles premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.

Emma Watson standing on the floor © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the British Academy Children's Film And Television Award in 2003.

Emma Watson standing on a sidewalk © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the premiere of Scooby Doo 2 in 2004.

Emma Watson wearing a pink dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004.

Emma Watson wearing a dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004.

Emma Watson wearing a dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the premiere of Wimbledon in 2004.

a young boy standing in a room: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban DVD launch in 2004.

Emma Watson posing for a picture © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005.

Emma Watson et al. posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005.

emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation Party in 2007.

Emma Watson standing in front of a pool of water © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007.

Emma Watson standing in a train station © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the photocall for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007.

Emma Watson et al. posing for the camera © Credits: Getty Emma Watson

Emma at the Los Angeles premiere for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007.

Emma Watson standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Late Show with David Letterman in 2007.

Emma Watson et al. posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Burberry & Vanity Fair Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in 2008.

Emma Watson in a wedding dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Sony Ericsson Empire Film Awards in 2008.

Emma Watson et al. standing in the grass © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Cartier International Polo Day in 2008.

Emma Watson standing posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the The National Movie Awards in 2008.

Emma Watson standing in front of a curtain © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at Paris Fashion Week in 2009.


Gallery: What Celebrities Wore To Their Very First Golden Globes (ELLE (UK))

Emma Watson et al. standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the BAFTAs in 2009.

Emma Watson standing on a rug © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at The Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2009.

Emma Watson standing posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at a Rodarte dinner in 2009.

Emma Watson standing in front of a store © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009.

Emma Watson posing for a picture © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009.

Emma Watson standing next to a fence © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at London Fashion Week in 2009.

Emma Watson in a wedding dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the MET Gala in 2010.

a group of people that are standing in the dirt: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at Glastonbury in 2010.

Emma Watson standing in front of a store © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in 2010.

Emma Watson standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in 2010.

a girl in a dress posing for a picture: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2011.

text, whiteboard: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the ELLE Style Awards in 2011, wearing Hakaan.

Emma Watson standing in front of a crowd © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.

Emma Watson standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.

diagram: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at Lancome Pre-BAFTA Party in 2012, wearing Valentino.

Emma Watson walking down a street © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Late Show with David Letterman in 2012.

Ezra Miller, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller are posing for a picture © Credits: Getty Emma Watson

Emma at the Hollywood premiere of The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012.

Emma Watson standing posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at a London screening of The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012.

diagram, text: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the ELLE Women In Hollywood Celebration in 2012.

Emma Watson standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the 'PUNK: Chaos To Couture' Costume Institute Gala in 2013.

Emma Watson holding a sign posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at Cannes Film Festival in 2013, wearing Chanel.

text, whiteboard: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Los Angeles premiere of This Is The End in 2013.

Emma Watson posing for a picture © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Los Angeles of The Bling Ring in 2013.

text: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards in 2013.

Emma Watson posing for a picture © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Gravity in 2013.

a group of people wearing costumes: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Golden Globes in 2014, wearing Dior.

diagram, text: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the ELLE Style Awards in 2014, wearing Giambattista Valli.

Emma Watson standing in a room © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Oscars in 2014, wearing Vera Wang.

Emma Watson standing in front of a sign © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Germany premiere of Noah in 2014.

graphical user interface, application, Teams: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Madrid premiere of Noah in 2014.

Emma Watson wearing a suit and tie walking down the street © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Late Show with David Letterman in 2014.

Emma Watson holding a sign © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Noah in 2014, wearing Oscar de la Renta.

Emma Watson in a wedding dress © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UK premiere of Noah in 2014, wearing Ralph Lauren and Jimmy Choo heels.

Emma Watson standing in front of a building © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at Paris Fashion Week in 2014.

Emma Watson standing posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the 'The Duke Of Cambridge Celebrates The Royal Marsden' in 2014.

Emma Watson standing posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at Paris Fashion Week in 2014.

graphical user interface: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the UN Women's 'HeForShe' VIP After Party in 2014, wearing Eva Fehren.

a little girl posing for a picture: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the He For She campaign launch in New York in 2014, wearing Dior.

website: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards in 2014, wearing Balenciaga.

Emma Watson in a dress posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the British Fashion Awards in 2014.

Emma Watson standing in front of a sign © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World Gala in 2015.

graphical user interface, website: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Madrid Regression photocall in 2015.

a person standing posing for the camera: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Berlin premiere of Colonia Dignidad - Es gibt kein zurueck in 2015.

Emma Watson standing on a rug © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2016, wearing a Osman dress and Christian Louboutin heels.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the MET Gala in 2016, wearing Calvin Klein.

text, whiteboard: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Harper's Bazaar Women Of The Year Awards in 2016, wearing Dior.

Emma Watson posing for a picture © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at The Museum of Modern Art Film Benefit: A Tribute to Tom Hanks in 2016, wearing KITX.

Emma Watson in a dress posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the ELLE Style Awards in 2017, wearing Dior.

Emma Watson posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Beauty And The Beast UK Launch Event in 2017, wearing Emilia Wickstead.

Emma Watson holding a sign posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty and the Beast in 2017, wearing Oscar de la Renta.

a girl in a dress: emma watson © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the Shanghai premiere of Beauty and the Beast in 2017, wearing Elie Saab.

Emma Watson standing posing for the camera © Credits: Getty emma watson

Emma at the New York premiere of Beauty and the Beast wearing Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

READ MORE: Emma Watson Has The Best Reaction To This Throwback Potter Photo

READ MORE: Emma Watson's Favourite Ethical Fashion Brands You've Never Heard Of

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