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Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues


Hollywood is buzzing with ingénues — young actresses who are typically cast as innocent or naïve characters, which is ironic in itself since there’s nothing innocent or naïve about anyone in Hollywood. There are, however, a crop of lovely ladies who stand head and collar bone above the pack, due to their talent, their beauty and their sense of style. Of course, one could argue that they all have a team of stylists and professional gays that keep them looking flawless, but you can throw anyone in couture; some sink while others end up doing backstrokes all over the competition. These are the 10 gals who are setting both the screen and red carpet ablaze. Let ‘em burn!

Carey Mulligan

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles:Miu Miu, Vionnet and Prada devotee, Carey’s also not afraid to make a bold choice…such as ignoring Anna Wintour‘s advice. Others have died for less, but her gambits more often pay off than not. With one Oscar nomination down — for An Education (2009) – Mulligan’s sure to get another for next year’s The Great Gatsby, playing the ultimate ingénue, Daisy Buchanan.

Elle Fanning

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Elle proved such a fave with the Mulleavy sisters, they cast her in a short film for Rodarte. After stealing scenes in the independent Somewhere (2010), Elle’s going for the blockbuster gusto with J.J. Abrams‘s Super 8, out this summer.

Hailee Steinfeld

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Along with Fanning, Steinfeld is proving that it’s never too early to be a fashionista by going on a winning streak during awards season…if only on the red carpet. Hailee nabbed an Oscar nom for showing her Grit, but for her next project, she’s going for a softer touch: she’s attached to a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

Mia Wasikowska

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Honestly, I’ve been more inspired by Mia’s stunning editorials as of late than her red carpet style. She first had me with W alongside her Jane Eyre co-star, Michael Fassbender then she channeled another Mia (Farrow) for Blackbook. She’s super talented and naturally beautiful plus with a slew of upcoming roles, she’ll have plenty of time to brush up on her style notes.

Blake Lively

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: When Karl Lagerfeld handpicks you to be the Chanel Purse Ambassador, you’re officially an icon. Best known for her penchant for Gossip, Blake surprised everyone with a dramatic turn in The Town (2010) and will soon be feeling up Ryan Reynold‘s muscled, latex-clad torso in this summer’s Green Lantern. Some ingenues get all the luck.

Keira Knightley

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Another of Karl’s favorites, Keira’s been a red carpet highlight for years — I’m still screaming at her in Vera Wang at the 2006 Oscars.*  Though she was keeping a low profile for a while, Knightley came roaring back in this Chanel Couture stunner at the London premiere of Never Let Me Go. Add to that coup her recent Chanel Coco Mademoiselle short film and the upcoming romantic drama Last Night this May.

Leighton Meester

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Though she’s the picture of Upper East Side preppy refinement as Blair Waldorf, Leighton’s personal style falls more in the delightfully quirky category. Along with Carey, Leighton is among the most fun and daring of these youthful beauties. Between gigs on Gossip Girl, Meester will next be seen seducing Dr. House himself in The Oranges out later this year.

Mila Kunis

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Black Swan propelled Mila Kunis into a completely different stratosphere, one with awards and critical praise. Mila rose gamely to the challenge of red carpet dressing, peaking with this Alexander McQueen number from the SAG Awards. Next she’ll trade in her toe shoes to shack up with Justin Timberlake before hopping a broom for Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Michelle Williams

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Michelle had her best style moment at this year’s Oscars when she took my breath away in this simple Chanel column… although her 2006 canary yellow Vera Wang* still holds a special place in my heart. Once upon a Creek, Michelle Williams was Katie Holmes‘ rival, so it makes poetic sense that while Katie is Jackie O, Michelle will play Marilyn Monroe in next year’s My Week With Marilyn.

Anne Hathaway

Top 10 Most Stylish Ingénues

Starring roles: Honestly, Hathaway’s days as an ingénue are practically through, but having put in her Princess days, she’s succesfully transitioning to a leading lady. She managed to hold up the weight of the entire Academy Awards telecast this year on her bold, tuxedoed shoulders, so her next challenge Anne will be to claw up the screen as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.

*Sidebar: Meanwhile, I forgot how much werq Vera was doing at the Academy Awards that year.

Written by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail