When actress Shailene Woodley, now 22, first moved into the public eye during her press tour and subsequent awards season for her role in "The Descendants," she quickly became young Hollywood's one to watch on the red carpet. Though she'd been in the spotlight for years prior -- she was the star of ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and played Kaitlin Cooper during season one of teen drama "The O.C." -- it seemed as if her first big film role was the unofficial cue for her team to start grooming her into a style star.
During her months promoting "The Descendants," Woodley wore demure, feminine dresses by Dior, Valentino and Calvin Klein, and also supported young designers like Prabal Gurung, Christopher Kane and Jason Wu. Working with stylist Kris Zero, Woodley managed to find the perfect balance between exuding youthful energy through her ensembles and still looking mature and poised on the red carpet.
The actress topped best dressed lists left and right in 2011 and 2012, specifically for the embroidered Marchesa she wore when she was a Supporting Actress nominee at the 2012 Golden Globes, and the tulle Dolce and Gabbana gown she chose for the 2012 BAFTAs.
She also made a name for herself as a risk-taker: From early on, she was comfortable experimenting with menswear (like the Dolce and Gabbana tuxedo she wore to the 2011 Gotham Independent Film Awards) and was an early proponent of the crop top. Personally, I think one of Woodley's best looks to date is the Emilio Pucci Resort 2014 two-piece ensemble she wore to the 2013 MTV VMAs (see above, middle).
Lately, however, Woodley seems to have done a complete style 180. She's been making the press rounds to promote her roles in the YA series "Divergent" as well as the upcoming "The Fault in Our Stars" -- for which she got a new short haircut. But this time, it looks like she's dressing on her own terms. Opting for more offbeat, earthy pieces, she's drawn comparisons to everything from a wood nymph (in the Elie Saab gown she wore to the "Divergent" premiere) to early '90s Ellen Degeneres (in that khaki Dolce and Gabbana suit). While we wouldn't call all of her recent choices "bad," they're decidedly less glamourous and on-trend than her looks from previous years. She also recently parted ways from her stylist Zero, and collaborated for the last time at the Toronto premiere of "Divergent" on Mar. 5.
Earlier this month, Woodley told The Hollywood Reporter her philosophy on getting dressed: "If I was to show up wearing my five-toe shoes, my Melodia organic leggings and some hippie top, no one is going to take me seriously,” she says. “When I go on a red carpet, I’m Shailene, but I’m also Shailene representing a movie. I’m there for my boss, for my employer, so part of that comes with wearing the uniform." She also opened up to Into the Gloss about her slightly crunchy beauty routine, and her preference to look all natural.
We can only assume that Woodley's recent style transformation has to do with her desire to stay true to herself, which is admirable. But is it working? What are your thoughts on the star's steps in a new sartorial direction?