How Emma Stone Became Couture's Quirky Pioneer

She's starring in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, she's snappy smart, and her not-so-secret romance with costar Andrew Garfield is sweet, not smarmy. But it's Emma Stone's fashion that has taken center stage lately. How does this former Judd Apatow-favorite serve as a style trailblazer for the rest of us? Let me count the ways.

Ms. Stone's humble beginnings as an actress in the cult classic Superbad introduced the world to a girl next door with a killer sense of comedic timing, and her style followed the same insouciant principles. The actress showed up to Superbad's LA premiere in a periwinkle minidress — a safe choice on the fashion spectrum, and pitch-perfect for her burgeoning sweetheart image. Other ensembles followed the same guidelines — simple baby doll dresses in bold hues, and outfits that were pleasing to the eye but not stretching the boundaries of creativity.

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By 2008, however, Stone was beginning to find her own fashion groove in patterned body conscious dresses and streamlined black frocks, both of which are still mainstays of the star's current style.

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Flash forward ten years, and the actress has turned into a quirky couture darling. Stone regularly turns up on the red carpet in daring designer creations, favoring vibrant, printed, draped, and beaded creations that mere mortals would struggle to pull off, but she somehow wears with the utmost poise. Some may look for a red carpet "formula" to emulate Emma's fashion choices, but really, there isn't one. The actress is just as likely to step out in a rouge, bow-adorned Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown as she is a streamlined peach Calvin Klein stunner.

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Emma's choices speak of someone who absolutely loves fashion, but isn't afraid to make an unexpected choice or a sartorial misstep. Lanvin is a favorite of Stone's, who sent shockwaves through the fashion community when she dared to wear a flared, cheekily embellished Lanvin mini to the Costume Institute Gala in 2012. The actress's loyalty extends to other veterans of the fashion industry — Chanel, Calvin Klein, and Alexander McQueen chief among them — but makes them look fresh and modern.

At The Amazing Spider-Man 2 London premiere, Stone dared to wear brilliant yellow Versace, and paired with David Webb jewelry, a crimson lip and her copper locks, I defy any critic to find fault in the look. In yet another press tour triumph, Stone stole the show when she wore a dreamy floor-length Prada with embellished straps. Emma's television appearances are as well coordinated as those on the red carpet. During a recent Good Morning America interview, Stone opted for head-to-toe Valentino, from Rockstud pumps and a flared skirt to her signature collared shirt, and managed to look both ladylike and enviably chic while answering rapid-fire questions. And for her recent lip-syncing competition on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Emma's black cutout dress complete with a leather collar hit exactly the right note.

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Stone also belongs to a rare faction of actresses whose style, though idiosyncratic, is never lewd. Though sheer paneling and plunging necklines are mainstays of her personal style, Stone eschews anything truly risqué in favor of pieces that are alluring, not explicit. The actress's proclivity for collared shirts (and dresses) is a well-documented fact, and more often than not those shirts are paired with a demure sweater of sorts.

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Of course, Ms. Stone wouldn't be a true fashion icon, or a candidate for America's unofficial sweetheart, without having a slight denim obsession. For every floor-sweeping red carpet gown she's worn to a film premiere or awards show, Stone has a pair of skinnies to counter it. Whether dark wash, distressed, flared and faded, jeans are a mainstay of Stone's wardrobe on and off the film set.

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So what can we glean from Emma Stone's ever-evolving, outré style? Idiosyncratic dressing is always more intriguing than wearing something safe, and if you're not having fun with your clothing, you're not doing it right. And above all, a great attitude is the best accessory you can possibly possess.