It’s hard to believe it’s been only three years since writer, director, and Girls star Lena Dunham popped onto the Hollywood scene, making a big splash with her undeniable talent and wit, controversial HBO series, and the kind of style sense that fans and fashion critics either love or love to hate. But no matter your views on the outspoken star, one thing can’t be denied: This birthday girl, who turns 28 today, has come a long way with her red-carpet style in the short time she’s been soaking up the spotlight — these 10 ensembles will prove it.
At the 2011 LAFCA Awards
It’s safe to say the actress, writer, and director didn’t get off to the most inspiring style start on the red carpet in 2011 with this ill-fitting printed dress, but she at least gets points for that shiny hair and pink lip.
At the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards
Whether the baggy fit or the snoozy hair and makeup was to blame, Dunham didn’t make much of a visual impact on the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards red carpet.
At the 2012 Met Gala
New year, new style. Things started looking up for Dunham on the fashion front at the 2012 Met Gala when she donned a beautiful emerald green Wes Gordon dress, whose high-low hemline showed off her pretty pink pumps.
At the 2012 Emmy Awards
Dunham delivered one of her best-ever red-carpet looks at the 2012 Emmys when she stepped out in this empire-waist Prada number, whose delicate lace overlay and flowing skirt perfectly balanced out her freshly chopped hair and heavily rimmed eyes.
At the 'Girls' Season 2 Premiere
Sadly, the style victories didn’t continue at the Girls Season 2 premiere, when Dunham donned a baggy Valentino jumpsuit that did nothing to highlight her beautiful curves.
At the 2013 Golden Globes
Dunham’s Zac Posen gown got mixed reviews at the annual awards show, with some loving its off-the-shoulder cut and dramatic shape and others hating its deep purple (nearly chocolate brown) hue and exaggerated pleating.
At the 2013 DGA Awards
The actress was all sass at the 2013 DGA awards, showing off her sexy-meets-girly side in a gorgeous, strapless satin Thakoon dress.
At the 2013 Emmy Awards
Dunham clearly adopted the motto “go big or go home” at the 2013 Emmys when she showed up in a rose-covered, plunging Prada ball gown, whose teal hue was complemented with a matching, color-packed eyeshadow.
At the 2014 Golden Globes
It wasn’t until this year’s Golden Globes that Dunham truly showed off her amazing figure and bombshell style sense in this sunny yellow, bustier-top Zac Posen creation.
At the 2014 Met Gala
The actress absolutely killed it on the 2014 Met Gala red carpet in an asymmetrical-hem, strapless gown from Giambattista Valli, which was made all the more edgy thanks to her blunt bob and kohl-rimmed eyes.