One of the advantages of working in online publishing is that editors and writers are able to see in real-time how many people are reading any article at any given time. This means we know which stars our readers are consistently most interested in, and, for Harper’s Bazaar online, Dakota Johnson scores highly.
A piece analysing her latest style choice is guaranteed to prompt a spike in online visitors, proving she has a loyal following that is ever curious to find out what’s she wearing and how she styles her look. So, as she celebrates her 30th birthday, we’ve decided to explore the reasons behind her enduring popular style.
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1. She adopts a modern approach to Hollywood glamour
Who doesn’t love a bit of Hollywood glamour? There’s something gloriously escapist about red carpet fashion, from seeing stars dressed up in the world’s most beautiful looks and finding out what the world’s most talented designers can do when freed from practicality. It’s also a reflection of who a person is and what they’re trying to communicate visually. Johnson loves sweeping gowns in varying shades, some bold and others muted, cut in flattering feminine shapes. While she stays true to a glamorous aesthetic, her choices are always incorporate modernity – take her 2019 Met Gala look, a sequinned purple gown with batwing sleeves and a bejewelled crown or the white Dior dress that she wore to 2018 Venice Film Festival with loose wavy hair. Both looks felt occasion-appropriate, but still contemporary and carefree.
2. She’s relatable
Johnson has a girl-next-door appeal that makes people warm to her. In the same way you might if given the chance to wear Dior couture or head-to-toe Gucci, she’s often pictured with a big toothy smile. She rarely curtails to standard starry poses, be it pouting or jutting out her leg. She looks like how you imagine you might realistically (perhaps optimistically) look in a designer wardrobe.
3. Her ambassador role at Gucci boosted her fashion credentials
Johnson has long been a fan of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, assuming a front row position at the brand’s shows and devotedly wearing its maximalist designs. In 2017, she was enlisted to star in the label’s Bloom fragrance campaign, cementing her status as brand ambassador. She loves Michele’s artistry and clear vision, while her traditional beauty is the perfect juxtaposition for his attention-grabbing, OTT looks. The collaboration bolstered Johnson’s fashion credentials as she became muse to one of fashion’s most famous creative minds.
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4. She’s elegantly experimental
Johnson plays with fashion – there’s a sense that she’s still discovering what she likes and dislikes and that she’s toying with her wardrobe and using fashion as a form of self-expression. She flits between the minimalist and then excess embellishment; Johnson isn’t into middle-of-the-road styles. Some might argue that her Gucci looks can occasionally overwhelm her frame, but that’s beside the point – she’s experimenting, and who can’t relate to that? Her style is also unpredictable – just when we come to expect to see her in another ornate Gucci dress, she’ll wheel out a minimalist Valentino trapeze gown or a Saint Laurent mini dress.
5. Her off-duty style is achievable
Jeans, Converse, T-shirts and floral dresses form the bulk of Johnson’s off-duty wardrobe. While she looks good, there’s none of the intimidating polished gloss of some of her Hollywood peers. She feels authentically low-key in a Jennifer Lawrence way. This is a woman you believe when she says she enjoys a Friday night eating pizza and drinking beers with her friends. Everything feels very aligned – her red-carpet style, her downtime look and what she says during interviews.
DAKOTA JOHNSON’S 10 GREATEST RED-CARPET LOOKS
Where: The Friend premiere during 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
Wearing: A strapless tulle Dior gown
Where: The 2019 Met Gala celebrating Notes On Camp
Wearing: Embellished Gucci with a bejewelled crown.
Where: The Suspiria premiere during the London Film Festival in November 2018
Wearing: Sequinned Gucci
Where: Venice Film Festival in September 2018
Wearing: A strapless white Dior dress
Where: The LA premiere of Fifty Shades Darker in 2017
Wearing: Dusty pink Valentino
Where: The 2015 Oscars
Wearing: A red one-shouldered Saint Laurent dress
Where: LACMA Art and Film Gala in September 2015
Wearing: A yellow Gucci dress
Where: London premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey in February 2015
Wearing: A plunging Saint Laurent gown with a Roger Vivier clutch
Where: Front row at the Dior autumn/winter 2015 show during Paris Fashion Week
Wearing: A Dior jumpsuit and matching Dior bag
Where: The 2015 Golden Globes
Wearing: Silver sequinned Chanel
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.
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