STYLE EVOLUTION

Sarah Paulson Has Emerged as a Genuine Red Carpet Star

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Sarah Paulson red carpet
by George Pimentel/Getty Images for TIFF

In Ryan Murphy’s latest project, Impeachment: American Crime Story, Sarah Paulson plays the infamous Linda Tripp, former White House Employee and confidant of Beanie Feldstein’s Monica Lewinsky. Though her character might have been shocked by the sudden scrutiny she experienced once Lewinsky’s affair with President Clinton became national news — Paulson herself is no stranger to the microscope sometimes cast on her looks and her personal life. “Every time that you go anywhere on the red carpet, now there are websites dedicated to picking you apart,” she once told the New York Times. And on the red carpet, Paulson has had her share of hits and misses alike; over the past two decades, she’s come into her own, sartorially speaking, eventually eschewing the very pretty, yet sometimes characterless, looks of her early career in favor of chic designs by smaller labels like Cushnie et Ochs, Etro, and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. She’s gotten more experimental and more dramatic, and she’s developed an on-trend bleached bob that adds instant edge to anything she wears. Here, we look back at Sarah Paulson’s best red carpet moments, from her early days as a stage actress to one of Ryan Murphy’s favorite screen presences.

2021: Impeachment: American Crime Story Premiere
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Wearing Alexandre Vauthier, Sarah Paulson attends the Impeachment: American Crime Story premiere at the Pacific Design Center on September 01, 2021 in West Hollywood, California.

2019: The Goldfinch Premiere
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Wearing Prada, Sarah Paulson attends the "The Goldfinch" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 08, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

2019: Met Gala
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Wearing Moschino, Sarah Paulson attends the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.

2019: Game of Thrones Premiere
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Sarah Paulson attends the "Game Of Thrones" New York Premiere in a stunning Gucci dress at Radio City Music Hall, NYC on April 3, 2019 in New York City.

2019: Academy Awards
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Wearing Brandon Maxwell, Sarah Paulson attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.

2019: UK Premiere of Glass
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Wearing Prada, Sarah Paulson attends the UK Premiere of "Glass" at The Curzon Mayfair on January 09, 2019 in London, England.

2019: Ocean’s 8 Premiere
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Sarah Paulson attends the world premiere of "Ocean's 8" in a show-stopping Prada dress at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 5, 2018 in New York City.

2018: Met Gala
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Sarah Paulson wears Prada at "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & the Catholic Imagination", the 2018 Costume Institute Benefit at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City.

2018: Vanity Fair Oscar Party
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Sarah Paulson in Marc Jacobs at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

2017: Emmy Awards
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Wearing Carolina Herrera, Sarah Paulson attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

2017: Vanity Fair Oscar Party
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Sarah Paulson in Ronald van der Kemp at the the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

2017: Met Gala
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Wearing Prada, Sarah Paulson attends the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum on May 1, 2017 in New York City.

2017: Golden Globe Awards
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Sarah Paulson in Marc Jacobs at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

2016: Emmy Awards
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Wearing Prada, Sarah Paulson attends the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

2015: Carol Premiere
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Sarah Paulson wears Etro at the premiere of Carol in New York, New York, November 2015.

2015: American Horror Story: Hotel Premiere
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Sarah Paulson in Monique Lhuillier at the premiere of American Horror Story in Los Angeles, California, October 2015. Photo by Getty Images.

2014: American Horror Story: Freak Show
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Wearing Zac Posen, Sarah Paulson attends the premiere of American Horror Story in Hollywood, California, October 2014. Photo by Getty Images.

2014: Emmy Awards
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Sarah Paulson wears Armani Privé at the 66th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, August 2014.

2014: Met Gala
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Wearing Prada, Sarah Paulson attends the Met Gala in New York, New York, May 2014.

2013: 12 Years a Slave Premiere
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Wearing Vivienne Westwood, Sarah Paulson attends the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the 51st annual New York Film Festival in New York, New York, October 2013.

2012: American Horror Story: Asylum Premiere
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Sarah Paulson wears Reem Acra at the premiere of American Horror Story in Hollywood, California, October 2012.

2012: Emmy Awards
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Wearing Reem Acra, Sarah Paulson attends the 64th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, September 2012.

2007: Golden Globe Awards
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Sarah Paulson attends the 64th annual Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, California, January 2007.

2005: Tony Awards
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Sarah Paulson at the 59th annual Tony Awards in New York, New York, June 2005.