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How Carey Mulligan Came Into Her Own on the Red Carpet

Carey Mulligan wearing a gold dress
Photo by Matt Petit/AMPAS via Getty Images

Take one look at Carey Mulligan as Cassie, the med school dropout at the center of Promising Young Woman, and you’ll get the exact opposite idea of her character. Breakout director Emerald Fennell loves a twist, and her first was to have Cassie’s innocent school girl look belie the vengeance she seeks amid all her trauma and grief. But now that Mulligan’s promoting the film, her wardrobe couldn’t look more different. She’s been cycling through a series of elegant, minimalist looks from Prada while accepting awards like the Independent Spirit’s Best Female Lead, which marked her sixth win this awards season. Then, at the Oscars on Sunday, she pivoted. Mulligan stepped out onto the IRL red carpet in a sequined Valentino Haute Couture bandeau and ballgown skirt, matching the statuette in shimmery gold. Take a closer look at her latest, plus all her other standouts over the years, here.

Carey Mulligan attends the 93rd annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Chris Pizzelo/Pool via Getty Images
Carey Mulligan virtually attends the 36th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on April 22, 2021.
Photo by Gavin Batty

Carey Mulligan virtually attends the 27th annual SAG Awards on April 4, 2021.
Photo by Greg Williams

Carey Mulligan virtually attends the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards on February 28, 2021.
Photo by Greg Williams
Carey Mulligan attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Promising Young Woman at the Marc Theatre on January 25, 2020 in Park City, Utah.
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Carey Mulligan attends the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020 in Park City, Utah.
Photo by Presley Ann via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the launch of Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori at the Roundhouse on September 15, 2019 in London, England.
Photo by David M. Benett via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Chanel and Charles Finch Pre-Oscar Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 23, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo by Rochelle Brodin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 23, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo by John Shearer via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 2018 Fashion Awards at Royal Albert Hall on December 10, 2018 in London, England.
Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 10th annual Governors Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center on November 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Los Angeles premiere of Wildlife at ArcLight Hollywood on October 9, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Photo by Leon Bennett/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends a press conference for Wildlife at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on September 10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.
Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Off-Broadway opening night of Girls & Boys at the Minetta Lane Theatre on June 20, 2018 in New York City.
Photo by Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends an event with Kering Women in Motion event during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Majestic Hotel on May 10, 2018 in Cannes, France.
Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends a photo call for Wildlife during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at L'Espace Miramar on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France.
Photo by Andreas Rentz via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Sundance Film Festival premiere of Wildlife at Eccles Center Theatre on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah.
Photo by George Pimentel via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 56th annual New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on September 30, 2018 in New York City.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 27th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 27, 2017 in New York City.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 21st Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo by Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends Harper's Bazaar’s Women of the Year Awards at Claridge's Hotel on November 2, 2017 in London, England.
Photo by David M. Benett via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 55th New York Film Festival Mudbound premiere at Alice Tully Hall on October 12, 2017 in New York City.
Photo by Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Mudbound at Roy Thomson Hall on September 12, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.
Photo by Walter McBride/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Moët British Independent Film Awards 2015 at Old Billingsgate Market on December 6, 2015 in London, England.
Photo by John Phillips via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of Suffragette at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 20, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends a screening of Suffragette on the opening night of the BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 7, 2015 in London, England.
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 69th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City.
Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year awards at Claridge's Hotel on November 4, 2014 in London, England.
Photo by David M. Benett via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Christopher Polk via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Met Gala on May 7, 2012.
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 7th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards on November 15, 2010 in New York City.
Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on September 20, 2010 in New York City.
Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Carey Mulligan attends the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images