Tilda Swinton’s Style Evolution: A Brief History of Her Unique Looks

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VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06: Tilda Swinton  attends "The Eternal Daughter" red carpet at the 79th V...
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Tilda Swinton’s androgynous, eclectic style makes her a malleable on-screen presence. Whether playing a high-powered general counsel in Michael Clayton, a literal witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or a satire of Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in Hail, Caesar!, she’s able to fully inhabit a role precisely because she isn’t quite like any of them. Or, maybe, even of this world. Though she’s been described as chameleon-like, even that isn’t quite accurate; Swinton never blends into the background. In Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, for example, Swinton remains silent throughout. And in Suspiria, she brought chills down our spines with her two mysterious roles. Throughout Swinton’s illustrious career, she has come to find comfort in specific directors, like Wes Anderson or Bong Joon-ho, just as she has gravitated toward specific designers. While years ago, Swinton was fairly loyal to Lanvin, these days, she’s constantly supporting her good friend Haider Ackermann on red carpets, wearing his designs for her many Cannes appearances. When she’s not in Ackermann, though, a betting woman would put her in Chanel or Schiaparelli. At this point, Swinton knows her style and knows what works—below, a look back at her best red carpet moments over the past two-plus decades.

2024: Problemista Premiere
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In Problemista, Swinton plays an eccentric art world outcast—so, it’s fitting she dressed the part for the film’s 2024 premiere in New York City. Swinton sported a sleek tuxedo from Haider Ackermann for Jean Paul Gaultier that styled with a faux feather blouse.

2023: Memory Premiere
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For the 2023 premiere of Memory during the Marrakech International Film Festival, Swinton slipped into a tweed Chanel that was lined with purple fringe.

2023: Marrakech International Film Festival
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Swinton was a vision in all white for the Marrakech International Film Festival, hitting the step and repeat in a cocoon-like Haider Ackermann x Jean Paul Gaultier couture jacket.

2023: Problemista SXSW Premiere
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This was just one of the two Charles Jeffrey Loverboy looks Swinton pulled out for SXSW. For the Problemista premiere, the actress wore a mustard button down shirt with a matching scarf and paired it with a kilt, featuring John Byrne’s painting, American Boy.

2022: The Fashion Awards
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Swinton wore another artistic Charles Jeffrey Loverboy look to the 2022 Fashion Awards.

2022: Academy Museum Gala
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Despite the embellishments, this black velvet button-up dress from the Schiaparelli fall 2022 collection is much more low-key than many of Swinton’s other red carpet looks.

2022: BFI London Film Festival, The Eternal Daughter Premiere
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Swinton opted for some ’70s-style suiting at the BFI London Film Festival, walking the red carpet in a blue suit with peak lapels and wide-leg trousers from Bella Freud.

2022: Venice International Film Festival, The Eternal Daughter Premiere
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The actress tapped her good friend, designer Haider Ackermann, to dress her for The Eternal Daughter premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

2022: Cannes Film Festival, Three Thousand Years Of Longing Premiere
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Swinton wore a navy Chanel dress with an embellished neckline from the brand’s fall 2022 collection to the Three Thousand Years Of Longing premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

2021: Cannes Film Festival, Memoria Premiere
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Despite the grandeur of the Cannes red carpet, Swinton kept it fairly causal at the premiere for Memoria, attending in a tunic dress from Chanel resort 2022.

2021: Cannes Film Festival, The French Dispatch Premiere
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Swinton is nothing if not consistent, so it wasn’t too surprising (though it was definitely a delight) when the actress wore Haider Ackermann to the premiere of her latest Wes Anderson film in 2021.

2021: Cannes Film Festival, The Souvenir: Part II Premiere
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The actress joined her daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne, in Chanel spring 2021 haute couture at the premiere of The Souvenir: Part II.

2020: Venice Film Festival, The Human Voice Premiere
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Swinton accessorized her Chanel spring 2016 haute couture white silk crepe and guipere lace dress with a gold elephant mask by James T. Merry.

2019: Marrakech International Film Festival
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The actress, who acted as jury president at the 2019 Marrakech International Film Festival, made quite a statement in a neon pink Haider Ackermann suit.

2019: Cannes Film Festival, Parasite Premiere
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Swinton wore a cream satin Chanel fall 2019 suit when she walked the red carpet with her daughter at the Cannes Film Festival premiere of Parasite.

2019: Cannes Film Festival, The Dead Don’t Die Premiere
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While Haider Ackermann usually designs more structured pieces for Swinton, at the Cannes premiere of The Dead Don’t Die, the pair worked together on a more relaxed look—a long-sleeved, silver sequin-covered dress.

2019: Film Independent Spirit Awards
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Swinton wore a laser cut leather jacket with white trousers from Haider Ackermann fall 2018 to the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2019.

2018: Suspiria Premiere
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The actress brought her own touch to this Schiaparelli fall 2018 haute couture jacket by pairing it with oversized, pink silk tafetta trousers.

2018: Venice Film Festival
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Swinton doesn’t always wear patterns, but when she does, she goes all in. At the Venice Film Festival in 2018, the actress attended the premiere of At Eternity’s Gate in a red leaopard print Schiaparelli fall 2018 haute couture dress with gloved sleeves and matching shoes, covering almost her entire body in the pattern.

2018: Venice Film Festival, Suspiria Premiere
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In comparison to the leopard printed Schiaparelli look, the red, ruffled collared Haider Ackermann fall 2018 dress she wore to the premiere of her film, Suspiria, was quite simple.

2018: Berlin International Film Festival, Isle of Dogs Premiere
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Swinton pulled a tux-inspired look with cropped, wide-leg pants from Chanel pre-fall 2018 to wear to the Berlin International Film Festival premiere of Isle of Dogs.

2017: Okja Premiere
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It’s not often one would describe Swinton’s wardrobe choices as “romantic,” but this white Schiaparelli couture dress with an embellished heart detailing and matching shoes is exactly that.

2017: Cannes Film Festival, 70th Anniversary
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Swinton has become a mainstay at Cannes over the past few years, so it makes sense that she was there to celebrate the festival’s 70th anniversary, and did so in Chanel.

2017: Cannes Film Festival, Okja Premiere
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The actress matched her bleached blonde hair to her white Haider Ackermann dress at the Cannes premiere of her film, Okja.

2016: Doctor Strange Premiere
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Haider Ackermann provided Swinton with a pleated, irredescent chartreuse gown, belted at the waist, to wear to the premiere of Doctor Strange in 2016.

2016: CFDA Fashion Awards
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Swinton kept it cool, and fairly causal at the 2016 CFDA Awards, arriving in black pants with red stripes down the sides, and an embellished silver top from Haider Ackermann.

2016: Berlin International Film Festival, Hail, Caesar! Premiere
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The actress played with proportions at the Berlin Film Festival premiere of Hai, Caesar!, walking the red carpet in a Chanel spring 2016 couture skirt and jacket with rounded shoulders and an exaggerated collar.

2015: Venice International Film Festival, A Bigger Splash Premiere
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This pale yellow Haider Ackerman was a slight departure for Swinton, providing her with a lighter, more feminine look.

2015: Trainwreck Premiere
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At the premiere of Trainwreck, though, the actress was back to her usual ways, attending the event in a tailored black and white jumpsuit from Haider Ackermann fall 2015.

2014: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards
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Swinton embraced color for the Governors Awards with the help of a striped, sequin-covered Schiaparelli spring 2014 couture dress.

2014: Los Angeles Film Festival, Snowpiercer Premiere
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For the premiere of her film, Snowpiercer, Swinton once again looked toward Schiaparelli, wearing a unique, off-the-shoulder dotted dress with gathering details at the hips.

2014: Berlin International Film Festival, The Grand Budapest Hotel Premiere
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While she usually goes to Haider Ackermann when in need of a tailored look, Swinton instead wore a Schiaparelli spring 2014 couture suit with a white ruffled shirt and feathered sandals to the Berlin Film Festival premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

2013: Deauville Film Festival, Snowpiercer Premiere
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Swinton mixed things up designer-wise when she wore a liquid silver satin Lanvin gown to the premiere of Snowpiercer at the Dueville Film Festival, which she attended with the film’s director, Bong Joon-Ho.

2013: Cannes Film Festival, Only Lovers Left Alive Premiere
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This Haider Ackermann gold ensemble seems to be a favorite on Swinton’s as she has reworn the set since this 2013 premiere.

2012: Cannes Film Festival, Moonrise Kingdom Premiere
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Swinton once again wore Haider Ackermann to a Cannes premiere, this time a rust colored dress inspired by a shorter look from the designer’s fall 2012 collection.

2012: Time100 Gala
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Before her love affair with Schiaparelli and Haider Ackermann realy began, Swinton used to dip her toe into other brands more often, and at the 2012 Time100 Gala, she wore Celine in the form of a white, suit-inspired jumpsuit.

2012: BAFTA Awards
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Celine also provided the actress’ dress for the BAFTAs that same year.

2012: Screen Actors Guild Awards
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It’s not often we can discribe a Swinton look as “flowing,” but this pleated, white Lanvin dress definitely fits that descriptor.

2012: Golden Globe Awards
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While this Haider Ackermann dress was originally presented in black, Swinton opted to make it lavender when she wore it to the Golden Globes in 2012.

2011: Cannes Film Festival, We Need to Talk About Kevin Premiere
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Swinton wore a two-toned Haider Ackermann halter-neck dress to the Cannes premiere of her film, We Need to Talk About Kevin.

2011: Golden Globe Awards
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The actress was seemingly inspired by Sharon Stone at the 1996 Oscars when choosing this Jil Sander dress for the Golden Globes.

2011: Critics Choice Awards
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For the Critics’ Choice Awards, Swinton went for a simpler look, wearing a long-sleeved mini dress with structured shoulders from Lanvin.

2009: César Film Awards

Swinton looked like a walking work of art in this Christian Lacroix couture dress in 2009.

2009: Academy Awards
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The actress embraced neutrals at the Oscars in 2009, attending the award show in a Lanvin blouse and skirt.

2009: Berlin International Film Festival
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Only Swinton could make a hunting cap red carpet appropriate.

2008: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Premiere

Swinton opted for a more demure, orange tonal look from Rodarte for the premiere of The Curious Case.

2008: “Superheros: Fashion & Fantasy” Met Gala
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The actress wore a golden lace Lanvin dress to the 2008 Met Gala.

2008: Academy Awards
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When Swinton took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Michael Clayton, she did so in an asymettric, black velvet Lanvin dress.

2008: Berlin International Film Festival, Julia Premiere
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The actress wore a graphic dress with cutouts on the chest and shoulder to the Berlin Film Festival premiere of her film, Julia.

2008: Screen Actors Guild Awards
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Swinton once again tapped Lanvin to dress her, attending the SAG Awards in a liquid, metallic dress with a blazer on top.

2007: Cannes Film Festival, The Man From London Premiere
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The actress suited up in gray to attend the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

2005: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Premiere
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In Chronicles of Narnia, Swinton played Jadis, the White Witch, and it’s clear she took inspiration from her character when choosing a look for the film’s 2005 premiere.

2003: Young Adam Premiere
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Swinton wore a simple black dress with a leather belt to the Young Adam premiere in 2003.

2002: Cannes Film Festival
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Swinton has been making statements on the red carpet for over two decades. In 2002, she took on Cannes in a velvet cobalt dress with a matching overcoat.

2001: Cannes Film Festival
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The year before, Swinton had no problem taking up a lot of space on the carpet in a tiered, fruit-covered Christian Dior spring/summer 2001 dress.

2000: The Beach Premiere
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For the premiere of her film The Beach, Swinton wore a butter yellow dress with a matching trench-style coat on top.

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