Emma Stone’s new film La La Land, directed by Whiplash wunderkind Damien Chazelle, is already on most critics’ sure-fire list for awards season come January. As the Golden Globes and the Oscars approach, Stone herself has been singled out for particular praise. Though a cast of supporting characters circle around her and co-star Ryan Gosling, La La Land is really a two-hander, and Stone sells it well.
She was last nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress two years ago, for her role in Alejandro G. Iñarritú’s Birdman, in a crop of nominees that also included the likes of Laura Dern and Keira Knightley; ultimately, she lost to Patricia Arquette in Richard Linklater’s decade-in-the-making tour de force, Boyhood.
As Stone tours the promotional circuit of premieres, awards shows, and nominations ceremonies for La La Land, she’s adopted a wardrobe worthy of an Oscar contender. (In one case, she directly channels Cate Blanchett, a two-time winner and seven-time nominee herself.) The expert-level choices include multiple outings in brilliant marigold yellow, electric blue and more difficult colors – ones that, on a mere mortal, might be an affront to the eyes. But what mere mortal ever won an Oscar?
For La La Land and Beyond, It’s Impossible to Pin Down Emma Stone’s Eclectic Style
Emma Stone in Prada at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala for ‘Manus x Machina’ in New York, New York, May 2016.
Emma Stone in Roland Mouret at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet in Beverly Hills, California, August 2016.
Emma Stone in Atelier Versace at the opening ceremony of the Venice Film Festival and the premiere of La La Land in Venice, Italy, August 2016.
Emma Stone in Chanel at the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, August 2016.
Emma Stone in Rochas at the party for Katie Says Goodbye at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 2016.
Emma Stone in Chanel at the press conference for La La Land in Venice, Italy, September 2016.
Emma Stone in Chanel at the premiere of La La Land at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 2016.
Emma Stone in Rodarte at the special screening of La La Land during the Mill Valley Film Festival in Mill Valley, California, October 2016.
Emma Stone in Prada at the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize in honor of Bill Murray in Washington, D.C., October 2016.
Emma Stone in Chanel at the premiere of La La Land at the Denver Film Festival in Denver, Colorado, November 2016.
Emma Stone in Rosetta Getty at a special screening of La La Land in Los Angeles, California, November 2016.
Emma Stone in Prada at the premiere of La La Land in Westwood, California, December 2016.
Emma Stone in Rochas with Ryan Gosling at their hand and footprint ceremony at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, December 2016.
Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli at the Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment breakfast in Los Angeles, California, December 2016.
Emma Stone in Jason Wu.
Emma Stone in Gucci at the W Magazine Best Performances pre-Golden Globes party in Los Angeles, California, January 2017.
Emma Stone in The Row at a screening of La La Land in London, England, January 2017.
Though La La Land doesn’t actually take place in the ’50s, you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise. As she dances through contemporary Los Angeles, Stone’s character Mia sports updated variants on silhouettes popular in the mid-20th century: knee-length skirts, sweetheart necklines, bold colors. Costume designer Mary Zophres, who also worked with Stone and Gosling on their previous co-starring screen appearance, Gangster Squad, sought inspiration from Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and other bold-faced ingenues of the era, she told Fashionista. A pair of black pants referenced Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face; the emerald green dress Mia wears to the planetarium with Sebastian was inspired by Judy Garland in A Star Is Born. Yet her looks also tap into Stone’s own aesthetic – one canary-yellow dress riffed on an Atelier Versace gown Stone had worn at a previous premiere, while her aquamarine ‘hero’ necklace, which was created by Monique Pean and worn throughout the film, was designed after Stone decided her film character would be a Pisces.
What makes La La Land great is that it’s convincing as an escapist movie-musical, but as the viewer peels back its layers, its ambiguous, sometimes cynical core emerges. That meta-ness, it seems, plays out even on the level of costumes — and now, in Stone’s red carpet attire. Ever since she debuted the film at Cannes earlier this year, including appearing for the premiere in a show-stopping Atelier Versace dress in a metallic green, she hasn’t stopped appearing in off-beat, challenging ensembles ever since. There was a radiant blue Prada, a marigold dress by Rochas followed by one by Giambattista Valli, a floral Gucci that might overwhelm a lesser starlet, the occasional Rodarte, another Giambattista Valli — a floral, in Pantone colors past (blush pink) and present (“Greenery”?) — and a few pantsuits thrown in for good measure.
Her ability to pull off looks we might have previously thought impossible off the runway (and sometimes even on the runway, if we’re being totally honest) is a reminder: Emma Stone can also pull off impossible moves on screen. Like saving the movie-musical in one, very meta, swoop. For her Oscars walk, we’ll be anticipating only the harshest colors from the red carpet’s (literally) brightest star.
Watch a video interview with Emma Stone here: