With so many young starlets these days falling victim to crimes of fashion, it’s nice to see the refreshingly daring and edgy style of Gossip Girl actress/singer Leighton Meester. Granted, Leighton’s fashion sense is a bit polarizing: her fans applaud her willingness to be young and hip with cool ensembles, while her detractors frown upon her tendency towards taking unnecessary fashion risks. I am in the group that loves each of her bright, bold statements that would make Leighton’s TV alter ego, fashion powerhouse Blair Waldorf, very proud. Here is a glance at three of Leighton Meester’s finest looks over the last two years.
1) Emilio De La Morena mini-dress at the MTV Movie Awards (2009)
This stunning black Emilio De la Morena mini-dress reveals just enough to be both sexy and classy. Leighton effortlessly pulls off the vibe of being a young woman with an eye for excellent style. On the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards, it’s certainly easy for a celebrity to get lost in a crowd of other stars, all wearing the latest fashion trends, but Leighton stands out in this brave number. It has just enough edge to turn the idea of the traditional little black dress on its head. The cute purple suede shoes are from Brian Atwood, and they are the ideal complement to the length and color of the dress. Leighton’s jewelry was designed by Cathy Waterman. My favorite features on the dress are the cut-out shapes on the shoulders and back. They mimic the shapes on the skirt beautifully. Besides wearing a great dress, Leighton also takes a fresh-faced approach to her make-up, with soft pink lipstick and cheeks. Her hair is in a sleek, pulled-back updo, which is just right for the style of the dress. Straight from De La Morena’s Spring/Summer 2009 collection, this dress is a perfect example of Leighton’s fearless fashion sense. See the look here.
2) Bottega Veneta gown at the Primetime Emmy Awards (2009)
Leighton looks stunning in this gorgeous floor-length white gown from Bottega Veneta. The elegant draping is reminiscent of classic dresses, and the shoulder knots add a touch of Leighton’s bold style. I love the asymmetrical pleating, and the position of the waistline. She chose the perfect dress for the occasion (the Primetime Emmy Awards), and in the sea of bright colors that always hits the red carpet for that event, Leighton once again makes a statement in the simple but graceful white. Her hair is windswept into a uniquely swirled bun, and her make-up is polished and refined. Accompanied by a Bottega Veneta clutch, Roger Vivier shoes and Cathy Waterman jewelry, the entire look is a fashion homerun. See the look here.
3) Elie Saab tulle dress at the Hollywood Awards Gala (2010)
From Elie Saab’s 2011 Spring collection, this tulle dress is a sweet light blue confection, complete with sequins and muted ruffles. Paired with perfectly matching Elie Saab suede platform shoes, the look is vibrant, youthful, and different from anything else on the Hollywood Awards Gala red carpet. I love the varying textures on the dress, and the crisscross pleating is lovely too. Leighton’s make-up is impeccable as always, accompanied nicely by Cathy Waterman jewelry, and her hair is pretty with ringlets framing her face. The glossy Jimmy Choo clutch adds to the soft charm of the entire look. See the look here.
Leighton has often said that, although she does have several go-to designers (Zac Posen, Nanette Lepore, Diane von Furstenberg), she also likes to be casual and comfortable with her style choices. That is evident in the effortless way she switches from a sensual sheer dress on one occasion to a lovely gown at another event. She often seems to be competing with her other fashionable Gossip Girl co-star, Blake Lively, but Leighton wins the red carpet battle hands-down. Sure, she got a lot of flack for her recent Fashion Night Out blue peek-a-boo dress (seen here), but honestly, it’s that risk-taking that makes her so special. As the face of Vera Wang’s brand new fragrance, Leighton’s ability to experiment with creativity yet still display elegance in her looks has quickly put her on the top of many fashion icon lists, and I can imagine that she’ll be leaving her stylish imprint on Hollywood for a long time to come.