Penélope Cruz is one of the most celebrated actresses the world has ever known, but the international superstar’s early red carpet style was a far cry from her current fashion sensibilities. The Madrid-born actress is now one of the best-dressed stars on the red carpet, but that’s a title that only came after years in the industry. We can’t say we’re sorry that she said goodbye to several tired old trends she wore in her early red carpet photos.
Red Carpets Are Hard To Nail
It’s a tale as old as time: a young Hollywood starlet steps out on one of her first red carpets and she’s wearing the most hideous, era-specific outfit you’ve ever seen in your life. After a few years, her style improves until you see photos of her in the present day looking as if she were built in a laboratory for the express purpose of walking the red carpet in gorgeous designer duds.
We’ve taken a look at several star actresses’ early photos on the red carpet and compared them to their most recent looks, so we can state for a fact: being able to afford a stylist makes all the difference. Empire star Taraji P. Henson looked like a ’00s catastrophe in one of her first red carpet appearances, but now she struts the iconic walkway in beautiful couture designs that are awe-inspiring. Spanish actress Penélope Cruz also followed that trajectory over the course of her red carpet career.
Penélope Cruz’s Best Red Carpet Gowns
We love spotting Cruz at various award shows and movie premiers because she always delivers unforgettable fashions that emphasize her own beauty while still being gorgeous works of art in their own right. Who could forget the ravishing pink Versace feather dress she wore to the 2007 Academy Awards? It topped our list of best dresses from the Italian design house, but it also sits at number 15 on Telegraph’s list of the most beautiful red carpet gowns of all time.
The Queen Of Romantic Gowns
For the gala screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at the 64th Festival de Cannes, Cruz went with another romantic gown. The semi-sheer, gauzy gown fit Cruz like a dream and was simply, utterly gorgeous. From the trailing hem to the delightful sprouts on the shoulder straps, this is the sort of glamour we’re looking for when it comes to red carpet wear.
Cruz An Angel In White
One of our favorite shades to catch Cruz in is white. The American Crime Story actress looks positively heavenly in the shade, and it makes her dark features, specifically her beautiful brown hair and eyes, pop even more. Whether she’s rocking a scoop-neck column gown or an a-line dress with a sweetheart neckline, it’s almost as if Cruz can’t help but look divine.
We couldn’t find the designers responsible for these darling looks, but they ought to be proud to have their work worn by such a beauty. Unfortunately, not all of Cruz’s red carpet ensembles have been such a hit for us.
The Poncho’s Somehow Not The Worst Part
There are a number of reasons why it’s hard to recognize Cruz in this photo. She has a tendency to wear her hair up on the red carpet, so it’s a bit strange to see her let her hair down for once. Cruz kept it casual for the L.A. premiere of her 1999 film Cookie’s Fortune and it’s definitely giving us whiplash to see the actress in jeans and a poncho after looking through so many photos of her wearing designer formal wear.
Still, what makes it even harder for us to place Cruz is her ’90s-era eyebrows. Throughout that dark time, it was common, nay encouraged, for women to pluck their eyebrows into thin, severe lines. Cruz didn’t go overboard with her eyebrows, but there is a difference between more recent photos of the star and her photos from the ’90s and early aughts.
Others have definitely had a heavier plucking hand (looking at you Meghan McCain, we didn’t forget those 2008 eyebrows) but thankfully we’ve moved past the trend as a society and our collective eyebrows have never been fuller.