Who: Léa Seydoux
She’s a Household Name In: France
Why She’ll Be Known Worldwide: If you don’t immediately recognize (usually) blonde beauty Léa Seydoux’s face, it’s probably because this chameleon has made her United States crossover playing such diverse roles as a cold-blooded assassin in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and an adorable ingénue in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. While we fell in love with her in those roles, it's her red carpet style that’s captivated us—she certainly has the slightly aloof je ne sais quoi that French women do so well, but also clearly loves to have fun with fashion, playing with colorful injections and punching up ladylike pieces with edgy details. We’re not the only ones paying attention—Prada made the actress the face of its Resort 2012 line and Candy fragrance. In fact, she radiates such a sense of style that she’s landed the role of model and jewelry designer Loulou de la Falaise in the upcoming film about the life of Yves Saint Laurent.
Photos: WENN.com, Richard Bord/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Seydoux has an ability to style a stunning gown or chic cocktail dress in a fresh and approachable way—take her look at the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol London premiere. The actress wore a sleek long-sleeved black Prada gown, but balanced the serious look with a relaxed fishtail braid and a short dark manicure. At the Cabourg Film Festival, she gave her eggplant dress from Elie Saab a bit of spunk with raspberry heels, a grass green clutch, even taking the colorblocking trend to her blue-tinted cropped ‘do. Seydoux’s knack for pairing classic looks with unexpected pieces makes her a style standout; at the Miu Miu Fall 2012 show she wore another Prada look, this time in ladylike black lace. The outfit game-changer were her flaming green heels, also by Prada, which revved up the no-nonsense LBD.
Photos: Luca Teauchmann/Getty Images, Ian Wilson/WENN.com, Julien Hekimian/Getty Images
That’s not to say that Seydoux can’t do full-on glamour. At the premiere of L’Enfant d’En Haut at the Berlinale Film Festival, she smoldered in a black Elie Saab gown with peekaboo stripes and a flowing skirt. The dress showed off her bombshell figure without being over-the-top, and her choice of gold accessories highlighted her sleek blonde locks. At the Farewell My Queen premiere, she was a knock-out in red Prada, channeling old Hollywood with her deeply side-parted waves and cat-eye makeup, and adding some serious bling with her accessories. But Seydoux really made her entrance as a style queen at the recent Cesar Film Awards—her black and red Alexis Mabille Couture gown was truly regal. The elegant criss-cross bodice trailed into a luxurious cape and her silver clutch and bun were the simple touches that made this look a Best Dressed list shoe-in—not to mention her flawless makeup.
Photos: Kristy Sparrow/Getty Images, Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
What makes the actress really shine is her ability to work so many divergent looks—one would never guess that she could rock a directional look like the Christian Dior Fall 2012 long-sleeved eggplant top, textured violet skirt with mesh stripes, strappy eggplant wedges and edgy slicked hair that she wore to the Paris photocall for Farewell My Queen, and look just as effortlessly cool in a tan patterned Louis Vuitton dress with a Peter Pan collar styled with hot pink Jimmy Choos and matching lips at the London premiere of Sister. The actress told Hollywood Reporter, “I like fashion because I’m a woman, but I don’t like clothes that women disappear in.” Case in point: the multi-patterned orange dress with a pleated skirt and brocade waistband that she donned at a photocall in Berlin. Keep an eye out for Seydoux stateside—she’s been nominated twice for the Cesar Award for Most Promising Actress, but we’d like to give her a nod for Most Promising International Fashionista.