Natalie Portman: is the Oscar favorite also worthy of a style award…?
2011 “belongs” to her, both for personal reasons (she got engaged and is expecting her first child) and professional ones. Having already won a Golden Globe as well as other “minor” awards for her performance in “Black Swan”, the petite actress has a slight advantage in the Oscars race. This article’s purpose is not to comment on her acting abilities, but rather on more girly issues, such as her place in the universe of style: could she ever be regarded as a style icon? And does she have any special contribution to the world of fashion and style?
Both movies and reality form our general idea of an actress’s style. Since the times of “Leon”, in which as a 12-year-old she would hover alongside Jean Reno in an emblematic 90’s look (striped tee, fabric choker, army boots, nude make-up), the stylistic statements of roles that Natalie Portman has interpreted, have been extremely strong, a far call from the average heroine: she ’s been the out-of-this-world Queen Amidala in the “Star Wars” prequels, the bald Evey in “V for Vendetta”, and now the “schizophrenic” Nina Sayers in “Black Swan”. Her unconventional cinematic alter egos, that “happen” to have jumped out of blockbuster movies, give her what every actress wishes for: a solid place in the public’s conscience, which recalls her impressive looks in the above films. Add to this the impact of her more realistic roles (the “revolutionary” Anne in “Anywhere but here”, the stripper Alice in “Closer”, or the troubled Rifka in “New York, I love you”), and you got yourself a girl whose professional image is strong but not one-dimensional or cartoonish.
On the other hand, her appearances on the red carpet and in real-life can be characterised as moderate, both with elegant and some unfortunate style choices. In the last few years, the 30-year-old actress has added more glamour and femininity in her official public appearances, in comparison to the past, when she preferred more minimal, youthful looks. In everyday life she stays faithful to casual style and flat shoes. She ’s never been the primal protégée of classic fashion magazines, but whatever assets she may lack in the trend department, she bounces back thanks to her genes: her “aristocratic” beauty is based on her delicate facial characteristics, while her petite figure gives a cute twist to the “princess”-like image. This combination can upgrade a simple look or attract the attention from any disadvantages in cases of non-flattering styling moments. Moreover, given the fact that the media have treated her rather kindly throughout her career, focusing mostly on her professional than her personal life, Portman has had the chance to build a public image of a “healthy” celebrity, unobstructed.
In conclusion, although she may not be “officially” regarded as a trend setter, if the main need for showbiz icons today –among the “in vitro” perfection of Gossip Girls, the “cheap” trendiness of Mileys, the “burnt” starlets and the “bubble-butted, grapefruit-titted, bloated-mouthed cyberbitches” as Tom Ford characterized most of the female celebrities- is for a general style ideal that is classy without being boring, then Portman is one of its most profound representatives, bringing back “healthier” rules in the game of publicity (even if every image is set by the media – after all, our approach can only be conceptual and iconoclastic since none of us chats with her over a coffee-break!).
“Class” is not a synonym to boredom, so Portman has also given us various moments of humorous self-commentary and self-sarcasm: check out on youTube her “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis” video, her rap on “Saturday Night Live” and her “geeky” laugh at the Golden Globes acceptance speech.
P.S. Portman is the new face of the Miss Dior Cherie perfume campaign, where she poses discreetly naked, while her next movie which we are eager to see, is “No Strings Attached”, alongside Aston Kutcher.