If you type the German actress Diane Kruger into Google, the search suggestion immediately pops up with ‘style’. There you will be met with a plethora of exquisite red-carpet gowns; shots of her posing in understated, chic outfits; tabloid snaps of gloriously casual daywear. But perhaps what is most striking is the diversity of all these outfits. In one a gauzy cobalt blue dress, adorned with delicate beading, skims her ankles; in the next she looks fresh and sunny in a plain white dress and simple black flats, blonde hair tied back in an unobtrusive ponytail. In another she wears an arresting print blouse and black skirt with a barely perceptible slit; scroll down a bit, and you’ll see her looking like a modern day pin-up in a wide brimmed sunhat and a breathtakingly elegant jumpsuit.
Most celebrities have a recognisable style: an oeuvre into which they seamlessly fall, helpfully directed by an obliging stylist. Think of Alexa Chung, and her appealing androgyny; or Lady Gaga and her unrivalled talent to shock. When it comes to style, actors, musicians and models are often too liable to become predictable brands: stylists shape outfits so that each small accessory cultivates a desirable image, and women featured on best-dressed lists are largely not responsible for the pristine look that appears in magazines. But Diane Kruger – who does not have a stylist and unequivocally does not dress for men – stands for none of this. If anything, she signifies an individualistic, miscellaneous approach to fashion that many of us can identify with.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with loving a style and sticking to it. If you only feel comfortable in jeans and a jumper, or hate the idea of deviating from feminine frills, then that’s great, and you should stick to what you enjoy wearing most. But, like many of you I’m sure, my outfits change drastically from day to day, and my wardrobe is an eclectic collection of different styles (although, let’s be honest, it’s all mostly Topshop). I can be simultaneously seduced by the most relaxed of plaid shirts and the most OTT couture gown, and spend far too much time hankering after a wide assortment of styles that I see on the street. And it looks like Diane Kruger does too.
Of course there are certain aspects of her fashion choices that recur: clean lines, bold colour, intricate detail. But just when you think you’ve nailed down her style, Kruger will surprise you with a glitzy miniskirt or an extravagant gown. Some outfit choices, perhaps, are less appealing – knee-high gladiator boots spring to mind – but that’s the point. She wears what she wants to wear and involves herself in whatever styling mood she’s feeling that day, whether that’s slouchy jeans and a blazer, or chunky heels and a clinging midi dress. I can’t decide whether she looks more effortlessly glamourous on the red carpet or simply snapped on the street.
I’ll leave you with a few tips gleaned from avidly following Diane Kruger’s style over the past few years. Hats are underrated, and we should all wear them. It’s okay to be preppy one day, and bejewelled the next. Be confident in whatever you’re wearing. And, most of all, wear what you want when you want to wear it. Now if only I could afford all that Chanel…
Text by Rachel Walker
Illustration by Clare Patterson