A look at Angelina Jolie’s solo style revolution

From grunge to androgyny and mummy style to the colour black, Angelina Jolie turns heads no matter what she wears, says Paula Burns

A look at Angelina Jolie’s solo style revolution

FINALLY Brad and Angie decided to give us the day out we had all been waiting for. For almost a decade it’s been a rollercoaster of will-they-won’t-they but after constant badgering from their kids Jolie and Pitt have become one. If we’re all honest the main attraction of the day was always going to be “the dress”. While Angelina may not be a style icon what she has worn down the aisle in the past has promised controversy and so we all waited with bated breath to see what personal touch she would give this one. Instead of a vial of blood for each child we got the Disney version of their drawings embroidered onto her simple Versace gown. It’s not the Cinderella dress we would all desire but let’s face it who thought it would be. Angie has never been the go-to celeb for style inspiration. Over the years her look has developed from the sloppy grunge to the prim UN ambassador.

The Colour Black

While Angelina may be on her third marriage it seems her one true love has always been the colour black. Throughout the years Angie has chosen the failsafe of black from boarding the plane to stepping out onto the red carpet; the shadowed hue has been her constant companion. As Jolie has demonstrated her gothic tendencies it’s no surprise that the uniform shade of black has been a firm favourite. The juxtaposition of the darkness of the black against her porcelain is a striking contrast that works. Albeit black can be the safe choice Jolie does gives it a certain edge.

Billy Bob’s Reign

The image we have of Angelina Jolie is far from angelic. While she may now be a UN ambassador, Jolie’s persona has always been perceived as wild. This could have something to do with her off the wall romance with Billy Bob Thornton. Their somewhat unconventional lifestyle trickled down to Jolie’s fashion statements or more correctly lack of fashion statements. The then 25-year-old strode onto the red carpet for the premiere of her movie Gone in 60 Seconds in an old blue T-shirt with leather trousers and boots. This was not the glamorous attire the red carpet is accustomed to. Throughout her marriage with Billy Bob, Angie embraced her inner grunge.

Versace Affair

Since hooking up with Brad, Angie’s red carpet looks have taken on a more streamlined effect. Her go to designer is Versace and so there were no surprises when she chose the iconic house for her wedding dress. Back in May Angie stepped out for the world premiere of her movie Maleficent, in a rubberised silk gown which was made to look like leather by the Atelier Versace. The dress embodied everything that is now Angelina. It was daring while staying within the confines of what we expect from the red carpet.

Mummy Pitt

Over the past decade Angelina’s profile has taken a new angle. She’s not only one of the highest paid female actresses in Hollywood but she is a mother of six which is probably the toughest job she’s had yet. Hollywood mums have set a new standard of high fashion for the school runs. Jolie will always be a grunge girl at heart. When hanging out with her kids, the new Mrs Pitt, dons leather trousers with an oversized sweater or skinny jeans, T-shirt and flats. The staple of her downtime look is her much loved shades of black or charcoal greys.

Ambassador Uniform

When taking on the role of UN ambassador, Jolie faced the task of eradicating the public’s previous opinion of her as a wild child. She couldn’t turn up to a UN summit dressed in leathers and so we saw a more poised Jolie take the stage. For this year’s Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, Jolie wore a grey peplum jacket with a knee length skirt. The look was demure and fitting to the event. As always Jolie played the fashion chameleon she has learned to be.

Androgyny Zone

There is one look which Angelina nails every time and that’s androgyny. This is where Jolie’s sexual prowess reigns. Very few women can pull off the trouser suit yet Angelina has been forever immortalised wearing a tuxedo suit with open bow tie. This summer the Paris Musee Grevin unveiled its new model of Jolie wearing the men’s-wear inspired Saint Laurent suit she had worn for the BAFTA Awards. Jolie has an innate quality of sexiness that oozes when she steps into the tuxedo. She also likes to mix it up opting for a white tuxedo for the premiere of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The look was crisp, classic and sexy.

HATE THAT DRESS - Rita de Brun

Angelina looked stunning — but not because of the drawings

IT was a ‘Honey, I’m wearing the kids moment.’ But Angelina Jolie would have achieved a more flattering look had she staggered to the altar with one of her brood of six clinging to her back, another perched atop her shoulders and four clutched tightly in her arms, than she did by wearing their drawings down the aisle.

Nobody could expect her to have displayed a glimpse of the infamously sexy Lara Croft look on her wedding day. And while she didn’t, her look was meticulously ‘crofted’ all the same, albeit in a hugely unflattering way. Designed by Donatella Versace and Luigi Massi, the gown with the ruched bust and unflattering neckline, not only concealed but buried much of the beauty’s statuesque figure beneath copious expanses of mediocre material.

Was she not breathtakingly beautiful on her big day? She was. But the gown did nothing for her. She looked stunning despite not because of it.

There is scope for humour at a wedding, provided it’s confined to the best man’s speech. The bride’s wedding attire should never be the source.

‘Buttock Fattock’ may be meaningful in an intimate way to Brangelina, but wearing those words on the gown had all the classiness of a face tattoo. Kid humour on wedding attire is about as appropriate as adult humour on a christening gown.

For this reason, we could but should not conclude that Luigi made a Massi of the brief. Doubtless, given his reputation for excellence what he delivered was the best possible compromise between his insistence on perfection and Jolie’s fondness for the eclectic.

Given the garishness of the garments on display, we can only hope that what lurked beneath in the form of lingerie was classier and more flattering and that it wasn’t another shrine to the creativity of the kids, this time in the form of their combined efforts at crochet (albeit in the form of a suspender belt and matching g-string), or perish the thought, an artist’s mural (in body paint) depicting half a dozen images of favourite family faces.

Chances are, that Brad was surprised by the dress on the day. So much so that it’s likely that he couldn’t wait to tear it off her — then roll the mood killing, Ikea IGGE shower curtain channelling garment into a ball and fling it from the nearest window. Now that would have been the pitts.

LOVE THAT DRESS Suzanne Harrington

Wedding dress doodles show a couple who give kids the fairytale

So Angelina Jolie let her kids get involved with her wedding dress design. Their drawings and doodles were all over it, subverting the traditional plain white gown-and-veil look with some colourful cartoons on the back, all put in place by Luigi Massi at Atelier Versace. Immediately, this created a torrent of sniping at this fairly bulletproof couple. The New York Post thought the kids involvement was a “gross display of parenting run amok” and — in case we didn’t get it — “over indulgent parents gone mad”.

Well, it is fairly difficult to find negative things to say about the Pitt-Jolies. You have to dig deep. They love each other. They love their kids. They are more than socially conscious and active, on a level rather deeper than any ice bucket challenge. The films in which they appear are inoffensive, if occasionally entertaining, and both are terribly pleasant on the eye. They don’t do public meltdowns, dramas or trips to rehab. They seem perfectly nice, in a gilded Hollywood globetrotting megabucks kind of way.

Which leaves very little to criticise or rip apart. But really — is allowing your kids to have a bit of fun on your wedding day anything but top-notch inclusive parenting? The wedding was obviously for the kids. Watching your adored parents publicly adoring each other with rings and gowns and flowers is like a fairytale come true, with Mommy playing the princess and Daddy the handsome prince. Pitt has said before that their kids were always nagging them to put a ring on it; the idea of drawing all over the dress just takes this up a notch.

Plus Jolie likes tattoos. The wedding dress, a blank canvas of silk, reflects what was underneath — a blank canvas of skin — both to be covered in ink or representations of ink. Meaningful and highly personalised, unlike 99.99% of wedding dresses, which are so anonymous and impersonal they pop up on eBay before you can doodle the word ‘divorce’.

Getting married when your kids are old enough to take part in the ceremony is surely the biggest affirmation of family love. Letting the kids join in the fun by scribbling all over the wedding dress shows a woman full of humour who is not overly up herself. Angelina Jolie may be the most unattainable human being in the galaxy, but from down here on earth, she looks like a lot of fun. Imagine having her as your mum. Wow.

More in this section

IE Logo


Your guide to staying at home


Join us for our International Women’s Day virtual lunchtime celebration on Monday, March 8 from 1pm


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.