Halle Bailey wears 'The Little Mermaid'-inspired gown to premiere

Halle Bailey wears 'The Little Mermaid'-inspired gown to premiere

A glitzy movie premiere is, of course, an opportunity for stars to promote their work, but the red carpet also provides a great outlet for celebrities to be creative with their fashion choices. Having spent so many weeks and months researching and playing a particular role, many stars often choose to pay sartorial tribute to the film once the premiere rolls around, incorporating its themes or nodding to a character with their look.

This can be difficult to master – literal dressing is not fancy dress, but it is a great way to be playful and to have fun with fashion.

"Sometimes you want to celebrate a character, a feeling, or more general aesthetic from the film," celebrity stylist Leith Clark, who works with Keira Knightley, Kirsten Dunst and Lucy Boyton, tells us. "But it comes more from a place of celebration and inspiration, rather than emulation."

Scroll through to see 22 times actors found inspiration from the films they were promoting on the red carpet – and got literal dressing just right.

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Halle Bailey for 'The Little Mermaid'

The press tour for The Little Mermaid is sure to be filled with plenty of ocean-inspired ensembles, and the movie's star Halle Bailey kicked it off in style this weekend. The actress wore a shimmering blue custom gown by Valdrin Sahiti which nodded perfectly to the theme of the movie.

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Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling for 'Barbie'

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are on the campaign trail for their upcoming film Barbie, in which they star as the iconic duo Barbie and Ken. The pair gave a sartorial nod to the film at this year's CinemaCon, with Robbie opting for a Barbie-worthy look in pink Prada, while Gosling wore a co-ordinating Acne Studios jacket and a T-shirt emblazoned with the name of the film's director, Greta Gerwig, in the Barbie font.

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Jenna Ortega for 'Wednesday'

Wednesday is one of the biggest hits Netflix has ever had, and the cast have had all kinds of fun during the press tour, taking inspiration from their characters on the red carpet. This includes the lead Jenna Ortega, who has injected a gothic style into each and every look, particularly for the world premiere, where she wore this black lace Versace gown, complete with a veil.

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Anya Taylor-Joy for 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie'

Anya Taylor-Joy is entering the video-game world with her latest role as Princess Peach, in the upcoming The Super Mario Bros. Movie. She took inspiration from the cartoon character by wearing a pink leather Dior jumpsuit, complete with matching gloves and boots, to the Los Angeles premiere.

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Zoey Deutch for 'Something From Tiffany's'

For her movie Something From Tiffany's, Zoey Deutch injected Tiffany blue into her wardrobe on multiple occasions (complemented with sparkling Tiffany & Co diamonds, naturally). For the Los Angeles premiere of the film, she wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Carolina Herrera.

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Elizabeth Debicki for 'The Crown'

Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki is the latest star to take on the role of Princess Diana. Playing the royal in season five of The Crown, Debicki was inspired by one of Diana's most iconic looks for the premiere. She wore a black Dior gown with a trailing silk scarf, which was very similar in style to the blue Catherine Walker dress that the princess wore to the Cannes Film Festival in 1987.

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Timothee Chalamet for 'Bones and All'

Timothee Chalamet made headlines with his statement-making look for the Bones and All premiere, which took place during the Venice Film Festival. The actor wore a custom-made, blood-red Haider Ackermann outfit that nodded to the grisly movie, in which he plays a cannibal (and spends much screen time with blood around his neck).

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Zoë Kravitz for 'The Batman'

Inspired by her role as Catwoman in The Batman, Kravitz had plenty of fun with her tour wardrobe. Our favourite look was this custom Oscar de la Renta gown which she wore for the New York premiere, featuring a laced-up bodice, complete with cat silhouettes.

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Carrie-Anne Moss for 'The Matrix: Resurrections'

Carrie-Anne Moss worked with Oscar de la Renta on her Matrix-inspired gown, which she wore to the US premiere of The Matrix: Resurrections. The caped dress featured embroidery, which had been crafted from a sequence of threadwork with green and silver sequins, echoing the series' digital rain, the house explained on Instagram.

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Zendaya for 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

On more than one occasion during the Spider-Man: No Way Home tour, Zendaya nodded to the movie, nowhere more so though than for the Los Angeles premiere, where she wore a spiderweb-inspired gown by Valentino, complete with a superhero mask.

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Beyoncé for 'The Lion King'

When Beyoncé arrived at the London premiere of The Lion King (in which she plays the part of Nala), she pulled out all the stops in a yellow, cut-out, pleated gown by designer Cong Tri, which expertly nodded to the theme and colours associated with the iconic film.

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Keira Knightley for 'The Nutcracker'

Keira Knightley loves to have fun with fashion – and her appearance at the premiere of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was proof of that. The actress turned up to the event in a beautiful white gown, which her stylist, Leith Clark, described as "candy floss and cake-like" – the perfect dress to celebrate the fairy-tale film.

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Keira Knightley for 'Colette'

Just a few months earlier, the actress took a completely different approach to red-carpet dressing when she was promoting Colette, in which she played an early 20th century writer whose work was credited to her husband. For this, it was all tailoring and dark colours in a nod to her on-screen character.

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Margot Robbie for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

When Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, Margot Robbie paid tribute to the real-life character she plays in the movie, the late actress Sharon Tate. Taking inspiration from 1960s Hollywood, the actress wore a lace Chanel gown to the film's photo call and wore her hair partly plaited - a look that directly emulated a style that Tate had once been seen with.

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Amber Heard for 'Aquaman'

For Aquaman, Amber Heard transformed herself into an ocean queen – and the actress continued to be inspired by the sea far beyond the movie. For the London premiere, Heard wore a striking green brocade gown straight off the Valentino couture catwalk, complete with a matching swimming cap. The unexpected accessory was a perfect move in complementing her character and was a great way to have fun with red-carpet style.

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Lupita Nyong'o for 'Us'

Anyone who has seen Jordan Peele's spooky thriller Us will instantly recognise many of the film's references in Lupita Nyong'o's red-carpet looks as she promoted the movie. From wearing striking red contacts to her subtle references to scissors and this incredibly spiky Balmain mini dress, the actress was inspired by her character at every turn.

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Angelina Jolie for 'Maleficent'

Angelina Jolie channelled her evil character's style for the world premiere of Maleficent in 2014. The actress mimicked the vengeful queen's look, but gave it a glamorous red-carpet twist, wearing a black leather, strapless gown with bracelets made of spikes.

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Lily James for 'Cinderella'

British actress Lily James embodied the Disney princess she played on screen for every single one of the film tour's premieres, opting for sparkle, embellishment and lots of Cinderella blue, not to mention, an actual pair of Jimmy Choo glass slippers.

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Emma Watson for 'Beauty and the Beast'

Another modern-day Disney princess came in the form of Emma Watson for Beauty and the Beast in 2017. When it came to promoting the live-action version of the beloved tale, Watson embraced her inner Belle at every moment, including with this fairy-tale Emilia Wickstead gown, which she wore to the UK premiere.

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Cara Delevingne for 'Valerian'

As a former model, Cara Delevingne knows a thing or two about how to have fun with fashion – and she did just this when she stepped out on the red carpet for the premiere of Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. Taking inspiration from the movie's outer-space theme, Delevingne wore a futuristic Iris van Herpen design and made a statement with her hair and make-up.

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Gal Gadot for 'Wonder Woman'

Real-life Wonder Woman Gal Gadot channelled her superhero character as she promoted the highly anticipated movie in 2017, wearing a striking red sequinned Givenchy gown that echoed the look of her character. The best bit though? The actress made a feminist statement by shunning red-carpet expectations and opted for flat shoes because they are "more comfortable".

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Blake Lively for 'A Simple Favour'

Perhaps the biggest commitment to bringing a character to the red carpet comes from Blake Lively and her A Simple Favour tour, in which she mimicked the style of her on-screen persona and wore a trouser suit for every single appearance.

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From Margot Robbie's nod to Barbie to Jenna Ortega's Wednesday looks