Girl, That’s Not Your Dress: Dakota Fanning in Vintage Halston

Posted on March 26, 2012

It is the Fanning way to wear colors that wash you out and shoes of questionable value.


Dakota Fanning attends the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in NYC in a vintage Halston dress paired with a Salvatore Ferragamo clutch and Manolo Blahnik sandals.

Because those two sisters are amazingly consistent in their mistakes.

Sweetie, and we say this with love,  you look like a ghost with jaundice. And Those Are NOT Your Shoes. Those are your grandmother’s shoes and they’re a size too small for you. It’s a lovely dress, but it needs to be on the back of some gal who doesn’t have to worry about skin cancer as much as you do.


[Photo Credit: Fernando Leon/Getty Images]

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  • So true! Think of how this dress would look on Zoe Saldana or even Jessica Biel.

    •  Oh, nice call on Zoe!

      • @Judy_J:disqus my Ćo-wôrker’s śister makes $64/hôûr ôń the internet. Śhe has bęęn ûnęmṗlôyęd ḟôr ḟivê mônths bût last monṫh hêr Ćhêck was $17661 jusṫ workińg oń ṫhê ińṫêrńêṫ ḟor a ḟew hours. Here’s ṫhe siṫe ṫo read

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Zoe would definitely be WERQing this!

    • TropiCarla

      Zoe Saldana FTW.

      •  Excellent call-she’d look amazing in this.

        • DCSheehan

          I want to petition her to wear it now, so right she would look amazing.

  • It has a bit strange shape, but I think it would look good on her in another colour. I would love to see her in some light green tones.

  • I actually disagree with you guys on this one (gasp!). I love the dress, even on her.

    But I do hate the shoes. 

    • Jill_3

      I agree! I don’t actually think this washes her out. I think it makes her look pale and ethereal.

      The shoes, however, are indeed appalling.

      • fungstyle

        agreed! the dress is fine, the shoes are hideous, but THAT HAIR. it has got to go. i swear if i don’t see her with something other than a flat-ironed center part, i’m flying to L.A. to stalk her and I’m attacking her with a curling iron and some hair spray. 

        •  Yeah, I forgot to mention that — I’m **SO** tired of that hair.

        • Jill_3

           Ooooh, totally agree on the hair. ENOUGH straight center part.

      • fashionablylate

        “Ethereal” was exactly what I thought too. I think she looks lovely.

  • hughman

    I’m a little impressed she managed to find one of the few “vintage Halson”s with that complicated pattern. (Although “vintage” to her may just mean back to the days when Randolph Duke helmed the brand). 

    However, I would have really loved to see her in a Liza sequined pantsuit. DAKOTA WITH A K!

  • dress_up_doll

    I hate to see you guys be so hard on l’il Dakota (I can’t help but think of her this way since she’s grown up before all of our eyes), but…it was a bad choice. It’s a lovely dress — you can’t get any betterr than vintage Halston, but the MB sandals do look a bit on the cheap side.

  • I don’t think it’s that bad on her.  But it would definitely work better on someone with darker skin to really see the dress “pop”.

  • mhleta

    Hack that dress off an inch above the knee, put her in some age appropriate shoes and a darker eye and lip and she’d have gotten by. I wouldn’t mind seeing some low-lights in her hair, as well. She get’s points for gamely throwing her shoulders back and having the grace to show a bit of skin but knowing when to say “when.” Dynamite smile, too.

  • greyhoundgirl

    The dress is so beautiful.  Would love to see it in a jewel tone or, as another reader suggested, a light green. Yeah–with better shoes and a color this would look younger and better for her skin tone.

  • She needs to switch up the stringy, center-part hairstyle. And learn to wear a color. I feel like she would look stunning in blue.

  • Terence Ng

    Actually, i think she looks okay int he dress, but the shoes are what’s killing the entire look for me.

  • Soooo not working with her coloring. It’s a great dress, but this needs to go on a brunette or someone with a darker skin tone. 

    • Ghost with jaundice!

  • nannypoo

    Yeah, really, what is up with this? She has turned out to be a beautiful young woman yet she dresses for invisibility. Except for the hem this is a beautiful dress, and I agree with others that it was made for Zoe Saldana.

  • MilaXX

    The dress looks too long and as mentioned, monkey toes. Go up a size.

  • Judy_J

    Gorgeous dress completely wasted on the extremely fair Ms Fanning.

  • snarkykitten

    I think it probably looked good on her irl, but the harsh flash of the photogs washed her out even more

  • alyce1213

    I’m in agreement with many here — my first reaction was Zoe Saldano, or any number of honey- to dark-skinned beauties.
    First of all, the style and silhouette are too “mature” for an 18-year-old, and poor Dakota just looks so vanilla in this color palette, and not in a good way.  

  • Plus, I associate Halston with people doing coke at Studio 54. So there’s also an ick factor at work here.

  • marilyn

    This is a dress for someone much older.  She is a beautiful young girl.  She should wear clothes for the young while she can.

  • kirkyo

    Nothing wrong with it if you just stick with pics #2 and #3.

  • Call me Bee

    Wow that is a dress for an older woman for sure–it has a Krystal Carrington look to it, especially with those shoes.  And the color is awful!!  Number one clothing rule for blondes–never wear clothes the same color as your skin.  Ever!! 

  • jilly_d

    would have been a knockout with better shoes and makeup.

  • TheLaurenJean

    I agree, but at the same time, I can’t help but think this maybe the best she’s looked in a long time. The hair has some bounce, the part isn’t exactly in the middle, and she doesn’t look like some ghost child, about to suck your soul out. 

  • ccm800

    Disagree – and the shoes are appropriate to the dress. 

  • Rrroza

    Just what you say, TLO! (Ghost with jaundice, hee!)

    Pretty dress but for her it should be a color. (what Charlotte says below)

  • JasmineAM

    Her hair is SO yellow. 

    • Ann

      Yes! Will somebody please hire a new colorist for her???

  • Pupioso

    Yep. She needs colored fabric and better shoes.

  • liked it from the waist up….but cant deny it might work better on someone else.

  • You know, she has such amazingly fair skin, that she should either try some strong color (creates lovely contrasts), or bold lip colors, or even try some Elf costumes from the set of Lord and the Ring movies.  It’s a shame to see such pretty girls (her and Elle) always look so washed out. 

  • Beth G

    I like the pattern on the carpet… that would look pretty on her.

  • TheOtherChristina

    I think she looks lovely. The pattern takes this out of the realm of skin-dress for me. And the shoes could be better, but if they fit her I would gladly wave them along.

    I do think she could kill a jewel tone. But the Fanning girls have sort of made this color palette their signature, and I can’t fault them because I think it works well with their ethereal coloring.

  • MarissaLG

    I think this is great! Her makeup is weird..or her eyes are wonky, there’s definitely something not right with her face. BUT, I think the dress is lovely and fresh. 

  • Lisa

    I like the dress, but it’s a little long for her – it makes her look shorter.  But she looks really pretty, the dress is great despite the length – I don’t have too many problems with it.

  • I don’t really like the dress, but I dislike her shoes and make-up even more.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    She’s lovely, but this dress does nothing for her.  Perhaps she and little sis need new stylists?

  • It’s such a gorgeous dress!  I’m weeping for the lost opportunity.

  • quiltrx

    I really like this dress.  It needs to be on someone that it doesn’t make ‘monotone.’  Are the Fanning girls allergic to COLOR?

  • DominoEstella

    That’s dress is for the 50+ crowd.  She looks dreadful. 

    • DeTrop

      My sentiments exactly.  The dress is beautiful but not for such a young woman/girl.

  • CCDilg

    TLO are right..but what shoes could she wear…?

  • The top of the dress looks good, the rest not so much. 

  • P M

    I support this for one reason only: The Fanning girls seem to resist the need to self-skankify. Still, ‘ghost with jaundice’ – HEE!

  • cleep1000

    I don’t like the asymetrical hem, but from the knees up, I think she looks pretty good. The dress is gorgeous.

  • Dagney

    Yeeeaaah, hmmm….I’m thinking that could be a Zoe Saldana dress,  oh! this is totally left field, but Sofia Vergara could rock it.

  • Judih1

    perfect analysis of why this is the opposite of a WERQ

  • WHY do these Fanning girls insist on the pale colors? Sometimes it works, but I feel like more often, it just doesn’t. Between the two of them, I feel like every white or cream garment from fashion week has been claimed.

  • While I would have loved to see the dress on someone like Zoe Saldana, I think it doesn’t disappear on Dakota. She look good.

    • SewingSiren

      I like it too.

  • Nora Mulllin

    It’s a great dress but she’s about 6 inches too short and at least 5 shades too light for this. I’m as porcelain skinned as she is but at least my red hair would add some color to the look. I refuse to acknowledge the shoes at all.

  • I wonder if this looks better in person. All that shiny pallor must be exaggerated by the photography process and also the pale wall. Against a different backdrop she might look stunning.

  • minnye

    Pale colors on pale women are ok with me, but these gold/ivory tones don’t look good with her pink skin. 

  • Susan Crawford

    I absolutely LOVE this dress! It brings back all the glamour and chic that was Halston. And on the back of a tiny little wisp like Ms. Fanning, it just does NOT work at all. She is nearly translucent as it is, and when she gets into those nude or cream or off-white dresses, she looks like a moth under a streetlamp: colorless and kind of eerie.

    Girl, get thee to a stylist who will put you into some gorgeous colors! And really, we will still love you if you wear a little make-up on that pretty face. Oh, and if you want to wow us, how about going a light strawberry-blonde? That would open a whole new world for you, darling.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    This is a dress that needs to be worn by a WOMAN, a longer waisted woman than Dakota, and someone with boobs.  The shoes are hiddy.  And I agree with the other minions re: the flat ironed center part.  Do something with your hair! 

  • formerlyAnon

    So right. Love the dress, but not on her.

  • OneTwoThreeFashion

    I like the dress!