Pairs Division: Fanning and Fanning

Posted on January 08, 2013

Wow, Baby Sis towers over Big Sis. Who knew?


Elle Fanning and Dakota Fanning attend a promotional event for the 2013 J.ESTINA Spring/Summer Presentation in Seoul.

Opening Ceremony Floral Dress. J.ESTINA Neo Glam Collage Tiara Necklace. Miu Miu Patent Jewel-Heel Bow-Toe Sandal.

Nina Ricci Lace Dress. J.ESTINA Bianca Gloria Rosa Ring. Miu Miu Metallic Leather Bow & Glitter-Heel Loafer Pump.

Have we done a sisters Pairs Division post before? We think this might be a first.

From the left:

SHE: Should be commended for wearing bright colors; something that normally appears to be against the Fanning girls’ religion or something. It’s a cute dress, but we think she might just be a bit too tall for it. The waist seems to be hitting much higher than her actual waist. The shape doesn’t flatter all that much either. Hair and makeup look pretty good (but as always, she’s too shiny) and the clutch is nice, but she’s got to get over her preference for clunky shoes on the red carpet. They just don’t work in pictures. Score: 5.5/10.

SHE: Is wearing something much more figure-flattering. It’s also a cute dress, but we so very wish it wasn’t white, which washes her out. Just a hint of pale blue would have made all the difference in the world. The jewelry is nicely chosen and the shoes are fabulous. Not in love with the clutch, though. A more vivid color would’ve worked better than that dusty pink. Hair and makeup are disappointing. Score: 7.5/10

Combined Score: 6.5/10.

We wonder why these two – especially Dakota, who’s older and has more years in the public eye – seem to have such a questionable relationship with makeup. We can understand wanting a clean face and not liking too much warpaint, but a little dab of color and something to even out the skin tone would work wonders on both of them when they’re posing for pictures.


[Photo Credit: WireImage,,,,]

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  • Both are adorable!  I love Dakota’s shoes!

  • Sobaika

    Elle is wearing colors! Dakota has cute shoes!!

    I have many quibbles overall but I will accept this as a step up from their previous appearances.

    • Violina23

      Yeah I agree, I would have given both 6.5/7’s More right than wrong, and it’s aesthetically pleasing despite the flaws. 

  • j_anson

    Elle Fanning is kind of starting to freak me out. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of her in which she didn’t look tense, tired, and often kind of frightened. I hope she’s having more fun than she looks like she is.

    • twocee

      I see both of them and I just scream “SMILE!” in my inner monologue.

      • j_anson

        I mean, I don’t need them to smile if they don’t want to. I just feel bad that the younger one always looks so tense and unhappy. It’s possible to be not-smiling without looking like you’re awaiting your own execution after a sleepless night.

  • Introspective

    I think they look good! loving the colors of the dress on elle even if it is a bit small/twee, and also liking dakota’s dress a lot. her shoes are to DIE.

    (sure, we may be grading on a curve for these two but they look a sight better than many other RC moments)

  • But they are darling. I love these girls!

  • I covet Elle’s necklace!

  • moppet

    I sometimes wonder what is going on with these girls that they can be styled so beautifully in magazine editorials, but always seem just a touch off when it comes to shots like this. Not off in a terrible way, just off in an amateurish way, and neither one of them are amateurs when it comes to the camera. It’s more than just the (lack of) makeup, it’s the stiffness of the pose, the tightness in the face…just odd.

    • Right?! They remind me of the sisters in The Virgin Suicides. 

      • christinewithanx

         Oh my goodness, they do. And they always somehow look like they need a bath, too.

  • Elle has a very long torso compared with her legs. Look at where her knees are in relation to Dakota’s AND she’s wearing platform soles. I suspect that’s why the dress doesn’t seem to be fitting her correctly and also why she feels the need to wear leg lengthening shoes. 

    • MilaXX

       I have never understood how a platform is considered leg lengthening.  A heel yes, but platforms often look stumpy to me.

  • As much as I hate orange people, these two could use a wee bit of spray tan or bronzer

    • DeborahJozayt

      I think they just to prefer to blend into backgrounds. The only way to find them is to search for their shiny foreheads.

      • j_anson

        I suspect it’s a considered choice and that a stylist would tell them to absolutely stay away from darkening their skin – I suspect that’s why Dakota dropped the darker hair, even though I thought it looked good. But the super-pale skin and pale hair make them different and hence memorable, which is always good from a publicity standpoint. (Now, they could definitely be styled better, but that’s a separate issue. And even the styling I think is at least partly intentional: the awkwardness plays up the waifish thing they’ve got going on. They are visually striking and yet never look like cookie-cutter Disney child starlets.)

    • LOL – AGREED!  when i looked at the pictures i was thinking, “Jeez Louise would it KILL these girls to get a little spray tan?”

      • I dunno if it would kill them, but it would certainly kill me.  I’m a pasty latina and I’ll keep it that way, no matter how often my cousins tell me to take my socks off at the beach.

      • MK03

        NO SPRAY TANS. They just need a makeup artist who can actually, y’know, do makeup.

    • megohd

      How about just a little blush and tinted lip gloss? 

    • Sobaika

      I don’t know, I think people tend to look best with their natural tone. And there are ways to werq one’s pale skin, like Amanda Seyfried or Emma Stone. It usually involves wearing color and actual attempts at makeup.

      • Completely agree. There’s nothing wrong with being exquisitely pale and Nordic-looking. There IS something wrong with being exquisitely pale and Nordic-looking…AND NEVER WEARING A CONTRASTING COLOR.

    • MilaXX

       I quite like when pale gals embrace their paleness, but these two make choices  in their clothes & hair color that are sometimes unbecoming.

    • YAELS

       I saw Dakota at NYU once (I think she goes here?) and she is so pale, she looks almost green in person. I wonder if it makes it hard to find a color foundation or something?

      • MilaXX

         Shiseido is excellent for the ultra pale gals.

      •  I’m ultra pale and ended up having mine custom mixed. While there’s a lot of pink visible in my skin, turns out I’m actually a cool olive undertone, with a dash of yellow, which is why I could never find something in stores. Foundation is tough for us pale girls!

  • SewingSiren

    I think they both look cute. But I would judge the dresses and accessories to be quite a bit less expensive than they actually were.

  • meowing

    Just can’t get over the laissez faire with dark roots.  Either stop bleaching your hair such drastic shades lighter than natural, or get thee to the hairdresser more often.  Actually, would like to see both these young ladies return to what appears to be their natural colors–medium brown.  Bet they wouldn’t look quite so washed out and wouldn’t seem so generically Hollywood Young Blonde.

    • Allison Drury

      Plus, their hair color is really yellow/brassy which does not pair well with a peaches and cream complexion. I speak from experience. I live in fear of the brassiness because a) it brings out the red tones in your skin and b) it’s almost never natural looking. It looks like you colored your hair with a crayon. I beg these two to see Amanda Seyfried’s colorist. She does the pale skin and pale blond hair combo right. 

    • YES.  I hate visible roots with a fiery passion.  I don’t know why these rich people won’t get their roots done.

  • mhleta

    Elle’s look makes me cringe a little. She looks so incredibly vulnerable all the time, I’d feel better if she showed a little toughness and power in her style.

  • Wait, didn’t one of them have brown hair a few weeks ago? Guess she didn’t like it. Elle looks pretty bad here, hate the shoes.   However, I LOVE Dakota’s shoes. That is all.

  • Scarlet39

    The color looks fantastic on Elle, but the shape… it looks like she’s wearing a lampshade

  • ecallaw1977

    The pretty consistent lack of color and shiny faces drive me crazy, but the yellow hair with obvious roots is the one that really takes me over the edge every time.  If either of them ever goes to see a good colorist I will be so much more willing to forgive their other sins!

  • Sartorial_She

    I kinda love them both just because they seem to dress according to their own tastes/preferences and not by style dictates or other pressures. It is also refreshing to see 2 young women not intent on showing us their boobs and/or crotches (though we’re getting a little too close to the latter with Elle’s dress.) AND it looks like they might have eaten a meal or two in the last week.

  • megohd

    They both desperately need a good colorist. The blond shade they’re going with is not working for them. I know they’re natural blondes, but based on the roots I think that ship has sailed. 

    To me they both look like some of the Mormon girls I’ve seen on Intervention.

  • another_laura

    These photos are creeping me out.  I can’t put my finger on it.  Too blonde?  Too much pale color (does that equal too little color?)?  Wrong colors?   They look very studied and at the same time very wrong.

    But I can be very specific about those shoes on Elle – blech!!  Get away from the clunky platforms, girl!

    • The creepy factor for me comes from the strange resemblance to the twins in “The Shining.” “Come play with us…. forever.”

    • Kimbolina

      There’s something kind of “uncanny valley” about them, I don’t know why.

  • Rand Ortega

    The Twee Meter on my computer just exploded.

  • MilaXX

    I think they need to switch shoes & Elle needs to remove those horrible yellow extensions. No quibble with the scores.

  • captrenault

    Yeah, it’s more colour than usual, but it still looks like the camera only works in watercolours.

  • lexilexi

    Contact Hailee Steinfeld’s stylist immediately!  Right now!!

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    There is a reason white-blonde hair gets darker as we grow up…it’s not flattering on anyone over 6 and under 66. Ladies, you dye your hair and wear lash implants…put on some powder, for the love of god!

  • Jecca2244

    Mostly I just love that a brand paid for those two sisters to go on a trip and look pretty at a party. I’d love to do that with my sisters!

  • BrooklynBomber

    I just figured it out: they’re the anti-Mary Kate ‘n Ashley.

  • Judy_J

    Elle’s dress does look like it was made for someone much shorter.  It’s too short in the torso for her, and it throws all the proportions off.  I think her shoes are cute and perfectly appropriate for her age. 

  • Beth G

    ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!  I so wish they would get different hair colors.  It’s so OBVIOUSLY not their real color and it’s ALL wrong for their skin tone!!!!

  • nannypoo

    Dakota looks cute but Elle looks not cute at all. I hate her hair color, I hate her dress and shoes, and I wish she would lighten up and stop with that little pinched mouth that she always seems to do. And she needs makeup. When she’s animated, like on a talk show,  or when she’s heavily styled, like for a magazine shoot, she can look really beautiful. Here she just looks like an awkward adolescent.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    Oh if I only had $650.00 to drop on those awesome shoes Dakota is wearing. Maybe if the metallic shoe trend gets hot enough there will be a Target knock off!
    I think Elle could have improved the look by adding a little cardigan or something (the model’s coat looks a bit heavy, but I like the idea of adding a little something more to the top). Dakota would look infinitely better with more color and perhaps an updo?

  • They both need to learn to use powder. Or at least blotting tissue. They’re so shiny. 

  • Judy_S

    I think they make a great pair of toddlers. 

  • Imasewsure

    To me it’s just hair color and the length of little Fanning’s dress that are problems here. Improve those two things and I think they are unique and adorable – and I still love the fact that they don’t automatically slather on the war paint or hit the bronzer…

  • BOTH of these girls need to go to shoe rehab. And I want it to be a reality show. Those shoes are all unforgiveably hideous.

  • anotherkate

    I can’t help but wonder if the makeup issue stems from wanting to look age-appropriate–Lord knows child stars get skewered when they look too adult. However, I think there’s a way to wear flattering “for the camera” makeup that doesn’t look too grown-up. These two just haven’t found it yet. And I agree with others that the matching yellow hair has got to go–there are so many *appealing* shades of blonde to be had!

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Both need to touch up their roots.

  • Call me Bee

    As a little sis who is bigger and taller than big sis–I can see Ell thrying to wear the cute clothes her sister wears, even though she seems to be too tall for them as you said.  We tall girls spend our entire adolesence trying to be smaller to fit with everyone else, and it doesn’t help having a smaller older sibling. 
    Hang in there, Elle, and wear clothes that fit YOU and no one else.  Dont wait till your 40s to be comfortable in your skin…

  • Awful, awful shoes. Dakota is on my total love list since I saw Push. Most convincing 13 year old actor I can remember seeing. Therefore, I want better for her

  • It’s gotta be rough as a stylist trying to dress children, but avoiding the ‘my client had a sudden growth spurt between the dressing room and the RC’ look should at least be a minimum requirement.

  • melanie0866

    Their legs look awful.  Like schoolgirls, bruises and all.  

  • Linzenberg

    Baby Sis towers over Big Sis, because Big Sis is wearing chrome-plated Pilgrim shoes.

    I think a lot of what’s rubbing me the wrong way about this (besides the ugly) is that neither girl is actually posing.  They’re simply standing.  Now, there are ways to simply stand and motherf’in pose, but the Fannings are reminding me of slightly over-sugared toddlers in their Easter Sunday clothes whose parents are slightly off-camera holding their attention — confused, tense, and totally unaware of their bodies.  

  • schadenfreudelicious

    get thee to a colorist girls, preferably one that can find you a shade of blonde that occurs in nature…one with blotting papers and access to better shoes would be a bonus….

  • snarkykitten

    I want to take them to a Holi festival. GET SOME COLOR ON YOU, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

  • quiltrx

    I love Elle’s if it were longer.  It has such a pretty shape, and I like the colors.

    Sorry, but Dakota’s looks like babydoll pajamas of some sort, and SO washed-out.

  • julesj

    Last I checked, it was winter…besides that, they both need help with their styling. Speak up, if you have teenage girls…it’s not that hard to make them look good!

  • boweryboy

    I still want to bitch slap Elle with a powder puff.  She , wait – they  both could be really cute girls if they knew how to dress and how to acheive the “natural” look without actually going natural.


  • I’m trying to work out if the remind me of Mormon sister wives or the Children of the Corn. Sister Wives of the Mormon Corn?

  • I agree that they both need a little makeup. Seriously. Elle’s dress is cute, but it’s too short and doesn’t flatter her. And those SHOES. GIRL. Someone needs to tell her that those weird platform flats are NOT. HER. FRIEND. Dakota’s dress is cute, and I like the shoes, just not WITH the dress. 

  • barbarienne

    Does Elle Fanning have any other facial expressions? She always seems to have this slightly stunned, frozen little smile and blank eyes. Compare her three pics here–all the same face–with Dakota, who manages to move her face and be slightly different in all three pics. Maybe it’s just age and experience and Elle will develop this skill eventually.

  • Anniebet

    Elle’s dress would be cute on Dakota – length and look wise, methinks. The other dress would make a nice pillow cover. Their closed mouth semi-smile/smirk is beginning to get old, much like the Olsen twins dour little pout – I don’t believe those two have teeth. 

  • TieDye64

    I need Dakota’s shoes. They’re fantastic!

  • Jackie4g

    What about their roots? Does no one go for a little color maintainence anymore? Other than that, they are dressed age appropriately and that makes for a pretty picture.

  • ZnSD

    Fast forward 25+ years: Whatever happened to the Fanning Sisters/Fontaine & de Havilland. 😉

  • sherrietee

    Towering?  Dunno.  Looks like younger sis is wearing a much higher shoe than the elder.  Then again, my daughter is my shortest child, and she is the eldest.  Even the 15 year old stepdaughter towers over her.  It’s hysterical when my son comes home for a visit – he’s more than a foot taller than she is.

    As for these two?  Younger looks shiny from top to toe and I keep squinting at the screen as a result.  Elder is merely “okay” with the dress, but I love the shoes.

  • Aurumgirl

    They look like freshly scrubbed little kids.  

  • I want Dakota’s shoes. Right now, on my feet.

  • I cannot get with either of those pairs of shoes. I know I am not their target audience but they just look clunky and old lady meets 70’s era 9 year old. ugh.

  • MissAnnieRN

    This has nothing to do with the clothes, but I wish both of them would opt for a closer to natural shade of hair color.  It’s too yellow, and they are so pale that the contrast of a darker shade would be nice.  Plus:  ROOTS.  Agree on the make up.  

  • guest2visits

    Both look pretty cute; especially compared to some recent entries.  Love the little necklace; but I can’t find out if it’s 200 or 2000+.

  • Hmmm. There’s something very ‘Flowers in the Attic’ about these two.

  • They are cute girls, and both look like they are wearing lingerie picked up at Marshall’s.

  • I am sad that the rumor of Dakota trying to get together with G-Dragon turned out to be false; he would’ve taught her to wear color. And possibly more eyeliner.

  • luciaphile

    Adorable, but how hot is it in LA? Does no one dress for the seasons anymore? I’m not expecting them to be in sweaters and ski pants, but it’s January! 

  • laurenoodle

    I would dye their hairs to a dark blonde, apply a sheer foundation, mattify their skin, and add a hint of mascara, pink blush (just a touch), and very sheer fuchsia lip gloss (like bobbi brown cosmic pink)

  • ccm800

    So…a dress shinier than her complexion is the latest tactic?  

  • lilazander

    They seem to always be waxy-shiny. The young one looks like a giantesse; I mean, freaky.