Tuesday 16 October 2018

Cressida Bonas is sending a message of empowerment through her wardrobe evolution

Cressida Bonas attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Cressida Bonas attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Cressida Bonas attending the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party, at Hyde Park in London
Cressida Bonas at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 27, 2015. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Cressida Bonas
Cressida Bonas attends Day 1 of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm
Cressida Bonas backstage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 28, 2014. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Cressida Bonas attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London
Cressida Bonas attends the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 29, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/GC Images)
Cressida Bonas leaving the Jermyn St Theatre on March 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by GORC/GC Images)
Cressida Bonas attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London
Cressida Bonas walks backstage at Glastonbury Music Festival on Friday, June 26, 2015 at Worthy Farm, in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Cressida Bonas attends the Dior Croisiere 2016 at Palais Bulle on May 11, 2015 in Theoule sur Mer, France. (Photo by Didier Baverel/Getty Images for Dior)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

It's not often you find the eyes of the world on you all because your ex-boyfriend is getting married.

Cressida Bonas, the British dancer and aspiring actress, who dated Prince Harry from 2012 to 2014 finds herself uniquely positioned in such a way though - after enjoying a relatively low profile since their split, as royal wedding fever sweeps the globe, she is back in the limelight whether she likes it or not.

Cressida Bonas attends the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 29, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/GC Images)
Cressida Bonas attends the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 29, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/GC Images)

And it seems like the latter is more likely as she reportedly ended their relationship because she could no longer cope with the intense scrutiny of life in the royal fishbowl, having their every move documented whether it was an afternoon cinema showing in Kensington or pictures of her drinking a can of Strongbow at Glastonbury being splashed across the tabloids.

But it's her rebellious style that sets her apart from his illustrious list of exes, undergoing a transformation of rather epic proportions from a scrunchie-loving party which Vanity Fair dubbed 'Messy Cressy' in 2014 to a polished, serious actress with a wardrobe filled with Chanel t-shirt and burgeoning relationship with Dior to match.

When she rose to international prominence at a mere 23 years old, she was a Sloane style icon with a penchant for floral hair accessories and questionably put-together clothing, particularly on display at weddings. In short, she was a normal girl making the same fashion mistakes as the rest of us, sticking to the same set of fashion rules as her friends in her early 20s.

Clearly a woman who appreciates the substance of style, her slow transformation in the eyes of the public has been a subtle one - it isn't just a natural part of growing up, but a movement of her stepping out of her ex-boyfriend's shadow and creating a light all her own.

Stylist Lorna Claire Weightman says her recent turn in a black tiered Giorgio Armani gown at the BAFTAs last month was a big moment for her - and for once, she wasn't the only one being photographed at every angle.

"Cressida has gone from a relaxed, boho style to polished and poised in the last year. The days of long flowing blonde locks with maxi skirts, have transformed into a shorter hair style paired with looks worthy of the red carpets she's been walking," she tells Independent.ie Style.

Cressida Bonas attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London
Cressida Bonas attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London

"Her BAFTA look stands out for me as a moment when she stepped away from the 'ex-girlfriend' title and became a starlet under her own spotlight. Fashion is such a powerful tool to reinvent yourself, and Cressida is using a new personal style as her tactic."

It doesn't help that Harry's impending nuptials to American actress Meghan Markle is inconveniently timed with Cressida's latest stage turn on London's West End, meaning photographers have an endless supply of pictures to keep blogs and media websites updated daily on her latest look.

Apparently taking a note out of Daniel Radcliffe's paparazzi playbook, she is wearing the most innocuous ensembles potentially to deter interest in her: it's different variations of black skinny jeans, oversized jumper and bomber jacket combination with her hair styled in her new signature voluminous bob, a tactic indicative of her lack of vanity and desire to be left alone.

After a 2017 interview with BBC's Women's Hour in which she bemoaned how "incredibly frustrating" it is that she can't shake the tag, 'Prince Harry's ex' for her every introduction, she seemingly learned her lesson and went back to keeping quiet as she rather politely told the Sunday Times in an interview last month, "I'd just rather not go into it."

Cressida Bonas leaving the Jermyn St Theatre on March 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by GORC/GC Images)
Cressida Bonas leaving the Jermyn St Theatre on March 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by GORC/GC Images)

It's a far cry from her post break-up makeover when she made her high fashion debut attending Dior's Cruise Collection showcase in 2015, in a black sequin mini-dress and power pose.

Nowadays, you're more likely to find her back in Converse shoes with a low maintenance elegance worthy of a princess.

For Cressida's style evolution, check out the gallery below:

Cressida Bonas' style evolution
Cressida Bonas' style evolution
Cressida Bonas attends the Art Antiques London Gala Evening in aid of Children In Crisis at Kensington Gardens
Cressida Bonas backstage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Cressida Bonas attends the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 29, 2014 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/GC Images)
Cressida Bonas backstage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Cressida Bonas has been praised for her youthful style
At Glastonbury this year, we fell in love Cressidas laid back look including overalls and neon sunglasses.
At a friends wedding, Cressida wears a bright, patterned full length dress and questionable pastel blazer
In 2011, Cressida (pre-Harry) wears a psychadelic jumpsuit at a Wimbledon Ralph Lauren event. We love.
Cressida Bonas attends the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 27, 2015 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
Cressida Bonas at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 27, 2015. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Cressida Bonas walks backstage at Glastonbury Music Festival on Friday, June 26, 2015 at Worthy Farm, in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Cressida Bonas attends an after party following the press night performance of "Neville's Island" at Villandry
Cressida Bonas attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London
Cressida Bonas attends the UK premiere of 'Double Date' at The Soho Hotel on October 10, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Cressida Bonas attends Krug Festival "Into The Wild" at The Grange, Hampshire, on July 29, 2017 in Northington, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Moet Hennessey UK)
Isabella Branson and Cressida Bonas pose at another Wimbledon bash
Cressida Bonas attends the VIP preview of the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2016 at Royal Academy of Arts on June 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Cressida Bonas and Princess Beatrice of York at Annabel's club
British actress and dancer Cressida Bonas poses during the photocall of the Christian Dior show during the 2016 spring/summer Haute Couture collection fashion presentation on January 25, 2016 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK
Cressida Bonas
Cressida Bonas attends "The Children's Monologues", Danny Boyle's production inspired by children from rural South Africa in aid of his charity 'Dramatic Need' at Royal Court Theatre on October 25, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Cressida Bonas attends Louis Vuittons Celebration of GingerNutz in Vogue's December Issue on November 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton)
Cressida Bonas, in Mulberry, attends the 2015 BAFTA Tea Party at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Cressida Bonas attends the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm
Cressida Bonas leaving the Rosemary Branch theatre after her performance in "There's a Monster in the Lake"
Cressida Bonas attends Burberry's Pre Bafta Party at Little House Member's Club in Mayfair
Cressida Bonas attends the Dior Croisiere 2016 at Palais Bulle on May 11, 2015 in Theoule sur Mer, France. (Photo by Didier Baverel/Getty Images for Dior)
Cressida Bonas arrives at the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Fashion Gala at the V&A, presented by American Express and Kering on March 12, 2015 in London
Cressida Bonas attends the press night performance of "An Evening With Lucian Freud" at the Leicester Square Theatre on May 21, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Cressida Bonas attending the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party, at Hyde Park in London
Cressida Bonas attends the Louis Vuitton Series 3 VIP Launch on September 20, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Cressida Bonas attends the BFI Luminous Funraising Gala at The Guildhall on October 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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