We know how hard it can be to step out from behind a sibling's shadow, but Elle Fanning has done it well. Though her big sister Dakota got an earlier start, being older and all, Elle has emerged as a unique young talent with her own exciting roles -- and even bolder style choices.

Mary Elle Fanning's first acting gig had her play a younger version of her older sister Dakota in "I Am Sam," at age 3. But she began developing her own brand of actress soon after, gaining critical acclaim for "Somewhere" in 2010. She is still a high school student -- an underclassman, at that -- but she has already acted in 26 films, with a couple more in production.

Although the striking blond sisters have covered magazines together, their wardrobes and motivators couldn't be more different. Elle admits her clothes are weirder than Dakota's, and Dakota told Teen Vogue last fall that Elle is quite the fashionista: "She's the go-to fashion person in the family. Elle knows every single model, every single collection, every single piece from every single collection. She has a real passion, and it's not at all in a materialistic way. She genuinely appreciates the workmanship and creativity."

With that in mind, it's no surprise that Elle is good pals with (and a muse for) Rodarte and has modeled for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Fond of quirky embellishments like braided crowns, kitschy prints and Prada flatforms, she's carved out quite a following of fans and designers alike.

Yet Elle insists her outfits are a simple diversion: This spring she told New York magazine that fashion is only an after-school activity. School is important and all, but we can only hope that Elle continues to develop her extracurricular passions -- we're always looking out for her offbeat ensembles.

Elle turns 15 on Tuesday, and we're eager to see how her fashion sense will continue to develop post-adolescence. An even better question -- what do you think she'll wear to prom?

Elle Fanning's style evolution:

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  • November 2002

  • 2002

  • 2003

    with Dakota Fanning.

  • 2004

  • October 2005

  • January 2007

  • 2007

    with Dakota Fanning.

  • March 2009

  • 2009

  • 2009

  • 2010

  • June 2010

  • September 2010

  • October 2010

  • November 2010

  • December 2010

  • December 2010

    (Getty photo)

  • 2010

  • June 2011

  • June 2011

  • June 2011

  • June 2011

  • July 2011

  • September 2011

  • September 2011

  • September 2011

  • September 2011

  • October 2011

  • October 2011

    (Getty photo)

  • November 2011

  • December 2011

  • 2011

    Getty Images

  • 2011

    Getty Images

  • January 2012

  • January 2012

  • September 2012

  • September 2012

  • October 2012

  • October 2012

  • October 2012

  • October 2012

  • November 2012

  • November 2012

  • November 2012

  • December 2012

  • December 2012

  • January 2013

    with Dakota Fanning.

  • January 2013

  • January 2013

  • Elle Fanning's Candy-Filled 'New York' Cover

    For the Spring 2013 Fashion Issue, artist Will Cotton shot actress Elle Fanning wearing looks made from candy treats inspired by the collections from the Spring 2013 runways.

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