04/09/2013 07:30 am ET

Elle Fanning Style Evolution Proves Risk-Taking Is Appropriate At Any Age (PHOTOS)


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:

Elle Fanning's Style Evolution
Elle Fanning's Style Evolution

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