Elle Fanning arriving at the premiere of The Beguiled during the 70th Cannes Film Festival in France in one of her best-ever fairytale gowns - May 24, 2017 Elle Fanning arriving at the premiere of The Beguiled during the 70th Cannes Film Festival in France in one of her best-ever fairytale gowns - May 24, 2017

It would have been easy for Elle Fanning to remain in the shadow of her older sister forever.

Her first string of acting roles saw her playing a younger version of the elder Fanning. But although Dakota was a household name first, Elle has distinguished herself both with her acting and her style as a star in her own right.

Sometimes all it takes is a little glitter goth makeup and you’re in business.

Elle’s 20th birthday is coming up this April 9, which makes now a good time to take a look at the younger Fanning sister’s style evolution. We know she’s fond of dressing in head to toe white, but there’s a lot more to this starlet’s fashion sense.

Over the course of her career, Elle has been drawn to light, airy ensembles often featuring floral motifs. A turning point of sorts came in October 2015 when she let loose in a cheerful, bird pattern dress from Gucci. It was only a matter of time before she upped the ante in an abstract piece from Marc Jacobs. While remaining true to her style, the look was more inventive and gave a taste of what was to come.

The real wow moment was when she stepped out in sparkling pink Dolce & Gabbana with her blonde locks twisted up in a top knot. This was the point when the fashion industry as a whole welcomed Elle into the fold, not just as a stylish star, but as a trendsetter. If the impressionable members of Generation Z weren’t looking up to Elle before, they definitely were now.

Starring in 2014’s Maleficent took Elle’s career to a whole new level and her style followed suit. While her dresses have always been quite charming, true fairytale gowns fitted with full skirts and incredible trains suddenly became her forte.

Of course, the occasional wild graphic print Versace dress didn’t go amiss, either.

Overall, Elle’s style is fun and feminine. She’s also not afraid to make a grandiose statement — in fact, it’s her strong suit. By this point, it’s a little shocking to see her in anything but a ballroom skirt.

She’s right at home with all-out luxury. As for designer labels, the lavender tulle confection she took to the 70th Cannes Film Festival was from Rodarte, and her sky blue Met Gala ensemble was from Miu Miu.

She really outdid herself last May in ivory Vivienne Westwood Couture. While the gown was quite classic, playful prints unexpectedly decorated the voluminous train. Impressive and fun at the same time, the piece really summed up what this celeb is all about. At first glance, she seems like the princesses you read about as a child. But upon closer examination, this is a fun, modern role model worth admiring. — jas