Byrne's been on our radar for ages now¬--and not just because of her spectacular hair¬--because of her superb outfit selections. To summarize her "event look" in a single phrase, we'd say she's the epitome of understated sophistication. Consider the nude off-the-shoulder Calvin Klein Collection dress she wore to a post-show dinner celebrating the Spring 2010 collection: it's marvelously romantic without being saccharine in the slightest. The same holds true of the white scalloped Emporio Armani mini dress Byrne selected for a dinner welcoming Cate Blanchett and the Sydney Theater Company to New York. While the abbreviated hem, virginal color, and scalloped detailing are decidedly girly, Byrne's black opaques, bold lipstick, and tousled bedhead elevate the outfit and give it a fashionable tweak. Even when she's picked a playful piece¬--like the black vintage jumpsuit she wore to The Cinema Society's screening of A Single Man¬--Byrne gives it a polished spin, in this case via a strappy pair of Topshop shoes and brass-adorned belt.
Even when Byrne rocks a statement frock, the overall effect is always controlled in a chic way. (She never lets the look wear her, no matter how dramatic it is.) Take the purple Swarovski crystal-encrusted Etro dress she wore to HBO's Emmy After Party, for example. Though Byrne's wearing a one-of-a-kind ornate frock and numerous diamond bangles from Judith Ripka, she kept her beauty look and footwear choice simple and sleek. Her mastery was also on display at last year's Met Gala, when our spotlighted star arrived in a knockout marigold Marc Jacobs silk satin gown. The actress wisely didn't over-accessorize, and completed her ensemble with just two pieces: a hand-beaded belt with safety pin details and a Marc by Marc Jacobs black clutch (which was only $50!).
If you'd like to use this most amazing muse for your own outfit inspiration purposes, it's easy enough to do. To emulate Byrne's beautifully simple style choices, such as her nude Calvin Klein Collection cocktail frock, you might like Lipsy's Grecian Drape Dress ($110). Of course, if you crave something light and ethereal, we've got you covered there as well. Sachin + Babi's Cornelia Dress ($505) reminds us of Byrne's Emporio Armani mini dress, especially in terms of texture, while Hanni Y's Cotton Dress ($340) is another wonderful white option. As for the readers who'd rather wear a romper, we also have substitutions galore! Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent's Jumpsuit ($308) has a great tapered leg and skinny straps √† la Byrne's vintage selection, but we also like Forever 21's Spaghetti Strap Jumpsuit ($29) and No6 Store's Tanksuit ($335) wide-leg iterations too.
Looking for statement pieces? Simply check out standout numbers like 3.1 Phillip Lim's Silk Sequined T-Shirt Dress ($895)¬--a truly gorgeous frock¬--or ABS by Allen Schwartz's Illusion Yoke Sequin Shift Dress ($318): both stellar sparkly styles indeed. As for a replacement for Byrne's knockout yellow Marc Jacobs gown? Well, we can't promise an exact copy (nothing could be), but we found a couple of floor-length options that pass muster, like Aidan Mattox Niteline's Banded Halter Gown ($330) or Jovani's Elegant Yellow Dress ($260). Either one would be an unexpected choice for an evening event, just be sure to follow in Byrne's footsteps and keep the accents to a minimum!