While Saldana's off-duty ensembles generally consist of wardrobe staples like slim jeans and chic blouses, she truly commits to creating incredible red-carpet outfits. "Zoe really likes to make it fun," says Petra Flannery, Saldana's stylist. "We have long fittings and she really puts in the time to find the right look for an event." Lately it seems that Saldana has a penchant for bold, of-the-moment prints, as evidenced by the floral gown she wore to a party celebrating the premiere of The Tree of Life at the Cannes Film Festival last week (large image at left). The silk organza cap-sleeve dress--from Vionnet's F/W 11 collection--is absolutely stunning, and we appreciate the way she ramped up the floor-grazing frock by incorporating a multi-colored striped belt (also from the Parisian fashion house's F/W 11 collection). "Though there was a fullness to the dress, there was a sheerness to it too, which makes it very feminine and soft" says Flannery. We simply appreciate the fact that this look has a hint of whimsy and a delicate, almost vintage vibe, which makes it perfect for a summer evening soiree. A month earlier, Saldana opted for another fabulously patterned dress--this time Isabel Marant's Jews Navajo Print Ruffle Dress ($1170, 212.219.2284) from the S/S 11 collection--for a cocktails and shopping event benefiting the Children's Defense Fund at the Coach store in Santa Monica (top row, far right). The graphic print and tiered, pleated skirt make for a fun, party-perfect dress. Plus, we like that Saldana let the print shine by sticking to simple accessories, including a pair of black Alexander McQueen ankle-strap pumps and a red Coach clutch.
Though Saldana's statement-making selections are certainly impressive, her approach to minimalism is equally noteworthy. Case in point: the Calvin Klein Collection Strapless Crepe Dress (price upon request, 212.292.9000) she wore to a Met Gala after-party earlier this month (top row, center). The frock's refreshing citrus hue makes the column silhouette more of-the-moment, while her decision to accessorize with Calvin Klein Collection's Ivory Stingray Clutch ($1875, 212.292.9000) and just one spiked choker from Platt Boutique Jewelry resulted in a strikingly chic and refined finish. Additionally, we appreciate the way our style muse opted for an understated-yet-nuanced look when she wore a nude leather J. Mendel dress with Brian Atwood peep-toe heels at a Golden Globes after-party at Cecconi's in Los Angeles earlier this year (bottom row, far right). The bodice and drape-detailed skirt are quite interesting, but the neutral hue keeps the dress from feeling too fussy. It's yet another testament to Saldana's ability to pick pieces that accentuate her frame without overwhelming it. Or, as Flannery says, "Zoe wears the dress, the dress doesn't wear her."
It's also worth mentioning that Saldana loves to infuse her outfits with architecturally intriguing pieces. We first noticed her predilection for such accents with the aforementioned Isabel Marant (pleats) and J. Mendel (draping) dresses, and then again at the John Varvatos 8th Annual Stuart House Benefit in Los Angeles three months ago (bottom row, center). The actress selected Diane von Furstenberg's Patisserie Leather Jacket ($845), which features a draped front and folded waterfall detailing. To further elevate her Euro-cool red-carpet mix, Saldana accessorized with Diane von Furstenberg's Stephanie Medium Hobo Bag ($975) and a pair of leopard-print Brian Atwood pumps. All in all, we think Carine Roitfeld would approve!
If Saldana's impeccable sense of style strikes your fancy, it's time to start celebrating because approximating her signature flair is a cinch! To start, we recommend seeking out a print maxi dress, like Topshop's Limited Edition Floral Seam Detail Maxi Dress ($310) or Lipsy's Lace Trim Floral Maxi Dress ($64); both options will give you an easy-breezy look that's perfect for the summer months ahead! If you applaud the way Saldana accented her floor-grazing frock with a striped belt, you'll want to get your hands on Free People's Festival Stripe Waist Belt ($38) pronto. For those of you who prefer our style subject's print mini dress instead, we think Kenny's Penny Pockets Print Dress ($253) would look smart worn with minimal accessories and a pair of basic heels; Steve Madden's Cougarr Ankle-Strap Pumps ($100) should do the trick. Or you could go for Kenneth Cole New York's Ruffle Front Dress ($129), which has an equally playful print and nearly identical tiered skirt.
If Saldana's more minimalist ensembles caught your eye, we have just the pieces to help you achieve similarly savvy looks, starting with Haute Hippie's Mermaid Long Dress ($495). We adore its body-grazing silhouette and lovely lemon hue, as it reminds us of Saldana's gorgeous Calvin Klein Collection pick. Of course, if yellow doesn't work for you, try Susan Monaco's Strapless Blouson Long Dress ($198) in Fiji; the striking ocean blue color will certainly garner rave reviews from all your friends! Add Aldo's Cumberland Clutch ($40) and you'll be ready for your next fancy fete. Finally, if you desire our spotlighted subject's slightly more casual attire, be sure to snag Sparkle & Fade's Faux Leather Bomber Jacket ($99), The Sak's Albion Crochet Bucket Bag ($59), and Forever 21's Smoke Leopard Heels ($25). These wardrobe staples are sure to keep you looking chic and sophisticated at all times!--Jessica Baker