Zoe Kazan

Our latest it girl, up-and-coming actress Zoe Kazan, might be living a modern fairy tale-done Hollywood style, of course. Her story is the stuff of dreams: respected family connections in the industry, talent galore, and a multitude of movies in production. Kazan's lineage alone is enviable (her grandfather directed A Streetcar Named Desire), but when you also factor in the fact that Kazan plays Leonardo DiCaprio's mistress in the upcoming Sam Mendes drama, Revolutionary Road, her life seems simply charmed. With these details in mind, along with a growing collection of photos representing Kazan's playfully sophisticated style, we thought it more than fitting to showcase her as May's Girl of the Month.

After having an engaging chat with Kazan last weekend, we learned she experienced a prominent shift in style a few years ago after moving from her LA hometown to "a place where no one highlights their hair." The bleach-free environment Kazan is referring to is New Haven, specifically the prestigious Yale University where she studied theater and honed her acting craft. Since her relocation, Kazan went through an experimental stage involving big fur hats and combat boots before arriving at the refined looks shown above. While her personal style has matured, we like that Kazan still incorporates a sense of fun into her outfits, as she demonstrates via her choice of Rubin Singer's Graffiti Print Piquet dress for the designer's Fall 08 show.

Kazan's fondness of color, admitted love of jumpsuits, and unlikely choice for a must-have accessory (a bicycle, see below) all stem from a creatively permissive upbringing, during which her screenwriters parents encouraged her to experiment with day-to-day attire. "I had a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure situation," Kazan said referring to her childhood style. These days she derives wardrobe inspiration from rich sources like Patti Smith and Kazan's favorite artists, including Edward Gorey, Egon Schiele, and her god-sister, Juliana Romano. The whimsical ways of Kazan's formative days are still present, as the actress admits that she still has a "penchant for anything that looks like Alice in Wonderland."

Career-wise, things are shaping up nicely too. Kazan already has an impressive list of stage credits under her belt, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the Ethan Hawke-directed Things We Want, and recently made her Broadway debut in Come Back, Little Sheba. In addition to her theater skills, Kazan has also spent significant time in front of the camera working on the aforementioned Revolutionary Road, as well as the upcoming Me and Orson Welles opposite Zac Efron, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee with Winona Ryder, Julianne Moore, and Blake Lively-clearly she's on the cusp. We look forward to seeing Kazan's eminent success and have a feeling her story will end with a happily ever after. -JESSICA AMENTO

A few of Zoe's favorite things...

Style muses: Patti Smith, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anna Karina, Jane Birkin, Zelda Fitzgerald

Spring/Summer Accessory: Schwinn bicycle

Designers: Karen Walker, Isabel Marant, Marni, Catherine Malandrino, Zac Posen, Kay Unger, Narciso Rodriguez

Shops: (Los Angeles) Creatures of Comfort, Wasteland, Buffalo Exchange (New York) I Heart, Dear Fieldbinder, Hootie Couture

Magazines: The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire

iPod Shuffle: Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, MGMT, Lavender Diamond, Neko Case, Dusty Springfield, Willy Nelson

Outfits and images, from left
1. Drama Desk Cocktail Reception
Dress: Vintage from Beacon's Closet Shoes: Steve Madden

2. "Things We Want" Off-Broadway Opening Night After Party
Dress: Karen Walker Shoes: Marni

3. Rubin Singer Fall 2008 Runway Show
Dress: Rubin Singer Graffiti Print Cotton Piquet Dress ($1250, available at Helen Yi, 733.252.3838) Shoes: Christian Louboutin

4. Lucille Lortel Awards
Dress: Vintage from Go Fish Top: Brooklyn Flea Market

5. "Come Back, Little Sheba" Broadway Opening Night After Party
Dress: Catherine Malandrino Clutch: TJ Maxx Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Photos courtesy of Wireimage (2nd and 3rd from left) and Getty Images (4th and 5th from left).