There’s nothing quite like chancing upon a photo that provides documentary proof of your tweenage fashion sense: a reminder of an outfit which, back then, you thought was an absolute knockout – quite the thing for that school disco or birthday party down the local bowling alley – but which the years have not been kind to. Questionably inappropriate slogan tees? Irridescent skorts? Avril Lavigne-inspired baggy trousers? Let us count the ways…
For Emma Watson, someone who has been world famous since she was about 11 years old, those particular photos aren’t just in her parents’ attics: they’re very much in the public domain, as the Beauty and the Beast star found out on her recent trip to The Ellen Show.
Before discussing Emma’s take on one of Disney’s best-loved characters, Belle, Ellen took the chance to remind the 26-year-old of her first ever red carpet outfits, worn to the world premiere of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, back when she was a little less fashion savvy (and certainly didn’t have a stylist on speed dial).
The outfit in question? A grey maxi dress made of a structured, denim-esque fabric, accessorised with purple faux snakeskin boots, a tiny gold clutch bag and – credit where credit is due – a purple-black feather boa. Essentially, it’s exactly what your 11-year-old self would have worn when asked to come up with a killer outfit.
Emma’s natural response was to dissolve into giggles, proving that even dizzyingly successful Disney Princesses can get caught out by an embarassing throwback.
‘Wow! That was special,’ she laughed, before explaining how she joined forces with her mum to dream up this particular Potter ensemble.
‘This was my first ever movie premiere, and my mum and I planned this for weeks,’ she said. ‘It doesn’t look like it, but there was a lot of thought that went into it.’
‘I thought I looked amazing,’ she concluded – something that’s confirmed by the huge smile on her face in the photo – and whether you’re barely out of primary school or a seasoned fashion influencer (just like Emma these days), isn’t that what really matters?
And in case you were wondering what her young co-stars wore for their first red carpet outing, feast your eyes on the sartorial display below. Ah, the Noughties…