Fashion / Style

Zendaya’s method dressing for ‘Challengers’ press tour, might have created a new standard for red carpets – here are our favourite examples

How to breakup the humdrum of a multi-city stop press tour? Coordinate a red carpet wardrobe that mirrors the themes of the movie and will get people talking at every stop. That's method dressing in a nutshell, and in 2024 it's become the gold standard for actors promoting their films across the globe.

The best and most recent example of method dressing would have to come from Zendaya and her longtime stylist Law Roach. Wearing archival Mugler armour, Alaïa Couture, Paolo Carzana, Alexander McQueen for Givenchy and Torishéju Dumi to name a few, the duo managed to reference sandworms, warriors, the desert and sci-fi architecture of Dune: Part 2, extending their approach from the series' initial launch.

As Zendaya sets out to promote Luca Guadagnino's tennis ménage à trois film Challengersthe actor is continuing her method dressing approach. Her first serve? A custom lawn green Loewe gown worn to the film's Australian premiere.

It would be remiss of us to delve into method dressing without turning our torches onto Margot Robbie and the hot pink feast that was the Barbie press tour. Designed alongside the keen eye of Robbie's stylist Andrew Mukamal, the wardrobe paid homage to notable Barbie dolls over the years with outfits, often custom, from Balmain, Versace, Moschino, Emilio Pucci, Schiaparelli, Vivienne Westwood, Dilara Findikoglu, and naturally, CHANEL.

Sadly, the tour was cut short due to the Hollywood strikes, but not before Robbie and Mukamal had us hooked – they even capitalised on the attention with a coffee table book from Rizzoli that documented the tour outfits.

So, method dressing. What do we think, genius or gimmick? It'll be curious to see if the approach becomes stale. I won't lie, as we hit awards season I was one fuschia look away from a conniption. Although, Robbie's black Versace gown at the Oscars was a curveball (and possibly a protest? Or at the very least stereotypical Barbie's bid at being a good intersectional feminist by spotlighting America Ferrera in her moment). In any case, find our favourite examples of method dressing below.

 

 

Zendaya in Loewe

 

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To kick off the global tour of Challengers in Sydney, Zendaya stepped out in a lawn green custom Loewe gown featuring a tennis player mid-serve. A serve indeed.

 

Zendaya in Lacoste

 

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Custom made Lacoste, inspired by “The Victory of 1927”, is a look only Zendaya could pull off.

 

Zendaya in Loewe

 

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Zendaya is continuously eating up the method dressing with her tennis themed press tour for Challengers. With Law Roach and Jonathan Anderson working hand in hand to produce these looks, it's quite the major moment. Particularly this Loewe tennis attire with tennis balls for heels, it's out of this world.

 

 

Margot Robbie in CHANEL Couture

 

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Attending to 2019 Cannes Film Festival photocall for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Margot Robbie channelled her character Sharon Tate with CHANEL Spring 2011 Couture.

 

Emma Corrin in custom Miu Miu

 

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The English actor wore custom Miu Miu and Cartier to the 2021 Golden Globes for their portrayal of Princess Diana in The Crown.

 

Zendaya in Valentino Couture

 

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The actress wore Valentino Couture to promote Spiderman: No Way Home back in December 2021.

 

Zoe Kravitz in Saint Laurent

While promoting The Batman in London, Zoe Kravitz wore a gown from Saint Laurent Resort 2022 which featured a bat-like cutout along the neckline.

 

Margot Robbie in Herve Leger

 

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A carbon copy of "The Original" Barbie for her photocall at Bondi Icebergs in 2023.

 

Margot Robbie in Versace

 

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The actor stepped out in an iconic look from the Versace Fall Winter 1994 collection to promote Barbie.

 

Margot Robbie in Schiaparelli

 

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Perhaps her best take on method dressing wasn't actually pink at all. Rather, this custom Schiaparelli dress which riffed on "Solo in the Spotlight" Barbie from 1960 at the Los Angeles premiere of the film.

 

Margot Robbie in Vivienne Westwood

 

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Attending the London premiere of Barbie, Robbie arrived in custom Vivienne Westwood mirroring "Enchanted Evening" Barbie from 1960. However, the true highlight was the Dilara Findikoglu look she wore after, a nod to 1962 "Brunette Bubble Cut" Barbie.

 

Hunter Schafer in Schiaparelli

 

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Schafer wore Schiaparelli FW23 Couture to the Berlin premiere of Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in November 2023. A fashion moment enabled with the help of stylist and Interview fashion editor Dara Allen.

 

Hunter Schafer in Prada

 

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As a Prada ambassador, it was only natural for Schafer to weave in an Italian moment during her press tour. For the London premiere of Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the actress appeared in a molten gold custom Prada gown, which fused the silhouettes, textures, and colours found in the House's Spring 2009 collection

 

Hunter Schafer in Marni

 

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During the same press trip, Schafer stepped out looking like a Capitol citizen in this sculptural floral mini by Marni from the brand's SS24 collection.

 

Margot Robbie in Armani Privé

 

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Robbie channelled the 1977 "Superstar Barbie" during her attendance of the 2024 Golden Globes.

 

Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton

 

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The actor wore Louis Vuitton Resort 2024 to the BAFTAS where she took home Best Actress for her role in Poor Things. Wearing sleeves that Bella Baxter would approve of.

 

Billie Eilish

 

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Styled by Andrew Mukamal, Billie Eilish attended the 2024 Grammys dressed at the 1965 "Poodle Parade" Barbie.

 

Zendaya in Mugler

 

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The most striking look from this press trip was unveiled in London, when Zendaya appeared in a suit of armour from Mugler Fall 1995 Couture and Bulgari jewels.

 

Zendaya in archival Givenchy

 

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To promote Dune:Part 2, Zendaya appeared in Givenchy Fall Winter 1999 from Lee McQueen's "Android Couture" collection.

 

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Images: @jonathananderson @lacoste