Rachel Zegler Is Channelling Hunger Games Predecessor Jennifer Lawrence IRL
Between her "girl on fire"-inspired red carpet outfit to her quiet luxury street style aesthetic, Zegler seems to be taking fashion cues from the OG Katniss Everdeen.
Is there anything more exciting than an emerging Hollywood fashion icon? Enter Rachel Zegler. While promoting the latest in the Hunger Games film series, up-and-comer Rachel Zegler is proving she can play the part of an A-lister when it comes to red carpet style.
To attend the European premiere of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on November 5 in Berlin, Zegler wore a fiery Alexander McQueen gown from the designer’s Fall 2023 collection that screamed “girl on fire.” Between its unique neckline and how its black mermaid silhouette seamlessly transitioned into a red orchid pattern reminiscent of flames, it was instantly clear to any OG Hunger Games fan that Zegler was paying homage to the series’ original heroine Katniss Everdeen, famously brought to life by Jennifer Lawrence.
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There are two particularly memorable scenes in both the first and second Hunger Games films wherein Katniss dons gowns that transform into a flurry of flames along the hemline as she spins. These dresses, and their respective fiery spectacles, represent the District 12 tribute’s intense, fighting spirit while establishing her as a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the arena.
And, although The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is actually a prequel to the original films, it’s clear that Zegler was honouring Katniss (and her leading lady predecessor, Lawrence), while also drawing parallels between her Songbirds character, Lucy Gray Baird, and the films’ former heroine with her red carpet look.
Though her bold premiere outfit caught the attention of both old and new Hunger Games fans, it’s not the only movie star style moment we’ve seen from Zegler lately. With the help of stylist Sarah Slutsky Tooley, the 22-year-old has been spotted in a variety of elevated looks while promoting the film, which received an interim agreement from SAG-AFTRA that has allowed its stars to advertise the movie amidst the ongoing Hollywood strike.
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Aside from her flame-inspired McQueen gown, Zegler has been seen in other red carpet takes on method dressing. While promoting the film in New York City, Zegler donned a Dior outfit that included an asymmetrical, one-shoulder white blouse, as well as a textured ombré yellow skirt full of intricate ruffles. This look was no doubt an ode to Lucy’s eye-catching tulle skirted rainbow dress from the new film, which is one of the character’s most recognizable outfits.
When it comes to her other press tour looks, Zegler also appears to be leaning into the quiet luxury aesthetic — and taking subtle styling cues from none other than Jennifer Lawrence whose recent style makeover has been turning heads. Think: monochromatic outfits, timeless staples in elevated fabrics, and cool tailoring from logo-less brands like The Row.
Zegler has been seen out and about in a variety of silk blouses, wide-leg trousers, fitted vests and oversized blazers — all staples of a well-rounded quietly luxurious wardrobe. Most importantly, while many of her recent looks have come from designers like Petar Petrov, Sergio Hudson and Dior, none of her ensembles display any logos or brand names, which also falls in line with the subtle, understated elegance of the aesthetic. Logo mania? We don’t know her.
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These looks come just a few months after Lawrence’s own style and career renaissance, which, as she moved away from her previously beloved quirky persona (and outgoing fashion sense), has included more mature, sophisticated outfits that now better represent the adult she is today.
As Lawrence has embarked on her recent style evolution, she’s become a street style icon with her often toned-down, yet always perfectly put together, looks. Favouring well-known “stealth wealth” brands such as The Row, she’s usually seen in neutral colours and relaxed layers, including loose-fitting trousers, as well as oversized sweaters and blazers.
babe wake up new jennifer lawrence fall street style look just dropped pic.twitter.com/75xLPonh03
— corinne ☆ (@MIUCClAMUSE) October 19, 2023
Like Lawrence, Zegler also tried her hand at quiet luxury-inspired street style looks recently. In a series of photos posted by her stylist, Zegler was pictured walking her dog in an outfit comprised of minimalist labels. With a Kate Spade bag on her arm, Zegler subtly posed for the camera while sporting Icon Denim loose-fitting jeans, a simple white T-shirt by “less is more” brand St. Agni and a classic tan trench coat by J.Crew.
And beyond their newly similar styles, Zelger and Lawrence also share other career and fashion similarities. Just like how Lawrence got her big break after first playing Katniss in 2012, the forthcoming Hunger Games prequel is Zegler’s first major movie role (she previously starred as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story adaptation).
On the style side of things, the fashion world is clearly taking notice of the rising star. Zegler has been seen in an increasing number of Dior looks lately, and was even called a “friend of the house” by the brand back in May. Incidentally, Lawrence has been a Dior ambassador since 2012, which was right around the time that the first Hunger Games film was released. The two stars even met this past September at a Dior show in Paris. Is a partnership between Zegler and Dior in the future? Only time will tell.
So what’s next for Zegler? The young actor will take on the titular role in Snow White, Disney’s latest live-action reimagining of the classic fairy tale, which is slated to premiere in 2025. Until then, we’ll be keeping an eye out for more method red carpet dressing and quiet luxury-inspired looks from the emerging star.