The Millennium Trilogy books by Stieg Larsson have captured readers all over the world. With film versions like the recent Hollywood rendition of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," directed by David Fincher, and the original Swedish version "Man som hatar kvinnor," directed by Niels Arden Oplev, the crime fiction series' sales have grown even more.
The universally accepted idea is that books are always better. While that is a bit true for these movies in terms of story — visually, they are incredible. The actresses Noomi Rapace (Swedish version) and Rooney Mara (Hollywood version) both underwent extreme transformation to play the strong, androgynous vigilante Lisbeth Salander.
I am completely obsessed with Lisbeth. She is definitely one of the most inspiring female characters to ever hit literature and now theaters. Her style is definitely a reflection of her character: punk, strong and unforgiving.
I think everyone should have a dark edge to his or her wardrobe. I'm not saying to cut your hair into a mohawk, bleach your eyebrows to match the color of your skin and wear lots and lots of leather, but if you do, I will have some mad, mad respect for you.
Trish Summerville, the costume director for the American movie, debuted an H&M line in December that was based off the designs she made for the character in the film. However, it is now long gone. Some of those pieces are on eBay, so you can buy some real Lisbeth duds, but you'll have to pay four times the original price.
But I can show you ways to take elements from Lisbeth's look and find them in everyday, inexpensive items to give your own look that much-needed subtle edginess. And edgy can definitely make a difference without trying too hard.
A leather jacket is one of those staples for every wardrobe-so when you get one, (or another one) get one with a biker style, like this one from Forever 21. It has a jersey material on the sleeves, which gives it some masculinity — an element that plays into Lisbeth's androgynous style.
Black or grey boots with buckles or lace-ups are excellent for making any look appear polished or more expensive. You can find edgy, inexpensive boots at Macy's, ALDO (like the one from above) and more. Lisbeth wears a lot of distressed clothing — things like acid-washed jeans and rips and tears held together by safety pins — but her boots make those wear-and-tear jackets and tees look ready to go.
Speaking of distressed, literally everyone has t-shirts and tank tops. They're simple and workable, so how about grabbing dark distressed versions? Stores like Urban Outfitters sell a ton of asymmetrical designs that appear used and vintage, which is perfect for this look.
Skinny pants in leather and denim in acid wash should also do the trick. These should be really unique pieces, since these are basics in many people's wardrobes, but small details will really spice up your outfit.
This is one of Trish Summerville's designs, which is probably on Ebay, but you can find similar ones on Urban Outfitters.
Lisbeth has a lot of piercings: nose, lips, eyebrows and even her nipples. The really cool ones are the tribal-style gauge earrings worn in the Hollywood version of the film. They are definitely bold fashion statements. The really cool thing is that you don't actually have to go and get your ear lobes enlarged, you can buy faux gauges. Hot Topic, ebay and Etsy have loads of them. When searching, type in tribal-style fake gauges, and you'll be good to go.
Here is an example of how a faux gauge would look:
The cherry on top of the punk-driven style is definitely the makeup and hair. Makeup can be relatively simple when applying: keep a shaky hand, some unevenness will bring some drama to the look. Also, dark eye shadow could oomph up the drama but try not to make it too girly. I think one of the great things about Lisbeth is that she has this balance of masculinity and femininity. It's optional to wear lipstick with a dark base, like a plum or a red with a black base.
Rapace's Lisbeth has eyeliner is heavily applied with some eye shadow along to it.
For the hair, think dramatic. You can do heavy bangs, many layers, teased sections here and there and lots of hairspray! Lisbeth's hair is definitely very rock ‘n' roll and YouTube is just teeming with DIY videos. Here is one of the many on how to make a faux-hawk with your hair — no scissors or shaving required.
All of theses items mentioned above do not necessarily have to be worn all together (it would look fantastic though), but it can be just a little add-on to your current everyday outfit. One little change can make a HUGE difference.
Let's use Rooney as an example. She already has her harsh hairstyle from the film, so she definitely had to work around it. Her style, prior to her Lisbeth stage, was girly and flowy. So for red carpets, she wears girly dresses, but her edgy hairstyle and makeup totally vamped up the looks. One hairstyle and a bit of dark makeup took a simple, white Givenchy gown and made it look rock ‘n' roll ready.
This sundress is given a punk edge with the leather-studded biker jacket. Throwing on one garment turned the girl-next-door look into girl with a possible tattoo.
So now that you have an idea on how to bring dark, edgy, punk elements into your wardrobe with some simple changes, you are ready to take on the world, Lisbeth style. Next time you want to feel edgy, just think what Lisbeth would do, and the inspiration will come — what a way to look curved-edge while living the straight-edged life.
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It still surprises me how Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara transformed from their former girly selves into this extreme character.