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Oscar nominee Ruth Negga’s red carpet style blends demure and bold

Ruth Negga at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival
Ruth Negga, covered, but bare, made a stunning debut at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in a sheer, black lace gown by Marc Jacobs.
(EPA)

Ruth Negga’s starring role as Mildred Loving in “Loving” earned the film its only Oscar nomination, launching the Ethiopian-Irish actress on an intercontinental jet stream of red carpet appearances. At each, Negga has arrived fully in character — as Ruth Negga, force of nature.

Though she’s a petite 5-foot-3, she’s also, at 35, a veteran performer who is tough enough to have been cast as Tulip O’Hare, a gifted criminal in AMC’s “Preacher,” and as Raina, a scientist who can see the future on Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Along with stylist Karla Welch, Negga has developed a distinct clothing persona that is a mix of interesting contrasts: romantic and goth, demure but bold. Unlike newcomers aiming for attention, Negga often keeps covered with such prim signatures as hems to the wrists and ankles, high, round necklines, flowing sleeves and skirts, and all-over figurative embroidery. The grit comes from edgy silhouettes and loads of black in every variation — shiny, sheer and lace.

Welch and Negga swept through international fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Prada and Rodarte, often taking looks straight from runways to the red carpet. A bonus for designers, Negga’s unmistakable presence adds credibility to sometimes over-the-top designs, putting them in context and making a memorable contribution to fashion.

She’s destined to remain a fashion influence, thanks in part to landing her first Vogue cover and spread, and spots on many best-dressed lists. You don’t need to be clairvoyant like her Raina character to know that Negga’s future as a style icon looks bright.

At the Golden Globes, Negga’s shimmering, custom-made Louis Vuitton gown is stitched along the torso to give a subtle suggestion of armor.
At the Golden Globes, Negga’s shimmering, custom-made Louis Vuitton gown is stitched along the torso to give a subtle suggestion of armor. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
An emerald Prada gown’s unusual trimming highlights Negga’s blend of strength and delicacy.
An emerald Prada gown’s unusual trimming highlights Negga’s blend of strength and delicacy. (Greg Doherty / Getty Images)
Negga personified retro romance at the Los Angeles “Loving” premiere, wearing a flowing white Valentino with cape sleeves, bib-front and all-over embellishment.
Negga personified retro romance at the Los Angeles “Loving” premiere, wearing a flowing white Valentino with cape sleeves, bib-front and all-over embellishment. (Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic)
She’s sweet and slightly sinister in a sheer, black lace tiered-dress by Rodarte at the L.A. premiere of “Warcraft” last year.
She’s sweet and slightly sinister in a sheer, black lace tiered-dress by Rodarte at the L.A. premiere of “Warcraft” last year. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)
In a sheer, black lace gown by Marc Jacobs, Negga, covered, but bare, made a stunning debut at the Cannes Film Festival premiere of “Loving.”
In a sheer, black lace gown by Marc Jacobs, Negga, covered, but bare, made a stunning debut at the Cannes Film Festival premiere of “Loving.” (George Pimentel / WireImage)
She not only won the Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, but Negga also won raves for her exotic Valentino gown.
She not only won the Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, but Negga also won raves for her exotic Valentino gown. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

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