The Stunning Transformation Of Millie Bobby Brown

Most teenagers go through a painfully awkward phase filled with neon-colored braces and poorly applied eyeliner, but Millie Bobby Brown isn't your average teen. The star broke rose to fame for her captivating portrayal of Eleven in Netflix's hit Stranger ThingsCoincidentally, she was 11 years old when she auditioned for the part.

Brown has since put down the Eggo waffles, grown out the buzz cut, and hightailed it to the hottest luxury designers in Hollywood. She's been hailed as an "icon for her generation" by W magazine, brushed elbows with Vogue mastermind Anna Wintour, and landed modelling campaigns with brands such as Calvin Klein and Moncler. Seriously, what teenager receives shout outs from the likes of Marc Jacobs on her birthday?

The actress celebrated her 14th birthday in February 2018, and has since adopted a more mature style filled with slicked back hair, pant suits, and whimsical dresses. She's even broken some of her own fashion rules. It's about time for that awkward phase, or is Brown just getting a pass? Let's take a closer look at her stunning transformation.

Becoming Eleven

Most of us know Eleven by her buzz cut and affinity for Eggo waffles, but Millie Bobby Brown wasn't always the bald-headed runaway we first fell in love with on Stranger Things. Before her breakout role, the actress appeared in the TV series Intruders, Modern Family and Grey's Anatomy with long, brunette hair past her shoulders. Shaving her head was a bold move for the young star, but with a little bit of courage from action hero Charlize Theron, she put her locks on the chopping block.

In an Instagram post, Brown described shaving her head as "the most empowering moment of my whole life. The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show, and I couldn't hide behind my hair like I used to. The only image I had in my head about what I could possibly look like is Charlize Theron in Madmax [sic]."

According to Entertainment Weekly, Brown's father ran away with tears in his eyes during the actual haircut (très dramatic.) The whole thing took about ten minutes.

At odds with her inner tomboy

After shaving her hair into a closely cropped buzz cut, Brown adopted a short pixie for her first round of Stranger Things-related press. During this time, she offset the androgynous nature of her hairstyle with frilly, floral dresses and kitten heels, like the age-appropriate Burberry dress (pictured) that she donned at the BAFTA LA Emmy Awards Tea Party in 2016.

Apparently, these types of dresses weren't a first choice for Brown, who considered herself somewhat of a tomboy. Like many tweens who'd rather walk around in a Pikachu onesie (which she told Vogue she had worn to a recent dinner,) her mother chose her red carpet looks and forced her to dress up for the cameras (Mom knows best!)

"I'm not a girly girl. I love wearing this stuff, but if it was my choice, I'd come in in my tracksuit," she told Vogue. "But my mum's like, 'No, you put this on, you put that on...'"

The catch-22 of hating shopping but loving fashion

Fashion may love Millie Bobby Brown, but she doesn't love it — at least if it requires shopping. The then 12-year-old star admitted to Vogue that she "loves" fashion but "hates" shopping. Around this time, Brown was already a budding style icon. Her quirky taste was characterized by mismatched colors and patterns and landed her a front row seat alongside Stranger Things co-star Winona Ryder at Coach's New York Fashion Week show.

Just because she's not fond of shopping, doesn't mean she's lacking an affinity for the high-end. Brown told Vogue that her favorite brands are Burberry, Stella McCartney and Coach. She also hopped on the Eurostar to Paris to meet with Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton's creative director, shortly after that interview. She later appeared in one of his Instagram posts wearing a fuzzy, millennial pink jacket and looking impossibly cool.

Keeping it casual

When Brown's not walking the red carpet, her style is actually quite casual. It's hard to remember that she's a teenage girl, but she flaunted her casual digs in a 2016 appearance for AOL's Build Series. The starlet donned a classic white tee and relaxed overalls for the Q&A — which could be described as nothing short of cute as a button.

Brown's denim outfit was a far cry from the feminine dresses that populated most of her red carpet looks prior to the event, and it seemed more reflective of her actual style at the time. Had she finally taken the reins from her mother? 

In recent years, the star's affinity for casual clothing hasn't changed all that much and was highlighted in a 2017 Teen Vogue interview. Brown graced the cover of the September "Icons" issue. "I've never been one of those girls who dresses provocatively. It's just not me. I keep it as appropriate as possible. I wear tons of shorts and sneakers," she told the fashion mag, adding, "I'm like, 'Uh, no' if something is itchy or not comfortable."

It's all about feeling confident

We're all familiar with Eleven's really obvious wig from Season 1 of Stranger Things (it was a pretty huge Halloween costume in 2016 and 2017.) Brown's mother actually considered a similar, fake-haired fate for the actress, but she wasn't having any of it. 

Brown told This Morning (via the Daily Mail) that her mother didn't like her buzz cut and asked her to "put some wigs on." Though the young star adored her short hair, she admitted to W magazine that people sometimes thought she was sick or made nasty remarks. She managed to grow a thick skin before she grew out her locks. "It was hurtful, but their attitude taught me something about compassion," she said. "In the end, being bald was the best thing I ever did — being different changed my life. I wanted to embrace my baldness and, hopefully, inspire people. And, now, that's become my message to the world."

Brown, who told Teen Vogue that she feels "more confident" with short hair, kept the look all the way up until Stranger Things Season 2. She played with braids, slicked-back styles, and clips while it was growing out.

Model behavior

If Millie Bobby Brown wasn't already a fashion icon, landing a Calvin Klein ad pretty much sealed the deal. In January 2017, the luxury brand joined the rest of us in the Upside Down when Brown announced she'd been tapped for a modeling campaign for Calvin Klein by Appointment, a collection designed by the brand's chief creative officer, Raf Simons.

About a month later, Teen Vogue reported that the Stranger Things star signed to IMG Models, which represents Karlie Kloss and the Hadid sisters. She later appeared alongside Paris Jackson and Lulu Tenney in the brand's on-going #MyCalvins campaign (You know, the one that made everyone suspect Kylie Jenner was hiding her pregnancy.)

By early 2017, Brown had pretty much kicked her affinity for juvenile fashion. Her look was notably mature and effortlessly chic to march her new career as a model. What do you expect from a teenager who regularly sits front row at Calvin Klein shows and bumps elbows with fashion legend Anna Wintour?

Princess of the Emmys

In 2017, Brown was nominated for an Emmy and decided to step onto the red carpet in a whimsical, ballerina-inspired strapless gown by Calvin Klein. The stunning tulle creation played up her penchant for wearing whimsical princess dresses during awards shows and galas. She wore a similar gown for her Stranger Things red carpet debut and again at the "Time 100" gala in 2018.

According to Teen Vogue, Brown took a hands-on approach to designing her Emmy dress and worked with Calvin Klein to craft a look that was feminine, edgy and dramatic — all the best parts of Brown's style. The star's gown landed her on numerous best-dressed lists and was praised by fans on social media, but most importantly, she could still cut a rug.

"I like to dress my age, so I always gravitate to things that are sophisticated but not stuffy or too serious," she told the teen fashion magazine of her Emmy's look. "Comfort is also key for me. Nothing that will slow me down on the dance floor."

Playing up Eleven's edge

We're not sure what was more shocking: the fact that Barb was finally vaguely vindicated in Season 2 or the fact that Millie Bobby Brown finally had long hair at the premier. Up until this point, the actress had been defined by her pixie cut, so she shocked audiences everywhere when she debuted longer locks and an edgier look on the red carpet. Also, she was wearing leather! Where was Brown's awkward teenage phase? Where was the frosted lip gloss? The chunky highlights?

According to People, Brown opted to use extensions to lengthen her stylish lob, though after seeing the star repeatedly in the press after the Season 2 premier, it seems like her hair just grew faster than a baby Demogorgon. Brown's new look mimicked Eleven's on-screen bad gal transformation, and the star even admits she got swept away in her character's rebellious, angsty attitude.

"I went through a stage, like at least three episodes, where I would just wear black sweaters with beanies, black nail polish. I was going through goth and it was bad," she told Vogue Australia. Fortunately, this look is so, so good.

Making her fashion political

In March of 2018, Eleven went political. USA Today reported that the Kids' Choice Awards occurred on the same day as the March for Our Lives demonstrations. Brown opted to honor victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., at the ceremony with a custom Calvin Klein denim-on-denim outfit. The back of the button-up top listed the names of the 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and faculty who lost their lives to gun violence. The words "never again" were emblazoned on the front.

Brown took home the award for favorite TV actress and spoke about March for Our Lives while claiming her orange blimp. "As we saw a moment ago, the March For our Lives demonstrations that took place all over the world today have inspired me, and impacted us all in one way or another," she said, thanking Stranger Things for giving her a platform that she could use to advocate for those less fortunate. " ...I'm privileged to have a voice that can be heard, one that I can hopefully use to make a positive difference and help influence change."

She's grateful, she's empathetic, and she can pull off a Canadian tuxedo. What can't Millie Bobby Brown do?

Boss lady

Dress for the job you want — not the job you have. That's exactly the mindset Millie Bobby Brown has adopted in 2018. The star's style went from t-shirts and frilly dresses to blazers and sleek trousers, leaving her looking like a total boss (because she is one!) The teenager donned a mature black pant suit and bold yellow heels for a Stranger Things 2 panel ahead of her upcoming production role.

According to the Evening Standard, little Eleven busted out of the Upside Down and became Hollywood's youngest producer at the age of 13. The star signed onto a new film franchise based on Nancy Springer's young adult mystery novels, The Enola Holmes Mysteries. The first movie is expected to be based on The Case of the Missing Marquess. Brown will star as Sherlock Holmes' younger sister and produce under her own production company, PCMA Productions. 

How many 13-year-old kids have their own production companies and rock pant suits? Just sayin'.

Breaking her own fashion rules

Millie Bobby Brown has a sense of style that rivals most adults. What other teenager regularly rocks Louis Vuitton like it's Forever 21? Regardless, she's only recently started wearing some crop tops and was initially against the idea all together.

"I don't like showing off my skin," she told Variety. "If I'm in a photo shoot and they're like, 'Can you wear a crop top?' I'm like, 'No. No, not yet.' When that day comes I'm going to be, like, 18."

The world has only seen Brown in a crop top a couple of times. According to Entertainment Weekly, she donned a pink velvet crop beneath a Rodarte satin-and-sequin jacket during a New York City press day. She's also wore some crops in a couple of 2018 Instagram posts. When it comes to public appearances, the star has mostly stuck to button-ups, blouses, and tees that don't bare a midriff even when paired with a conservative pair of wide-legged or pleated trousers.

What's next?

It's unclear how Millie Bobby Brown's style will evolve as she expands her talents outside of Stranger Things. Maybe she'll ditch the dark vibe as Eleven finds solace in Season 3. Maybe she'll embrace it even more as the boss of her own production company. WWD reports that the star was tapped for a Moncler ad campaign and has been spotted wearing the design house's duds. 

Sartorial choices aside, Brown is set to star in her first major motion picture. She's going from TV star to full-fledged Hollywood A-Lister, a transition that's not easy to make. Godzilla: King of the Monsters drops in 2019, while Stranger Things' third season has been delayed until the summer of 2019, reported TVLine.

There's no denying this starlet has a knack for monster flicks, and if she could face-off with the Demogorgon, Godzilla can't hold a candle. In an interview at Comic-Con 2018 (via Entertainment Weekly), Brown did report that "the Demogorgon is pretty chill," but as far as we're concerned, there's nothing Eleven can't handle.