Winona Ryder's fashion and beauty evolution

Winona Ryder, who made her big screen debut when she was still a teenager, has been in the showbiz spotlight since the mid-1980s, her impressive career spanning five decades and featuring some unforgettable roles.

Not only is she an award-winning actor, Ms Ryder, who turned 50 in October, is a fashion and beauty icon too, thanks to her impeccable outfits and lust-worthy haircuts.

To mark her milestone birthday, we look back at how Winona Ryder’s style – both on and off the screen – has evolved throughout the decades.

Read: Jerry Hall’s fashion and beauty evolution

’90s ingénue

Named after her hometown, Winona Laura Horowitz was born in Winona, Minnesota, in 1971.

After taking acting classes and adopting the stage name Winona Ryder, the 15-year-old made her film debut in Lucas (1986), which was quickly followed by her breakout role as Lydia Deetz in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, for which Ms Ryder’s hair was dyed jet black.

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Parts in several other cult classics soon followed. In high school satire Heathers, she donned ’80s jackets with huge shoulder pads and had voluminous hair to match.

Ms Ryder was reunited with Tim Burton for 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, this time given long, blonde locks and a prim and proper wardrobe to star opposite Johnny Depp.

Gothic glamour

Ms Ryder and Mr Depp started dating and became one of the most famous Hollywood couples of the time.

Mr Depp declared that he was madly in love with his Edward Scissorhands co-star and even got ‘Winona Forever’ tattooed on his arm. Sadly, the pair split after four years and Mr Depp chose to change his tattoo to read ‘Wino Forever’.

Read: Charlotte Rampling’s fashion and beauty evolution

By then a regular on the red carpet, Ms Ryder was all about understated glamour in her 20s, often seen in sweeping black dresses with slicked back hair and a red lip.

Occasionally she would mix it up with a pink, red or cream column dress, but there was always something timeless about Ms Ryder’s red-carpet style.

Pretty as a pixie

In 1997, Ms Ryder debuted a dramatic hair transformation with the short pixie crop first seen on screen in Alien Resurrection.

The artfully messy hairdo perfectly suited Ms Ryder’s elfin features and has gone down as one of the most covetable celebrity pixie cuts in history.

Noughties revamp

Within a few years the pixie was gone, replaced by honey-blonde tousled locks.

In 2001, Ms Ryder hit the headlines when she was caught shoplifting in Beverly Hills and sentenced to three years’ probation.

After disappearing from the spotlight for some time, Ms Ryder was back on the red carpet by 2004 with a boho-chic new look and her wavy, shoulder-length locks back to brunette.

The return of the pixie

In 2008, the pixie crop returned – this time a longer, softer style with a glossy, chocolate brown hue – and Ms Ryder’s career began to take off again, with supporting roles in films such as Star Trek and Black Swan.

Read: TV icon Kim Cattrall’s style evolution

Grown-up glam

As Ms Ryder headed into her 40s, her style continued to evolve. She embraced tomboyish tailored looks as well as show-stopping gowns such as the Alberta Ferretti number at the 2011 SAG Awards.

Stranger Things star

Enjoying something of a renaissance in the past few years, Ms Ryder was cast as Joyce Byers in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Stranger Things in 2016.

The hit series has introduced the actor to a whole new generation, and she’s set to reprise her role in season four next year.

Off-screen, Ms Ryder continues to rock the gothic glam look with a seemingly endless supply of glitzy black gowns.

Clearly, the actor has found her fashion groove, and she looks as stylish at 50 as she did when she was starting out in showbiz.

What do you think of Winona Ryder’s style evolution? Which of her looks is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.

– With PA

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Written by Katie Wright

Fashion and beauty editor at the Press Association.

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