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Vanessa Hudgens Is Living Out Her Fashion Icon Era

The ‘Sneakernight’ singer is having her moment.

If you feel like you’ve been seeing Vanessa Hudgens everywhere lately, it’s because you have been. The actress has been ramping up her her public appearances of late, from red carpet moments to Fashion Week front rows and hosting duties ⁠— she’s truly blossoming in 2022, and we’re here for it.

Her most recent gig as a host at the MTV Video and Music Awards saw her undergo seven (yes, seven) outfit and hair changes throughout the night. Starting with a royal blue, Vera Wang mini dress with floating train before moving onto a Versace set with safety pinned skirt and a hot pink Valentino mini dress, Hudgens was delivering a seemingly endless string of dramatic serves.

Along with the MTV awards, you’ll probably remember that she also co-hosted the Met Gala and the 94th Academy Awards’ red carpet pre-show, so it’s fair to say she’s really ramping up the hosting duties. It’s a far cry from the annual Hudgens/Coachella pictures we’d typically hold out for, because nowadays it feels like she’s just about everywhere.

As for whether she’ll make the switch from actress to full-time host, it’s unlikely. But given her level of charisma de ella on the red carpet, we can safely assume it’s not the last time she’ll be picking up the microphone and bantering with other celebrities at major events.

Professional duties aside, it’s been this year’s fashion moments that have really resolidified Hudgens as a force to be reckoned with. Her stylist, Jason Bolden is the brains behind the beauty, kicking off award season strong with an aquamarine, Atelier Versace silk column dress for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards in February. Unsurprisingly, this show-stopping look had everyone talking, and ultimately asking ourselves the question, ‘have we been sleeping on Vanessa Hudgens?’

It’s interesting, when a celebrity who you don’t typically associate with fashion suddenly becomes a real trendsetter in that space. It gives you the opportunity to view them through a different lens, stepping out of one box and into another. Hudgens’ 2022 sartorial choices are a testament to this.

During the month of March, the actress was frequently photographed during Paris Fashion Week, most notably dressed head-to-toe in Miu Miu for the brand’s showing, which saw her sporting a more androgynous style in an oversized blazer and men’s cut boxer shorts.

Continuing with her award season serves, Vanessa then showed up to both the 94th Academy Awards and Vanity Fair Afterparty in two different (but equally stunning) black, floor-length gowns. The Michael Kors Collection gown worn to the Award ceremony, featured cut-outs at the side and back, accessorized with Bulgari jewellery. Again, this look had everyone talking, taking place just one month after the SAG Awards.

There’s no denying that the actress is just as big a fan of the sleek, black look as she is of the minidress. Depending on the type of event she’s attending, Bolden has been nailing the dress code every time, opting for short, fun and colorful when the occasion calls and veering towards modest and timeless when the event pulls in another direction.

Hudgens is always quick to credit her ‘amazing’ team for helping her nail each look, whether she’s stepping out for a day of running errands or stepping into the carpet at a globally televised event.

“I’m so grateful for, always steering me in the right direction, but like, I’ve always loved fashion,” she told Extra, when asked about her fashion resurgence. “I think that it’s a wonderful outlet to express yourself and I’ve just been so fortunate to make such great connections with different designers.”

While she certainly hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth for the past few years, there’s no denying that she hasn’t been the ever-present, public sphere figure we’re currently seeing. Hudgens hasn’t released an album since 2008 and she’s not appeared in many major blockbusters that have re-catapulted her into the public subconscious. That being said, her work de ella on Netflix’s Princess Switch franchise (which currently sits at three films) has been her biggest onscreen role in recent history.

After making her debut in the early 2000s as a breakout star on High School Musical, her career really seemed to be soarin’ and flyin.’ Interestingly, though, Hudgens said the franchise actually derailed her actress plans from her, sticking her in a box she found it difficult to get out of.

During a 2018 interview with GuardianHudgens revealed that she’d always imagined herself having an edgier acting career, which seemed virtually impossible after cementing herself as the Disney channel, family-friendly poster girl.

High School Musical was a fantastic journey, but it completely derailed me from where I originally saw my career going,” she told the outlet. “I always wanted to be the indie girl; I always wanted to be in the movies where I’m playing a drug addict or a stripper or a prostitute. That was my goal since I was, like, 11.”

After recently appearing in tick, tick…Boom!, Hudgens seems to be headed in a different direction—one which fits in with her new aesthetic and outlook on life. It’s sophisticated yet edgy, timeless yet very timely ⁠— essentially, it’s doing everything at once. Working alongside the talented Bolden, we have no doubt that she’s going to continue killing it on the carpet and beyond.

Personally, we can’t wait.

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