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Riley Utley

Jenna Ortega’s Signature Style Has My Heart, And Miller’s Girl’s Director Opened Up About Her ‘Ace’ Fashion On The Film

A press photo of Jenna Ortega sitting at a desk leaning her chin against her hands in Miller's Girl.

From Wednesday’s fashion to her own personal style, Jenna Ortega has cemented herself as a fashion icon. Both on and off screen, this actress’ style is always on point, and that’s very true in her film on the 2024 movie schedule, Miller’s Girl. So, when I got the chance to chat with the writer and director of this romantic thriller starring Ortega as Cairo, a highly intelligent student who gets into a messy relationship with a teacher, I had to ask about the actress’s on-screen ensembles, and she opened up about her leading lady’s “ace” fashion in the film. 

As I wrote in my review of Miller’s Girl, Jenna Ortega’s dark academic style is on full display, and it’s one of the true highlights of the visually stunning movie, because it helps show Cairo’s descent into villainy. During a conversation about the project with the director Jade Halley Bartlett, we talked a lot about the aesthetic of the film, and how it was “not supposed to be in any kind of time period.” Taking inspiration from the timelessness of It Follows and the “vintage cinema vibes” of films like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the writer/director gushed about how her costume designer, Lauren Bott, developed looks for Cairo in a way that shows her transformation from an innocent girl into a villain:

I think Cairo’s looks go from – you know, she's very, very wealthy, but she's very isolated – and I didn't want her to be too on trend, either. So I think that everything she wears, as we see the evolution of her style, is also an evolution of what's happening in her mind. And as she's sharpening herself from tool to weapon, you know?

(Image credit: Photo Credit: Zac Popik)

Cairo’s style is preppy at the beginning, and we see her wearing pinstripe shirts, khaki shorts and neutral sweaters. As the movie goes on, her outfits literally get darker -- she wears a leather dress at one point and a black mini dress at another. It’s one of the many ways we can track this character’s evolution, and it’s also a great example of Ortega’s ability to pull off looks like this perfectly. Speaking about the Emmy-nominated actress's collaboration with Bott on the movie, Halley Bartlett said:

She was really collaborative with Lauren, I sort of let them do their things. Like I felt really confident with all of our heads of department; they understood the vision so explicitly, that I was like, ‘Okay, great. You go do your job. I'll do my job.’ And so I think Lauren and Jenna had a lot of conversations, and they were really collaborative together. But Lauren mostly brought in everything that Jenna was like, ace, you know, nice.

“Ace” is a great way to describe Jenna Ortega’s fashion in Miller’s Girl, and it’s also a fab way to express her personal style as well. From the floral mini dress she wore to the premiere of this movie to the Wednesday-esque semi-sheer looks she rocked after the Netflix megahit’s premiere to the white sheer blazer dress she wore recently, she’s proven her range when it comes to fashion, and I love to see it!

Of course, her immaculate style has wound up on screen too. We all learned that when Wednesday Addams rocked our world in 2022, and now with Season 2 of Wednesday on the way, I can’t wait to see how Ortega’s on-screen style evolves. 

Miller’s Girl is a fabulous example of Jenna Ortega’s personal style matching the character she’s playing. She looked stunning in this film, and her style evolution as Cairo helped illuminate her character going from an innocent girl into a vengeful woman.

To see Jenna Ortega (and her stunning style) in Miller’s Girl, you can check it out in theaters now. Meanwhile, we’ll keep you posted on all her upcoming projects and fashion moments. 

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