By now, Uma Thurman’s film roles are part of the collective consciousness. The actor, who turns 50 today, has given much to cinema, thanks to a longstanding collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino and iconic performances in cult films such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Gattaca. With her discerning eye and exacting tastes, Thurman has had an equally scene-stealing impact on the world of fashion. Long before she headed to Hollywood, Thurman began her career in 1985 as a second-generation model. As the daughter of 1950s Vogue cover star and Norman Parkinson favorite, Nena von Schlebrügge, she had a pedigree few could match. At just fifteen, she landed her first international Vogue cover. Still, the lure of modeling paled in comparison to acting. Soon she was making a name for herself with a memorable cameo as a Botticelli-inspired Venus in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and a supporting role in Dangerous Liaisons.
While Thurman’s stint as a model was short-lived, she retained an ability to pull off goddess gowns and imaginative designer fare. Eager to take risks, she’s moved from wearing bohemian tie-dye pants at the Cannes Film Festival in the early aughts to embracing her inner goddess in an emerald creation from close friend, Zac Posen at the Met Gala in 2013. The first to wear Prada at the Academy Awards back in 1995—designer Barbara Tfank, collaborated with the label on a dreamy lilac number that raised the bar for red carpet dressing—Thurman helped to kickstart the trend for high fashion labels during awards season. Since then, she’s developed a fondness for fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel, and Versace, but every so often she’ll change tack by pulling out something unexpected. If you can count on one person to break out the Lacroix couture or arrive on the red carpet in old school Azzedine Alaïa, it’s Thurman.
In recent years, Thurman’s exploration of fashion has become a family affair. With her equally stylish daughter Maya Hawke landing on best-dressed lists, she and Hawke have begun to take in the collections together. Front row at Armani Privé during couture or enjoying one of Miu Miu’s far-flung resort shows, the mother-daughter team is hard to miss. Tall, striking, and impeccably dressed, they prove that great style doesn’t skip a generation. Currently in isolation together in upstate New York, the pair has been sharing candid snapshots on social media of at-home haircuts and farm-fresh vegetables—a far cry from fashion week, but no less appealing. Whether she’s casual or in full glam, Thurman remains a one-of-a-kind talent whose style and presence are endlessly watchable.