Meet Rinko Kikuchi: Fashionista or Flop?

01/09/2007 at 10:30 AM ET

While Rinko Kikuchi’s turn as a deaf-mute teenager in Babel may have won her a Golden Globe nomination, her wardrobe is speaking volumes. A former model in her native Japan, the 25-year old actress is already showing a knack for wearing high fashion with a quirky twist, and her outfits at the 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival were no exception. From her black mini with attached bustle, which reminded us of Demi Moore’s infamous Oscars dress, to her logo-laden Chanel suit with ankle warmers, the ingenue is definitely not playing it safe. We can’t wait to see what she wears to the Golden Globes next week. Tell us: What do you think of Rinko’s style? Does she need a Red Carpet makeover or is she a fashionista in the making?

Click here to see more Red Carpet Fashion in Off the Rack. And for more of the latest news and gossip on the award shows, check out our Red Carpet Confidential blog.

Photo: Stephen Shugerman/Getty(2)

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Showing 52 comments

BC on


Stephanie on

Tacky! Very Tacky, my 13 year old niece has better style..

yen on

she looks cute,original nice to see something new

anna on

she looks cheap.

Rachel on

who is she? she needs help from head to toe !!!

GG on

Well, atleast she is covered up. Now, what she is covered up WITH, is a totally different story. Point blank, the girl needs help.

KJ on

Definitely different!

Misty on

Flop…definately a flop.

Rebecca on

I appreciate the fact that she’s trying to stand out and look different, but it’s not working- her outfits are frumpy and weird. She doesn’t look comfortable or confident, especially in the second photo. First step would be to color her hair back to it’s normal shade- blonde does not work on her. Rinko is so much prettier as a brunette!

j on

i think her hair is worse than the clothes. if i had gorgeous hair (as asians do) i’d never in a million years touch it w/any type of bleach!!!

faith on

i don’t like either look. however, i realize that these are only two examples. maybe she dressed better on other occasions. i mean, who knows, i’ve never seen her before.

what i don’t understand is how her makeup and hair look good (or atleast DONE) in the first pick, and then it looks like she opted to do NOTHING with her hair and face when she dons CHANEL of all labels.

COME ON!! you don’t ROLL OUT OF BED and put on CHANEL!! you get COMPLETELY GLAM and slip on chanel!

Jackie on

EWWW she sucks!

katie on

I agree with j, while it’s her hair to do with what she wants, why ruin beautiful black hair just to be a blonde- Yuck! Farrah/Madonna hair flip, extensions and fried hair- major Yuck! Dressing unflattering? Well, it does take the focus off that bad hair, lol.

BC on

an asian girl with blonde hair? alrighty then

andrea on

flop flop flop. she needs to go back to her original hair color as well.

Shana on

I’m not crazy about either of the ensembles pictured here, but I do respect the fact that she isn’t just conforming to the same fashion standards that so many other actresses have established, because the status quo can get tedious after a while.

Yamile on

You can be different & pretty at the sametime but this is different but definately not pretty

Terra on

Poor, Poor Baby………

Exotic Goddess on

Someone should have told her to pull up her skivies. They’re down at her ankles.

jap on

well, it’s funny because if you’ve never been to japan, you’ve never seen their fashion. huge difference from american fashion. we wear styles that japan has worn 3 years ago. so what’s “unfashionable” will be fashionable in 3 years.

enigma on

Flop like a dead fish FLOP!

kaye on

Japan has their own UNIQUE culture AND fashion! American fashion tend to lean on conservative and simple, Japanese fashion are somewhat Haute Couture European but more individual, fun, and ASIAN. So WE CANNOT JUDGE her because we are not Japanese, and we do not have DEEP knowledge of their culture.

Mary on

While I am not fond of her hair (nor would I ever dye my hair–I am Asian too), a native-born Japanese with bleached/lightened hair is the norm.

My mother works at a community college that many young Japanese people (the ones who didn’t make it through Japan’s tough education system) attend. She says they’re easy to spot, they’re the ones with dyed hair.

C on

Yuck! The dress looks sizes too small and the suit is hideous. Ankle warmers? And her hair is the same color as her skin. Very unflattering. This girl needs some help!

Hana on

I would like to point out that the legwarmers are chanel.

My bet would be that Karl dressed her up to toe in the second picture. Japanese girls are pretty fond of chanel. especially coloured clothes.

I think the way she dressed is pretty japanese. Her hair is bleached and yeah it is trendy in japan. But the hair doesn’t fit her. I like the clothes, but she needs to go back to a haircut that suits her more.

Now on a last point, nobody gives a toss if britney dyes her hair brown so i’d suggest you keep your ideas on what asians can do and not do to their hair to be irrelevant.

KT fr Cda on

Where was Mr. Blackwell on this one!

Allison T. on

If she continues the trend, I think she’ll be headlining Mr. Blackwell’s list next year!!

Melanie on

What a mess!!

nikkie on

fashion flop. What was she thinking?

KT on

Would like to support her.
She does not look nice at all in either photos.
She may be nicer when she is not buried herself in the people there. I think when she finds her Japanese originality important, she would shine more. But please do not do too much like Ms. Yuki Kudo. Ganbatte!

Cheri on

Make that poor girl over!!

Roy Roy on

first of all,
everyone must know that japan’s fashion is quite differnet from america’s fashion yes? well here we go, if i have to say korea’s , japan’s, china’s, and other asian fashion is beautiful .much beautiful. and i have to say that she has quite the taste. but to me i dont see japan’s fashion or america’s fashion. its quite cute but honestly = it doesnt match, Korea’s and Japan’s fashion is very unique and i cant see anything unique about this. Sadly I must say, pitch it honey.

Chink on

Her clothes scream Japanese Fashion. I love it.

PPC on

The black dress is also Chanel – spring 2007 collection. She obviously subscribes to the school of Paris Hilton.

pia on


There’s poor taste and then there’s poor taste. But she’s neither. That’s the Japanese ORIGINAL fashion sense for you… truly a fashion world of its own. Either you take it or leave it. And she looks like she’s enjoying it. Good for her. Just ditch the hair color though. Own up to your true roots.

K on

I think she’s been playful and having fun with fashion.
You’ll enjoy if you’re bored of Ugg boots.

Kylie on

who dressed them a blind preskool teacher.

Alie on

Finally, someone with a bit of quirk.
loved her golden globes dress, I MUST find the name of the designer.

e on

wherever she’s from, she looks ugly

J Dub on

Since when is it ok to look ridiculous just because your from a different country. I understand fashion may be different in Japan, but this is and we judge fashion for how it looks not where the person learned it.

So, can we please stop lying to ourselves. The second outfit is hidious, just plain ugly. I dont like the first on her either, but it’s not that bad. And i dont care what so ever that it’s Chanel, its ugly. It looks like an early 90s Salt & Peppa outfit, come on please!!!!

Mariana on

Japanese style usually tends to be girlish and a little too colourful and excessive most of the times.
Give her some time… as soon as she receive critics all around the world, she might get a chance to renew her style.

michele on

money doesn’t buy everything!!!

Me on

Well, she’s definately from Japan. They tend to have zany fashions. You wouldn’t believe most of them, but that’s because some of them get there ideas from manga comics and such, instead of fashion mags like we do.

Tomiko Mizuno on

I’m am a Japanese, so I like her Japan, I’m sure no one would look two time, but in America, people don’t dress like this. Some Japanese think Americans dress boring. But, I like American clothings very much and I like Japanese clothings very much. So, I say, I like this!!


steph on

she’s so pretty. I like her so much the way she’s look. just unique!!

Raquel on

She’s young, and, given her performance in Babel, I vote for fashionista in the making. Give her a couple of years.

Chinch on

Agree w/ J Dub – why do we have to excuse her poor fashion sense because she’s from Japan? Good taste is good taste, no matter where you were born. And please, girl – pick a hair color that flatters your complexion. You look washed out.

Femme on

very japanese street fashion….luv it! =]

January on

She’s an amazing actress, and she dresses with individuality. she looks unique, she stands out and shes having fun with it.

Anonymous on

ur all closed minded

maya on

most of the people here probably don’t even know what fashion is all about.
she is inspiring and different.
we’ve never been a “muse before”.
this girl’s karl’s muse. try beating that.

kiki on

Flop whatever he choose the highest dresses she wear It’s all become flop.
kind of sorry for her.

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