How Rooney Mara Inspired Calvin Klein's Runway Show

02/17/2012 at 09:00 AM ET

Emma Stone and Rooney Mara
Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty

The models on the Calvin Klein runway at New York Fashion Week Thursday seemed to resemble a girl we’ve seen before … like a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

“[Star Rooney] Mara is very much an inspiration for the collection,” Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa told PEOPLE before the show. “The whole spirit … that skin. Very fresh.” According to fashion stylist Mary Alice Stephenson, the Calvin Klein hair team actually went so far as to cut and dye some of the models’ hair to look like Mara’s Dragon Tattoo character, Lisbeth Salander.

Mara, in a black cutout sheath, sat front row at Thursday’s show, where she was joined by fellow rising star Emma Stone (in head-to-toe red). “It’s genius that they’re both here,” Costa said, before singing Stone’s praises. “And Mara’s talent is so incredible. She’s very today — she has this freshness, this edge. Very feminine, but urban.”

That edge is what drew him to her — so much that he hopes to dress her for the Oscars. “I’d be thrilled,” he said. “I pretty much see her in a Calvin Klein dress with a little bit of structure at the Academy Awards. Definitely one from this season, but reworked.” (Stephenson pinpointed a black sequined dress that “would look severe and dramatic,” she said. “She looks incredible in black. She would stand out.”)

Calvin Klein Fashion Show
Gerardo Somoza/Startraks;Karl Prouse/Catwalking/Getty;Gerardo Somoza/Startraks

Though much of the focus was on Mara, Stone had a fabulous fashion moment of her own; while waiting backstage before the show, she was greeted by Vogue editrix Anna Wintour, who planted kisses on both of her cheeks.

Needless to say, the star power had the crowd buzzing — and some of the models even got excited, too. “I’m a little bit star struck,” admitted model Lara Stone, who caught Dragon Tattoo for the first time last week. “I’m obsessed with [Mara]. You just can’t keep your eyes off her.”

–Jeffrey Slonim


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