Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley shot by David Bellemere for The Edit

Keira Knightley is one actress used to dressing up in pretty costumes. From Pride and Prejudice to Anna Karenina, the soon to be 30-year-old has worn more than her fair share of corsets and bustles during her career.

So it's of little surprise that the Hollywood star looks so at ease in Net-A-Porter's dreamy fairytale of a shoot for its magazine The Edit, wearing a series of girly gowns fit for a princess.

There's that light-as-air red gown adorned with squirrels by Dolce & Gabbana that makes it look like Keira has just emerged from some magical woods. As does a Red Riding Hood-meets-Tinkerbell Valentino cape embellished with butterflies, while an ethereal white gown by Alexander McQueen paints Keira as a damsel locked up in a tower, waiting for her prince.

But it's there that the fairy tale ends. Because although it looks like Keira has just stepped out from the pages of a Hans Christian Andersen story, she certainly doesn't buy into all that stuff. No way. Instead, the actress is thinks it is important that girls and young women don't grow up expecting a knight in shining armour to rescue them.

'A friend of mine just had a daughter. It’s a political thing, having a baby girl, in a way that it isn’t for a boy,' Keira said in the accompanying interview.

'You think, ‘Oh isn’t this fairy-tale lovely?’ Then suddenly you worry, ‘What am I planting with that? I don’t want her to be waiting around for a man to fix her problems. Maybe it’s a bit silly, but because equality is going so hugely the other way, I think it probably does take being silly to try and swing it back around.'

While we're totally on board with Keira's views on gender equality, we're sure she'd agree that it's Ok to play dress up once in a while - even for us adults...

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley in Valentino

Keira Knightley in Alexander McQueen

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By Olivia Marks