By Nuzhat Naoreen
May 16, 2013 at 10:47 PM EDT
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images, Kevin Mazur/WireImage
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At today’s CW Network upfront event in New York City, The Vampire Diaries‘ Nina Dobrev was a vision in blue, wearing a cobalt Versace dress with braided detailing and a pair of iridescent leopard print heels from Rupert Sanderson.

Just as her character’s wardrobe has changed dramatically, so too has Dobrev’s real-life style. Over the past year, the actress has become a perennial best dressed lister, wearing looks from both household name designers like Donna Karan, Elie Saab, and Oscar de la Renta, and edgy up-and-comers like Thakoon and Guishem.

To what does she attribute her killer style? EW caught up with the actress to find out — and to ask her whether she agrees with Gwyneth Paltrow’s declaration that this year’s Met Gala “sucked.”

“I think having a stylist, and also growing up and changing as a person,” Dobrev, who has worked with stylist Ilaria Urbinati for a year and a half, said of her evolution. “I used to be a lot more immature — and younger — and my style reflected that. Now I know what I want, and I know what I like. I also have more confidence to take risks.”

Though Dobrev has gained wisdom and confidence with age, she admitted she was still a bundle of nerves at this year’s Met Gala, also known as the “Oscars of Fashion.”

“I was definitely nervous about it. Monique [Lhuillier] didn’t start making the dress until the Tuesday before, so less than a week,” Dobrev admitted. “It ended up being really awesome, but it was definitely a little nerve-wracking not doing the final fitting until the day of [the gala].”

And how did it feel to be singled out as one of the Met Gala’s best dressed considering the field included mega-stars like Beyoncé, Anne Hathaway, and Sarah Jessica Parker?

“It’s crazy. This year [everyone had] the liberty to push the envelope,” Dobrev, who attended the event for the first time in 2012, said of the punk theme. “As soon as we walked in to the actual ball, I felt like the energy was more fun and relaxed this year.”

Read more:

Nina Dobrev’s stylist explains the ‘Vampire Diaries’ star’s sexy-chic Met Gala look

Met Gala 2013: What the Stars Wore

No humanity, no modesty: ‘Vampire Diaries’ costume designer on Elena’s wicked new wardrobe


Episode Recaps

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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