Best and Top of Everything : Top 10 Best Dressed of 2012

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 Best Dressed of 2012

10. Princess Stephanie’s Elie Saab Wedding Gown


Proving that Kate Middleton isn’t the only one who can turn heads with a gorgeous royal wedding dress, Belgian countess Stephanie de Lannoy chose a stunning Elie Saab gown for her Oct. 20 nuptials with Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg. The custom dress, which Saab labored over for 3,200 hours, was straight out of a fairy tale: three-quarter-length lace sleeves, a silk tulle veil and a dramatic 12-foot train were just some of the details that made it a gown befitting a princess.

9. Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen

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Jessica Chastain joined the ranks of red-carpet royalty when she arrived at the Academy Awards in a black and gold Alexander McQueen gown. With six films that opened in 2011, Chastain was an emerging fashion star by the time the Oscars came around. Many fashion bloggers thought she would wear Armani PrivĂ© for the evening (she was in the front row at the label’s show when she learned of her Best Supporting Actress nomination for The Help). Instead, she surprised in McQueen and was named best dressed by several critics the next day.

8. Anna Wintour at the Met Gala

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Ever the fashion diplomat, Anna Wintour managed to honor both subjects of this year’s Costume Institute Gala — Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada — in one spectacular dress. Designed by Prada, the flashy white number featured a jeweled lobster design, which paid homage to Schiaparelli, whose 1937 “lobster dress” is an icon in the fashion canon.


7. Kate Middleton in Jenny Packham

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On May 11, Kate Middleton attended a gala for the Olympic Games wearing a teal Jenny Packham gown with a lace-panel back and delicate button details that were reminiscent of her royal wedding dress. Since becoming the Duchess of Cambridge, Middleton’s fashions have veered toward conservative. She has always looked perfectly appropriate and put together, if not a little too modest — which is why we loved the glamour and elegance of this Packham number.



6. Ann Romney in Oscar de la Renta

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 Throughout the campaign season, Ann Romney never got as much attention for her sartorial choices as First Lady Michelle Obama, despite her apparent love of fashion. That changed on the night Romney delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, for which she wore a bright red belted Oscar de la Renta dress. Romney’s look was universally praised by fashion critics, who also noted the significance of her choice: de la Renta famously chided Obama for wearing too casual an outfit to meet Queen Elizabeth II in April 2009, and she has yet to wear his designs for a public event since becoming First Lady.

5. Lena Dunham’s Leggy Look


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When the Girls creator, star and executive producer wore a long teal blouse over supershort shorts to a charity event on Sept. 29, fashion bloggers quickly panned her “pantless” look. A week later, Lena Dunham responded to the flak at a panel discussion at the New Yorker Festival, suggesting that if an actress with “tiny thighs” had worn the outfit, critics wouldn’t have been so quick to judge her — or the ensemble — so negatively. Dunham was right, and her willingness to call the fashion press out on its superficial snark was a fantastic moment for the industry.



4. Blake Lively in Zuhair Murad

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Her statuesque figure makes it easy for Blake Lively to pull off pretty much any outfit, and the actress is a perennial name on best-dressed lists. Her choice of Zuhair Murad for the Los Angeles premiere of Savages, however, was a standout because the gown was so different from her usual preference of solid-colored flowy dresses with a high slit. Instead, Lively opted for old Hollywood glamour in the form-fitting striped column dress, which was one of the most memorable red-carpet outfits of the year.



3. Kate Hudson in Prabal Gurung

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On Oct. 11, Kate Hudson dazzled in a bold red dress by Prabal Gurung at the amfAR Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles. Fashion bloggers unanimously applauded the look, and Women’s Wear Daily put it on the cover of its Style section a few days later. That honor was one of many this year for Gurung, who has also dressed Kate Middleton. He is likely to achieve mass recognition next spring, when he is scheduled to debut a collection for Target.



2. The Obama Women on Election Night

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Everyone was anticipating what Michelle Obama, whose personal style has been documented more than any other First Lady, would wear on election night. But when the Obama family took the stage after the President was re-elected on Nov. 6, it was apparent that Malia and Sasha Obama were also budding fashion icons. Malia wore a black top over a pleated blue skirt that was accessorized with a hot pink belt, while Sasha chose a green printed Chris Benz skirt that was previously worn by her sister. With her cropped gray cardigan, Sasha looked like a mini version of the First Lady, who wore a cropped cardigan over a magenta Michael Kors shift that she had debuted in 2010. The dress was one of several repeat outfits Obama wore on the campaign trail this year, which, according to many critics, was a decision made to show restraint and frugality.


1. Raf Simons’ Debut at Dior


In April, more than a year after Dior dismissed John Galliano for anti-Semitic remarks, the company finally appointed a new creative director, Raf Simons. As soon as the news was announced, the fashion community was abuzz with speculation about how the young Simons, who did a seven-year stint at Jil Sander as its creative director, would continue the legacy of one of France’s most famed fashion houses. Simons made his debut for Dior in July during Haute Couture Fashion Week. In what was the most anticipated runway show of the year, he presented a collection that seemed simultaneously innovative and rooted in the brand’s history. After opening with a modern take on Dior’s classic “Bar jacket,” Simons showcased a number of sculptural gowns with floral motifs that nodded to Christian Dior’s love of flowers. The collection was highly acclaimed by editors, designers and critics, and the New York Times’ Cathy Horyn wrote, “He gets the most and the best out of couture, and this is just the start.”