20. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
There was no slow start to a year of style for Joseph, who kicked his red carpet moments off with a dapper look at the Golden Globe Awards in January. I really liked the satin trim of his tuxedo, but it was obviously the printed bow tie that stole the show. Throughout the next twelve months, JGL continued to thrive with his choices that were filled with character; from pinstripes to a totally fashion-forward chocolate velvet tartan Alexander McQueen suit for a talk show appearance. I particularly liked the way he partnered a three piece navy suit with a coordinating plaid shirt. Seriously, how could he not make this list?
19. Krysten Ritter
I’m excited to include Krysten on my ‘best dressed’ list; I’ve always pretty much liked her red carpet choices, but I can honestly say that 2012 was when I really ‘took notice’ of the “Don’t Trust the B—-…in Apt 23″ star. I had been reporting on her outfits here and there, but then one night I saw photos of Krysten walk the carpet at the premiere of “True Blood” as she donned a sexy black asymmetric Alexander McQueen dress that was polished with all the right accessories. This immediately piqued my interest in what she would wear next and she rarely disappointed. Four more of my favorites included a navy embellished mini, a dark red coat dress and two gorgeous embroidered cocktail dresses by Reem Acra, one in green and the other in black.
18. Michelle Williams
The “My Week with Marilyn” star had such an exciting year—and it wasn’t just due to the many nominations she received for her portrayal of the late Hollywood siren Marilyn Monroe. Although Michelle let me down a few times when it came to accessories, I loved seeing her choices during award season this past winter. Michelle rocked designs reminiscent of retro glamour; my favorite being the velvet and satin Chanel gown at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. From sweet pink cocktail dresses to coral peplum corset gowns and an adorable school boy short suit—she made an impression.
17. Gwyneth Paltrow
What’s a ‘best dressed’ list without Gwyneth? We didn’t see too much of the star on the red carpet this year, at least until the fall when she took off on a promotion tour as the face of the Hugo BOSS NUIT Pour Femme fragrance, but every time we did—-she aced it. Whether it was crystal encrusted plunging halter neck mini dresses at the MET Gala or getting her hands on a gown from Stella McCartney‘s evening collection before it was even presented, Gwyneth enchanted in everything she wore. Of course my favorite look was the white Tom Ford gown and floor-length cape that she wore for the Oscars.
16. Andrew Garfield
Okay, so Andrew may have become a household name this year as he nabbed the role of Peter Parker in “The Amazing Spider-Man”—the prequel-sequel to Spidey franchise, but the English actor stood out to me for an entirely different reason. While on the press tour for the movie this past summer, Andrew showed me what he’s really stylishly made of and I dig it. I really do. When he wasn’t on the red carpet killing it in a raisin Burberry Prorsum suit with cap toe Louboutin’s, doubling up on Gucci plaid or rocking leather jackets with bright green pants—he was on the BLUE carpet in a RED suit. Oh, yes he was. Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière red, to be exact.
15. Naomie Harris
Sometimes I’m late to the party with certain stars, but I certainly showed up this year when I became a fan of Naomie Harris and her ridiculously good taste in clothes. During the “Skyfall” international press tour this fall, the English actress (and new ‘Bond girl’) joined her costars on countless red carpets wearing a slew of knock-out looks. When Naomie wears a mini, she keeps it interesting—there was nothing common about the unique cuts of the dresses nor her adventurous choices in footwear. For the royal premiere, Naomie wowed in a bold sheer black gown with a dazzling iridescent bodysuit. To say she ‘stole the show’ would be an understatement.
14. Charlize Theron
I’ve tried recalling a time where Charlize has looked anything but beautiful at a event…and I always coming up blank. The statuesque blonde bombshell usually sticks to black dresses, but keeps them interesting with structured lines and detail. One of the fashion highlights of the year for me would have to be the incredible structured black Azzedine Alaïa gown she donned for the Critics Choice Movie Awards, this of course is quickly followed by the draped sheer Dior Couture gown she wore for the London premiere of “Snow White and the Huntsman” in May. Although, when Charlize wasn’t a dark beauty—she stunned in oceanic blue ombré and a sassy red peplum.
13. Beyoncé Knowles
Motherhood looks so good on Beyoncé! Since the singer gave birth to her first child this year; a daughter named Blue Ivy (as if you didn’t know that already), she can’t quite seem to turn off her smile. Not only has Bey been wearing her hair out in flattering big curls, but she’s been pouring her joy out in every way possible—including her wardrobe, both on the red carpet and for random outings. While in Paris this summer for her husband Jay-Z’s concert tour with Kanye West, Beyonce was spotted in a cool threads like bright blazers with leather leggings, a sunny yellow shorts suit and a funky hot pink ensemble that featured a chevron printed Carven blouse. As for her return to major events, Beyonce took the stage to accept an award at the BET Awards in gorgeous chartreuse—-however, her best fashion moment might have been the glamorous white Marc Bouwer gown as she performed during for World Humanitarian Day.
12. Blake Lively
It was a big year for Blake! Not only was she immersed in filming the final season of “Gossip Girl”, but the 25-year-old also nabbed a Gucci Première fragrance campaign and married her longtime boyfriend Ryan Reynolds in a secret ceremony. Before those major moments, Blake had a few stylish ones that she shared with us that mostly took place while on the press tour for her movie “Savages”. It should go without saying that her best look of all was a sexy illusion nude and black sequined Zuhair Murad couture gown that she wore for the Hollywood premiere. You may have said “goodbye” to the closet of her on screen alter-ego, but in this case, reality is so much better.
11. Emma Stone
Emma made my list last year for a cute lace dress she wore to the MTV Movie Awards, but I was thrilled to add her once again and spotlight the cute-as-a-button starlet. She kicked off a busy year in January as she fabulously promoted “The Help” all throughout awards season., and I thought she was so darling in creations from Lanvin and Alexander McQueen—they actually topped her highly-anticipated Oscar look, for me anyway. After a slew of gowns for the first several weeks of 2012, Emma was able to bare her gams in a short and playful custom butterfly embellished babydoll dress for the annual MET Gala as she attended with Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz. Seriously, how cute was she? I love that Emma has her moments of pure glamour, but never fails to have fun with her wardrobe—even if it means mixing ruffled pencil skirts with striped t-shirts and a bright red pumps!
10. Michelle Obama
It’s rare that I come across someone who doesn’t love the style of Michelle Obama, our First Lady of the United States. Whether it’s the actual clothes she wears or the simple fact that she doesn’t hold back on bright color, bold prints and statement accessories—FLOTUS tends to get positive feedback. This year was a huge one for Mrs. O as she toured the country during President Obama’s campaign for reelection, which was a victory, and has ensured us with four more years of FLOTUS Fashion. Throughout the year, Michelle wowed in colorful skirt suits, metallic heels, and graphic dresses. Perhaps her most-talked-about number was the ‘recycling’ of her favorite Michael Kors magenta silk chine dress on Election Night in November. It’s clear that Michelle is still bringing style to the ‘House’.
9. Miranda Kerr
Although this ‘best dressed’ list mainly focuses on who wore what on the red carpet in 2012, I can’t ignore the stellar street style that Miranda graced us with this past year. Sure the Victoria’s Secret model had some pretty event moments (oh, hello Proenza Schouler printed mini skirt), but no one treats the sidewalk like the catwalk quite like this Australian hot mama. When she wasn’t spotted spending time with her toddler son Flynn while clad in layered monochrome ensembles topped off with a badass Balenciaga quilted jacket, Miranda kept it polished in tuxedo trousers, lovely sleeveless tops, and a seemingly endless supply of floral printed jeans. Not many ladies can pull of the high-waisted pant, but Miranda can with ease—even white wide leg trousers. Every day is like a fashion show for Miranda, and she gives new meaning to the term “it looks like she stepped right out of a fashion magazine”. What some ladies can achieve on the red carpet, this gal does on the way to catch a cab.
Seriously, Miranda—stop trying to make us all look frumpy.
8. Viola Davis
A pearly white smile may have never changed on Viola as she stepped out on the red carpet night after night this winter as she celebrated her many nominations for her role in “The Help”, but the actress certainly gave us a wide variety of colorful dresses to enjoy. While many stars go for statement embellishments, Viola’s style is very classic with an appreciated amount of spice. She looked elegant in dark green draping, trendy in a smooth little pink highlighter dress, and I adored her poppy red Raoul tucked gown. Viola really turned up the heat on Oscar night with her sexy green custom Vera Wang gown, but my favorite part of the whole look was that she passed on a wig in favor of her natural red hair.
7. Taylor Swift
I’ve grown so use to Taylor’s endless supply of gold dresses and vintage inspired looks, so I was blown away by the many mature and glamorous moments she had this year. I’ve always been a fan of her long natural curls, but the “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer looked absolutely stunning when she attended the Academy Of Country Music Awards sporting long smooth waves, wispy bangs, and a gorgeous white cutout J. Mendel gown with gold metallic detailing. As I said before, this might be one of my all-time ‘fashion favorites’ from the star. With that said, she continued to hit a red carpet high note throughout the year in red lace Elie Saab, a sassy little gold cocktail mini and a polished white tuxedo.
If she keeps this up in 2013, I could see her topping my list next time around.
6. Will Smith
Surprise! I bet you weren’t expecting to see Will come in at #6, were you? I followed the “Men In Black 3″ press tour this summer, but it didn’t dawn on me how freaking ‘fresh’ Mr. Smith looked until recently! It would have been a true shame to overlook what he wore. I’m a sucker for menswear, and I like how he changed it up for every premiere and photocall. Will didn’t hold back when it came to mixing patterns and colors—or stepping out in all-white tuxedo that he wisely paired with grey suede shoes. My favorite might just be the Gucci he wore at the New York premiere! I can think of several men who could learn a thing or two from Will, and I hope they take note so that I can get more of these moments in 2013!
5. Diane Kruger
Diane Kruger is unreal. Forseriously. How she continues to make just about anything work on the red carpet will never fail to surprise me, despite how often it happens. The beautiful German model-turned-actress is a constant shining star on the red carpet, and she continued to prove this in 2012. Although Diane had many outstanding style moments during the remainder of the year, her most unforgettable dresses were seen during two weeks in May when she was a jury member for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Even though she had her fair share of glamorous gowns and sparkling cocktail dresses, I liked that she showed off the edginess of her flirty side with a pleated strappy oxblood Versus mini that was paired with cutout black ‘shooties’. Who could forget how poised she looked on a rainy night wearing that power-house silver sequined Vivienne Westwood corset gown that was paired with a smooth retro-inspired pinned hairstyle? When I get caught in the rain, I don’t believe I get the same results.
4. Elizabeth Banks
I bet if you stepped into the wardrobe closet of Elizabeth’s stylists and took a look at her supply of clothes, it would contained many colors you’d find if you opened up a delicious pack of Skittles. The blonde actress supplied us with much eye candy this year when she promoted “The Hunger Games” in one devastatingly beautiful dress after the other—and nearly all of them were vivid, embellished and absolutely perfect for her. Since her spring time press tour, I find myself anxiously awaiting Liz’s next red carpet moment. Elizabeth is always switching things up, but she rarely fails to impress. What I always dread on the red carpet is when I really love a dress and am let down with the worst choice of shoes. I don’t know about you, but I love shoes. Not only does Elizabeth almost always rock the perfect pair, she takes it a step further by dotting her i’s and crossing her t’s with a hairstyle to ‘fit the mood’ of the look, complimenting jewelry and the right bag. An outfit is a relationship between the clothes and the accessories, if they’re fighting with each other then it’s just not going to work out. Elizabeth is clearly in it for the long haul.
3. Nina Dobrev
If you read my 2011 Style Verdicts for this category last year, then you’re well-aware that Nina topped it with the glamorous red Donna Karan gown that she wore at the Primetime Emmy Awards. I’m please to see that “The Vampire Diaries” star was still going strong in 2012 and stepped out in several gorgeous looks that earned her another high marking on my ‘best dressed’ stars of the year list! I think Donna and Miss Dobrev might just be a match made in fashion heaven, because for the second time, Nina hit the scarlet carpet in a dress to remember. At the MET Gala this spring, Nina arrived in a absolutely breathtaking black and antique gold gown, which was inspired by Karan’s dress that Gwyneth Paltrow immortalized in the 1998 film “Great Expectations”. I don’t know about you, but after this—I expected nothing but great things from Nina.
She lived up to those expectations throughout her press tour for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” this past fall, which included a stylish trip to the Toronto International Film Festival. Nina shined in a Monique Lhuillier 1960s-inspired high/low gown on the TIFF red carpet and had fun with color by pairing lilac sandals with a red peplum Elie Saab dress while hitting the party circuit. It might have been pretty casual compared to everything else, but I think my favorite outfit of all was when Nina got playful in her bright abstract top and shorts, also by Lhuillier, at a press event. It might be because it was a wish list pick of mine for her—or maybe it’s because it just simply looked ‘made’ for her. Could she end up as number #1 next time around?
2. Kristen Stewart
Kristen nabs the runner-up spot as the most stylish star of 2012 for The Fashion Court, because let’s face it—this was her year. In the past, the 22-year-old has been ridiculed for her constant mini dresses, “boring” pumps and repeated “bed head” hairstyle, but I think it was clear over the last twelve months that Kristen broke out of that box she was placed in.
Three major movie press tours and trips to prestigious film festivals like Cannes gave her the opportunity to attempt different looks—and she took advantage of that. For once you couldn’t predict what she was going to wear when Kristen hit the red carpet in feminine floral lace, a funky checkerboard playsuit, belly-baring tops and high waist trousers, structured blazers, midi skirts, show-stopping skeleton gowns, and fluorescent frocks with prints heels, sheer creations and one very bold sequin jumpsuit. As for her famous mane; Kristen experimented with braided faux-hawks, bouncy ponytails, super sleek pinned ‘dos, and an array of twisted, tousled, tucked and rolled styles—some of which I had never seen done before.
She took a step fashion-forward and that included signing on as the face of Balenciaga‘s latest fragrance “Florabontica”, which found her front row at Paris Fashion Week twice and another invite at the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala, this time as the date of then-Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière.
I’m not going to say that Kristen didn’t have wardrobe slip-ups, because she did. Then again, everyone on this list did. The fact is that she took a chance, and more often than not, those risks paid off. If there was ever a time for Kristen to be noticed for her wardrobe choices, it’s here and now. Confident and comfortable, Kristen finally grew into her own.
1. Robert Pattinson
Never have I been so confident in my top choice of a stylish star as I am with Robert Pattinson. While many have focused on the ladies of the year, it was this English actor who stood out the most to me. Last year when Robert was the runner up to Ryan Gosling’s #1 spot under my “Male Suspects” category, I mentioned that I wanted him to take chances with his suits like ‘The Gos’ did. In 2012 Mr. Pattinson did just that—and he soared.
It’s funny, looking back at when he broke out onto the Hollywood scene with the first “Twilight” in 2008 wearing suits that didn’t fit, wrinkled shirts and an excessive amount of hair product—unless it was just unwashed—I still saw such potential. It was a slow build, but with every year, we’ve seen Rob grow into the little fashion maven he’s becoming.
This year he hit carpet after carpet to promote films like “Bel Ami”, “Cosmopolis” and, of course, the final Twi-installment “Breaking Dawn: Part 2″, and he did so with such dashing elegance, bold choices …and bright color. His relationship with Gucci produced a major movie star bow-tie look at Cannes, a salmon shirt-and-matching plaid suit, nearly head-to-toe monaco blue and the moment of all moments: his custom emerald green micro-houndstooth suit at the BD2 premiere, which he helped design. You don’t even need to be a longtime reader of this site to know how excited I was over that one.
Although Robert turned to classic black for some appearances, they were few and far between. He just needed time to build up to his expressive looks—like that vivid printed medallion shirt. Even his casual ensembles at photocalls consisting of leather combo jackets, tartan shirts and high-designer sneakers were something to take note of. In fact, I think it might just been inspiring his street wear to make a fun improvement as well.
With rumors swirling that he’s signed with Dior for an upcoming campaign in addition to five new movies in the works, I think we have a lot to look forward to in 2013 where Robert is concerned.
It was a difficult task to narrow down the most stylish stars to only twenty, especially when there were many knock-out moments on the red carpet this year. Because I wanted to spotlight a few stars that had particular stand-out looks to me, a ‘singular sensation’, I thought I’d give them a few “golf claps”.
Reese Witherspoon in Versace: While pregnant with her third child this past May, Reese made quite the striking appearance on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in this dazzling custom-made sapphire gown. This just didn’t stand out to me for the year, it might also be one of the best ‘maternity gowns’ I have ever seen.
Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad Couture: JLO made headlines after she turned up at the Academy Awards in this daring illusion graphic gown. I, for one, found the look to be one of the very best of the night. She looked sensational!
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge in Jenny Packham: Although I adore Kate, her classic and ladylike style has never really stood out under my radar like it has with half the country. Maybe it’s my disinterest with her neutral accessories or pastel palette, but with that said, even I couldn’t deny how glamorous she looked in this lace embroidered turquoise gown.
Jane Fonda in Jack Guisso: At 74-years-old Jane Fonda proved this year that she can still work a cutout gown better than some toned 20-something’s when she stepped out for the Golden Globe after parties in January wearing this sexy embellished gown. Jane was also one of the brightest stars at Cannes this year. Flawless.
Gwen Stefani in Balmain: With the release of the first No Doubt album in a decade, Gwen returned to the red carpet with her band in quite a few cool ensembles. Although it’s not like she ever lacks in style on the red carpet nor off. One of my favorite outfits Gwen rocked in 2012 was the embroidered dress jacket and leather leggings she donned at the American Music Awards. It looked better on her than it did on the runway.
Eddie Redmayne in Burberry Prorsum: The “Les Misèrables” star could have easily found himself on my main list if he had given me this teal velvet look earlier in the year with several more following it up. I’m just not over how good this suit is. Not even a little.
James Van Der Beek in Knot Standard for Confederacy: The “Don’t Trust the B—-…in Apt 23″ star surprised me with this by wearing a bright blue suit with a black-and-white check skirt and contrast printed tie. It took a creative eye to match these details up, and I think it really suited James. This might be one of his very best…ever.
Lamorne Morris in Ted Baker: The “New Girl” star made my Top 10 Best Dressed Men list at the GQ Men of the Year party several weeks ago, but Lamorne made an impression in his gorgeous teal tuxedo with leather trim that went beyond one party. I wish more men dressed like this. This was a great color, fit and the bow tie was a dapper touch.
Bradley Cooper in Tom Ford: It’s pretty obvious that Bradley looks good almost all the time, and he had quite a few good Tom Ford suits that I was digging this year. But, out of them all, there was something so effortless about the checkered three piece he donned at the Toronto International Film Festival that I couldn’t forget.
Robert Downey Jr. in Gucci: I think it’s quite possible that the custom-made three piece plum tuxedo that RDJ wore at the Hollywood premiere of “The Avengers” might go down in history as one of the greatest menswear suits ever. At least in my book. The color of Robert’s suit is absolutely gorgeous and I love that the tint of his glasses matched it.
Who was your best dressed star of 2012?