Every year there are many dresses that are beautiful, tons that are talked about, and a lot that get mixed reviews. It took a lot of nail biting to narrow down the top 15 that really stood out to me over the last year, but I think I picked some pretty ladies in beautiful gowns that got the red carpet treatment they deserved.
I’ll kick this list off with Jane Fonda in this long-sleeve Emilio Pucci ivory dress at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. Someone needs to direct me to the fountain of youth and fitness that Jane is drinking from because she looks more amazing every year. This dress was originally seen with cutout details, but Jane added some modesty by filling in the gaps with lace. It was a fabulous fitting on her and just an all-around great moment.
Angelina Jolie usually bounces between neutral colors on the red carpet, but it was so refreshing to see her in emerald green at the Golden Globe Awards. She dazzled in this Atelier Versace long-sleeve dress with a plunging back.
When I think of all the gowns seen during “award season” this year, I can’t stop this chocolate brown ball gown by Marchesa from popping up in my mind. Olivia Wilde looked like a princess in the Swarovski embroidered creation at the Golden Globe Awards.
Most “Best Dressed” list focus on what we saw at the award shows because that’s usually where “the magic happens”, but I couldn’t help adding a possibly over-looked movie premiere ensemble from the past year. I mostly saw tight-fitting Herve Leger dresses on the Kardashian’s and Christina Aguilera, but no one wore a bandage dress quite like Ginnifer Goodwin at the LA premiere of “Something Borrowed”. Ginnifer paired the knee-length short sleeve metallic dress with sexy Camilla Skovgaard patent slide heels, twisting H. Sterngold earrings, and her cool spiky pixie haircut. She pulled off both “cute” and “edgy” — two words that never come to mind when thinking of the body-hugging designer collection.
There’s no way I wasn’t going to include Diane Kruger‘s dress from the MET Gala this year! The beautiful actress commanded attention on the red carpet when she arrived in her Jason Wu Fall/Winter 2011 gown with a sequin embellished long-sleeve nude top attached to a black silk-chiffon maxi skirt. She showed off her toned legs and sexy black sandals due to the up-to-there slit. Old Hollywood glamor was alive in New York.
She had a great year of style, but one of my favorite Emma Stone looks was her lacy Bottega Veneta dress from the MTV Movie Awards this summer. The marigold color peeking out from between the black lace overlay beautifully complimented her red hair, but it was the rust orange satin Casadei pumps and matching silk faille Bottega Veneta clutch that really brought it all together.
After waiting three-long years to finally see Kristen Stewart on the carpet in a red dress, she finally worked the vixen color at the 2011 Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala back in May. Accompanied by designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Kristen wore a custom sleeveless floor-length black and red graphic dress based off their Fall/Winter 2011 Proenza Schoulercollection. The thigh-high slits on both sides of the dress showed off her calf-length cutout black sandals; it was great to finally see the actress in a shoe other than a pump.
To add fuel to the fiery look, she did two other things she rarely does — she wore jewelry, gorgeous 18th-century Fred Leighton black iron cuffs, and wore her hair up! I loved her slightly unkempt chignon with stray pieces. Kristen went on to wear a hot red look at the MTV Movie Awards; a safety pin-embellished mini by Balmain. This is a great honorable mention of fabulous looks this year!
Natalie Portman had some ups-and-downs on the red carpet earlier this year when it came to finding the perfect dress to accommodate her expanding pregnant belly. I liked some her selections, but none of them stood out to me like her custom-made Rodarte silk-chiffon violet dress at the Academy Awards. I believe it was perfectly fitting that the same designers behind the costumes in her award-winning role in “Black Swan” designed the dress she accepted her Oscar in.
She beautifully accessorized with Jimmy Choo sandals and Tiffany & Co. tassel earrings in the matching regal color.
Ashley Greene looked like a princess at the 2011 Metropolitan Costume Gala when she hit the red carpet in a custom design by Donna Karan. In possibly her best red carpet look ever, Ashley was simply glamorous in this nude tulle strapless gown that was covered in platinum sequins in a mesmerizing fish-bone pattern. She accessorized appropriately with a shimmery Judith Leiber box clutch and multi-diamond earrings and a matching cuff by Lorraine Schwartz.
Ted Gibson perfected the look by styling her hair in a sleek side chignon.
A look that definitely stood out for me this year was when Camilla Belle celebrated “An Evening with Ralph Lauren” back in October looking like the epitome of glamor. The 25-year-old actress completely stunned in this black and silver sequined gown from Ralph Lauren‘s Fall 2011 collection. With sleek hair, a totally bold fuchsia lip, and dripping in diamonds — this was one of her best looks. Ladies always imagine getting completely dressed up and ‘wow-ing’ on the carpet, not many women can do that quite like Camilla did that night.
I had to include the major moment late in the summer when Beyonce debuted her baby belly at the MTV Video Music Awards. The mommy-to-be arrived cradling her growing baby in this bright tangerine one shoulder Lanvin gown that was elegantly draped over her. She was flawlessly primped, but nothing compared to her natural glow. It was also nice to finally see her in something she didn’t look like she was sewn into. She aced it from head-to-toe.
Uma Thurman worked feathers like no one else could this year when she arrived at the opening ceremony for the 64th Cannes Film Festival in May. The strapless white Versace gown with a front high slit and feathered embroidery all along the back of the skirt was both sexy and ethereal — talk about a mixed review! Uma finished it off with flying colors — emerald green to be exact. She wore stunning drop earrings by Chopardin the gorgeous color; a nice colorful pop.
After a majorly successful wardrobe selection for the duration of the press tour, Kristen Stewart ended her red carpet festivities for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” at the London premiere in a knock-out of a gown. The 21-year-old raven-haired beauty had the internet buzzing when she stepped out in this sequin and beaded black gown from Roberto Cavalli‘s Spring/Summer 2012 collection. With a wavy twisted low pony-tail, black pumps, and an interesting pairing of a menswear Alexander McQueen belt — this was one of my favorite red carpet moments for her all year.
I won’t forget how tightly I kept my fingers crossed that Mila Kunis would select an Elie Saab gown for her walk down the Oscar red carpet this year. I also won’t forget my girly fashion-addicted squeak I let out when I saw her get out of her car on the live-stream in the gorgeous lace-detailed lilac gown from Saab’s Spring/Summer 2011 haute couture collection. This was an enchanting look for Mila, and it fit her flawlessly. The hair, make-up, jewels, and shoes were equal perfection. She may not have taken home an Oscar that night, but she was a winner on the red carpet.
Red is the boldest color to wear to an award show, partially due to the fact that the carpet is already red and you run the risk of blending in too much. Nina Dobrev took that risk at the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, and in a sea of many women in the same color, she stood out amongst them all. “The Vampire Diaries” star was statuesque in this strapless gown by Donna Karan, and the origami folding at the hem was so glamorous and eye-catching. Showing off her toned shoulders, sun kissed skin, and draping shiny chocolate-colored tresses — Nina werked it.