It may be true that, because celebrities increasingly work exclusively with stylists for public appearances, red carpets have become rather boring or predictable over the past few years. But that doesn’t mean the stars with true personal style aren’t still able to shine; some of our favorite famous folks find new ways to impress us with every gala, premiere and award ceremony they attend.
With that in mind, we’re choosing the 31 style stars who truly inspired us in 2017. From fashion industry insiders like Alexa Chung and Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert to bonafide A-listers like Rihanna and Margot Robbie to supermodel powerhouses like Candice Huffine and Bella Hadid, these were the ladies — and two fellows — who proved that red-carpet style hasn’t lost its luster quite yet.
And duh, of course we included Harry Styles, whose magnificent year of fearless suiting nearly earned him all 31 spots on this list.
Gal Gadot’s star-making turn in „Wonder Woman“ would also help launch her to the top of best-dressed lists in 2017, thanks to the help of stylist Elizabeth Stewart. On the red carpet, this superhero shined in bright, poppy colors and plenty of sparkle and shine. At more casual appearances, Gadot showed off her mile-long legs in monochromatic mini-skirted looks.
At 6’3″, „Star Wars“ and „Game of Thrones“ star Gwendoline Christie is already built to stand out in a crowd. Thankfully, her red carpet style plays up her strengths, featuring lots of high-shine pieces and monochromatic suiting. Christie plays with everything from menswear-inspired details to ultra-feminine draping — and yes, she does rock the hell out of a stiletto.
Not that Nicole Kidman has ever had bad style, per se, but 2017 marked such a return to form that we had to wonder if the actress was undergoing a fashion renaissance. Working with stylist Julia von Boehm, Kidman was ready for every red carpet opportunity, whether it was promoting „The Beguiled“ at Cannes, winning awards for her breakout hit series „Big Little Lies“ or supporting husband Keith Urban at country music events.
Candice Huffine has been busy redefining what it means to be a supermodel in 2017. With killer editorials in glossies like CR Fashion Book and breakout runway moments for designers like Prabal Gurung, she’s proving that plus-size models can no longer be relegated to catalog work and commercial jobs. Thankfully, her off-duty style is just as inspiring as her groundbreaking career.
We might not have seen Riley Keough as often as we would have liked this year, but when we did, we were always taking style notes. The actress, along with stylist Jamie Mizrahi, knows how to toe the line between the ultra-feminine and the fashion-forward in a way that always feels fresh on the red carpet.
Michelle Williams has been one of our style crushes since her „Dawson’s Creek“ days, and we’re not alone: Plenty of the industry’s biggest designers rush at the chance to dress the indie darling. Of course, her longtime gig as a face of Louis Vuitton means that she’s often sporting designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s creations, styled to stunning results by Kate Young.
Is there a fashion person alive who doesn’t love Alexa Chung’s style? Maybe that’s hyperbolic, but each of us here at Fashionista has attempted to emulate the It Girl-turned-designer’s sartorial hits. More than any one element of her wardrobe, however, it’s her strong sense of self that really sells her fashion vision.
It’s easy for famous men to fade into the red carpet background, but Donald Glover and stylist Ilaria Urbinati have spent the year proving that taking risks is just more fun. Why wear boring black when you could stand out in brown velvet? Here’s hoping we see a lot more of Glover’s daring style when the Han Solo, erm, solo movie comes out in 2018.
There are few actresses working today that exude more natural cool than Zoe Kravitz. Surely it’s something that she inherited from her parents Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, but Zoe brings something to the red carpet that’s all her own. Of course, it helps that she can pull off just about any look, something she demonstrated all year long — and that she works with uber-cool stylist Andrew Mukamal.
At just 16 years old, preternaturally stylish Rowan Blanchard has a fashion sense that trumps pretty much anything we were wearing at that age — hell, it often trumps anything we wear now. And designers have been taking note, clamoring work with stylist Christopher Horan to dress the starlet for her red carpet appearances. We’d think it’s unfair, but she’s also significantly more woke than we were as teenagers, which means we’re Blanchard stans for more than just her enviable wardrobe.
Elle Fanning has been topping best-dressed lists since before she could drive, which means that she has access to some of the industry’s top labels. That could easily turn boring, but Fanning continues to have a sense of fun on the red carpet, unafraid to take style risks with stylist Samantha McMillen.
Adwoa Aboah has had a killer year all around. Whether she was covering Love Magazine or Edward Enninful’s debut issue of Vogue U.K., the model was highly in-demand worldwide. And she put that attention to good use, founding „Gurls Talk“ with the aim of getting girls, well, talking about everything from sexuality to mental health. Of course, she did it all with her unique sense of style, frequently landing on best-dressed lists.
There was so much to love about „Moonlight“ that Naomie Harris’s excellent red carpet looks were just icing on the cake — but what wonderful icing they made. The English actress made every look by stylist Micaela Erlanger her own, whether she was stunning at the Academy Awards or sitting pretty front row at fashion week.
Yara Shahidi may be a teenager, but her sense of style exhibits a wisdom far beyond her 17 years. Even when she’s wearing the most fashion-forward garments pulled by stylist, Jason Bolden, the looks never wear her, thanks to her palpable self-confidence. And she also doesn’t shy away from making a statement — sometimes quite literally — with her clothes.
There are style risk-takers, and then there’s Solange. We doubt she’s ever met a fashion rule that she didn’t want to completely break alongside stylist Shiona Turini — and thank god. We’re all better off for her quirky choices that are completely on-brand. Every time Solange graces a red carpet, we find a new source of inspiration for our own next great sartorial leap.
With the help of celebrity superstylist Karla Welch, Lorde has emerged as one of pop music’s best dressers. Much like her music style, Lorde has proven she can conquer just about any sartorial trick, from making a princess gown look downright cool to pairing Stan Smiths with a bedazzled top and sparkly pant.
If there was a clear red carpet winner from the 2017 award season, it had to be Ruth Negga. The up-and-coming starlet worked with stylist Karla Welch on knockout after knockout look, and we were left seriously impressed. Thankfully, that stylish streak has run through the rest of the year, and we can’t wait to see how she continues to dominate in 2018.
Even with a new „50 Shades“ movie to promote, we didn’t get nearly enough of Dakota Johnson on the red carpet this year. But no worries: Johnson is a woman who knows how to make her time count. As the new face of Gucci’s latest perfume, she also has no shortage of Gucci garments for Kate Young to style for her. It’s a match made in fashion heaven.
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that Kim Kardashian West’s latest minimalist fashion phase is seriously stylish. She’s got curves for days, and she doesn’t shy away from showing them off in form-fitting latex and lycra. It’s no wonder she serves as lookbook muse for husband Kanye West’s Yeezy collection.
She may stick with a simple black-and-white palette, but Janelle Monae and her stylist Maeve Reilly proved she can do a lot with a little on red carpets this year. Her monochromatic looks gave her plenty of room to play with detail and proportion, with some divine results. And that’s not even touching on her amazing hairstyles.
Supermodel Bella Hadid dominated magazine covers this year, but her fashion takeover didn’t stop there. Whether she was showing off some serious leg at Cannes or showing off, well, just about everything at the Met Gala, Hadid has really come into her own when it comes to a red carpet moment styled by Elizabeth Sulcer — and she’s having so much fun doing it.
Did anyone have more fun with fashion this year than Céline Dion? We sincerely doubt it. The songstress worked with stylist Law Roach to bring about the Céline Dionaissance and it was truly an 8th Wonder of the World. Don’t believe us? Check out every photo of Dion at the Met Gala and try not to smile. We dare you.
She may no longer play Queen Elizabeth II after season two of „The Crown,“ but Claire Foy has spent the last year proving that she deserves a place in fashion royalty thanks to her red-carpet choices with stylist Nicky Yates. Unlike her on-screen counterpart, Foy’s style is anything but stuffy, but she stays loyal to her fellow Brits.
Cara Delevingne continues to prove that she’s the coolest supermodel-turned-actress this side of Milla Jovovich. There was the turn as a bleach blonde, followed by a shaved head, and all the while the daring, street-tinged style Delevingne has been known for. But while she may love a sporty look, she can also pull off an unabashedly feminine red-carpet moment with the best of them.
We dubbed Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert the new queen of street style for a reason: What’s not to admire about a woman who has fun with fashion and isn’t afraid to repeat a piece in public? But Engelbert also proved she has style chops outside the confines of fashion month, fearlessly hitting up red carpet appearances in up-and-coming labels like Halpern.
After scoring the role of Rey in „Star Wars,“ Daisy Ridley went from unknown actress to global phenomenon rather quickly. Her style has followed thanks to stylist Petra Flannery, undoubtedly helping her to land a Vogue cover in the process. And while she’s obviously a total badass, Ridley doesn’t shy away from softer styles when it comes to public appearances.
It’s Rihanna. Need we say more? There isn’t much Rihanna won’t wear, and considering she makes everything she puts on look its very best, we can’t really blame her. She was one of the very few celebrities to nail the theme of this year’s Met Gala, and her street style looks continue to have us wondering how the hell we can pull off her latest tricks.
Zendaya is a true style chameleon. Her partnership with stylist Law Roach has resulted in some of the strongest red carpet looks of the year, not one of them alike. Zendaya revels in the playful side of fashion, experimenting with everything from heavily beaded pantsuits to frilly evening gowns.
As soon as she appeared on the scene, Margot Robbie became an instant fashion darling. Her classic, blonde bombshell looks lend themselves easily to the works of the industry’s favorite designers. But she and stylist Cristina Ehrlich aren’t resting on her laurels. Throughout 2017, Robbie worked to show that her red-carpet game is as diverse as her acting skills.
We love a woman who loves to shop, and Tracee Ellis Ross prides herself on knowing her own style. Though she works with stylist Karla Welch, the final results always feel completely true to Ross’s own personal taste. She even rocked a piece this year that she bought in high school.
Would it even be a best-dressed list without Harry Styles? He spent the year rocking Gucci suits (28 of them, to be precise) and experimenting even more with his rock’n’roll aesthetic through stylist Harry Lambert. Obviously, we’re a bit biased, but there’s no denying that Styles is a man with excellent taste in fashion.
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