If there is a quintessential category for our Best of 2011 roundup, it would have to be red carpet dresses. Yes, they're ubiquitous and have become something akin to a sporting event when debuted at awards shows (well, at least to us style-obsessed folk), but we love them nonetheless, especially when they arrive well-heeled and brimming with craytastic drama. There were many statement dresses, gowns, cocktail getups, what have you this year, but we've chosen a select group that truly stood out and commanded attention on their own. From bold cuts and eclectic color to safety pins and (BUMPIN') surprise reveals, here are our picks for the best red carpet dresses of 2011.
PALE PEACH POWER
Emma Stone in Calvin Klein at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
Photo: Getty Images
If there was one dress (and one girl) that truly exemplified fresh this year it would have to be Emma Stone and her dusty peach Calvin Klein Golden Globe dress. Yes, 2011 was a very good year for Miss Stone, but when she hit the crimson carpet in this totally unexpected pastel ASSAULT of minimally structured, 1960s-era muted loveliness, she truly arrived. We can remember OMGing with crazy, stupid, love at the audacity to not only go with such an abnormal color but to take it a step further by pairing it with pale makeup, lipstick, and hair. (That's BOLD, y'all.) In our humble opinion, she was the best dressed of the night in this ladylike silhouette and will be the one we measure everyone else up to this awards season.
I'll let you in on a little secret: Sometimes I love menswear more than ladyfashion. It's not some weird deliberate thing, or a self-hating thing, it's just that dudes have so few options with which to play dress up that when an ensemble catches my eye, it's usually a glorious symphony of layered details. Or it's something so out-of-its-tree bonkers that I can't help but break it down and golf clap.
It's almost 2012, which is the year (according to the Mayan calendar and most of the internet) that all land masses catch fire right before sliding into the ocean, thereby killing everything. As such, we can't very well enter into it neglecting all the lads because they're adorable and something we'll miss when everything is gone. Especially Ryan Gosling.
Mark Ronson at the European Premiere of "Arthur" on April 19, at the Versace for H&M Fashion event on Nov. 8, and DJ and at the launch event for the Nike Sportswear "Live For The Game" Ultralounge on June 16.
Photo: Getty Images
Mark Ronson is a frickin' treasure. Dude is merciless when it comes to killing me dead with the most shut-it-downiest details. Peep this: We've got three suits. The first has a satin shawl collar with harem pants that's coupled with a nehru shirt. The sheen of the lapel is mirrored in the sheen of his super-black dress sock so the eye is drawn directly into his shoe. It's an elegant line that begins at the shoulder and is unencumbered by a shirt collar or bowtie. The second is head-to-toe fuchsia with saturation points at the jacket buttons and shoes, and the last is not a suit so much as it is a twill trouser (possibly denim) with a double-breasted peacoat/blazer hybrid and a crewneck tee. Extra points on the trompe l'oeil tip. ACK. So good.
This isn't to say that the well-dressed men and women of the world are a dime a dozen, but when TWO sartorially savvy individuals come together in one supernova of couple FASHUN, it's hard not to sit up and take notice. Fine, celebs have other humans who concoct outfits for them and lend them all the runways' latest swag, and that makes the likelihood that we drool over their vestments that much greater. But duo looks that are both coordinated and NOT disgustingly matchy-poo? Well, that's a fashion unicorn, no matter your tax bracket. It's rare when two stars step out in a pair of looks that strike such a harmonious aesthetic chord as the following couple outfits that we've deemed the Best of 2011, so in their honor, we're glorifying the ish out of 'em. Enjoy!
SELENA GOMEZ AND JUSTIN BIEBER
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber at the 2011 American Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images
We've been all over these Lovebirds Of The Year (a title awarded just now by me, the sole judge), Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, for their adorable couple style from Day 1. But when Selieber hit the red carpet for this year's American Music Awards and turned it waaaaay out in these Gatsby-esque Old Hollywood ensembles, we just about lost it. From the pewter silk to the '20s evocative fringe, the tailored velvet to that SIDE PART, our eyes lit up like so many color-changing Lisa Frank hearts. The retro styling on pop music's latest teen king and queen created a red carpet step-and-repeat juxtaposition so refreshing that we can't imagine forgetting it next year either.
Just because we're blogging all up on the internets doesn't mean that we've COMPLETELY forgotten about those beautiful, printed, glossy things that you can hold in your hands called "magazines." In fact, we love 'em! Every month we're inspired by covers and editorials—from the art direction to the styling to the startling transformation of a celeb into someone so glamorous or ethereal that they're virtually unrecognizable—the work that goes into creating such a moment is admirable. Let's look back at the year through the most memorable magazine moments to hit the newsstands.
BEYONCE ON 'DAZED AND CONFUSED'
Beyoncé on the cover of 'Dazed and Confused.'
Photo: Courtesy of 'Dazed and Confused'
Styling: Karen Langley; Photography: Sharif Hamza
We'll never forget the moment we spotted Beyoncé's strawberry ice-cream/leopard-print nails, head-to-toe custom Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci outfit and teal-lined lids on that June cover of Dazed & Confused—it reflects everything that makes Bey Bey. She's down-to-earth yet glam and oozes sex appeal without ever looking salacious. Her summery shoot inside a trailer park was also the setting for her "Party" video that filled us with envy (we like to partaaaay). Man, everyone's clothing on that set was LEGIT. Probs the camera crew, too.
Sure, we can cop a certain celebs' style or emulate their beauty game, but when our favorite artist actually COSIGNS a product it's a whoooole other story. Now we can dress like them, paint our nails like them, and even smell like them. (Kinda creepy, eh?) But between all the killer clothing collabs, fragrance releases, and fashion lines, haven't you wondered which products are ACTUALLY worth buying? Luckily, we've sorted that allll out for you—we picked the top ten celebrity endorsed/collab'd stuff from 2011 that you need to want.
KATY PERRY FOR OPI
Katy Perry for OPI campaign and her polishes.
Photo: Courtesy of OPI
It couldn't be more fitting that Katy Perry, one of THE masters of the nail art game, chose to work with OPI for a collection of glittery, shimmery, and crackle polishes. The nail colors were named after all of her songs ("Last Friday Night," "The One That Got Away") and featured a black crackle top coat that (at the time) was REVOLUTIONARY. She was a pioneer of bringing crackle polish the forefront of finger fashion, and for that, we salute her. (The next OPI collaborator Nicki Minaj ALSO added crackle in her line as well. That makes TWO cosigns on crackle.)
There could be no Best of 2011 here at MTV Style without Lady Gaga. (Paws UP!) A true chameleon and total renegade style-slaya of the highest order, Mother Monster makes our jobs so much easier every time she steps onto the stage or street. Every moment of Gaga's life is a style moment, as you little monsters know, and Mama loves to turn it UP and OUT from head-to-soul-to-toe with every single ensemble. This year alone we've witnessed everything from pantlessness and icicle eyebrows to an Armani zombie and futuristic Paco Rabanne fashion parade. It was tough to choose just 10 looks (wooo-eeee, we were stuck in the deliberation chamber forEVS trying to lock this bizness down), but we've narrowed down Gaga's best style moments of the year. We think you'll agree that even though practically every outfit is Best Of-worthy, that these beauties have something extra special.
FIRST LADY OF VINTAGE VERSACE
Lady Gaga in Taiwan for Lady Gaga Day.
Photo: Getty Images
It's no secret that Lady Gaga loves Versace. Earlier this year, she told a German TV program that she was having a love affair with the brand and had been given access to rarely seen pieces from the archives thanks to Donatella Versace. She rocked out several multi-print, hyper-color ensembles throughout the year, but the all-over Versace outfit she wore to celebrate Lady Gaga Day in Taiwan was truly something else. A lovably garish mix of tomato red, loud leopard print, gold buttons, and old-skool bell-bottom swing pants accessorized with a matching leopard bag, sky high spiked platforms, and a hat that featured a twisted braid of her dual colored hair, this hodgepodge Versace fantasy number was a CRAY-tastic masterpiece.
Crafting a "Best Of 2011" compilation of outfits worn by Beyoncé Knowles is hard. You'll run into dangers, toils, and snares, mostly because there will be looks you can't bear to cut. Combine the tendency for indecision in the face of beauty (or a desire for completism) with a self-professed, wholly STANNISH obsession with the former Destiny's Child frontlady (to where you've already imprinted on the MorphThing image of baby Jay'oncé), and you've got one helluva post. So without further ado, MTV Style brings you the best and brightest style moments of Beyoncé's 2011.
COUTURE RUNS THE WORLD
Stills from Beyoncé's "Run The World (Girls)" music video.
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment
For the first single off 4, Beyoncé not only offers up one of the most thrilling displays of power in her "Run The World (Girls)" music video, she does it swaddled in 10 entirely different designer looks. That's nearly two outfits a minute, if you're counting. We caught up with Bey's stylist Ty Hunter for all the ins and outs of the credits that run the gamut from Gareth Pugh to Alexander McQueen to Givenchy.
The only consistent thing about Katy Perry's style is that it's ALWAYS changing. This year alone, the pop singer went from being a classic brunette beauty to a fun-loving, pink-haired pin-up girl to a chic blonde with a razor-cut bob and the whole thing looked like SO. MUCH. FUN. And while it does make picking your favorites a little more challenging, at least we have a BAJILLION options to choose from. We manned up, hunkered down, gathered in a windowless room, ate lots of Twix, and whittled it all down to the 10 that epitomize style, glamour, and, most of all, a spectacularly good time. So take a moment, grab a looksee, and let us know what you think. (P.S. We're soooo juice cleansing when this is all wrapped.)
Katy Perry at the Pre-Grammy gala in Beverly Hills on Feb. 12.
Photo: Getty Images
Katy Perry went Old World glam for the Pre-Grammy gala in this sweetheart neckline, curve-hugging Nicolas Jebran, nude fishtail gown. The dress was smothered in silver sequins, which when paired with sparkly skin, nude nails, minimal jewelry, clutch, smoky eye, and long shiny hair, totally reminded us of the prettiest mermaid ever. Ariel, eat your heart out!
It's got to be stressful knowing you'll be photographed every moment of your waking life. Some celebrities respond to the pressure by giving in to comfort, taking back their lives, and being relegated to "Stars They're Just Like Us" columns of tabloids by near-exclusively wearing jeans, cashmere wraps, and Uggs while schlepping around Best Buy bags. Others swing violently to the other, battier side of the spectrum, upping the ante each time to dip themselves in progressively bananas ensembles, and and it's to those folks that we clink our drinks and tip our hats because they actually give us something to talk about. So in celebration of head-to-toe candy raver outfits, zip-up down-filled cactus cowls, rabid blood-dipped bird head ornaments, and wearing a big-ass sheet to the Met gala, we bring you The Most Outrageous Outfits of 2011.
ANNA DELLO RUSSO IN A SQUAWKING SWAN HEADPIECE
Anna Dello Russo at the Irreverent Dinner hosted by Carine Roitfeld on Oct. 4, 2011, in Paris, France.
Anna Dello Russo is the editor-at-large at Vogue Nippon and one of our favorites for obvious reasons. Look it, this bish is out of her treeeeee! While I didn't necessarily love this taxidermied lunatic bird mere weeks before on the runway at Giles Deacon during London Fashion Week (in fact, it topped my list of WTF Headgear From London Fashion Week) this ruffled avian flu bomb appearing atop an equally scrawny, akimbo-armed Anna sorta made my day. It's hilarious. It honestly looks like some couture-wearing parasitic insect laid an egg in the swan and now Anna, its merciless offspring clawing out of its underbelly with a triumphant, s***-eating grin and $1,200 shoes. It's fantastic.
All right, roll call: So far we've shown you the best shoes, the best nails, and even the best makeup, but, girl, we need to talk about that HAIR. From Evan Rachel Wood's dramatic change from shoulder-length waves to a choppy, textured pixie to Katy Perry's slow-but-steady transition from black to pink (!!!), 2011 was filled with epic tonsorial moments that definitely merit mention in our countdown. Some would say we've got the best HAIR RIGHT HURR. Others of us would say that it's corny to say stuff like that out loud. Others still would say that this is a free country and naysayers can suck it. ANYWAY: hair.
RETRO WAVES AND VICTORY ROLLS
Rihanna on May 27, Kelly Osbourne on Nov. 19, and Katy Perry on Nov. 20.
Photo: WireImage/Getty Images
It's one thing to spot a gal sporting '50s pin curls or a Marcell waved blonde bob, but it's a whole other ballgame when stylized 'dos look modern. Rihanna's twin Victory Rolls are offset by the casual cascade of bright red curls down her back. Kelly Osbourne's perfected the Marilyn Monroe waved bob with the ideal degree of structure and softness, but the thing that prevents it from becoming too slavish an homage is her rock and roll dark roots. Katy Perry sported a barrel-curled bang that's a fantastic throwback to '40s style but with the contemporary edge of a bright pink palette.