The 2011 Best Dressed List

Here it is, dear readers:

From Duchess Catherine to Lady Gaga and Emma Stone to Emma Watson, here are the ladies who stunned us – multiple times! – on and off the red carpet.

Left: gown by Jenny Packham // Right: gown by Alexander McQueen

It was elegance and simplicity when the Duchess hit the red carpet, and we wouldn’t expect anything less. Her day-to-day wear was marked by sharp, basic blazers and classic silhouettes, but when Catherine went eveningwear, she truly lived up to her princess title.

Left: dress by Rodarte // Right: gown by Valentino

The seventeen-year-old superstar and regular at New York Fashion Week sat front row at Rodarte in the label’s stunning, deconstructed lace dress. And when she took to the Met Gala in that Valentino gown, that wonder of tulle and cascading flowers – it was a perfect marriage of starlet and dress. Pure magic.

Left: ensemble by Jason Wu // Right: gown by Jason Wu

Diane shows off an incredible range in her fashion sense – even while wearing the same designer! Both looks are Jason Wu, both are fantastic on her, and both are incredibly different. In a world of repetition, I love a star who keeps us guessing and can jump from a shorts tuxedo and statement accessories to a classic Hollywood red carpet gown.

Left: dress by Chanel // Right: gown by Chanel

The French actress (Gossip Girl) and wizard/veela extraordinare showed a keen sense of style and a strong devotion to Chanel this year. She plays with proportions and silhouettes; prints and colorblocking; nude lips and red lips; hair up and down. She pays attention to the details, and keeps them interesting – for that, she’s worthy of the Best Dressed List.

Left: leggings by Stella McCartney // Right: dress by Versace

At fourteen years old, Chloë Moretz has become one of the stars I look forward to most on the red carpet. She’s daring, but age-appropriate; incredibly stylish, but never garish. More importantly, she doesn’t just wear whatever shoes people throw at her – clearly she’s got a favorite, because this pair works fabulously with both outfits. A tween diva with an eye for style? Yes, please!

Left: dress by Elie Saab // Right: gown by Oscar de la Renta

Emma had an incredible year, and her fashion, as always, has followed suit. She made the Harry Potter premieres some of the most fashion blog-worthy events of the summer, and brought flair and surprise and intrigue to each one. Even better, she always seemed to have one mega-gown for the red carpet and a fabulous little cocktail dress for the after-party. I love a girl who elects for a mid-evening costume change.

Left: gown by Tadashi Shoji // Right: gown by Alexis Mabille

Best known as the burlesque dancer/model who married Marilyn Manson for a brief time, Dita Von Teese proved she’s a fashion force to be rocked with this year. Her signature old Hollywood style was omnipresent: jet-black hair, often in soft barrel curls and finger waves, always with red lips, red nails, and black eyeliner. It’s drama, pure drama – and Dita always brings it.

Left: gown by Lanvin // Right: gown by Lanvin

Blonde or ginger (though I highly prefer ginger), this girl can rock a red carpet gown. The floral gown was one of my favorites when I first saw in the runway collection, and Emma Stone brought it to life. She uses colors in ways that just make her fabulous red hair even greater, like with this very dark blue-green gown and the gold purse. Simply perfect with her coloring – because she knows what works!

Left: gown by Valentino // Right: dress by DKNY

Almost creepily consistent, Olivia Palermo shows off an understanding of accessorizing that so few do. Her gowns are always beautiful: usually modern spins on total classics. You can always count on a statement purse and some truly beautiful necklaces. She puts forth a complete, head-to-toe look – she’s a meticulous styler, and it shows off.

Left: gown by Elie Saab // Right: gown by Alexander McQueen

It’s a very simple formula (one beautiful woman + one beautiful dress) but the result is just so much greater than the sum of its parts. This woman can wear a goddamn gown, and she happen to choose some true beauties this year. From lavender lace to billowing red satin, Mila’s got it.

Left: dress by Tom Ford // Right: ensemble by Salvatore Ferragamo

There were some head-to-toe fabulous moments from Gaga this year that I just cannot forget. Her dandelion hat atop that stunning, truly magnificent Tom Ford dress, and her infamous head-to-toe houndstooth – Gaga had quite a year, and gave me quite a lot of blogworthy moments in the meantime. And for that, we thank her.

Though the aforementioned ladies showed consistently fierce style, the stars who struck fashion gold just once in 2011 should not be forgotten. I give you the best Fashion One-Hit Wonders of 2011.

Gown by Elie Saab

She was really only there to support her husband (John Krasinski, of The Office fame), and yet it was fabulous Emily Blunt who I honored with the title of Best Dressed at the 2011 Emmys. That’s no mean feat, y’all, but this stunning navy embellished gown just blew me away.

Gown by Donna Karan

I don’t know too much about the Twilight star, but I do know this is one hell of a dress.

Gown by Givenchy

The Met Ball brings the best in everyone, and Liv Tyler arrived in stunning white and yellow feathers – and a matching purse, of course.

gown by Chanel

Some gowns just look like they were designed with only this wearer in mind, and this is totally one of them. Florence doesn’t wear this gown, she breathes this gown.

Gown by Armani Privé

It takes a special kind of person – not just a beautiful woman, but a real, innate “it” factor to make a gown like this work. Zoe’s got it, and she’s got those fucking phenomenal shoes, too. The lucky bitch.

Gown by Prada

I knew, when I saw this gown in January – JANUARY! – that this would be my favorite gown of the year. Once in a generation, the stars align, and an amazing and incredible and difficult-to-wear dress finds its mate, a quickly rising fourteen-year-old actress. When she walked down the SAG Awards red carpet in this Prada dress, that was it. She had solidified her place in the spotlight.

Let’s give credit to the most popular designers of the year as well! The numbers reflect how many red carpet looks by that designer I blogged about this year – and the 12 designers worn most by celebrities/ blogged about most by me are pretty damn fabulous.

12. Lanvin, 30 looks
11. TIE: Stella McCartney and Oscar de la Renta, 35 looks
9. Alexander McQueen, 38 looks
8. Elie Saab, 39 looks
7. Gucci, 40 looks
6. Versace, 43 looks
5. Michael Kors, 45 looks

4. Marchesa, 46 looks
3. Valentino, 53 looks
2. Chanel, 61 looks
1. Dolce & Gabbana, 81 looks

Happy holidays, everyone! Don’t forget to comment with your feelings on the best dressed of 2011.

© Democracy Diva, 2011.
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5 responses to The 2011 Best Dressed List

  1. Molly

    My best:
    Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Gucci- Transformers premiere
    Diane Kruger in Jason Wu-Met Gala
    Mila Kunis in Elie Saab-Oscars
    Emma Watson in Oscar de la Renta
    Zoe Saldana in Elie Saab
    Taylor Swift in Elie Saab- ACM awards
    Miranda Kerr in Orlanda Blooms shirt- Paris Fashion week

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

    • democracydiva – Author

      Rosie in Gucci almost made the list. Which Zoe Elie Saab look – the green gown? I loved that.
      Happy holidays and thanks for commenting as always!

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