When we think of 2011, we think killer gowns, tailored suits, the royal wedding and the return of the tea-time hat. It seems this year’s biggest fashion trends were born from a love of glamour and timeless dressing. If there’s anything style icons of the past have taught us, it’s that personal style can make or break a career. In no particular order, here’s to the year’s most definable fashion moments and to ladies & gentlemen who looked nothing short of fabulous.
1. Kate Middleton & the royal hats
2. Miranda Kerr wearing the Million Dollar Bra at the 2011 Victoria Secret Fashion Show
3. Joe Jonas proves that he’s not just a young Jonas Brother anymore. This year, the singer was seen in coloured suits, shades, dark rim glasses, pockets squares, leather jackets and some very well tailored dinner jackets. Not to mention that when he sleeks back his hair, he looks like a 60s ad man… But with scruff and better eyebrows. The pleasant fashion surprise of 2011? Finding out Joe Jonas has serious style!
4. Emma Stone in Calvin Klein at the 2011 Golden Globes
5. After the designer’s tragic suicide, the longest line up in New York was the one winding out of the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit at the New York MET.
6. David Beckham at the Royal Wedding, wearing a bespoke morning suit by Ralph Lauren.
7. Another hot retrospective makes this years fashion news – the Jean Paul Gauthier retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
8. The affordable online t-shirt shop, stylemint.com, was the start of an online shopping revolution. The stylemint experience begins with quizzes designed to help you create a style profile based on your fashion personality. It then suggest t-shirts (all priced at $29.99) based on your results. Created by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the site was followed by other “mint” spin-offs like jewelmint.com (with Kate Bosworth), beautymint.com (with Jessica Simpson) and shoemint.com (with Rachel Bilson).
9. The beautiful and talented Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn.
10. Dior’s first show without the leadership of John Galliano, during Paris Fashion week. Halston, Balmain, Chloe and Ungaro also saw the departure of their head designers during 2011.
11. Model Kate Moss marries her longtime boyfriend, The Kills rocker, Jamie Hince.
12. Street style photographer, Scott Schuman’s segment “All the Pretty Photographers” on his site, thesartorialist.com. The sporadic photos documented the growing popularity of fashionistas becoming street fashion photogs.
13. Hailee Steinfeld was the fashion world’s new darling in 2011. With her adorably age appropriate dresses and flawless hair & makeup (not that the young star need any at all), she made the red carpet look like a piece of cake. Steinfeld even scored a spot as the new face of Miu Miu’s fall/winter 2011 ad campaign. Highlights include the beige floor length Prabal Gurung gown she wore to the SAG awards, the Prada dress she wore to the Oscars, and the golden lace Stella McCartney wonder that she wore to the MET Ball.
14. Chanel’s ethereal Spring 2012 fashion show, with an under-the-sea theme and Florence Welch performing in an oversized seashell (little mermaid style) instead of a house track.
15. This year was all about the sister acts. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Lily (Victoria Secret model) and Ruby Aldridge (editorial model), and the Courtins-Clarins sisters (Jenna, Virginie, Claire, and Prisca) all made Vanity Fair’s 2011 Best Dressed list. Fashion magazine covers, editorials, and red carpet moments all proved that these powerhouse sisterhoods are taking the fashion world by storm.
16. Ryan Gosling graced this 2011’s red carpets in tuxedos, coloured suits (including a custom navy Ferragamo suit worn in Cannes and a forest green Gucci suit worn to the Ides of March premiere) and, sometimes, his dark-rimmed round spectacles. It’s safe to say every woman we know has a crush on Mr. Gosling right now… And with good reason.
17. Christian Louboutin files a few law suits to protect his red soles (including one against Yves Saint Laurent).
18. Valentino & Elie Saab make the list for 2011’s best of couture.
19. Campaign movies replaced magazine ads as fashion’s favourite form of advertising. Always at the forefront Chanel, Prada, Dior, and Lanvin all released long commercials in 2011. Chanel’s starred Keira Knightley for Coco Mademoiselle, Prada’s was with two models dancing to Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me”, Lanvin’s also had models dancing, but to Ratatat, and Dior’s starred Marion Cotillard promoting the Lady Dior lines.
20. Bvglari’s 2011 jewellery ads, starring Rachel Weisz and a gorgeous looking lion, were one of the year’s best.
21. Designer capsule collections were bigger than ever in 2011. From top to bottom, there was Missoni for Target, Versace for H&M, Karl for Impulse only at Sears, Attitude by Jay Manuel for Sears, White by Vera Wang for David’s Bridal, and the Kardashians for Sears.
22. Nicola Formichetti takes the reigns at Thierry Mugler. After simplifying the name to Mugler, he put on a killer (and well-aclaimed) show with the help of his friend and muse, Lady Gaga.
23. Rapper Kanye West and stylist Rachel Zoe both debuted new fashion lines this year.
24. The Obamas reminded us of classic icons like the Kennedys and the Royals as they continued to look the part of POTUS and FLOTUS in 2011. Highlights include Michelle Obamas floor length off-white Tom Ford gown at Buckingham Palace and the stunning red Alexander McQueen gown she wore to the White House State Dinner honouring the President of China.
25. Polka Dots at Marc Jacobs (1) and Stella McCartney (2).
26. The 2011 Oscars were hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Although the pairing of these two young and beautiful people seemed fantastic in theory, the ceremonies only highlights turned out to be Anne Hathaway’s numerous wardrobe changes. Their were 8 in total (chosen by Hathaway and her stylist Rachel Zoe). She also had a red pre-Oscar gown by Valentino and a burgundy post-Oscar gown by Atelier Versace.
27. Gwyneth Paltrow in Pucci at the 2011 Oscars
28. Mila Kunis, supporting actress in Black Swan, wowed everyone with her fashion choices at this year’s red carpet events. Here are the breathtaking lilac Elie Saab gown she wore to the Oscars, the emerald green Vera Wang dress she wore to the Golden Globes and the red Alexander McQueen creation that she wore to SAG awards.
29. Diane Kruger at… Well… Any event… Ever. This women simply looks fabulous and flawless, ALL OF THE TIME. Frankly, it would be upsetting if it wasn’t so admirable. These were her greatest looks in 2011.
30. Already on Vogue’s and Elle’s Best Dressed List for a few years now, Blake Lively cemented her place as a fashion darling this year by becoming the face of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle line ( and starring in the Chanel handbag ads). She took to the red carpets in Chanel (including a navy-coloured paillette mini and a grey sari-inspired Chanel gown at the MET ball), and other gorgeous designer dresses (like the angelic white and silver one-shouldered Marchesa gown she wore to the BAFTA awards).
31. Our favourite pop stars were all about pop coloured hair in 2011. Rihanna went red, Lady Gaga opted for blue/green hair, and Katy Perry decided on pink.
32. Jennifer Goodwin at the MET ball.
33. Regis Philbin’s final suits, as the king of “the suit” retires from his longtime morning show Regis and Kelly
. He chose a black suit and a silver tie for the final show (6).
34. January Jones as the new face of Versace and her own style choices at the SAG awards (gold & lace Carolina Herrera) and the Golden Globes (sizzling Atelier Versace).
35. Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta at the SAG awards, wearing de la Renta again at the Golden Globes and in Jenny Packham at Glamour’s Women of the Year awards.
36. Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace at the Golden Globes and in Cannes for the Tree of Life premiere.
37. Rosie Huntington Whiteley PR tour for Transformers 3. The silver sequined Naeem Khan gown she wore to the German premiere was especially gorgeous.
38. Rachel McAdams wearing Marchesa (1) and then switching it up with a Monique Lhuillier ensemble (3) at the Cannes Film Festival, while promoting Midnight in Paris.
39. Kanye West and Jay-Z redefine urban swag during the Watch the Throne tour and at awards shows.
40. Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab at the Emmys.
41. Nina Dobrev in blood red Donna Karen at the Emmys.
42. Leighton Meester in Michael Kors at the premiere of The Roommate (1) and wearing Burberry (2) at the Golden Globes.
43. Colin Firth brings British class and tailoring to the masses while promoting The King’s Speech at the Oscars. Of course, after his collaboration with Tom Ford on A Single Man, he continues to look dapper in Tom Ford suits.
44. Nicki Minaj on SNL wearing a cotton candy-like Christian Siriano gown while performing on stage.
45. Kristin Wiig wearing Zac Posen to the 2011 Emmys.
46. Emily blunt at the Emmys in Elie Saab.
47. The consistently gorgeous looks of So You Think You Can Dance host, Cat Deeley. Two times a week during the shows regular season, and on the red carpets, this woman turns it out.
48. Sofia Vergara as the Sofia Loren of 2011. The Columbian bombshell and star of Modern Family graced the pages of Vanity Fair’s October issue and left us feeling a little flustered.
49. Miu Miu’s sparkle shoes from the Fall/Winter 2011 collection were, hands down, the most sought after heels of the year
50. Emma Watson’s style choices are always spot-on. This year was no different. With the premiere of the last Harry Potter
movie (4) and My Week with Marilyn
there was a lot of good to choose from.
51. Olivia Wilde at the Golden Globes in princess-worthy Marchesa.
52. Reese Witherspoon wearing Armani Privé at the 2011 Oscars,
53. Beyonce’s baby bump fashions at the MTV Music Awards
54. Jennifer Lopez had a few hit songs in 2011. She also divorced her husband, Marc Anthony, dated Ryan Reynolds, and is now dating one of her back up dancers. Although the pop stars life is tumultuous, her style choices never stray from the sexy, spanish, Gucci and Versace looking looks she has perfected. In her video for “On the Floor ft. Pitbull” she takes on three different personalities (the club girl, the glittering private showgirl, and the royal diva) – proving once again that no one does “sexy” like JLo.
55. Jon Hamm as 2011’s Renaissance man. When Hamm wears a suit or tuxe to red carpet events, he looks just as dapper, poised, and put together as his Mad Men character, Don Drapper. The only difference is that Hamm has been with his wife, Jennifer Westfeldt, for more than ten years and he might have a thing for leather jackets and aviators. As Regis said, after complaining that Ben Affleck ditched him to hang out with Hamm, and that he too wanted to be friends with him: “He’s just a man’s man!”.
By Sophia Loffreda