The weather is chilling and my cravings for eggnogg are getting more and more intense. That’s right: We’re look at the end of 2012, and with that comes my Harper’s Bazaar-appointed task of editing the year’s best looks for our special Mr. Blasberg’s Best Dressed: The Best of 2012. So, without further ado, let’s roll out the red carpet!
This is my favorite time of year, and it’s not because of the holidays. It’s because I’m charged with looking at the past 12 months of style and compiling the year’s Best-Dressed List. So when I asked myself who were my favorite girls of 2012, the answer was clear: Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow in black and white. I’ve always been a fan of Gwynnie’s, and when she sashayed down the Oscars’ red carpet in Tom Ford’s slinky white column dress and cape, I swooned. I attended Tom’s presentation in London when this dress debuted, and everyone could tell it was destined for greatness. Gwyneth’s greatness, as it were. While I’ve been a longtime Gwynophile, I’ve only recently come around to Rihanna. This year, though, she mixed elegance and glamour into her street-cool aesthetic, and I loved it. One of her best? The Giorgio Armani dress she wore to the Grammys. Surely she was pleased that it showed skin—the neckline just about hit her navel—but it was still polished and sophisticated.
Leelee Sobieski caught my eye more than once this past year. First, when she swanned into a Tribeca Film Festival party last April in my favorite look from Raf Simons’s last collection for Jil Sander, a white shirt that morphed into a ball gown; and second, at Simons’s inaugural ready-to-wear show for Dior, when she appeared front row in my favorite look from his debut Dior couture collection, a red coatdress cinched with a gold belt. Seems Raf is a good friend for a girl to have.
Some women whose blush looks left me blushing? Charlize Theron’s Dior Haute Couture dress at the Golden Globes was one, a favorite of the entire year—just what Hollywood royalty is supposed to look like. Sarah Jessica Parker, no stranger to best-dressed lists, was strong yet sweet at a Beverly Hills event in a greige strapless Calvin Klein cocktail dress. Tapping into the sort of decadence that Anna Karenina could appreciate, Keira Knightley wore a tonal Chanel Haute Couture dress to the world premiere of the movie based on the classic novel. And, last, Diane Kruger deserves a special mention—she killed it at Cannes this year. While my preferred look was a pastel Giambattista Valli gown, as a member of the film festival’s jury she had fashion critics swooning with a nonstop parade of fabulousness, from a lace-up Versus minidress at the start of the festivities to a billowing Dior Haute Couture ball gown at the closing ceremony.
The year was also rife with real fashion greatness as seen on familiar names and up-and-comers alike. With her first Oscar nomination, for her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara gave fashion fans a new Gothic-chic muse. Her brand of subversive glamour was a perfect fit for Givenchy, and that collaboration resulted in one of 2012′s most memorable red-carpet moments.
Making a fashionable comeback on the awards circuit was Michelle Williams, whose custom-made burnt-orange Louis Vuitton Oscars dress will for sure become a classic. (Fashion secret: Vuitton dressed only one girl at the Oscars because, well, it’s quality over quantity at the French house.) This year also saw the reemergence of Stephanie Seymour, recently reconciled with hubby Peter Brant and looking better than ever. When she showed up in a flirty red Azzedine Alaïa dress for a party at the art center Brant founded in Greenwich, Connecticut, across the street from their home and polo fields, no man in the room was looking at the art.