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With the year nearly a wrap, 2023 has revealed itself to be another moment for risk taking when it comes to celebrity style.
From the red carpet and runways to the biggest stages — and streets of Paris, New York and elsewhere around the world — celebs proved that over-the-top, jaw-dropping looks are still in demand. But it wasn’t about the “naked dress” of years past (though 2023 still brought plenty of pants-less moments). Instead, celebs turned to the outlandish and costume-like to get attention, adding a whole lot more instead of less.
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Once reserved for the upper echelons of fashion, in closed-door rooms, Paris Couture Week gained critical mass with statement looks from the likes of Kylie Jenner, Doja Cat and Cardi B (the last of whom undoubtedly is responsible for helping to bring the fashion week to a wider audience).
Onstage, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift brought performance looks to an entirely new level, while Rihanna’s
On the red carpet, “Barbie” became a cultural tour de force, hitting a nerve just before the SAG-AFTRA strike closed up
Here, in chronological order, 10 of the biggest and most memorable celebrity style moments of 2023.
1. Doja Cat pulls a “Paint the Town Red” moment at Schiaparelli Couture
With every inch of her body covered in crystals (30,000+ to be more precise), the provocative music artist showed up to the Schiaparelli show during Paris Couture nearly unrecognizable. Created in collaboration with Schiparelli creative director Daniel Roseberry and the music artist’s stylist Brett Alan Nelson, the look became a clever promotional moment for Doja Cat’s single, “Paint the Town Red.”
2. Kylie Jenner does taxidermy couture
Doja Cat’s body crystals weren’t the only head-turners at Schiparelli’s runway show at Paris Couture Week in January 2023. Kylie Jenner also attended the event, stepping out in a black velvet gown with a gigantic and very lifelike lions head affixed to her shoulder. It was the ultimate moment of surrealist style from a fashion house steeped in avant-garde history.
3. Rihanna makes a big announcement in a big look at the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show
The blockbuster music artist has not released new music since early 2016, but that didn’t stop her from taking command of the Super Bowl halftime show. Casting a plethora of dancers, all dressed in white, Rihanna held her own during the set’s elaborate choreography, stopping only at the end to reveal her second pregnancy, which was concealed under her custom Alaïa red jumpsuit (and accompanied by a pair of MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon sneakers that quickly became a hot shoe.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow ushers in “quiet luxury” with courtroom chic wardrobe
The trial we didn’t see coming became the setting for the year’s most widespread fashion trend. As the defendant in a $300,000 lawsuit claiming that the actress recklessly crashed into skier Terry Sanderson in Park City, Utah, Paltrow showed up to the courtroom dressed in chic but subtle ensembles that ranged from textured knitwear and muted overcoats to a grey double breasted suit accessorized with classic gold jewelry — and a green glass bottle of Mountain Valley spring water. That the trial happened in sync with the series finale of HBO Max’s “Succession” sealed the deal for the stealth wealth look in 2023.
5. Taylor Swift and Eras become a tour de force — sans pants
When the music artist debuted her Eras Tour in mid-March, the appetite was high, with fans recounting every minute of the three-and-a-half-hour show and its 44 songs divided into 10 acts. As the tour went on through the summer, Swiftmania only increased. It also solidified the music artist’s onstage pants-less look (complete with sparkly boots, usually from Christian Louboutin), as a defining silhouette of 2023.
6. Pharrell Williams ushers in a new era at Louis Vuitton
The music artist and multi-hyphenate held his debut runway show as men’s creative director for the French luxury house during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, with a crowd that was beyond star-studded: Beyoncé took time out of her “Renaissance” tour to attend, alongside husband Jay-Z. Kim Kardashian showed up in pixelated spandex and matching fanny pack. And Louis Vuitton’s latest menswear campaign star Rihanna made her highly-anticipated appearance, despite being reportedly near due date for her second pregnancy.
On the runway, Williams showed men’s Mary Janes and ruffled socks, bear paw soles and a colorful striped bowling shoe-inspired sneaker. The artist himself walked the runway finale in a pixelated camo suit and his now-signature Tiffany & Co. diamond eyewear.
7. Margot Robbie’s historically accurate “Barbie” looks create a cultural moment
“Barbie” was always going to be the most anticipated film of the year, but a series of red carpet moments from Margot Robbie . With the help of stylist Andrew Mukamal, the actress pulled inspiration from years of Barbie ensembles, from the very first Barbie, in her striped maillot and cat-eye sunglasses to a totally ’90s moment with crimped hair. The parade of looks continued right up until the SAG-AFTRA strike began on July 14.
8. “And Just Like That” brings back Samantha style with a Kim Cattrall cameo
There have been plenty of buzzy fashion moments in the “Sex and the City” sequel series since it first debuted in 2021. But it was a 90-second cameo from actress Kim Cattrall that became the talk of TV this summer when the series premiered its second season. Styled by Patricia Field (SATC’s originally designer, instead of the “And Just Like That” team of Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago), Samantha made her long-anticipated appearance in a metallic coat, red dress, Alexis Bittar silver bangles, lime green Fendi First clutch and an Annabelle Bronstein accent — all very Samantha.
9. The Biebers show us how couple’s style is really done
There are now plenty of paparazzi shots of Hailey and Justin Bieber in various couples candids, often with Hailey in looks that are, shall we say, more “done” than her spouse’s. But a shot of the Biebers outside Bar Pitti in New York City almost seemed to be trolling fans; she in satin Saint Laurent, he in Crocs and a hilariously styled grey sweat set. Just days later, the couple seemed even more in on the joke when they showed up to the U.S. Open in 90+ degree weather wearing matching black leather bombers (he, again, hilariously styled).
10. Beyoncé celebrates her birthday in Virgo silver during the Renaissance tour
What Mrs. Carter wants, Mrs. Carter gets. For her September 4 birthday show at Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium, the music artist requested that her fans wear silver in celebration of Virgo season. The sparkly sea of metallic was a fitting tribute to the ultra-glam custom looks that Beyoncé unveiled during the Renaissance tour, with new ensembles rolling out during each stop of the tour. The sparkling, sequined fashion also paid homage to Diana Ross, who made a surprise appearance onstage at the L.A. birthday show to sing “Love Hangover” — and “Happy Birthday,” of course.
About the author:
Shannon Adducci is the Style Director at FN, reporting on runway and fashion weeks, trends, celebrity style and fashion’s role in pop culture, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, gender identity and women’s equity issues. She also directs FN’s cover shoots and visual packages, contributing to the publication’s video direction. Prior to Footwear News, Shannon held positions at Departures, Billboard and Modern Luxury, was a celebrity stylist and specialized in fine and estate jewelry. She is an avid collector of vintage fashion, shoes and jewelry.
-Hailey Bieber and Justin Bieber’s gown and sweats combo
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