Every week, Vogue’s Best Dressed list charts the progression of celebrity style, selecting the best and most innovative outfits of the moment. But how does all that data add up over the course of an entire year? The weekly lists, and those put out during awards season, offer an overview of 2019’s top trends, the looks all the stars—and their stylists—were interested in. Compiled from more than 700 different red carpet looks, this information offers an exciting picture of the moment’s current fashion obsessions. Whether it’s performers ditching their mini-skirts in favor of demure long-sleeved dresses or pastels usurping the Pantone-approved Living Coral as the statement color of the year, the results are surprising.
Here, a look back at what defined the best-dressed list for 2019.
If one person dominated 2019, it was Rihanna. With 15 different outfits on the best-dressed list, the singer turned designer outpaced the rest of Hollywood. She and stylist Jahleel Weaver coyly previewed the Fenty brand, revealing pieces months ahead of their launch. A champion of emerging brands, new designers, and unexpected fashion, she gave buzzy labels like Nanushka and Alex Perry their debut on the list, managing to keep the entire fashion industry on its toes.
THE 10 BEST DRESSED OF 2019
The 10 Best Dressed of 2019
There are plenty of brands to choose from, but this year stars stuck to the classics. Chanel—pre and post-Lagerfeld—was the go-to choice for any celebrity seeking failsafe fashion. With more than 37 appearances on the best-dressed list throughout the year, its dominance was unmatched, and for a good reason. You can’t go wrong with a tweed suit or a black gown from the storied house, but those most familiar with its wares seemed intent on going beyond the standards. Marion Cotillard’s bike shorts and blazer combination at the spring/summer 2019 haute couture show highlighted the playful side of the double-C logo. Likewise, the bejeweled leggings and tunic combo that Margot Robbie wore for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Cannes Film Festival debut was utterly original.
Of course, Chanel wasn’t the only heritage brand to take center stage. Christian Dior, Prada, and Louis Vuitton all made their presence felt thanks to standout moments and a multitude of events centered on their latest endeavors. With store openings and after parties providing almost as much visibility as awards shows, the big brands seemed savvier and more omnipresent than ever.
Most Popular Labels: Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci
THINK PINK...OR BLACK, OR RED
Forget neutrals! The most captivating color of the year was pink. More than 57 best-dressed outfits contained some variation of the hue from its pastel form to brilliant magenta. Often worn head to toe—see, Tilda Swinton’s Venice Film Festival Haider Ackermann suit or Gemma Chan’s striking Valentino gown at the Academy Awards—it provided a bold antidote to basic fashion.
Of course, the LBD isn’t going anywhere—a whopping 190 all-black looks made their way onto the list—but the prevalence of colorful, monochromatic statements was one of the year’s best developments.
Most Popular Colors: Black (190), Pink (57), Red (42), Gold (30), Silver (27)
THE NEW GUARD
Historic houses may dominate, but many of the most talked-about fashion moments of the year came courtesy of independent brands who are changing the conversation, offline and off. Often worn by millennial or Gen-Z stars eager to shake up their wardrobes, these new labels are challenging expectations about what constitutes red carpet fashion. On the night Christopher John Rogers won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund, he made Ashley Graham shine in an ombré slip dress that went viral. Equally cool was the moment when the three sisters behind the band HAIM took the Brooklyn label Eckhaus Latta’s modern suiting into the Hollywood Hills to toast the brand’s collab with Ugg.
First Time Mentions: Collina Strada, Christopher John Rogers, Eckhaus Latta, Ed Maher, Wales Bonner
The stigma of two stars wearing the same outfit is a thing of the past, or at least should be. A look that works for multiple people, in entirely different situations, should be praised, not avoided and the best-dressed list featured several copycats that highlighted the versatility of a given item. Case in point: the effortless appeal of Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta stretch knits made them standout on Diane Kruger, who wore a navy version to a screening back in April. Months later, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley took the purple version for a spin, reminding the world why they fell in love with this style in the first place.
Most Repeated: Bottega Veneta’s Stretch Knit (2), THE Marc Jacobs Shirtdress (2), Prada Lace Dress (2)
SNATCHED WAISTS RULED
Blame it on Instagram or the Fall 2019 runways, but corsets were back in a big way. On the red carpet they were embraced by celebrities whose investment in shapewear has become the stuff of legend—SKIMS anyone?—as well as by young celebs who might have been new to foundation garments. Universally flattering and guaranteed to add sexiness to an outfit, visible corsets appeared in 22 of the years best looks. Not a huge number but still — when Maya Hawke, the indie actor daughter of Uma Thurman, is seeking out the same silhouette as Cardi B., you know a trend has reached its zenith.
FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS
Formalwear makes up the bulk of the best-dressed list, but casual moments are no less impressive. You don’t need big dresses or heels to make an impression, especially when denim is experiencing an after-hours renaissance. At parties, the statement jean proved irresistible; model Imaan Hammam amped up a cream blazer and crop top with Loewe’s two-tone cut panel version tied at the ankle with contrasting bows at the brand’s SoHo store opening in December. Equally ornate were the wide-leg Solace London pair Tessa Thompson wore to the Sundance Film Festival, which were dramatically accented with a giant ruffle.
The surest way to get noticed? Sequins and lots of them. The classic embellishment beat out other forms of decoration during a year where maximalism took center stage. The outré spirit of the Met Gala’s camp theme carried over into the remainder of 2019’s events, causing a noticeable uptick in the amount of crystals, paillettes, and spangles that featured across the board.
Most Popular Embellishment: Sequins (76), Ruffles (61), Lace (30), Embroidery (24)
FLORALS FOR SPRING? GROUNDBREAKING!
A floral print is perennially popular. Polka-dots, stars, and logomania all tried, but florals remained the year’s most in-demand pattern featuring in 72 looks. The idea of flowers on a red carpet gown might not seem groundbreaking, but the way the concept was interpreted was. Used in conjunction with big trends like extreme proportion and metallic texture, 2019’s blooms offered a bold reimagining of a once dated concept.
Most Popular Prints: Floral (72), Stripes (28), Polka Dots (16), Plaid (8),
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Bare legs and plunging necklines will always make headlines, but this year stars embraced more modest fashion in a big way. Dresses with sleeves proved incredibly popular, with long-sleeves featuring in more than a hundred best-dressed looks. Three-quarter lengths and puffy versions were also prominent. Thanks to labels like The Vampire’s Wife, Batsheva, and Simone Rocha, there seemed to be nothing cooler this year than being covered up.
The length of dresses also changed this year. Granted, full-length gowns have long been the default for formal occasions, but in recent years mini-skirts have also risen in popularity. In 2019, however, midi-length reigned supreme with multiple stars selecting the flattering silhouette for big events and off-duty moments.
Most Popular Length: Long Sleeves (228), Sleeveless (154), Puffed Sleeves (50)
Originally Appeared on Vogue