To mark the 21st Century making it through its teen years, the #20teens is a series from Teen Vogue celebrating the best in culture, politics, and style from the last decade.
All throughout the 2010s, we saw every kind of fashion trend surface. The ‘90s came back with a vengeance. Billie Eilish ushered in a new era of pop star style with her baggy shorts, sneakers and neon layers. Lil Nas X encouraged us to celebrate ourselves just as we are, especially if that means bringing back the yee-haw agenda in a glittering suit and ruffled blouse. Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez brought the glamour, while Justin Bieber gave his previously clean-cut pop star looks a rock ‘n roll edge.
The advent of Instagram meant that fashion trends went viral at lightspeed, with social influencers and supermodels like Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber leading the pack. Earlier in the decade, innovators like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj went way out there with their fashion looks. Oh, and then there was Rihanna, who not-so-casually dominated the entire decade and solidified her status as a trendsetting style icon.
A new year — and a whole new decade — is just around the corner, and to celebrate we’re looking back at some of the best celebrity fashion of the past ten years — from Taylor’s glittering VMAs dress back in 2009 to Meghan Markle’s breathtaking wedding gown. Take a trip down memory lane with us, and let us know which were your favorites. Who knows? You may just find throwback inspiration for your 2020 ‘fits!
2009 — Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s glamorous look at the 2009 MTV VMAs (where she memorably had her acceptance speech for “Video of the Year” interrupted by Kanye West) is pure, classic Taylor. A glittery gown, blonde hair with bangs, and a cat-eye makeup look accentuated by glowing, peachy skin and a bright, retro-red lip? This may have been ten years ago, but it would look just as good in 2019.
2010 — Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga’s meat dress will go down in history as one of the most infamous outfits of all time. The musician wore the look, made with actual strips of meat, to the MTV VMAs in 2010 and jaws were on the floor. Gaga was already notorious for her over-the-top ensembles, but the meat dress took the cake. She paired the dress with platinum hair tipped in teal, platform shoes, and a giant diamond choker. The dress (or, pieces of) is now on display at the Gaga exhibit in Las Vegas, which is equal parts gross and iconic.
2011 — Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj burst onto the scene as a major talent (hello, legendary “Monster” verse) and hitmaker (we see you, “Super Bass”) but her fashion sense was just as epic — especially when she was in character as her pink-haired alter ego, Barbie, and her dark-haired counterpart, Roman Zolanski. At the beginning of her career, Nicki opted for cartoon-inspired looks like the one she wore at the 2011 MTV VMAs, complete with pink wig, a mask, and a metallic corset bodysuit.
2012 — Kristen Stewart
One of our favorite celebrity fashion journeys belongs to Kristen Stewart. In the early ‘10s, all eyes were on Kristen and her costar, Robert Pattison, as they starred in the Twilight series. This glittering bronze gown Kristen wore to the premiere of Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a gorgeous example of how the young actress was beginning to find a style of her own, even in the wake of a cheating scandal and very public breakup with Pattinson.
2013 — Kim Kardashian West
Kim Kardashian’s very first Met Gala, as the date of her then-boyfriend Kanye West, wasn’t very fun for the star. She was pregnant with her daughter North at the time and wore a full floral-print turtleneck gown by Givenchy, complete with matching gloves. The look was bold, eye-catching, and avant-garde, but the Internet couldn’t help but poke fun at her look, comparing her to a couch and to Robin Williams’s Mrs. Doubtfire. Kim told Vogue that she spent the rest of the night crying about it, but her floral gown has since become one of the most memorable Met Gala looks of all time. Plus, as Kim revealed, the Olsen Twins told her they liked it, so she felt redeemed in the end.
2013 — Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz era look (which featured a short blonde cropped hair cut, lots of earrings laddered up her ears, and bright, statement-making red lips) paired perfectly with her fashion of the time, which was all about growing into her own as a pop star. Her look at the 2013 Met Gala was the perfect encapsulation of her style at the time: a little bit wild, but with a sophisticated elegance all the same. It was just the thing for a young star establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with.
2014 — Rihanna
Only Rihanna could wear this sheer, glittering naked dress. She wore the Adam Selman creation to accept her very well-deserved CFDA Fashion Icon Award, and, a few years later, cracked that her only regret in life was that she didn’t wear a bedazzled thong under it. “I just liked it better without the lines underneath,” she told Vogue in 2016. “Could you imagine the CFDA dress with a bra? I would slice my throat. I already wanted to, for wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled. That’s the only regret I have in my life.”
2014 — Lupita Nyong’o
In 2014, Lupita Nyong’o accepted her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave in a custom-made baby blue Prada gown and cemented her status as a fashion icon. We’ll never forget watching her move across the Oscar stage with the gown floating ethereally behind her.
2015 — Beyoncé
Queen Bey also rocked a “naked dress” for the Met Gala in 2015. Beyoncé chose a sheer, jewel-encrusted Givenchy gown for the party and paired it with a super-high cheerleader ponytail. Icon status!
2016 — Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s Purpose era was all about uniting throwback elements (like baggy, ripped jeans and ‘90s-style flannel shirts) with modern touches (like platinum blonde bleached hair and lots of tattoos…) and major, major fur coats. This hooded coat and glasses look was a big departure from Justin’s clean-cut pop star looks of the past and paved the way for his future style forays into sweatpants, hotel slippers, and tropical tees. Purpose was an incredibly successful album for Justin, spawning hits like “What Do You Mean” and “Sorry,” and his look for the time period was equal parts grunge and pop — evolving just like his music did.
2016 — Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez attended the “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” Met Gala looking more like a fashion girl than a former Disney star, donning a full Louis Vuitton look: slip dress, leather vest top, and chunky, lace-up boots. So simple, so sophisticated, so Selena.
2017 — Bella Hadid
Supermodel Bella Hadid went full sexy superhero on the red carpet for the 2017 Met Gala in a sheer lacy bodysuit by Alexander Wang. She paired the jaw-dropping look with long red nails, classic black pumps, and matching wraparound diamond bracelets.
2017 — Kaia Gerber
In 2017, the world met Kaia Gerber the supermodel, not Kaia Gerber the daughter of Cindy Crawford. Can you believe it’s only been two years since Kaia made her runway debut? She’s now a mainstay of Fashion Weeks around the globe, as well as major ad campaigns, and is a street style star in her own right. She opened the Alexander Wang show in a LWD and a new generation of modeling superstars was born.
2017 — Nick Jonas & Priyanka Chopra
Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s love story started at the Met Gala, and since then, the couple has really brought it on the red carpet. The 2017 party was when their flirtation really took off, and you can see it in these pics! We loved Priyanka’s off-the-shoulder Ralph Lauren trench dress, black booties, and dangling earrings, and Nick’s patterned jacket was fun and flashy without overpowering his date.
2018 — Ariana and Pete Davidson
The street style snap heard ‘round the world, courtesy Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande. How many times did you see this picture meme’d? Their outfits are permanently burned into our memories, not to mention that now-iconic lollipop. During the Sweetener era, Ariana began sporting oversized sweatshirts with her signature thigh-high boots and donning streetwear pieces that were a bit more grunge-inspired than her previously super-feminine outfits. Though their relationship didn’t last (RIP), we’ll always have this era of Grandison to look back on.
2018 — Meghan Markle
In a true fairytale moment, Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018 in an ivory silk boat-neck Givenchy dress with three-quarter length sleeves and a 16-foot veil trimmed in lace. Thousands watched the American actor marry the Prince of Wales, though the ceremony was memorable for more reasons than that: Meghan is the first black member of the British monarchy, and her dress’s designer, Clare Waight Keller, is the first woman to be named Artistic Director for the French house.
2018 — Beyoncé
One word: Beychella. Beyoncé headlined the 2018 instalment of the desert music festival and brought a new level of artistry and meaning to the show, performing with a full-on marching band, alongside her sister Solange and Destiny’s Child. The show was epic and so were her many looks. While everything she wore during the show was iconic, it’s the yellow and pink sweatshirts (one color for each weekend show) paired with denim hot pants and holographic fringed boots that we’ll always remember.
2019 — BTS
BTS’s tuxedos from Korean designers JayBaek Couture and Kim Seo Ryong at the 2019 Grammys will go down in history as one of the best matching ensembles. The Korean septet made history that night becoming the first K-Pop act to earn a nomination and attend the ceremony and they brought their A-game red carpet fashion for the occasion. So much so, that their outfits have earned their rightful place in a museum.
2019 — Lizzo
Lizzo knows how to make a statement on the red carpet — and how to delight the internet. The “Truth Hurts” singer wore the teeniest, tiniest Valentino bag (one of the late ‘10s biggest fashion trends) with her ruffled tangerine Valentino gown to the American Music Awards and a meme was born. This was an incredible year for Lizzo, who is one of our favorite fashion enthusiasts to follow, because she has so much fun with her looks.
2019 — Zendaya
We absolutely lose it when Zendaya wears a suit. In fact, the Euphoria star looks so good in them, she’s even made a few of her own in collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger. Z sported a cool gray printed skinny Berluti suit with Louboutin pumps to an event in New York this year and looked every bit the fashion icon — the throwback vibes were strong, but Zendaya’s timeless allure kept the look fresh and fabulous.
2019 — Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish is a new kind of pop star. She’s not afraid to be dark, to wear tons of layers and oversized sweatshirts and baggy shorts, or to cover up her face — or entire body — with a Louis Vuitton print mask. Her signature style is punk-goes-grunge-goes industrial, and this look from 2019 is a great example of how Billie’s fashion sense is evolving as she does. It’s a statement, for sure, but one with a playful side. This year, Billie debuted a genderless children’s clothing line, based in part off her own experiences as a kid wanting to wear “boy’s clothes,” and pieces sold out immediately.
2019 — Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X repped the yee-haw agenda at the 2019 MTV VMAs in his spangled disco suit with a ruffled blouse. In fact, 2019 was all about the genre-busting, Internet-ruling musician, who had a smashing success with his debut single “Old Town Road” and also revealed himself to be a burgeoning style icon. He showed off look after look all year long, blending elements of Y2K fashion with Western-influenced pieces like cowboy hats and suits, to craft a style all his own, and his big moment at the VMAs was the perfect example of his cheeky-cool fashion philosophy.
Overall Best of the Decade — Rihanna at the Met Gala
Rihanna is the queen of the Met Gala, end of story. Over the past decade, we’ve seen her dominate every single theme, from her absolutely stunning marigold yellow gown in 2015 to the beyond epic pope look she sported in honor of the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibit. There isn’t a Met Gala red carpet Rihanna can’t slay, and though she’s been MIA for the last few, we hope she makes a triumphant return to the party in 2020. We need you, RiRi!
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue