25 of the Best Red Carpet Looks of 2016
2016 has been a most memorable year in just about every aspect, from music to television and everything in between. Perhaps topping it all, however, was this year’s unforgettable style. To prove it, we poured over every red (and blue! And pink!) carpet celebs walked this year to determine the best of the best high fashion looks, and let us just say it was hard — no, make that nearly impossible — to choose favorites. From the insane getups at the Met Gala’s Manus x Machina theme to the jaw-dropping gowns seen at this year’s CMAs, trust us when we say this was no easy task: There were some MAJOR stunners this year. Find out who got top honors below.
1. Zendaya,Golden Globes: That color! That embroidery! Those tiers! What’s NOT to love about Zendaya’s Golden Globes Marchesa dream gown!? While it was truly impressive on its own, Zendaya pretty much blew our minds post-show by pulling double duty and ditching the dress’s last tier for the after-parties. Genius! (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)
2. Jennifer Lawrence, Golden Globes: The red Dior cutout dress J. Law wore to the Golden Globes may not have been her first choice (apparently Aunt Flo came to town, nixing the tighter choice she had in mind), but it was pure, classic Hollywood glamour at its finest. (Photo via Jason Merrit/Getty)
3. Kirsten Dunst, Critics’ Choice Awards: Kirsten took home a lot more than Best Actress in a Limited Series at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards this year: She also got best dressed in our books. Looking like a glammed-up flapper, the ‘90s queen shone ever-so-brightly in this Chanel Haute Couture masterpiece to which no one else could hold a candle. (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)
4. Taylor Swift, Grammys: Taylor went through several style transformations this year, but this spunky, pre-summer goth Atelier Versace two-piece had to be one of our favorites. It was bright, bold, unexpected and fun — in short? It captured the singer’s essence to a tee. (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)
5. Jennifer Lawrence, Oscars: Jennifer Lawrence’s darkly romantic Dior Haute Couture Oscars gown had it all: delicate lace, sheer detailing, tiered structuring… swoon. While we would’ve preferred more sultry makeup here (a smokey eye, perhaps?), this gorgeous creation more or less made it impossible for her to look anything less than flawless. (Photo via Kevork Djansezian/Getty)
6. Rooney Mara, Oscars: Leave it to a woman such as Rooney, who very much marches to her own beat (she has zero interest in becoming a Swifty, thank you very much), to bring some much needed intrigue to the Oscars carpet with this exquisitely detailed lace Givenchy design. (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)
7. Cate Blanchett, Oscars: While reviews were mixed on the Armani Privé dress Cate chose for the Oscars, we were firmly in the “love” camp. In fact, we’d call it downright whimsical. (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)
8. Gigi Hadid, MTV Movie Awards: Gigi Hadid proved singlehandedly that you don’t need to be rocking a ballgown to earn a spot on a best dressed list: Some well-tailored menswear will do the trick jussssst fine. Incidentally enough, it also happened to be one of the night’s biggest trends. (Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)
9. Cara Delevingne, MTV Movie Awards: Gigi wasn’t the only one ruling the carpet in a pantsuit: Gal pal Cara Delevingne also donned one, albeit in velvet with sheer cutouts (perfect for sneaking a peek at her rib tat). (Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)
10. Kendall Jenner, White House Correspondents Dinner: While girl had her fair share of fashionable moments this year (you might recall the two stylists it took to get her into her MTV Movie Awards heels), it was her White House Correspondents Dinner ensemble that truly took our breath away. In her Pretty Woman-style diamond choker and a form-fitting Vivienne Westwood gown, we think this was Kendall’s classiest look to date. (Photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)
11. Zoe Saldana, Met Gala: Talk about an entrance! Taking a cue from Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala reign, Zoe Saldana all but stole the show with the colorful, peacock-esque train of her Dolce and Gabbana frock. (Photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)
12. Poppy Delevingne, Met Gala: Maybe we’re just suckers for a good Marchesa, but despite the whimsy of Claire Danes’s light-up gown and the wow-factor of Zoe’s train, it was Poppy’s chain-heavy number that won the night for us. Taking into account the Manus x Machina theme, there was no one we thought did it better, right down to her metallic clutch and uber-vampy lipstick. (Photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)
13. Blake Lively, Met Gala: Pregnant with baby Ines at the time of the event, Blake didn’t need much to glow, but the beautiful baby pink strapless Burberry number she donned to the Met Gala certainly didn’t hurt! (Photo via Mike Coppola/Getty)
14. Nicole Kidman, Met Gala: Nicole looked out of this world (pun intended) in the ethereal Alexander McQueen gauze piece she wore to this year’s Met Gala. With its interstellar print and sheer cape, she was the sun everyone else seemed to orbit. (Photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)
15. Claire Danes, Met Gala: Not only did Claire Danes basically embody a RL Cinderella in her baby blue Zac Posen fairy-tale gown at the Met Gala, but her dress freakin’ lit up — literally! With the event’s Manus x Machina design in mind, Zac lined the gown with fiber optics which made it glow in the dark. How cool is that!? (Photo via Mike Coppola/Getty)
16. Karolina Kurkova, Met Gala: While Karolina’s gown might seem like a copycat version of Cate’s gorge Oscars gown at first glance, this one was truly one-of-a-kind — like Claire’s dress, it had a little extra oomph, as the designers of this Marchesa masterpiece teamed up with IBM to add LED color-changing bulbs to the stems of the dress’s flowers. (Photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)
17. Emily Ratajkowski, Emmys: If Emily Ratajkowski is facing drawbacks for being too sexy, this form-fitting purple Zac Posen gown did little to help her cause: Girl looked smokin’. ‘Nuff said. (Photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)
18. Kristen Bell, Emmys: Kristen was, quite literally, the belle of the ball in her Zuhair Murad sweeping extravaganza at the Emmys. The floral print looking like a painting come to life, while the gown’s deep plunging V kept her right on trend. (Photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)
19. Carrie Underwood, CMAs: CMAs co-host Carrie Underwood reportedly changed her outfit no less than 12 times at this year’s show, but we would’ve been perfectly content had she stuck to the beaded Michael Cinco ballgown she rocked on the red carpet all night long. Talk about a fairy-tale princess! (Photo via Michael Loccisano/Getty)
20. Hayley Orrantia, CMAs: The Goldbergs actress may be a red carpet newbie at just 22, but she apparently needs no introduction to the world of high fashion. She more than held her own in this breathtaking Hayley Paige creation, despite walking what we considered to be the best red carpet of the year. She even rocked the vampy lip trend that reigned supreme that night. (Photo via Michael Loccisano/Getty)
21. Kaitlyn Bristowe, CMAs: We loved EV. ‘ERY. THANG about the stunning two-piece Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe busted out for the CMAs. Its modest lace turtleneck perfectly tempered the peek-a-boo stomach the crop top afforded, while the floor-length skirt classed things up a notch. (Photo via Michael Loccisano/Getty)
22. Hailee Steinfeld, AMAs: All year long, the 20-year-old has been busy establishing herself as a steady rising style star on the red carpet, and by November, Hailee was topping our best dressed list with this sparkly Elie Saab romper she rocked to the AMAs. Watch out, 2017 — this one’s a force to be reckoned with. (Photo via Frederick M. Brown/Getty)
23. Nicole Kidman, Critics’ Choice Awards: While there were plenty of beautiful dresses to peep at the 2017 Critics’ Choice Awards, Nicole Kidman easily separated herself from the pack in this piece-y Brandon Maxwell number. Known for his intriguing designs (he was also the genius responsible for Lady Gaga’s Oscars pantsuit), the designer outdid himself with Nicole’s off-the-shoulder cutout frock. (Photo via Larry Busacca/Getty)
24. Jessica Biel, Critics’ Choice Awards: With her man on her arm and this green-and-black striped Elie Saab gem of a gown, J. Biel could do no wrong at the Critics’ Choice Awards. Talk about kicking awards season off with a bang! (Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)
25. Constance Wu, Critics’ Choice Awards: Constance had Joanna Ortiz to thank for the beautiful floral-printed frock she wore to this year’s Critics’ Choice Awards. Architecturally designed so that no side was a bad one, interesting elements played out at every angle. Bravo! (Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Which red carpet look was your favorite? Let us know over @BritandCo.
(Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)
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