- 10 Jul - 16 Jul, 2021
BEST DRESSED Stars of 2018
- 15 Sep - 21 Sep, 2018
From the Duchess of Sussex to Hollywood royalty, these trend-setting, rule-breaking and empowering women showed their sartorial skills on and off the red carpet. PEOPLE magazine celebrates their noteworthy outfit choices.
1- Meghan Markle
Since the American-born actress-turned-Duchess of Sussex became engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan quickly became one of the most influential style icons in the world – and she’s proven time and time again that everything she wears turns to gold.
From a $328 Club Monaco dress that sold out within hours of her wearing it to a wedding or a $740 Strathberry handbag that flew off shelves just 11 minutes after she was photographed carrying it, Meghan’s choices have instant influence. And it’s easy to understand why; both times, when she’s dressed up in designer dresses and when she’s more casual in jeans, Meghan is a master at looking regal and relatable.
“Her clothes are beautifully cut. There’s nothing bold or brash or too extreme. They are really just beautiful clothes on a beautiful woman,” says Hilary Alexander, former fashion director of The Telegraph.
With the help of close friend Jessica Mulroney, Meghan’s style has evolved from trendy television star to polished royal. Favouring a neutral colour palette, boatneck silhouettes and simple accessories, Meghan’s a loyal wearer of high-fashion designers like Carolina Herrera as well as contemporary brands like Mother Denim.
The former actress is also known to wear pieces from smaller companies, like Canadian womenswear label Nonie, and propelling them into the international style spotlight. “The demand has been incredible,” a brand rep says of the $825 sleeveless trench dress Meghan wore this summer, which now has a “large waitlist.”
Nonie founder Nina Kharey tells PEOPLE, “It’s refreshing that she’s able to confidently wear what she wants. Princess Diana paved the way for that.”
As Meghan and Prince Harry, now happily married, prepare to embark on their tour of Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand in October, watchers are already speculating what she will wear next – and brands are getting prepared.
David Hieatt, co-founder of Welsh brand Hiut Denim Co., whose black skinny jeans worn by Meghan in January brought the label worldwide recognition overnight, told PEOPLE earlier this summer, “In the next four weeks we are moving into a factory that’s three times the size!”
2- LUPITA NYONG'O
With her bold colour choices and her red carpet twirls, it’s safe to say that if fashion had a superhero, it would be this 35-year-old actress. “I just love colour, I’ve never been afraid of it,” Nyong’o says of her style, seen here in a regal purple Atelier Versace gown at the Black Panther premiere in Los Angeles. Her stylist Micaela Erlanger always knows exactly what to look for when pulling clothes for the star: vibrant gowns with empowering silhouettes. “People respond to what she wears because she owns her look,” says Erlanger.
3- AMAL CLOONEY
The human rights lawyer, 40, is unapologetic about her bold and glamorous style, whether she’s on the carpet or in the courtroom. “Her decision to wear trousers to the Met Gala was her way of depicting female empowerment,” says designer Richard Quinn, who made her custom two-piece ensemble worn to this year’s fashion prom, where she served as co-chair.
4- JENNIFER LOPEZ
There’s a reason the 49-year-old superstar graces best dressed lists year after year. She manages to out JLo-herself in one sexy style after another. “She works really hard on her body, and it’s fun for us to show it off,” say her stylists Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, who helped style her in this Balmain gown at this year’s Met Gala.
5- SANDRA BULLOCK
For the Ocean’s 8 premiere, the actress, 54, went all-out fashion in a romantic, feather-collared Elie Saab Haute Couture dress. And that was just one of many red carpets where the star brought her fashion A-game this year.
6- KIM KARDASHIAN WEST
When it comes to setting fashion trends, who could be more influential than the 37-year-old reality star turned-mogul.t She was even honoured for that very reason at this year’s CFDA Awards, where she rocked a crop top (with an open back!) and matching spandex maxi skirt custom designed by Rick Owens. But her favourite moment so far this year was the custom liquid gold Versace gown she wore to the Met Gala, which looked like a relic from the Italian label’s ’90s runways.
7- CATE BLANCHETT
The Oscar winner, 49, always makes the red carpet her personal runway and fearlessly pulls off daring high fashion-designs. “She’s the epitome of the woman I aspire to design for,” says Mary Katrantzou, who created the floral motif bubble-skirt dress the star wore at the Cold War screening in Cannes this May.
8- TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
There is no one more game to take a fashion risk or change her style than the 45-year-old star. Her favourite look this year? The Marc Jacobs dress and matching turban she wore to the Golden Globes, because “it felt like an expression of my history and my power.”
9- ANGELA BASSETT
At 60, the Black Panther star is redefining the rules of red carpet fashion — one sexy jumpsuit at the time. “I don’t dress her based on her age, I dress her based on her personality,” says Jennifer Austin, the actress’ stylist of five years who dresses the star in looks like this yellow fringe Naeem Khan onesie, as well as sequin midriff-baring ensembles.
10- MARGOT ROBBIE
“There’s a casual, beach-y ease to Margot,” her stylist Kate Young tells PEOPLE, adding, “I never want her to look done up.” So even when the A-lister, 28, is dressed up in a couture design
(like this feathered Miu Miu dress at the 2018 SAG Awards), she still manages to look effortlessly cool.
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