After several years of pandemic-related social restrictions, we had been somewhat starved of great celebrity style – but 2022 more than made up for that. As fashion week and award season returned to its usual scheduling, we were able to enjoy plenty of celebrity fashion, and it really felt as if A-listers and their styling teams made up for lost time.
Whether they were dipping into the archives for a nostalgic red-carpet moment, nailing a tricky theme or just making day-to-day dressing look effortlessly chic, the world's most stylish celebrities were here to entertain and inspire us with their impeccable wardrobes.
Below, in no particular order, we round up our 10 best-dressed women of 2022.
Ever since she first stepped foot in the White House, Michelle Obama has been praised for her style, and has been seen by many as an inspiration for how to master dress codes, uplift up-and-coming designers, and nail workplace dressing. This year, however, we saw a different side to Obama, one where she was able to embrace a more casual (and dare we say 'cooler') look.
The former First Lady made a number of public appearances in the latter half of 2022 as she promoted her new book The Light We Carry – and we saw her adopt a much more fashion-forward wardrobe than she has done in the past.
From double denim to head-to-toe leather, so many sequins and even sportswear, Obama headed on a new path with her wardrobe, away from the stuffy dress codes of politics, and into a more comfortable and more free way of dressing. She wore Ganni, Balmain, Brandon Maxwell and even animal-print Versace. It seemed like she was having more fun with fashion than ever before – and it suited her.
Every year, there's always at least one breakout red-carpet star, and in 2022, that was undoubtedly Taylor Russell. The Canadian actress – who starred in one of the year's most talked-about films, Bones and All, opposite Timothy Chalamet – used her promotional tour to put herself on the fashion map.
Clearly not afraid to take any risks on the red carpet, Russell has embraced daring and fashion-forward silhouettes from the likes of Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Loewe. In many ways, she is a breath of fresh air in Hollywood, happy to step outside of her comfort zone and take on some of the season's most out-there trends. This has made her one of the most exciting faces to watch on the red carpet, and we're sure that this is just the beginning.
When it comes to effortless street style, Hailey Bieber has long been building up her reputation as one of the most influential names to know. The model – who has also inspired countless beauty trends this year – has carved out a niche when it comes to street style, often tapping into a muted colour palette, expert tailoring and a perfectly polished aesthetic. In 2022, with a new stylist on board, she firmed up her uniform and brought it to the red carpet, with much success.
In short, the model – who is now guided by stylist Karla Welch – has elevated her wardrobe. She has started to embrace minimalism with her eveningwear, opting for slinky, form-fitting gowns by the likes of Saint Laurent. She is all about low-key sophistication, and it's working for her.
It could well be argued that the Venice Film Festival had its most successful, headline-making year yet – at least certainly in terms of the fashion. This was in large part thanks to stars like Tessa Thompson and Jodie Turner-Smith (more on her later) who created some of the biggest – and most unexpected – red-carpet moments of the year; the former in dramatic Elie Saab, poofy Marc Jacobs and sculptural Armani Privé.
But, it wasn't just in Venice that Thompson shone. As she promoted Westworld and Thor: Love and Thunder, the actress stepped out in numerous memorable looks, including a liquid-looking cut-out dress by Armani and a completely sheer, long, gold gown by up-and-coming label Interior.
Much credit is deserved to Thompson and her stylists, Wayman Deon and Micah McDonald, for creating some of the most exciting red-carpet fashion of 2022.
Some actresses clearly enjoy getting dressed up for the red carpet, and Anya Taylor-Joy is one of the best examples of this right now. Whether she's attending award shows, sitting front row during fashion week or at a movie premiere, she never sticks to a straightforward fashion formula, and always commits to a full look, which is what makes her so much fun to watch.
This year, Taylor-Joy played around with her personal style, embracing different aesthetics for different events. We saw her team a black veil with a sheer Dior ballgown, dare to wear Schiaparelli's giant wedges, embrace latex in Alexander McQueen, and even step out in Dior's giant hoop skirt. Very few could pull all of these outfits off.
Anne Hathaway is not new to the Hollywood scene, but 2022 saw her enjoy something of a fashion renaissance – one which delighted her fans. Although much of the Internet likened it to her Devil Wears Prada character Andy Sachs' makeover, it was actually far more subtle than that; her stylist Erin Walsh simply polished up her look.
The actress turned heads in Cannes wearing a beautiful white sequin Armani Privé gown and a Gucci mini dress with statement sunnies, while she also played around with Valentino pink at one point, and wore a very slinky David Koma dress to the premiere of WeCrashed.
On each occasion, she radiated confidence. Hathaway seems to be in a new phase with her personal style, and we can't wait to see where she takes it next.
Another star that impressed in Venice this year was Jodie Turner-Smith, who has become a favourite on the fashion scene for wearing bright colours, unexpected silhouettes and a variety of brands, and for embracing the joy that clothing can bring.
Her red-carpet looks this year included an absolutely on-point Met Gala ensemble (she dressed for 'Gilded Glamour in a beaded, fringed leotard with a full skirt from Gucci), the most colourful Venice Film Festival wardrobe we've ever seen (rainbow Christopher John Rogers gowns, a bright blue custom design by Harbison and a denim Balmain ballgown all featured), and she finished the year off by hosting the Fashion Awards, where she stepped on stage in various statement pieces, including some glamorous green Gucci.
All in all, Turner-Smith's fashion has been a joy to watch in 2022.
It was a big year for Florence Pugh, who starred in some of the year's most talked-about movies – meaning that she had plenty of press to undertake, and there's no denying that she did it in style.
The British actress seems to have found her style groove with ease, taking to each event with such confidence. Her style is so unapologetically her – it's often girly (she loves a cutesy taffeta dress) but there is always an edge to what she wears, whether that's from her slicked-back hair, dark make-up or vampy accessories.
The look that she made the most headlines with makes this point perfectly. Pugh wore a Barbie-pink Valentino dress to the house's couture show in July; it was girly, poofy and made of tulle, but it was also completely sheer. When trolls decided to criticise her "two cute little nipples," she had the perfect response.
"It has always been my mission in this industry to say, ‘fuck it and fuck that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive... Grow up. Respect people. Respect bodies. Respect all women. Respect humans."
It's impossible to talk about celebrity style in 2022 without mentioning Rihanna. The singer – who announced her first pregnancy in predictably glamorous style back in January – completely ripped up the maternity style rulebook, paving the way for pregnant women everywhere to dress exactly as they please.
During her pregnancy, Rihanna made a point of wearing sheer, clingy or slinky ensembles that refused to hide her body. Although this perhaps shouldn't be considered particularly groundbreaking in 2022, and she is certainly not the only star to shun traditional maternity fashion in recent years, her commitment to showing the world her changing body and embracing her sexuality while pregnant is certainly something to be celebrated.
From that sheer Dior négligée to crop tops and low-rise jeans, Rihanna embraced her personal style throughout her pregnancy, and paved the way for us all to do the same.
She might have divided opinions with her final outfit of 2022 – her very Noughties-inspired dress-over-jeans look for the Jingle Bell Ball – but Katie Holmes remains one of our favourite celebrities to watch when it comes to street style and the front row.
Ever since she was photographed hailing a cab in that Khaite cardigan (and matching bralette) a few years ago, Holmes has become known for her nonchalant approach to dressing, always looking impeccably put-together, but ever so relaxed. This year, we saw her master the white suit and the hooded gown during Fashion Week, while she continued to excel at low-key dressing, teaming ballet pumps with wide-legged jeans and embracing leather on leather.
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