The Twenty Best Red Carpet Looks of 2016: Part 2

Posted on December 27, 2016


Here’s us, being nice. Part 1 of us being nice can be found here. Let’s all continue to be nice and say nice things about pretty dresses.

Also, parts 1 and 2 of us being total bitches can be found here and here. If you’re more into that sort of thing.

And now, with the niceties out of the way, onward to niceness.

15. Lizzy Caplan in Erdem at the “Now You See Me 2” Premiere

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We have no doubt this will be a surprising choice to many, considering how much we’ve ranted and railed against both lace dresses and wildly over-embellished dresses. But for every bad and/or overdone style trend, you can usually find one diamond among all the poo – and it’s usually being worn by someone with pretty damn good style cred. It takes a Lizzy Caplan to find, choose and work the best example of what we derided as the “forced whimsy” style that dominated the red carpets this year. It’s bold, the colors are unique and look great on her, and she’s got enough of an edge to keep it from looking like another Little House on the Prairie wedding gown.


14. Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive at the 2016 Oscars

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The thing about a “Best Red Carpet Looks” post (as opposed to a “Best Dressed” one) is that you are occasionally going to have to tip your hat to a pretty dress just because it’s a pretty dress. These types of entries tend to land below the Top Ten because they’re not exactly pushing any envelopes, but for us, there’s no denying that this is one of the prettiest looks of the year.



13. Ruth Negga in Valentino at the “Loving” Paris premiere

Then there’s the other kind of entry on this list: the more controversial, off-the-beaten path looks that nonetheless wound up being some of the most memorable red carpetry of the year. We adored this oddly sexy pleated cardinal’s robe of a look – and to be fair, a lot of it had to do with Ruth Negga’s singular ability to work certain very difficult styles. But we didn’t exactly get greeted with universal agreement on the point. Still, it stands out for us and we think it’s actually become more appealing to us since we first saw it. Bold, chic and unique – on a woman who’s born to handle those exact style points.



12. Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell at the American Music Awards

American Music Awards 2016

American Music Awards 2016

It’s chic, clean, classic and flawlessly executed. These are new ways to describe her style, to be honest. Gaga’s spent the past decade playing the part of a diva when it suits her, but in 2016, she showed a real elevation in her style that allowed her to more comfortably and unironically claim the title.


11. Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton at the SAG Awards

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Considering how many LVs wound up on our year-end “worst” list, it’s notable that she managed to snag not only a chic and pretty one, but one of the most chic and memorable red carpet looks of the year. The colors are just unusual enough to stand out and they happen to pop against her own coloring, making it the perfect marriage of dress and wearer.


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