The 11 Best Hollywood Fashion Moments of 2018

6:30 AM 12/15/2018

by Lindsay Weinberg

Markle as a bride. Rihanna as the Pope. Gaga as a flamingo.

From left: Meghan Markle, Rihanna, Lady Gaga
From left: Meghan Markle, Rihanna, Lady Gaga
Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty; George Pimentel/Getty; Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

There was more to fashion this year than the royal wedding. Valentino started the year off right with a gorgeous caped gown for Elle Fanning in Berlin, only to perhaps outdo itself with Lady Gaga's flowing flamingo dress in Venice. The Oscars featured dueling bows by Nicole Kidman and Saoirse Ronan, while the Emmys welcomed a pop of pink from Tracee Ellis Ross and Thandie Newton.

From Gaga's flawless feathers to Rihanna dressing as the Pope, here are the top 11 fashion and style moments of the year for Hollywood.

  • Elle Fanning's Strong Start

    Elle Fanning set the bar high for a stunning year in red carpet fashion. She attended the Isle of Dogs world premiere in Berlin in February draped in Valentino haute couture. The look channeled Grace Kelly with Fanning's color-blocked, caped gown straight out of a fairy tale (perhaps Little Red Riding Hood?).  

  • The Royal Wedding

    An American actress became a British royal in the wedding — and fashion — event of the year. When Suits star Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, she donned a Givenchy couture wedding gown designed by Clare Waight Keller. The simple long-sleeved gown with a boat neck and long laced train symbolized the merging of nations and cultures: worn by an American, designed by a Brit, for a French house. 

    The gown was the most anticipated look of 2018, a year dominated by the Meghan Markle effect when it came to fashion mimicry and market power. 


  • Lady Gaga's Flamingo Dress

    Pop star turned movie star (and Golden Globe nominee) Lady Gaga moved past her meat dress style to serve some of the best red carpet looks of 2018. She debuted her film A Star Is Born in Venice while wearing a feathered Valentino gown with Chopard earrings. The Pierpaolo Piccioli dress, fittingly named "Flamingo," became the most buzzworthy red carpet moment this year.

    Not even the rain could stop Gaga from dominating at the Star is Born premiere. In fact, her stylists called it the most magical moment: "It started storming. The backdrop, the rain, and lightning, the energy — it was so special for all of us to experience together. It was her very first movie premiere and the excitement and energy surrounding the event was electrifying."

  • Battle of the Bows at the 2018 Oscars

    It was a battle of the bows for Oscars standouts Nicole Kidman and Saoirse Ronan. Kidman dazzled in a blue Armani Prive gown, while Ronan donned a light pink Calvin Klein number with a bow in the back. Both are expected at the 2019 Academy Awards, as well.

    Meanwhile, Viola Davis dressed as a Michael Kors bombshell in pink, Emma Stone wore pants with her pink-and-red Louis Vuitton silky top and Zendaya rocked a chocolate Giambattista Valli Couture chiffon goddess gown.

  • Rihanna Reigns Supreme at the Met Gala

    The Met Gala went regal this year with its "Heavenly Bodies" theme, which had Zendaya dressing as Joan of Arc (or the Versace version of it) and Rihanna shining in a papal outfit by John Galliano. Katy Perry was a knock-out (literally, with those wings) in six-foot-wide angel wings and gold boots from Versace.

  • Cate Blanchett Recycled a Gown at Cannes

    As jury president at Cannes Film Festival, Cate Blanchett sent a message with her opening night red carpet gown: She wore the same Armani Prive gown she sported at the 2014 Golden Globes. With sustainable fashion on the rise — from Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Allbirds recycled shoes to Penelope Cruz's sustainable Swarovski line — Blanchett opted to recycle her dress. The actress told THR at the time, "Particularly in today’s climate, it seems willful and ridiculous that such beautiful garments are not cherished and re-worn for a lifetime."

    Her stylist Elizabeth Stewart added: "It’s not just couture gowns that take hundreds of hours to make but all clothes that are filling landfills. We need to get the word out to get rid of this ridiculous notion that dresses cannot be worn twice! Beautiful clothes should last a lifetime."

  • The Golden Globes Blackout

    At this year's Golden Globes, Hollywood opted to show support for the sexual harassment and assault awareness movement following the #MeToo revelations of fall 2017. Stars from Jessica Chastain to Octavia Spencer wore all-black to support the Time's Up movement, though it was Dakota Johnson who took the crown for best-dressed in a black Gucci gown complete with a crystal bow and shimmering train. 

    Others chose to bring female political advocates as guests. Emma Watson walked the carpet with Marai Larasi of the women's org Imkaan, Michelle Williams brought Girls for Gender Equity's Tarana Burke and Laura Dern invited farmworkers advocate Mónica Ramírez. The Golden Globes became the most impactful carpet of 2018.

  • Issa Rae Wore All-Black Designers to the CFDA Awards

    Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

    Insecure star and writer Issa Rae made a statement while hosting the Council of Fashion Designers of America's fashion awards this year. The first black host decided to wear pieces from all-black designers, including Sergio Hudson, Jason Rembert and Victor Glemaud.

    For a glittering blue pantsuit, she and designer Kerby Jean-Raymond decided to add a belt last minute (morning of!) that read, "Every N— Is a Star."

    "I didn't know what she going to do. I just slipped it over her, and I know her sense of humor, we've hung out, and so I knew that she was going to wear it. I had no doubt about it, but she was really down for it," Jean-Raymond said.

    He explained that it's meant to celebrate all black people: "We never talk about who they love, people with their children and their love for their families. It's always a tragic figure or as firsts — first black man to do this, first black person to do this — but what about just a bus driver?" he said. "We don't have to be Jay-Z, we don't have to be Kerby Jean-Raymond, we don't have to be Issa Rae, we can just be who we are and just exist and we're still superstars in our own rights, no matter what we do."

  • Lupita Nyong'o at the 'Black Panther' Premiere

    The entire Black Panther cast brought their A-game to the premiere to make it the year's most fashion-forward carpet. For 2018's biggest blockbuster, Lupita Nyong'o wore a warrior-inspired deep purple gown from Versace with a Versace clutch handbag, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and vintage jewelry from Beladora. "There’s definitely a nod to her warrior character Nakia here, without being costumey,” said her stylist Micaela Erlanger. “It’s a really glamorous take on our vision and it’s very fierce, certainly.”

    Stars Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira all stunned for a spectacular carpet event (prepare to see them on the Golden Globes 2019 red carpet, as the film was nominated for best drama).

  • Lady Gaga's Veiled Reveal

    The Star is Born star pulled back the veil of her Armani gown to wear it as a shoulder piece during the Toronto premiere of the film. One of her stylists, Tom Eerebout, captured the most memorable moment of the Toronto International Film Festival on video. 


    Casual styled by myself and @sandraamador.xx Mu @sarahtannomakeup hair @fredericaspiras

    A post shared by Tom Eerebout (@tomeerebout) on