Red Carpet Rundown: The 10 Best Red Carpet Looks Of 2012

So it’s year end wrap-up time and this time we need to be really frank: 2012 wasn’t exactly a banner year for red carpet dressing. The usual stars–Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, Zoe Saldana–didn’t make many red carpet appearances, while most of the internet’s favorite wardrobe hits were culled from so-called street style blogs (= models and bloggers dressing in contrived ways for photographers).

Which is to say, this year end wrap-up was hard. It was hard to come up with even 10 memorable red carpet looks. We scrolled through every gallery published on The Gloss this year and tried to narrow down our favorites. On a curve.

This is a long, meandering way of saying: we tried. We’re sure we missed a bunch and we’re probably wrong on some too, so tell us your favorites in the comments.

First off, honorable mention:

Hellen Mirren in black. We’re not too crazy about the dress, but how fucking great did she look at the National Review Awards? Honorable mention for her beauty.

So now begins our list:

Obviously, Tilda Swinton would appear on this list. Though she disappointed us at Cannes, we really admired her gorgeously fitted Haider Ackermann at the Golden Globes.

Maybe it’s just because this one’s fresh in our memory–and we’re still not crazy about the peach pumps–but Kerry Washington (at the AMA’s) should wear yellow all the time. She looks extraordinary (and that’s a great neckline on her too).

One could never accuse us of liking Gwyneth Paltrow too much, but her white Tom Ford Oscars look rightly lands her in the record books. If nothing else, she was the first truly successful Academy Awards cape.

Jessica Chastain was no slouch at the Oscars, either, in dramatic black and gold Alexander McQueen.

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    • alexandra


      Also, where was I for Cannes? How in the hell did I miss Naomi Watts? God damn that is pretty.

      I like J.Law’s dress but it feels like all of it– the hair, the gross eye makeup, even the dress choice– is actually just her in costume as Katniss, which is cool but also lame. I dunno.


      • Ashley Cardiff

        How fucking incredible did she look?

    • Alexis H

      This may also be because it was fresh in my mind, but my hands down favorite this year was Nicki Minaj in that chartreuse Monique Lhuillier. Maybe because it was so loud but the cut was simple and I liked the balance, I don’t know. I just really, really liked that one.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Oh man, it’s funny you bring this up. That look was on my original list, but when I looked at it again this week, I 1) couldn’t abide the dumb statement necklace or 2) the bleach-choked blonde wig.

        The dress on her, however? Perfect.

    • MR

      Naomi. Always so fine. Yeah, Cate looks nice too. Aussie women.