The 50 Best Red Carpet Dresses Of 2012

20 December 2012 by

GALLERY >> 50 Best Red Carpet Dresses Of 2012

50. Elle Fanning in Rochas

Elle's style swishes in 2012 have proved her to be more than just a teen star - she's becoming a bona fide style icon. We most recently saw her on the red carpet for the London Film Festival ‘Ginger and Rosa’ premiere when she chose a Rochas Resort 2013 floral print gown with a sheer yoke and lace neckline. She wrapped up warm with a mint green cardigan thrown over her shoulders. Bravo!

49. Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior Couture

This French fancy knows how to work red carpet glamour without going overboard and this gown is a fine example of exactly that. Marion's strapless gown appears to be understated but the sweetheart neckline, navy tulle skirt and metal belt add interest. The subtle Chopard jewels and voluminous bun polish off the look perfectly. Talk about Parisian chic.

48. Taylor Swift in Elie Saab

The singer attended the 2012 ARIA Awards held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre looking stunning in an ivory sleeveless chiffon gown with a banded bodice by Elie Saa. Her chic up-do and glistening jewels top off the look.

47. Nicole Kidman in Lanvin

When Lady Kidman arrived at the Cannes Film Festival in May to promote her steamy film ‘The Paperboy’, she wisely opted for an elegant Lanvin gown, custom-made by Alber Elbaz no less. The rose tulle silk pleated one-shoulder gown was given an interesting twist thanks to that embroidered crystal detailing.

46. Kate Bosworth in Antonio Berardi

Kate Bosworth is always red hot when it comes to choosing her glad rags and her appearance at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year didn't disappoint. Rather than going for her trademark hipster vibe, the actress turned to Antonio Berardi's Spring 2012 collection for his sexy fitted dress with leather-embroidered details. What more do you need than a perfect red pout, slicked-back ponytail and Casadei heels?

45. Erin Heatherton in Carolina Herrera

The Victoria's Secret model and one of Leonardo DiCaprio's many leggy ex-girlfriends caught our eye when she donned this Spring Summer 2012 canary yellow, greige and taupe dot print silk chiffon gown with silver and black beaded embroidery. Isn't it refreshing to see a top-notch undie model opting for such a unique design? We say yes.

44. Jessica Stam in Valentino

The model gave dark raven locks a go this year and made the most of her vampy look by wearing a striking red Valentino gown. With lace draping and cascading ruffles, this is one look we won't be forgetting in a hurry.

43. Miranda Kerr in Collette Dinnigan

Mrs Bloom went back to her roots to celebrate the AACTA Awards at the Sydney Opera House in Australia and looked suitably sumptuous in a satin gown with a gathered bodice and thigh-high split by Collette Dinnigan. Angelina, who?

42. Diane Kruger in Prada

We literally can't get enough of Diane Kruger and this was the first of many gorgeous gowns that the actress treated us to. She chose this Prada beauty for the [a href="" target="_blank">Critics’ Choice Awards[/a] in L.A. way back in January. Matching her lip shade to that bright pink Prada bag is perfection.

41. Kate Winslet in Jenny Packham

Yep, she still has it. Kate Winslet positively dazzled at the ‘Titanic 3D’ world premiere in London this summer and took a leaf out of K-Middy's royal book by turning to the charms of Jenny Packham. How can you go wrong?

40. Rachel McAdams in Peter Som

Rachel McAdams isn't often on our style radar so we were happy to see her mixing it up style wise for the ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ LA premiere. This ensemble comes from Peter Som's Spring Summer 2012 catwalk and that vibrant blue floral print got us dreaming of summer way back in January.

39. Karolina Kurkova in Elie Saab

KK knows how to keep us on our toes whether she's wearing a mannish suit or a glittering turban. For the Gala Spa Awards in Germany, she went all green goddess on us in a Elie Saab gown worn with a matching belt, green sandals and a gold cuff. Nice left leg work too.

38. Ginnifer Goodwin in Roksanda Ilincic

How could we forget when Little Miss Ginnifer stole the spotlight at the People’s Choice Awards at the beginning of the year? Her hot pink Roksanda Ilincic dress will surely go down in fashwan history.

37. Jessica Chastain in Elie Saab

For the 40th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s honourary Oscar Award, newbie-on-the-block Jessica Chastain got our pulses racing when she got swathed in a green Elie Saab Spring 2012 gown. It was just a taster of the red carpet hits that were to come from the star.

36. Katy Perry in Elie Saab

How better for K-Pez to showcase her new blue 'do than by wearing a dress to match? Yes, Katy swooped through the Grammy Awards wearing an Elie Saab gown from the Spring 2012 Couture collection. This three-quarter-sleeved embellished floral appliqué gown with a scoop back and cinched-in waist is surely one of her greatest style moments EVER. Agreed?

35. Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab Couture

Milla Jovovich knows how to bring the glam factor with aplomb. The model-turned-actress looked fab wearing an Elie Saab Couture dress to the [a href="" target="_blank">2012 Oscar Awards. [/a]The embellishments! The exaggerated shoulder! The retro waves! It's a masterclass in red carpet style, no?

34. Christina Ricci in Jenny Packham

La Ricci made a return to our sartorial hearts when she hit the Berlinale Film Festival to promote ‘Bel Ami’, her film with R-Pattz. She allowed her Jenny Packham column gown to take centre stage by keeping the rest of her look simple. She sweeped her hair back into a low bun and accessorised with little more than a gold clutch and a dazzling grin.

33. Emma Stone in Lanvin

The Golden Globe Awards offered up frocks a-plenty but one of the standout gowns from the night was surely Emma Stone's Lanvin number. The deep plum tulle gown with raspberry paneling side insert and embroidered shoulder was the first hint at her continuing love affair with Alber Elbaz's gorgeously feminine creations. Long may the love-in last!

32. Alexa Chung in Chanel

Our beloved Alexa attended the celebration of Chanel Fine Jewelry’s 80th anniversary of the ‘Bijoux De Diamants’ collection in October and looked as spot-on as ever in a cream dress by Chanel (obvs). We are LOVING that voluminous skirt and top marks to Chungers for sticking to her comfy flats. We wouldn't expect anything less.

31. Allison Williams in Naeem Khan

The star of Girls attended the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City in November swathed in an aqua lace long-sleeve gown with shimmering silver appliqués from Naeem Khan's Spring 2013 collection. She accessorised with a Bulgari silver ring and matching diamond stud earrings, proving that this is one style star to watch in the coming year...

30. Rita Ora in Vivienne Westwood

Our latest fashion crush proved her stylish credentials when she rocked onto the red carpet at the 2012 British Fashion Awards in December wearing a divine Vivienne Westwood gown. No wonder she has the fashion world falling at her feet.

29. Keira Knightley in Elie Saab Couture

When the ‘Anna Karenina’ promo tour arrived at the Toronto Film Festival, Keira was there to showcase another beauty of a gown. This time, she chose a black Elie Saab gown with elegant lace detail clinched by a belt to make the most of her silhouette. Seriously, can she do no wrong?

28. Blake Lively in Gucci

Another month, another hit from Blake. This one arrived during her red carpet rounds for her role in ‘Savages’ and while we were used to seeing Blake in non-stop Chanel numbers, she turned to wearing  Frida Giannini's designs after being named as the face of the Gucci Première women’s fragrance.

27. Jessica Biel in Giambattista Valli Couture

We were mighty impressed to Justin's then-wife-to-be stepping out of her sartorial box to give this Giambattista Valli Couture dress a try - and didn't it pay off! There's a fab mix of masculine and feminine elements thanks to the tuxedo shirt, lace sleeves, feather peplum and floral appliqué pencil skirt. This was the first sign that there were good things to come from her wedding gown. Clearly she's a fan of topping white lace off with a hint of pink...

26. Alexandra Maria Lara in Elie Saab Couture

All eyes may have been on Kristen Stewart at the premiere of ‘On the Road’ during the Cannes Film Festival, but that doesn't mean we missed Alexandra's breath-taking turn. The Romanian-born German actress and wife of Brit actor Sam Riley wore a beautiful piece from Elie Saab Autumn Winter 2011 Couture collection and simply accented it with a velvet floral appliqué at the waist.

25. Rihanna in Adam Selman

Rihanna debuted her new pixie crop on the red carpet at the MTV Music Video Awards this summer and how better to make the most of it than with a slinky white gown? This beauty comes courtesy of Adam Selman, a new favourite for Ri-Ri. Have you ever seen her look so elegant?

24. Amber Heard in Donna Karan

Is that Scarlett Johannson? Nope, it was new girl on the red carpet block - and Johnny Depp's rumoured lady friend - who wowed the crowed at the Art Of Elysium Heaven Gala earlier this year. How? By oozing blonde bombshell sexiness from head to toe. She employed a rose gold sequin Donna Karan gown to make the most of her modern Marilyn credentials, teaming it with sultry waves and a perfect red pout.

23. Anne Hathaway in Valentino

At the New York City Ballet Fall Gala, Anne Hathaway showcased her new crop in a gorgeous Valentino gown from the Autumn Winter 2012 Couture collection. The leaf-y pattern was the perfect signal that summer was over.

22. Julianne Moore in Christian Dior Couture

Wowsers. The A-list actress ensured all eyes were on her at the 2012 Emmy Awards in September thanks to a magnificient Dior number. From the long sleeves to the full silk skirt and knitted cashmere top, it sure is a show-stopper.

21. Coco Rocha in Zac Posen

It came as no surprise to see Zac Posen's BFF Coco Rocha was the first starlet to swath her curves in the designer's tulle edelweiss embroidered gown from the Spring 2012 catwalk. And what better gown to wear to the Spring Dinner Dance New Year’s In April event? She's the most elegant nymph-like creature we've ever seen.

20. Diane Kruger in Giambattista Valli Couture

Diane treated us to another stunner of a gown when she attended the premiere of ‘Les Adieux de la Reine’ during the Berlinale Film Festival. We saw her at the Giambattista Valli Couture show earlier in the year when she no doubt added this sparkler to her wishlist - and got it! Oh, to be La Krugz.

19. Keira Knightley in Erdem

Keira got us gawping when she arrived at the ‘Anna Karenina’ LA premiere in a creation by our very own Erdem Moralioglu. The mint duchess-satin strapless gown features blue lace embroidery and KK teamed it perfectly with a punchy pink lip.

18. Charlize Theron in Christian Dior Couture

Charlize knows what suits her and this makes red carpet dressing a total doddle for the A-lister. Her ensemble at the world premiere of ‘Prometheus’ was perfect proof of this. Admittedly, it's hard to get it wrong when you have Dior dresses at your beck and call.

17. Jessica Alba in Valentino

Onto Jessica Alba who graced the, err, green carpet at the 1st Annual Baby2Baby Gala in a super-girlie creation from Valentino's Resort 2013 collection. You can't go through with a princessy gown.

16. Emma Stone in Gucci

Emma had us enthralled throughout the summer thanks to her stunning ensembles. One of our faves was the outfit she chose for the Paris premiere of ‘The Amazing Spider Man’. Her sensational Gucci gown is perfect for that goth glam vibe we're forever trying to nail.

15. Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace

We crowned La Hudson best-dressed at this year's [a href="" target="_blank">Venice Film Festival[/a] and this dress is why. It comes from Atelier Versace's Autumn Winter 2012 collection and in true Donatella stylee, it's covered in Swarovski crystals and flashes just the right amount of flesh. What a winner.

14. Tilda Swinton in Celine

You can always count on Tilda to bring a unique twist to the red carpet and at the BAFTA Awards, she worked yet another chic minimalist look, this time from Celine’s Pre-Fall 2012. May her unpredictability continue.

13. Maria Sharapova in J. Mendel

It was a good thing Ms Sharapova opted for a winning gown when she attended the 2012 ESPY Awards - you might remeber she ended up taking home the ‘Best Tennis Player’ gong. That heron-blue hue of her J. Mendel dress is so refreshing and she works that left leg with aplomb.

12. Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe

Here's another hit from the adventurous Karolina who arrived at the [a href="" target="_blank">Met Gala[/a] in New York City and got our jaws a-dropping. She was Rachel Zoe's date and was the perfect choice for showcasing the designer's long sleeve rose gold sequinned gown. Look at that open back! The train! The turban! WE DIE.

11. Lea Michele in Atelier Versace

Lea Michele has turned into quite the glamazon this year and at the SAG Awards, she caused gasps of admiration thanks to this Atelier Versace gown. Made of silk-chiffon and in an elegant grey tone, the one-shouldered number screams va-va-voom. Plus, she's a pro at working that thigh high split.

10. Angelababy in Barney Cheng

The Hong Kong model and actress caught our eye when she arrived at the Beijing International Film Festival in China back in April. What more can we say but princess perfection?

9. Jennifer Lawrence in Prabal Gurung

J-Law has emerged as not only a screen siren but a style icon in the past 12 months. Her gorgeous looks and fashion savvy secured her a much-coveted position amongst the Dior family and endless magazine covers. On the promo tour for ‘The Hunger Games’ we saw her working many, many gowns but one of our faves is surely the gold gown she wore to the LA premiere. The Prabal Gurung design was all she needed to secure her golden girl status.

8. Blake Lively in Zuhair Murad Couture

Blake's admitted to channelling Marilyn Monroe on the red carpet and it wasn't hard to see the comparison when she worked this second-skin gown at the ‘Savages’ LA premiere. The nude strapless creation comes courtesy of Zuhair Murad, Kristen Stewart's new favourite designer. With those bouncing waves and bold red lip, she's the very personification of blonde bombshell hotness.

7. Keira Knightley in Valentino

The summer hits kept on coming and Keira was the latest star to make us gasp with admiration when she chose a dash of Valentino to promote ‘Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World’. Her taupe tulle gown was embroidered with colourful floral details which matched her pretty red leaf hair accessory. We swoon.

6. Duchess of Cambridge in Jenny Packham

Is this the best Kate Middleton has EVER looked? She certainly got our hearts racing when she stepped out at ‘Our Greatest Team Rises – BOA Olympic Concert’ held at the Royal Albert Hall. She turned to Jenny Packham for this chiffon pleated gown with lace cap sleeves and a jewelled waistline and who can blame her? That jade green hue made it a real standout moment.

5. Rooney Mara in Givenchy Couture

The year began with a parade of hits from Miss Mara who jetted around the world with co-star Daniel Craig for their flick ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’. For the London premiere in January, she wore the first of many Givenchy gowns - a white embroidered beauty that worked wonderfully with her raven black hair and blunt fringe.

4. Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Undoubtedly our favourite look from this year's Golden Globe Awards was provided by Angelina Jolie. The actress chose Atelier Versace (what else?) for the occasion and mixed up the usual nude glittery fare with a white one shoulder gown with a folded red detail on the neckline. WOW-EE.

3. Kristen Stewart in Zuhair Murad

K-Stew amped up the glam factor for the promo tour of ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′, cracking out sexy sheer numbers a-plenty. It all began at the LA premiere when she got all sultry on us thanks to a Zuhair Murad gown featuing a nude corset and chiffon panelling. Phwoar.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

Surely one of the most memorable red carpet moments of 2012 came courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscar Awards. She dazzled in a white dress under a chic cape as one of the first - and few - A-listers to wear Tom Ford's Autumn Winter 2012 collection. Gwynnie later gave us a look at [a target="_blank" href="/fashion/archive/2012/03/23/gwyneth-paltrow-tom-ford-dress-oscar-awards-2012.htm">each and every step [/a]she took to nail the look and blimey, did the effort pay off.

1. Diane Kruger in Vivienne Westwood

Saving the best till last, we give you Lady Kruger at the [a href="" target="_blank">Cannes Film Festival[/a]. She sparkled and shone in this rose-gold fully-sequined strapless gown by Vivienne Westwood and made all our red carpet dreams come true. Long may she reign!

With 2013 just around the corner, here at Grazia Daily, we thought it the perfect time to look back at the Fashion Year that was 2012. Let's reignite the golden glow of awards season gown-wearing. Let's relive the style perks from many a swanky event. Now is the time to turn an admiring eye to the fashion moments that have lingered. Think Gwyneth Paltrow draped in a white Tom Ford cape at the Oscars or Karolina Kurkova working a sparkling turban at the Met Ball.

Yes, we’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate the under appreciated art of Red Carpet Dressing, to acknowledge those ladies who, in the last year, took sartorialness to new, dazzling heights. Take our poster girl Diane Kruger, for example. You may want to say, 'yeah, yeah, here’s another glitzy gown at Cannes.' Diane, however, practically screams, 'I am the chicest girl in the whole wide world.'

Then there's Kristen Stewart whose surly expression and gawky body language has evolved into a fierce red carpet attitude topped off with a killer pair of legs. We've seen Elle Fanning and Rita Ora emerge into bona fide style icons while our girl crushes on the likes of Blake Lively and Angelina Jolie have gone from strength to strength thanks to their red carpet turns. Because it’s not simply about good dressing - it takes a certain je ne sais quois to pull off ensembles of this caliber.

So without further ado let’s revel in the very best that 2012's swankiest events had to offer. You’ll see some faces both familiar and new. These are truly the iconic, the ridiculously glam, the we’d-eat-our-own-Miu-Mius-to-be. Here's hoping we'll see their like again come 2013...


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