23.12.14 Best Of

Personal Best 2014 – Reese Witherspoon

Personal Best 2014 - Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon sailed through 2014 on a style high, winning her the Personal Best title of the year. She’s really never looked better, as she made her red-carpet rounds.

Hitting her style groove, the bubbly blonde made us all stand up and take notice as she showed off some serious fashion prowess with simply styled, elegantly modern outings—all balanced with a feminine edge.

That’s really the magic of her looks—she lets the fashion speak for itself, content to not clutter it with too many jewels or overpowering accessories. Likewise, her hair and makeup complements rather than competes with the ensemble.

Her embrace of bold colour and drama should also not go unnoticed, with her hot-pink Stella McCartney dress at the Met Gala and the graphic, rose print of her Prabal Gurung mermaid gown at the 28th American Cinematheque Award presentation ranking high on the list of her fashion victories.

Whatever the occasion, she works classic charm like no other.

Credit: Getty

23.12.14 Best Of

Clutch of the Year 2014 – Rauwolf

Clutch of the Year 2014 - Rauwolf
This year, Rauwolf put the ‘r’ in red carpet, with the bold little handbags showing up in the manicured hands of the celebrity set and firmly securing plenty enough cred to be the clutch of the year.

The architectural Plexiglas clutches may serve an integral role of holding lip gloss and smartphones. But when styled correctly, the jewel box-like designs elevate an ensemble to new proportions, in essence becoming a part of the outfit rather than just an accessory to it.

Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne, and Elizabeth Banks are just a trio of trendsetting stars who know the power of this petite purse, complementing their looks with the glossy punctuation mark of the clutch.

In fact, the bags nearly always add an unexpected punch to a look, especially when they’re amped up with the brand’s signature details such as razor-cut wood, mirror inlays, colourful resin, and intricate engravings.

In the case of Rauwolf, the best things really do come in small packages.

Credit: Getty

23.12.14 Best Of

Outstanding Service To The Colour Black – Angelina Jolie

Outstanding Service To The Colour Black
Angelina Jolie put the bold in the colour black this year, giving the hue the VIP treatment on nearly every single red carpet she frequented.

The actress, who has somewhat stayed away from the spotlight, was back in action thanks in large part to her international promo tour for ‘Maleficent,’ which was where we really starting seeing her full embrace of the colour.

Relying heavily on the Atelier Versace design house for her black dresses, she debuted the dark shade in many renditions that not only suited her modest and slightly mysterious, red-carpet style, but also perfectly fit her sinister, fairytale character in the film—especially when paired with custom Christian Louboutin, ‘Maleficent’-inspired heels.

From a rubberized silk gown at the world premiere in Hollywood to a glittery Swarovski crystal-embroidered chiffon confection at a private reception for the movie, she worked every angle of the colour to dramatic and dimensional effect. And she gave me a whole new appreciation for the LBD with her structured Atelier Versace hourglass dress at the Japan premiere.

Perhaps one of the few times she wasn’t dressed in the colour was when she married Brad Pitt in an Atelier Versace white satin gown.

Repetitive it might have been, but her unapologetic adoption of the shade was intriguing and she worked it to captivating effect. Will 2015 be the year of another statement colour for Angelina?

Somehow I think she’ll stick to black.

Runner Up: Rooney Mara

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23.12.14 Best Of

Most Improved & Entertainer of the Year 2014 – Taylor Swift

Most Improved & Entertainer of the Year 2014 – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has come along way in the past 365 days or so—most especially when it comes to her style.

The singer-songwriter has seemingly won every music award possible, but now she’s also raised her fashion game, earning her the Most Improved and the Entertainer of the Year nods.

Whereas she once defaulted to a yawn-inducing rotation of sparkly, one-note gowns, she has quite brilliantly marched straight out of that syrupy-sweet shadow to flex her sartorial cred.

Even her performance looks have received an upgrade, now oozing plenty of sizzling flash and sultry appeal that matches the bold, tell-it-all spirit of her music.

We may have once ruled her (and her signature red pout) out as a fashion contender, but she’s proven us wrong with every sleek, new step on the red carpet. She’s gone from girly to glamorously grown-up in the blink of an eye.

Case in point? Her recent, dangerously gorgeous Zuhair Murad Couture white gown with crystal embellishment and a thigh-high slit, showcased at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, still has my jaw on the floor.

Most Improved Runner Up: Reese Witherspoon
Entertainer of the Year Runner Up: Rihanna

Credit: Getty

23.12.14 Best Of

Model of the Year 2014 – Karolina Kurkova

Model of the Year 2014 – Karolina Kurkova

Karolina Kurkova has strutted her way to the top, clenching the Model of the Year 2014. The Czech model and former Victoria’s Secret Angel commands attention at every turn, hardly ever disappointing on the red carpet.

The compelling thing about Karolina is that she dresses to a uniquely powerful and sultry beat, flaunting her statuesque supermodel proportions in designer exits that most could never dream of pulling off.

Yet she also dresses with modest sophistication, not falling into the model trap of ubiquitous, skin-is-in, overtly sexy looks. She evidently agrees that just because you can wear it, doesn’t mean you should.

While the supermodel often goes for highly structured, architectural pieces, and her fair share of more mannish moments, she just as easily can work more delicate, feminine dresses like her recent Valentino outing in a floral-and-lace frock punctuated by shades of pink.

My favourite look from her had to be the impossibly amazing drama of her sculpted Marchesa teal-blue, floral-print gown at the Met Gala. It was a work of art.

Runner Up: Cara Delevingne

Credit: Getty

23.12.14 Best Of

Fashionista of 2014 – Olivia Palermo

Fashionista of 2014 – Olivia Palermo

If there’s anyone who personifies the word ‘fashionista,’ it has to be Olivia Palermo. So it’s only natural that the socialite has clenched the title yet again for 2014 after her win as Fashionista of 2013.

Jetsetting to all the major style capitals on the regular, she’s never far from a fashion gala or a front-row seat at Valentino, Christian Dior, Burberry Prorsum, and Marchesa shows, to name but a few.

Of course, her street style is on point too, as is a prerequisite for any fashionistas worth their salt, making Olivia’s closet the ultimate wish-list destination.

Her calling card may be boho-chic style, but she’s become a veritable chameleon, changing her fashion stripes on every occasion. She can just as easily wear an elegant gown as she can a grass-green, retro-inspired Valentino coat and shorts combo. She has even offered her own spin on prairie-girl-chic, artfully pairing a vintage brown leather skirt and crisp Ann Taylor white button-down shirt.

Yet what really makes Olivia’s style significant is her ability to impart her own interesting twist on every single one of her looks, often embellished with punchy accessories.

She really is a sort of master mixologist, creatively combining pieces and garnishing them with a bold clutch here, a snazzy shoe there, and always a dash of statement jewelry for good measure.

Runner Up: Solange Knowles

Credit: Getty