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

23.12.14 Best Of

Designer of the Year & Couturier of the Year 2014 – Elie Saab

Designer of the Year – Elie Saab

It likely comes as no shock that the man responsible for the gown goddesses of the year and who has once again landed your vote for designer and couturier of the year is none other than Elie Saab, with 2014 marking his fourth year to top our Best Of charts.

What is always a delightful surprise, though, is the Lebanese designer’s wonderland of confections that never ceases to sweep us off our feet—this year more than ever with fresh takes on glamour via stunning silhouettes, bold prints, and beautiful colours.

The whimsical fairytale he weaves within his designs made a gown especially magical for the ‘Maleficent’ premiere where Elle Fanning was every bit the princess. The enchantment of his embellishment was also seen with Evan Rachel Wood’s emerald-green number at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party.

But it wasn’t all about the beading this year. Such brilliant numbers as Naomi Watts’ cobalt-blue jumpsuit and the glorious, couture ombre creation, worked to perfection by Lily Collins at the Rome Film Festival, broke the more repetitive rhythm of the glittery gowns.

Indeed King Elie is nothing less than fashion royalty, beloved by red-carpet darlings the world over, and he reigns over the most glamorous of premieres, the glossiest parties and, of course, the unforgettable dazzle of awards season.

Designer of the Year Runner Up: Oscar de la Renta
Couturier of the Year Runner Up: Ralph & Russo

Couturier of the Year 2014

Credit: Getty

23.12.14 Best Of

Street Style Star 2014 – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Street Style Star 2014 – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

She was your Model of the Year in 2013, but this year Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has made the sidewalk her own personal runway as the street style star of 2014.

While she’s often taking to the red carpet (or the catwalk) in top form, what’s really envy-inducing about her off-duty outings is their effortless chicness.

Strutting out look after head-turning look, she stops traffic—seemingly without even trying—in ensembles from some of her favoured labels like Chloé, Isabel Marant, Saint Laurent and, of course, Frame denim skinny jeans.

Just as important to her ensembles are the accessories, with statement bags, oversized sunnies, and shoes for every season making the cut.

She’s the ultimate cool girl, with her style exuding a signature sense of boho charm and natural sexiness, all with an air of polished grace.

Runner Up: Miranda Kerr

Credit: AKI-GSM, INDaily & PacificCoastNews

23.12.14 Best Of

Most Underrated 2014 – Michelle Monaghan

Most Underrated 2014 - Michelle Monaghan

Michelle Monaghan isn’t often on the receiving end of rounds of applause for her fashion, and I still haven’t figured out just why. But, when looking back over her year, it’s indeed hard to fathom why she hasn’t made more of an impact.

Her style is worthy of nothing short of a standing ovation, with the actress constantly keeping us guessing with new silhouettes and dramatic statements that push the boundaries just enough while maintaining the delicate balance between trendy and tasteful.

The one constant among her list of looks is that they are universally impeccable—and always beautifully styled with complementary accessories and hair and makeup.

It seems as if she’s sophisticatedly debuted every designer of the alphabet this year—from Altuzarra to Zac Posen—with extra-memorable moments including her J. Mendel pink and white confection and that Simone Rocha red-hot frock, not to mention her impossibly chic, white Giambattista Valli Couture number from the 2014 Emmys.

She may be underrated, but her looks deserve a perfect 10.

Runner Up: Emmy Rossum

Credit: Getty

23.12.14 Best Of

Shoe of the Year 2014 – Stuart Weitzman ‘Nudist’ Sandals

Shoe Of The Year 2014 – Stuart Weitzman 'Nudist' Sandals

Nearly everyone had a ‘Nudist’ moment this year, putting their soles on full display in the Stuart Weitzman sandal that stomped red carpets across the globe.

An early frontrunner, it wasn’t long before we realized the power of the minimalist shoe and the love affair between starlets and their Stuarts, which played out over the entire year.

The sandal itself is so basic, but therein lies its magic.

Its versatility and its rainbow of colourways are all part of its charm. A stylist’s dream, it can be paired with everything from boyfriend jeans to ball gowns, although it was perhaps employed most liberally this year with daytime dresses and short cocktail frocks.

Yet, despite its popularity, the ‘Nudist’ sandal is rather modest indeed, letting the clothing take the lead while being the quietly perfect plus-one.

The heels had an embarrassment of outings, with Taylor Schilling, Sophia Bush, Elizabeth Banks and Judy Greer only a few of its fashionable fans.

The one requirement of this barely-there shoe? A good pedicure.

Stuart Weitzman ‘Nudist’ sandals

Credit: Getty & INFDaily

23.12.14 Best Of

Best Dressed International Star 2014 – Nieves Alvarez

Best Dressed International Star 2014 – Nieves Alvarez

Nieves Alvarez once again made the cut as the best-dressed international star, continuing her glamorous streak from her best-dressed nod for 2013.

While we’ve been accustomed to seeing the Spanish beauty parade out a collection of impressive looks on her ‘Solo Moda’ show over the past few years, 2014 has kept her busy navigating the red carpets of awards galas, film premieres and fashion presentations from Paris to Milan to Madrid in equally fine form.

The great thing about Nieves is that she embraces the art of fashion and its many forms. While the full-on sparkle of a sultry, beaded gown may be her go-to, she isn’t just a one-trick pony.

She just as seamlessly maneuvers the spicy edge of a slinky mini and the mannish angles of a double-breasted tuxedo as she does the flirty femininity of a playful frock and the bold proportions of a ball gown.

Always in supermodel form, she can pull off just about anything—and she takes full advantage of that status. One thing’s certain: The fashion is always fierce when it comes to Nieves.

Runner Up: Léa Seydoux

Credit: Gtres & Getty