1. Michelle Obama, in Alexander McQueen at a state dinner for China in Washington
This red silk organza dress was scandalous when Michelle Obama wore it in January because her choice of a British designer was deemed unpatriotic: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The First Lady defended her choice thus: ‘Look, women, wear what you love. That’s all I can say. That’s my motto. I wear what I like.’
2. Kate Winslet, in Stella McCartney at the Venice Film Festival
Kate wore this optical illusion Octavia dress at the Venice Film Festival in September. Designer Stella McCartney bagged a well-deserved Red Carpet Designer of the Year gong at this year’s British Fashion Awards.
3. Natalie Portman, in Rodarte at the OscarsA simple purple dress that spoke volumes. Portman had been planning to wear Dior, having been hired as the brand’s face, but changed her mind after designer John Galliano was filmed making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris bar. Instead, she hastily chose a gown by Rodarte, the label which made the costumes for her film, Black Swan.
FROM LEFT: Michelle Obama, in Alexander McQueen at a state dinner for China in Washington, Kate Winslet, in Stella McCartney at the Venice Film Festival, Natalie Portman, in Rodarte at the Oscars
4. Pippa Middleton, in Alexander McQueen at the Royal WeddingPippa’s derriere, also clad in ivory McQueen, caused an online furore, and to my mind, slightly overshadowed the less violently tanned Kate. Which is why bridesmaids mostly wear lime nylon puffballs.
5. Lady Gaga, in Hussein Chalayan at the Grammys
Lady Gaga bagged the most magazine covers this year: 36. Her best dress? Well, not a dress exactly but the Hussein Chalayan egg she wore to the Grammys in February, from which she emerged clad in lemon-coloured latex, complete with pleather brassiere.
6. Kate Middleton, in Alexander McQueen at her wedding
What more can I say about this dress? Millions of us have seen it on display at Buckingham Palace since the wedding. It was pretty much perfect . . . and you know I never say that.
7. Kate again, in Jenny Packham at a charity event in KensingtonI love the colour, which matches the blush on her cheeks. I love her sexy, tumbling hair, and my, what a tiny waist. I have a feeling Kate’s really going to find her fashion feet in 2012.
FROM LEFT: Pippa Middleton, in Alexander McQueen at the Royal Wedding, Lady Gaga, in Hussein Chalayan at the Grammys, Kate Middleton, in Alexander McQueen at her wedding, Kate again, in Jenny Packham at a charity event in Kensington8. Gisele, in vintage Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball, New York
This is the world’s highest-paid supermodel doing what she does best — filling out a dress. And what a gown — a 2005 McQueen fire engine red number.
9. Jennifer Lopez, on stage at the American Music Awards
This is not so much a dress, more a body stocking, with spangles covering Jennifer Lopez’s bits and bobs. I imagine she was trying to let ex-husband Marc Anthony know just what he was missing. It’s the ultimate revenge outfit, yet some magazines still asked if it was ‘age appropriate’. She is JENNIFER LOPEZ. Who cares how old she is?
10. Emma Watson, in Valentino at the Baftas
This was the year Emma Watson came of age. This nude Valentino gown was ethereal, not too lamb dressed as mutton, and not a vertiginous platform in sight.
11. Daphne Guinness, in Alexander McQueen at an exhibition in New York
It was a bit of a McQueen year all round. Daphne Guinness wore this exquisite dress from Sarah Burton’s first solo collection for the label, made entirely of lilac feathers.
FROM LEFT: Gisele, in vintage Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball, New York, Jennifer Lopez, on stage at the American Music Awards, Emma Watson , in Valentino at the Baftas, Daphne Guinness, in Alexander McQueen at an exhibition in New York