21 Of 2021’s Most Memorable Fashion Moments

The outfits that got everyone talking this year.

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by Laura Antonia Jordan |

If 2021 wasn't quite the time to entirely banish sweatpants, it was the year that the A-list reminded us there were other options. A great year for new style stars, it also saw red carpet fixtures pushing the boundaries and some unexpected names find fashion fame. These are the looks that got everyone talking this year.

Zendaya: We Are Not Worthy

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Zendaya in Valentino ©getty

Rightfully topping every ‘best dressed’ list right now, Zendaya has had a knockout style year. The high-vis yellow Valentino gown she wore to this year’s Oscars was a reminder why. Playfully glamorous, it came with some mega-watt Bulgari diamonds, her own personal wind machine and, for the keen-eyed fashion fans, an homage to Cher. We are not worthy.

Emma Corrin's Daring Dental Gown

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Emma Corrin in Schiaparelli ©William Waterworth/Schiaparelli

Festooned with gigantic glinting teeth, the Schiaparelli LBD Emma Corrin wore to March’s Critics Choice Awards redefined the meaning of ‘fierce’. Thank you, Emma, for your continued commitment to making the red-carpet way more interesting in 2021 and reminding us to book a appointment to see the dentist.

Rihanna Reps Vintage

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Rihanna ©Getty

Rihanna has been on a vintage trip in 2021. Her checked Chanel coat and Galliano-era Dior choker (both circa the ‘90s) proved that old is the new new and – done right – pastels can have major pow.

Hailey and Justin's Paris Gloss Up

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Hailey and Justin Bieber ©Getty

For a trip to France, the Biebers gave their laidback LA looks a sleek and sophisticated Paris makeover. Emily Cooper, take notes!

Zoë Kravitz's (Nearly) Naked Dress

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Zoë Kravitz in Saint Laurent ©Getty

Now this is how you do the naked dress. In a year where ditching underwear became a deliberate style choice (and not a punchline in a party season story), the jewelled mesh Saint Laurent number Zoë Kravitz wore to the Met Gala was the best take of the lot. If you have to ask questions such as 'wasn't she cold?', 'does this have pockets?' and 'would a nude bra work?' then this is best filed under: look, don't try.

Kim Kardashian, Is That You?

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Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga ©Getty

If Zoë went (almost) naked, then Kim K took a totally different tack for the Met: in a head-to-toe (literally) Balenciaga look. The ultimate A-list flex, being so ridiculously famous you don’t even need to show your face to generate column inches. Flammable, definitely not Balenciaga copies of the look quickly became a Halloween 2021 favourite.

Isabelle Huppert Is The Queen of Cannes (And Everything, Really)

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Isabelle Huppert in Balenciaga ©Getty

And Kim’s not the only one with a thing for Balenciaga right now. Legend has it that if you are really, really good in this lifetime, you might stand a chance of being reincarnated as someone as cool as Isabelle Huppert on the Cannes red carpet. Start performing a few mitzvahs now.

Bernie Sanders' Mittens

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Bernie Sanders ©Getty

The look that launched a million memes. Senator Sanders’ mittens were knitted from recycled plastic and repurposed sweaters by elementary school teacher Jen Ellis. ‘You just can’t get everything you want,’ said Ellis in response to the demand at the time. Good advice, although you can now get these. She since teamed up with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company to produce them, with a portion of proceeds from sales being donated to the Make-A-Wish Vermont charity. Awww.

Lady Gaga's Dove of Peace

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Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli ©Getty

The sweeping Schiaparelli gown Gaga wore to the inauguration was finished with a dove of peace brooch. Versions of this too eventually went on sale, with funds raised going towards the performer’s Born This Way Foundation which works to support the mental health of young people.

Oscar Isaac's Divorced Dad Normcore

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Oscar Isaac ©Instagram, Miyako Bellizzi

When Scenes From a Marriage costume designer Miyako Bellizzi (get this woman a damehood immediately) posted backstage shots of leading man Oscar Isaac to her Instagram, the internet got the collective horn. Who knew the luxey normcore, troubled divorced dad look could get us so worked up? We knew! And here are 1000 words on the subject (plus more pictures) should you need a little pick-me-up.

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly Make Sure Nobody Has Missed the Memo

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Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly ©Getty

Going head-to-head with Kourtney and Travis in this year’s unapologetically horny PDA contest, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly showed that when not locked at the lips they could at least be chained at the nails. The accessory nobody asked for, but we got anyway.

Jonah Hill and Sarah Brady are #CoupleGoals

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Jonah Hill and Sarah Brady in Gucci ©Getty

First, let's all take a moment to apologise to Britney and Justin. Much mocked for their 2001 coordinating denim looks, 20 years later it seems they are onto something. The 2021 upgrade came courtesy of Jonah Hill (undoubtedly one of this year's best dressed men) and his GF Sarah Brady. Matching powder blue Gucci suits. Matching Manolo Blahnik mules. Matching surfer hair. We only have one question: where do we find our own Jonahs?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Go For 007 Glamour

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ©Getty

At the No Time to Die premiere, Kate and Wills understood the assignment.

Meghan Markle Goes Full Fall

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Meghan Markle in Loro Piana ©Getty

Meanwhile, stateside Meghan Markle took New York in a succession of elevated, executive ensembles. But how about this ultra-luxe burgundy Loro Piana cashmere suit? Even more ‘autumn’ than a pumpkin spice latte - and infinitely chicer.

And Just Like That... Sarah Jessica Parker Brings Carrie Back

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Sarah Jessica Parker ©Getty

The first real sign that, despite there being no Samantha, some Sex and the City spirit would return to And Just Like That: SJP as Carrie Bradshaw in a tutu and spangly Fendi baguette. The fact that we now know she wore this for a bodega coffee run just makes it even better.

Michaela Coel's Major Maximilian Moment

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Michaela Coel in Maximilian ©Getty

Matching her well-deserved wins at this year’s BAFTA TV awards, Michaela Coel also triumphed on the red carpet in her cut out dress by rising star Maximilian Davis, the young designer celebrating Black elegance. Impeccable.

Harry Styles Redeems a Hen Do Staple (No, Not Willy Straws or L-Plates)

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Harry Styles in Gucci ©Getty

This truly was the year that anything could happen. Exhibit A: Harry Styles redeeming the fluffy boa from regional hen do accessory to integral part of the modern heartthrob arsenal at the Grammy Awards. He loved these Gucci ones so much, he wore three. We wished there were more, actually.

Lil Nas X's Gown

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Lil Nas X in Andrea Grossi ©Getty

Glamorous, fearless, one of a kind. Lil Nas X ruled on the BET Awards red carpet in a toile print, panniered gown by Andrea Grossi. Think Bridgerton meets Las Vegas and you’re still nowhere near how good this look was.

Dua Lipa Wows in Westwood

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Dua Lipa in Vivienne Westwood ©Getty

Star status, confirmed. At the Brit Awards, Dua Lipa’s Vivienne Westwood corset dress and suspenders had everyone talking for all the right reasons. And was that beehive a nod to Amy Winehouse? We’d like to think so.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's (Literal) Statement Dressing

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Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in Brother Vellies ©Getty

Loved it or hated it, there was no denying that AOC’s ‘Tax the Rich’ Brother Vellies dress at the Met Gala made a statement. Literally.

Angela Rayner's 'Inappropriate' Trousers

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Angela Rayner ©Getty

Who knew that a pair of biker boots and a little bit of leopard print could cause such outrage? Alas, senior Labour party suits apparently took umbrage at their Deputy Leader’s ‘inappropriate’ sartorial choices during the Hartlepool byelection campaign (insert, groan!). A suggestion for 2022: just let women in politics get on with it.

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