As 2012 comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on which stars have made the best and worst style impressions at concerts, on the red carpet, and out party rocking over the last 12 months. From Justin Bieber to Rihanna, Lana Del Rey to Lady Gaga, see whose style fell short and who got our vote for best dressed of the year.
Style icon and fashion chameleon Madonna has reinvented herself yet again this year for her “MDNA” world tour. The iconic singer resurrected her 1980s style and blended it with a modern charm that resulted in a look so chic it has landed her on our best dressed of 2012 list. Her Cleopatra-inspired look at the NFL Super Bowl XLVI game halftime show was especially stellar — designed by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, the glittering gold and regal couture costume confirmed her Madgesty as the reigning Queen of Pop and a timeless fashion icon.
WORST: Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj’s cotton candy hairstyles and rainbow-drenched ensembles landed the hip-hop star on our worst dressed list of 2012. Minaj’s wild style is always interesting, sometimes even defying the laws of gravity. Lately she’s looked as if a bakery exploded on Alice In Wonderland, wearing a mis-matched layered dress to the launch of her new perfume in Sydney Australia.
BEST: Taylor Swift
Swift took her polished, feminine style to a new level this year. Taking a step beyond playing dress-up on the red carpet, Swift blossomed in front of our eyes into a glamazon who never disappoints in flowing, show-stopping gowns. Swift rocked our favorite look at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, where she wore a red lace Elie Saab gown and sexy smokey eye makeup.
WORST: Lady Gaga
Although Lady Gaga refined her style a bit this year, she still managed to sneak in some disheveled looks that landed her on our worst dressed list. The worst of all her 2012 outfits was the pale pink, fur-lined burka that she wore at London Fashion Week. The singer polished off her eccentric costume with raccoon tails and a yellow and pink clutch with “C-NT” bedazzled across the front.
BEST: Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber has come a long way from sporting baseball caps and baggy jeans, becoming a red carpet king in leather pants and old Hollywood James Dean style. Our favorite of his looks was a black-and-gold pentagram embroidered Black Scale varsity jacket, wax-coated Marc by Marc Jacobs denim and his signature gold Supra Muska Skytop kicks — worn to perform at NYC’s Madison Square Garden on Nov. 28.
WORST: Rita Ora
Rita Ora was a budding star in 2012, but her style sometimes fell flat. At the Summertime Ball in London, Ora looked quirky in all the wrong ways. This ice-cream drenched look had too much going on, between the sneakers, bling, and childish pattern. The unfussy retro silhouette and sunglasses, however, looked spectacular.
BEST: Florence Welch
The Florence + the Machine singer has a seemingly endless suitcase of eccentric but classy fashions. Welch perfectly blends an understated elegance with an oddball charm, rocking gorgeous and whimsical Gucci creations onstage and frolicking around town in colorful trouser suits. Whatever she wears, this redhead knows how to have fun with fashion and still look great.
WORST: Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen created one of the best pop songs of the year, but her style doesn’t do much to impress. Her fashion sense is youthful and girly, in a way that isn’t always age appropriate for the 27-year-old singer. The “Call Me Maybe” songstress opened for Justin Bieber’s “Believe” tour, sporting an oversized tutu that had too many frills and not enough thrills.
BEST: Lana Del Rey
The latest celebrity face of H&M, Lana Del Rey effortlessly infuses a glamour and retro charm into her wardrobe, matching her hauntingly composed attitude. At the 2012 Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in May, friend and fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra helped Del Rey stand out as a style superstar in a custom caped, vampire-esque gown.
WORST: Kelly Osbourne
Kelly Osbourne usually has just the right dose of quirk in her ensembles, but this year she seemed to lose her way. At the 2012 Do Something Awards in Santa Monica, she paired her lavender up-do with an ill-fitted gown with an unflattering color and unattractive silhouette.
Rihanna wins our award for the best dressed of the year! Her irreverent but decidedly sexy style dominates red carpets all over the world. A lover of bold silhouettes and dramatic gowns, Rih Rih creates a sartorial treat every time she steps foot in front of a camera. Rihanna sealed her title of best dressed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in May, where her floor-length black leather crocodile gown by Tom Ford stole the show.
LMFAO showed us all how to party rock, an attitude that apparently needs to be paired with animal prints, neon colors, messy hair and pants that rip off on command. Somehow the wild looks work for RedFoo and SkyBlu, but from a fashion standpoint, they’re the worst dressed pair of the year.