It’s time again for The Hip Report’s ten best dressed women of 2013.
This was a particularly difficult year to select the even ten. It really was. It was excruciating actually. Why? Because it just feels like the world’s gotten darker this year, that the famous and the entertainers continue to hit unimaginable new lows.
There’s been Miley’s twerking, Kim Kardashian demoing how she can straddle a motorcycle and Kanye’s manhood. We’ve had our corneas burned to a crisp by celebrities who forgot their ‘filter’ as they Instagram (Nikki Minage’s Halloween electrical tape costume was probably the stupidest). And how many photos do we need to see of Rhianna’s crotch or her latest visit to a seedy tattoo parlor?
To add to this, red carpet looks are getting more and more like wardrobe from a cheap strip club revue in Hoboken. It used to be that boobs were scandal central. Not now. We’re moving farther south now folks; it’s the lady bits celebrities thinly veil with illusion lace, a slit up to their ribcage or a barely there strip of fabric that leaves you absolutely positive you saw something you know you shouldn’t have ‘snatched’ a glimpse of. And is anyone else other than me completely bored of Gaga’s getups?
Still, there are glimmers of hope out there. There are women who want to be ladies, who understand that style and slutty are mutually exclusive. They actually get the oft lost concept that being less a lady by showing more skin is not what it’s cracked up to be: that it’s desperate as hell.
Here are my top ten Best Dressed of 2013. And the tenth selection might surprise you. I’ll explain when you get there…
1. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton
Best Moment of 2013: A Jenny Packham silver sequins gown and Jimmy Choo Cosmic platforms at the Tusk Foundation Gala dinner in January 2013 (above)
Favorite Designers: Alexander Mc Queen, Temperly London, Jenny Packham, Ralph Lauren, Topshop, Reiss, Orla Keily
Most Notable Moment of 2013: Presenting to the English Monarchy and the world, England’s future heir, son George, all the while looking fresh, lovely and generally unbelievable
Personal Style: Demure, composed, conservative with a slightly, ever so slightly modern edge, all in deference to her prim, royal mother in law.
Best Part About Her Style: She isn’t afraid to wear high and low, unlike most royalty. And she always wears high end boots and shoes, an important and integral part when wearing a ‘low’ look. This girl knows how to mix.
Latest Kate Gossip: After seeing herself in unflattering photos recently (showing some gray hair and a very tired countenance) she promptly checked herself in to the tony Rossano Feretti Salon in London, her sister Pippa’s favorite and spent $984 dollars and six hours getting her locks colored, cut and glossed to beautiful effect. Kate arrived a sparrow and left a swan.
What your Hip Reporter Wishes She’d Wear: Sexier shoes, Burberry Prorsum (after all, Burberry is England’s brand), black nail polish (any color nail polish–over the natural nails–yawn). More artistic, modern, even edgy jewelry (gemstones on a young woman all the time can be stuffy and aging). Some American labels on this girl: more Ralph Lauren, some Tory Burch, J Crew (J Crew just arrived in London so time for the Duchess to get her Schoolboy Jacket and button down)
Why She Was Chosen Number One: Kate arrived at the palace as an upper middle class college coed. In the years since her debut as William’s girlfriend, she continues to show the world what a well-bred young lady looks like. She’s appropriate, knows that a smile is always her best accessory, understands not unbuttoning that next button makes all the difference in the world and that being consistently conservative and appropriate is not boring, it’s powerful and liberating.
2. Jennifer Lawrence
Moment(s) that Changed Her Life in 2013:
1. Oscar nomination for ‘Silver Linings Playbook’
2. Falling up the stairs to receive the Oscar in a blush pink Christian Dior gown
3. Flipping off the press backstage as she held her gold statue
4. Jack Nicholson attempting to pick her up backstage at the Oscars as she falls apart giggling
Yes, it was a big night for the impish actress. She seemed in shock at every new moment that night and we were all along with her for the ride. Jennifer was just about the most real thing that night in a sea of self important, overblown egos jaded by their own money and fame.
Favorite Designer on the Red Carpet: It better be Christian Dior because that’s who’s paying her money right now. Currently she is the face of Miss Dior.
Latest Surprising Move: In an effort to rid herself of over-processed hair from the filming of the second installment of ‘Hunger Games,’ she cut off her long hair in to a pixie. Not every one can wear a pixie but Jennifer gives it a noble attempt indeed. Still, your Hip Reporter can’t wait until it starts growing out.
What Your Hip Reporter Likes Best About Jennifer’s Style: At only 24 years old, she is making brilliant choices not just in film but in her wardrobe choices. Allowing Christian Dior to dress her almost exclusively for the red carpet means that she’s had nary a fashion misstep, even when she recently wore a gray Dior gown that was sheer from the waist to the floor, saying of it, “I think any time a girl has to show her thighs it’s never going to be her favorite look.”
What to Expect From Her in 2014: A reticent fashion icon, expect Jennifer to be dressed by only the best on the red carpet and in her private life, expect to see her wearing a worn in pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She’s not looking to make big statements and be the next big thing in fashion even on her own time. For that, we adore her.
What Your Hip Reporter Wishes She’d Slowly Morph Into: A modern day version of the Lauren Hutton we see today. You know, the casual beaten up jeans, white shirt, kick ass black boots and a black moto jacket and messy hair.
3. Victoria Beckham
Best Moment of 2013: Arriving at JKF in May in a pair of bright melon trousers, white blouse and striking black trench. (No known designer but the pants could possibly be Stella Mc Cartney)
Trademark Look: Never smiling for the camera, wearing implausibly high 5 inch heels (often while carrying daughter Harper) all the while, walking through the labyrinths of international airports.
Style Sense: Victoria started out as a tacky, mediocre singer and has (unbelievably) morphed herself in to an impossibly chic women’s designer. Her wool sheath dresses, cut lean and long and monochromatic in color, have a following that is a Who’s Who among the rich and famous. Women love her clothing and it’s easy to see why. Designed under her own name, they have become simply stunning red carpet staples at Hollywood cocktail events. Her own style is similar. Rarely wearing pattern and color, Victoria favors black in anything and clean, modern, minimalist lines. Her look is enduring, classic and elegant– with a definite edge.
Wishing She Would: Smile.
Why You Should Let Her Dress You: You’ll never ever, ever see a photo of yourself in her designs you’ll cringe at. That’s worth every dime of her often $2000-dollar plus price tags.
Best Accessory: Her daughter Harper, her ever present sunglasses and her enviable, casually coiffed hair. She gets that if you dress more formal in your day to day life, your hair absolutely should not be over styled and over done. Messy is good when everything else is perfect.
What to Expect from Victoria in 2014: Continued airport runway shows. No one flies dressed as cool as her. No. One. A continued poker face for the public.
4. Leelee Sobieski
Who is she?: Not really a household name, Leelee has been a Hollywood actress (Eyes Wide Shut, most notably) but lately has been wife (to husband designer Adam Kimmel), mother and now a most impressive and surprising style arbiter.
Where can we see Leelee? Outside in the often nippy Paris winter air, in utterly gorgeous looks waiting to queue inside high-end style shows like Christian Dior to take her front row seat. Also at very selective red carpet movie premiers– and can be found painting large canvases for her son’s toy room (Leelee is actually a most talented painter, your Hip Reporter thinks.)
Signature Look: Often spotted in looks utterly reminiscent of 1950′s Hollywood glam, high heeled prim pumps and fuller silhouettes on the bottom, she’s about as far from va va voom as a girl can get. Final word: aristocratic, cool, cool chic.
Frustrating thing about her: We don’t see enough of her– and in these incredible looks. Someone out there needs to be photographing Leelee more, she’s that compelling.
Favored Designers: Christian Dior, Jil Sander, Boy. By Band of Outsiders, Vionnet, American Apparel
Stylist: Her husband, former menswear designer and creative guru, Adam Kimmel seems to have had over the years, a potent effect on her good taste. She just keeps getting more and more compelling and has given him credit for her transformation.
Your Hip Reporter’s Leelee Wish: Please, please, let us all see more of her in 2014. She’s what old fashioned glamour is all about and I just cannot stop looking at her modern interpretation of it.
5. Alexa Chung
Who She Is: Former MTV personality, designed a capsule collection for Madewell– and London ‘It’ Girl About Town
Best Moment of 2013: In an Erdem lace dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institue Gala in May (above). It was ravishing, elegant and just a little sexy–a perfect confection on a girl who usually is one part hipster, one part Little Miss Prep.
Signature Accessory: An endless closet full of the most unusual, astounding shoes. Alexa isn’t afraid of wearing kitten heels one day and 1970′s looking platforms the next. She’s the one red carpet girl who still loves pulling out some Mary Janes for a showing. (Love that about her. And love Mary Janes. She and I might be the only girls out there who will never think they go out of style.)
Personal Style: Quirky, vintage mixmaster with a funky, hipster edge. She’s is the poster girl for style. It begins and ends with her. Alexa’s exactly what you think of when you think of someone who can take this and that, put it together and somehow, someway, it doesn’t just work, it’s fashion gold. One day it’s a fisherman’s sweater with a leather pleated skirt of all things, the next it’s a baby doll dress with Peter Pan collar and Valentino Rockstud flats.– Come one. How great is that?
One Thing You’ll Never See on Alexa: An Herve Leger Bandage Dress
6. Isabel Marant
Isabel Who?: If you haven’t heard of her, well, I send my sympathy. You clearly missed her debut guest collection at H&M in November that sold out pretty much the moment the doors opened. Designer of her eponymous French line, ‘Isabel Marant.’
Best Moment of 2013: H&M Blowout. Everyone wanted one of everything.
Everybody Wants a Pair…. : Of Isabel’s ‘Dicker’ ankle boots. ($650) You’ll see them on the feet of Miranda Kerr, Kate Bosworth, Katie Holmes, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, etc. etc. This woman can design a kick ass pair of booties.
Famous For: Dressing women in a cocktail mix of hippie and urban. You know an Isabel Marant boot when you see it–look for the fringe. All about the skinny jeans and the big sweater.
Waaaay Below Flyover Country’s Radar: Generally, Marant’s clothing can be difficult to come by in anywhere but larger metropolitan areas. But I promise you this–if you ever come across it, you’ll stop dead in your tracks and wonder where she’s been all your life.
Isabel’s Personal Style: Modern Paris Hipster with a little bit of Jackson Hole, Wyoming thrown in.
Why You Haven’t Heard of Her: Ummm. You’re not that cool. Now you are.
7. Kerry Washington
Best Moment of 2013: A Christian Dior lace gown in baby pink and turquoise.
Favorite Designers: Jason Wu, Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, Stella Mc Cartney, Tory Burch, Michael Kors and her favorite thing she’s ever worn–a Thakoon for Gap gown she helped design for a Met Costume Institute Ball.
Colorful Kerry: Known for eye-popping shades of orange and canary yellow on the red carpet.
Kerry’s Strength: Her ability to give women of color, inspiration. Yes, you can be a black woman and dress impeccably chic and gorgeous and no, you don’t have to parade the girls all around the place.
Best of Show: Her portrayal of black slave, Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained and most currently, as Olivia Pope on Scandal. This girl has screen presence. Is it her incredible lips or her stunning complexion that’s so compelling?
If Your Hip Reporter Was Her Stylist: For every day–Isabel Marant definitely–I’d funk and ‘hippie’ her up a bit from her typically very demur, primary-colored ladylike looks. For evening, Mc Queen just once. Just one wild McQueen…
You’ll Probably Never See Her In: Rocawear
8. Olivia Palermo
Who She Is: Former star of MTV reality series, The City (with Whitney Port), formerly employed by Diane von Furstenberg and also worked at Elle. Blogger (check out her personal blog of same name), guest judge on Project Runway. Occasional model.
Best Camera-Ready Moment of 2013: Any time she’s was spotted with her boyfriend Johannes Huebi. They truly give credibility to the saying: ‘The Beautiful People.”
Favorite Shoes: Charlotte Olympia
Favorite Designers: Where does one even start? Olivia is the real life Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City. You name it, it’s probably hanging in her closet.
Personal Style: New York City Gallery Girl
Olivia Gossip: Well, it’s not always so flattering: I hear she wasn’t the most enlightened student at Lang where she attended but rumor has it she always dressed well for class. That counts for something, right?
9. Dree Hemmingway
Best Moment of 2013: Louche Vogue layout with her boyfriend, Phil Winser (above)
Great Grandfather: Writer Ernest Hemmingway, mother is Mariel Hemmingway
Why Your Hip Reporter Loves Her: A thousand reasons but none so very definable, oddly enough. I love her All-American looks and those Hemmingway cheekbones…
Spot Her In: Tory Burch layouts. She’s the one in the picture who looks positively perfect in Tory wear.
A Dree Quote on Her Style: ‘My style is a little bit tomboy, a little childlike. I’m obsessed with the movie Moonrise Kingdom . I want to look like the main character, Suzy Bishop. Her school outfit – the pink dress with the green eyeshadow – is heaven!’
Known For: Modeling, Acting (2012 movie, Starlet)
Red Carpet Look: Stella Mc Cartney at the Met Gala
Her Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby–surprise. Great Grandpa Ernest actually isn’t her favorite writer.
10. All the Women in 2013 Who, Though Sometimes Some (not all) Seriously Fashioned-Challenged, Hit the Ball Out of the Park this Year, At Least Once
1. Nicole Ritchie
Best Moment of 2013: A sublime Yves St Laurent jacket (price tag over $2000) paired with a crisp white blouse, bell bottoms, a Balenciaga bag and a police (???) dog. (above)
Why She Didn’t Make the ‘Big’ List: A blue Naeem Kahn gown at the Golden Globes just seemed ‘so not her’ and it was paired with a painfully bad hairstyle and unflattering make up. Other red carpet misstep this year: a surprisingly cool Gaultier maxi turtleneck dress oddly mixed with Christian Loubiton leopard print lace up flats.
Final Word: This girl has some incredible fashion chops. But sometimes she shouldn’t take such big chances.
2. Sarah Jessica Parker
Most Memorable Moment of 2013: The Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala in a Giles Deacon gown, Fred Leighton jewels, Philip Treacy mohawk headpiece and Christian Louboutin tartan boots.(above) She truly was the best dressed there and was in perfect keeping with the punk theme.
Lately Too Busy: Her duties to a son and two young twin daughters have kept her looks for this year rather limited. She can be found strolling around Manhattan dressing like a hip mom but lately– not so much like the fashion icon as we’d like her to be. Even some red carpet looks have left us feeling gypped.
3. Pippa Middleton
Highlight of 2013: Any time Vanity Fair styles her for her articles she guest writes. (above)
Someone Please Help Our Pippa: What happened to the Pippa we swooned for, in Alexander McQueen as the official royal bridesmaid to sister Kate? The world watched one bum and one bum only that entire wedding. From that one dress, speculation grew and bets were cast: Pippa was going to actually be the Middleton girl to watch. She could rock designer like nobody’s business.
But somewhere along the way, Pippa has actually lost her way. The world’s waiting for her to get it ‘right’ consistently–and she doesn’t. Odd prints, unflattering shapes and someone love her enough to tell her to quit wearing any and all orange–have marred a once hopeful pretty young thing.
As it turns out, Kate’s still the one to beat. But with the right stylist, Pippa could return quickly and triumphantly to her glory days when she wore that incomparable McQueen.
Best Moment of the Year: Recently at the AMA’s in a Rouland Mouret cutout gown and new, short bob
Walk Away from the Hoochie, Girl: Could this one gown be a shift for the singer who has in the past, been found in various stages of hoochie wear? Oh we so, so hope.
An absolutely beautiful woman who should be wearing high end designer all the time. She has the look for it. Someone just keep her away from all the too tight dresses and tacky cut outs.
She probably won’t ever make The Best Dressed List but goodness, if she’d keep this up consistently (above) she could seriously be well on her way.
5. Miley Cyrus
Best Moment of 2013: Basically only one, in between the pot smoking, twerking, boob, butt and crotch flashing–a white Versace suit, complete with signature safety pins, worn at the AMAs recently (above). If only she could dress this chic and tasteful all the time. We cry ourselves to sleep at night over all the lost potential…
God Help Us All: Please Miley. Please. Stop the Insanity. We’re tired of seeing you half naked and in some sh***y get up that makes us all (especially we mothers) cringe at the tailspin you’re in.
6. Kim Kardashian
Best Moment of 2013: Any time Kanye got her in to a long, minimalist coat (above) and tasteful pants or pencil skirt and a top that kept us from the torturous onslaught of her boobs.
Kim Kardashian will never ever ever ever make my Best Dressed List but I must give her credit where credit is due–when she’s wearing this kind of look, it’s seriously chic and she looks beautiful. She’s a mother now and this is how a mother dresses: with dignity and respect towards herself and her family.
Sad Reality: She can’t keep her boobs on lock-down for long. They’re going to pop out again in full force within minutes and a wardrobe change. Just you wait.
7. Miranda Lambert
WOW Moment of 2013: Doing incredible justice to a cobalt blue Roberto Cavalli gown at the CMA’s with possible hair extensions and a healthy and fit weight loss that made your Hip Reporter do a double take at a girl who normally is country cheesy.
Can She Do It Again?: If Miranda Lambert could up the ante considerably as she did here and ditch that Nashville hokey, she could make the world take note.
Still, your Hip Reporter’s not hedging her bets. Once a country gurrrl, usually always a little bit of a country gurrrrl.
8. Sharon Stone
Best Moment of 2013: In a white Roberto Cavalli gown with gold snake back detail at the AmfAR gala. Utterly to die for. People. The woman is 55.
The Hottest AARPer There Probably Is: Oh Sharon. Sharon. Our dear Sharon–dress like this all the time and we’ll all pray to be 55. Unfortunately, Sharon lacks consistency. If only she could keep this kind of mojo on the red carpet. She’d make the list year after year.
9. Pamela Anderson (No, your eyes are not failing you.)
Best Moment of 2013: A guest at The Ellen Degeneres Show wearing a slim black sheath, a new pixie haircut and sporting her medal from the NYC Marathon she’d just received for finishing.
This Cannot Be: Pam? Without the stripper hair? Without the stripper make up? Without the stripper barely there dress and slutty heels? —The next big thing–the Ark of the Covenant is discovered.
This Pamela…she’s….well, I’m simply without words…
There is hope.
And there you go. The 2013 Best Dressed List with #10 being all the women who shocked and surprised us, who aren’t necessarily always best dressed but who somehow, some way, pulled it together and enchanted us, if only for a fleeting moment, proving dressing well is feasible for every single one of us. No excuses.
Happy New Year everyone and here’s to an exciting year ahead of best dressed women who continue inspire and delight.