InStyle's 2015 Style 100: The Year in Fashion Hits, Misses, and Hashtags

Cate Blanchette
Photo: INFPhoto.com

Over the past 12 months the headline-making fashion news has been coming nonstop: an Oscars-gown heist, a parade of celebrity burlesque, and all those extraordinary red-carpet creations. That's why we're dubbing this the Year of the Dress.

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Sunshine State

Sunshine State
Jason Merritt/Getty Images; REUTERS /SUZANNE PLUNKETT /LANDOV; PacificCoastNews

Everything's coming up daffodils...and marigolds and buttercups. Shades of yellow—like those seen on Jennifer Hudson in Romona, Léa Seydoux in Prada, and Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture—made on irresistible bouquet of brights.

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Peek-a-boo Dresses

Peek-a-boo Dresses
Lionel Hahn/AbacaUSA/startraksphoto.com; Taylor Hill/FilmMagic; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The friendly competition to create the most naked red-carpet spectacle reached new highs (or lows?) at the Met Ball, where even Lady Godiva would have blushed. Beyoncé, in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci, took it by a bugle bead, followed by Jennifer Lopez in Atelier Versace and Kim Kardashian in Roberto Cavalli by Peter Dundas.

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High-Style Rollers

High-Style Rollers
Catwalking/Getty Images

Imagine the stakes when Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore were among the guest stars hitting the craps table at the Chanel Haute Couture show in Paris in July. I'll see your Twilight and raise you a Hunger Games.

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A Fashion Festival at the Movies

A Fashion Festival at the Movies
Courtesy

Between two YSL biopics and docs about designers (Dior and I is a must), there were enough stylish films to fill a multiplex. Clockwise, from left: Iris, about 94-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel; The Artist Is Absent, about Martin Margiela; Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer; Saint Laurent; Dior and I; and Yves Saint Laurent.

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Double Take

Double Take
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Watch your back, Tom Ford. Rodarte sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy are directing their first feature, Woodshock, starring Kirsten Dunst.

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Altuzarra's Sultry Lace

Altuzarra's Sultry Lace
Neilson Barnard/Getty

Rising star Joseph Altuzarra had a breakthrough moment with his prim and perverse fall collection.

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Caitlyn's Fresh Look

Caitlyn's Fresh Look
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

For her first major appearance, at the ESPY Awards, Caitlyn Jenner donned custom Atelier Versace. "It was like every fantasy of my life come true," she said.

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Amy Schumer on the Red Carpet

Amy Schumer on the Red Carpet
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

An intentional face-plant was one way to draw attention in a roomful of famous folks, even when they didn't get the joke.

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Blondes Do It Better...

Blondes Do It Better...
PJB/SIPA; PacificCoastNews

A sign of the times? Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto went platinum on the same day.

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...Or Do Brondes?

...Or Do Brondes? 
PA Photos /Landov

Has a better ring to it than babylights, right? Olivia Wilde wears this year's fave shade. Is it right for you?

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All the Buzz

All the Buzz
Runway Manhattan/IMAXtree

Newly shorn model Ruth Bell rocked the runways with military precision.

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Bag Envy

Bag Envy
Courtesy Photo

The slimmest and subtlest It bag we've seen in years, Chloé's Drew owes its success to its versatility, its '70s flair, and its appeal to street-style stars everywhere ($1,850; nordstrom.com)

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A Proper Send Off

A Proper Send Off
Getty Images

When Alexander Wang bade farewell to Balenciaga after a three-year stint as creative director, his famous friends came along for one last ride in his all-white-and-ivory collection. From left: Suki Waterhouse, Zoë Kravitz, and Nicola Peltz.

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Prada's Sweets

Backstage of Prada fashion Show, as part of the women's ready-to-wear winter 2015 2016 Milan women fashion week, Milan, Italy/PIXEL-FORMULA_f073/Credit:PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/1502270152
PIXELFORMULA/SIPA

Miuccia Prada's freighted foray into polite macaron pastels proved to be one of the most powerful runway statements of the year.

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Mad Men Comes to an End

Mad Men Comes to an End 
Justina Mintz / ©AMC / Courtesy Everett Collection

The pressure is off. Navigating the advertising scene of the '60s for seven seasons was enough to send Don Draper to a hilltop meditation retreat. Or was it?

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FAUX HOLIDAYS BECAME A THING

National Bikini Day
instagram/LouiseRoe

Bikini Day... Argyle Day... Floppy Hat Day... where does it end?

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Lupita Nyong'o in Calvin Klein Collection

Lupita Nyong'o in Calvin Klein Collection
©Rollins-AA15 / AFF-USA.COM

Her Oscars dress was made of 6,000 pearls (faux, as thieves would discover...)

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Julianne Moore in Chanel Haute Couture

Julianne Moore in Chanel Haute Couture 
Michael Buckner/WireImage

This gown required 27 workers, 987 hours, and 80,000 sequins to make.

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WHY, YOU DON'T LOOK A DAY OVER...

WHY, YOU DON’T LOOK A DAY OVER...
Getty Images; Courtesy Armani; Courtesy H.Stern

Fashion anniversaries are like birthdays: a cause for celebration. Designers marked milestones by collaborating with friends and reissuing classics. Among them (from left): Betsey Johnson’s golden jubilee of 50 years running was a runway tribute to Blondie, Nicki Minaj, Edie Sedgwick, and her own dance teacher. The best gift Giorgio Armani could give fans for the last 40 years was an update on his styles called the New Normal, and Brazilian jeweler H. Stern introduced galactic designs for its 70th anniversary, playing off the translation of its name ("star" in German).

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Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Shoe

Gucci, runway
Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

The surprise hit of the Gucci reboot was a horse-bit slipper lined with kangaroo fur. Sales are hopping ($995; gucci.com).

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The Arrival of Alessandor Michele at Gucci

The Arrival of Alessandor Michele at Gucci
Matteo Prandoni/BFA/Sipa USA

The once-hidden talent chose quirky elegance over flash.

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Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski's Designs for Hermés

Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski's Designs for Hermés
AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAYBERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

She brought knowing touches to the ultimate luxury label.

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Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant Short Start at Courréges

Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant Short Start at Courréges 
Benjamin Lozovsky/BFAnyc/Sipa US

Their simple approach, with just 15 styles, was a crisp start.

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Guillaume Henry Takes on Nina Ricci

Guillaume Henry Takes on Nina Ricci
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

His femme-noir take on lightness added a winning twist.

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Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne Take DKNY

Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne Take DKNY
Madison McGaw/BFA/Sipa USA

Pinstripes defined their spin on an N.Y.C. landmark.

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Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford

Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

At the Oscars, Ford picked up on Witherspoon's signature style for sleek and clean gowns with this icy blue dress, to which he added broad bands of black. It was just a little bit unexpected, and a perfect frame for her natural beauty look for the night.

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Raf Simons Exits Dior

Raf Simons Exits Dior
Rindoff/Dufour/Getty Images

After three years, Mr. Modern decided to focus on his own label.

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Gisele Retires

Gisele Retires
Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images

She said she's done with the runways. But for how long?

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Cara as Actress

Cara as Actress
Courtesy Everett Collection

Her well-received role in Paper Towns, opposite Nat Wolff,was enough to show where Delevingne's heart really lies.

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Antonio Banderas Enrolls

Antonio Banderas Enrolls 
Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

Studing at a London design school, the Zorro star half-teased he wants to make capes.

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Match Made in Heaven: Empire + Saks Fifth Avenue

Match Made in Heaven: Empire + Saks Fifth Avenue
Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

The Lyon-approved collection of designs inspired by the show included gems from Alexis Bittar. Where else would Cookie shop?

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Match Made in Heaven: Target + Lilly Pulitzer

Match Made in Heaven: Target + Lilly Pulitzer
Courtesy Target

Palm Beach color combos aren't just for preppies anymore. The designs were so popular, they promptly sold out.

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Match Made in Heaven: H&M + Balmain

Match Made in Heaven: H&M + Balmain
Time Inc. Digital Studios

Olivier Rousteing's admirable embrace of diversity in his model castings finally applied to prices as well. Now we can all dress like the Jenners.

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Match Made in Heaven: Giambattista Valli + MAC

Match Made in Heaven: Giambattista Valli + MAC
Time Inc. Digital Studios; Courtesy MAC Cosmetics

Was there ever a designer better suited to pick the perfect shade of pink? Valli often jokes his second career would be as a florist.

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Match Made in Heaven: Uniqlo + Lemaire

Match Made in Heaven: Uniqlo + Lemaire
Courtesy Uniqlo

As spare and sophisticated as Christophe Lemaire's previous work for Hermès, this pairing proved that quiet design also has mainstream appeal.

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Royal Baby No. 2

Royal Baby No. 2
David Sims/WENN.com

Born on May 2, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana has been described by her father as "a little joy of heaven." She seems unreasonable only in the degree of her adorableness.

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Gaga, Is That You?

Gaga, Is That You?
Sthanlee Mirador/Sipa USA; INFPhoto.com; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Every little monster secretly has the heart of an angel. Lady Gaga's newfound classicism owes to the direction of stylist Brandon Maxwell, but, of course, she couldn't resist the lobster-catching gloves.

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Miss Jackson Is as Strong as Ever

Miss Jackson Is as Strong as Ever
Alberto E. Tamargo/Sipa USA

Janet Jackson's Unbreakable reminded 21st-century pop stars who's really in control.

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The Biebs Is Full of Surprises

The Biebs Is Full of Surprises
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

The answer to the question "Where Are Ü Now" is, ahem, online looking at pictures of Justin Bieber naked.

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The Weeknd at Fashion Week

The Weeknd at Fashion Week
Neil Rasmus/BFA/Sipa USA

Abel Tesfaye went from underground darling to front-row fixture.

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Marni's Geometry

Marni, Runway
Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

Consuelo Castiglioni's circle play gave us reason to actually look forward to thinking about primaries next spring.

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Vuitton's Arctic Chill

Vuitton's Arctic Chill
Catwalking/Getty

The brushed sheepskin coats that opened Nicolas Ghesquière’s fall collection for Louis Vuitton would make a polar bear jealous.

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Paint It Red with Louboutinize

Paint It Red with Louboutinize
Courtesy Louboutin

Christian Loubouin's Louboutinize photo-filter app put rose-colored glasses on any picture taken with an iPhone.

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Dior Funny Pages

Dior Funny Pages
Courtesy NBM Publishing

Telling the story of Christian Dior in comic-book format was delightful—until he died. The end.

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Blow-outs for the Face

Blow-outs for the Face
Courtesy MAC Cosmetics

A New York makeup salon from the artists of MAC? Why didn't we think of that?

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News in Brief

News in Brief
Courtesy Armani; Courtesy Tommy Hilfiger

Celebrity six-packs never get old, especially those in the category of Who Knew? Thanks are in order to Emporio Armani for uncovering the secret talents of Calvin Harris, and to Tommy Hilfiger for introducing Rafael Nadal to the sport of strip tennis.

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Allison Williams

Allison Williams
Steve Granitz/WireImage

In Giorgio Armani Prive.

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Emma Stone

Emma Stone
Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

In Altuzarra.

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Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

In Saint Laurent by Heidi Slimane.

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Spin Art

Spin Art
RAMEY PHOTO

Putting a new twist on paparazzi posing, stars introduced twirling to their red-carpet repertoire. Chiffon never had it so good.

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Depp Did Dior

Depp Did Dior
Courtesy Dior

In a new commercial for Sauvage Johnny Depp played guitar, took a road trip, encountered a buffalo, buried some jewelry, wore eyeliner, and generally behaved like Johnny Depp.

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DINERS CLUB ACCEPTED

DINERS CLUB ACCEPTED
Antonello Trio/Getty

Art was in the details in the world of Karl Lagerfeld, whose extravagant brasserie set for his fall Chanel collection stayed on point even in a clutch shaped like dinner plates.

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JUDY BLUME

JUDY BLUME
Time Inc. Digital Studios

Beloved by adolescents, the author penned a novel focused on events from her own childhood.

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HARPER LEE

HARPER LEE
Courtesy HarperCollins

Atticus, what happened to you? At least you didn’t disillusion us about your power to sell books.

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DONNA KARAN

DONNA KARAN
Courtesy Donna Karan

The designer came to terms with her success, beginning to end.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt
© Sven / AFF-USA.COM

When the Cannes Film Festival reportedly enforced a high-heels-only standard, she said, “Everyone should wear flats.” But she lost points after the Republican debate for joking that her U.S. citizenship was a mistake.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette
John Shearer/Invision/AP

“Wage equality once and for all,” said the best actress Oscar winner.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Barbie

Barbie in sneakers
Courtesy Mattel

A redesign with articulated ankles meant that, after 56 years, she could finally walk in sneakers.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Army Rangers

Army Rangers
REX Shutterstock

“We can handle things physically and mentally on the same level as men,” said Capt. Kristen Griest.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey
Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup

The mixed-martial-arts champ said, “If anyone calls me fat one more time in my life, I’m going to kill them.”

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Megyn Kelly

Megyn Kelly
Charles Sykes/Invision for The Hollywood Reporter/AP Images

She drew the wrath of Donald Trump by exposing the candidate’s Achilles heel: his own quotes.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Viola Davis

Viola Davis
© Scott Varley/Los Angeles Daily News via ZUMA Wire

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,” said the first African-American to win an Emmy for best actress in a drama.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland
Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images

She’s the first African-American female principal of the American Ballet Theatre.

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Women Who Should Be on the $10 Bill: Sarah Thomas and Jennifer Welter

Sarah Thomas and Jennifer Welter
Bob Levey/Getty Images; AP Photo/Matt York

The NFL’s first female referee (full time) and assistant coaching intern (albeit briefly) gained ground on a long drive. “Football before female,” said Welter.

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If You Can Make it Here: Banana Republic

Banana Republic
Courtesy Banana Republic

For spring, the store will produce a Timo Weiland collection designed, cut, and sewn in New York City.

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If You Can Make it Here: Barneys NY

Barneys NY
Courtesy Barneys

The retailer introduced Made in New York, a city-sourced collection featuring Proenza Schouler and The Row.

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Dolce & Gabbana's Haute Mammas

Dolce & Gabbana
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s moms-and-tots show was an ode to their mothers, but their criticism of in vitro fertilization had the duo later apologizing and celebrating a diversity of choice.

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Star Struck

Cara Delevingne, Sienna Miller, Diane Kruger wearing the star dress trend
REUTERS/Danny Moloshok; LANDOV; Gavan/Getty Images

No need to consult an astrologer when fashion designers already have their heads in the clouds. These stars create their own constellation.

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Friends and Foes: Dear Madam Secretary

Hillary Clinton and Diane von Furstenberg
Getty Images

Perhaps the biggest surprise of Hillary Clinton’s email dump was that Diane von Furstenberg was sending her fan mail.

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Friends and Foes: What's Good, Miley?

Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj
Getty Images (2)

Who knew the MTV Video Music Awards could be so dramatic? Kanye West seemed polite in comparison with Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj.

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Wash and Wear

Hussein Chalayan dissolving clothing
Firstview (2)

Taking the concept of disposable fashion to its logical extreme, Hussein Chalayan designed shirtdresses from a water-soluble fabric that dissolved on the runway to reveal evening gowns beneath. Just don’t try this with underwear.

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Rebellious Streak

Madonna
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

With her Rebel Heart tour, Madonna returned for another reminder that “Burning Up” and “Holiday” aren’t exactly oldies, thank you very much. And don’t get her started on the new stuff.

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In Memory of Marie-Louise Carven

In Memory of Marie-Louise Carven
AFP PHOTO/-STF/AFP/Getty Images

The House of Carven founder was synonymous with the rise of contemporary fashion in France.

1909-2015

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In Memory of Elio Fiorucci

In Memory of Elio Fiorucci
Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The diso-era denim designer was immortalized in the lyrics of Sister Sledge.

1935-2015

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In Memory of Bettina Graziani

In Memory of Bettina Graziani
Courtesy Photo

One of the first major models, she inspired the signature ruffle blouse named for her by Hubert de Givenchy.

1925-2015

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In Memory of Arnold Scaasi

In Memory of Arnold Scaasi
Denver Post/Getty Images

The designer of First Lady wardrobes also gave us Barbra Streisand's see-through pajamas.

1930-2015

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Proenza Schouler's Porthole Dress

Proenza Schouler Spring 2016 fashion show
JP Yim/Getty

The designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough explored a new erogenous zone—the artfully revealed hip.

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You Can Squad With Us

You Can Squad With Us
Dave Hogan/TAS/Getty Images for TAS

The boldface guests just kept showing up for Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour, with visits from Martha Hunt, Kendall Jenner, Serena Williams, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, and Cara Delevingne on one night alone.

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Short Stuff

Short Stuff
Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com; Xavier Collin/Image Press/Splash; © Tammie Arroyo / AFF-USA.COM

Minis went maximal with their intricate beading and embroideries but always kept things to the point. These dresses favor an economy of fabric and, of course, a toned pair of legs.

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Blake's Closet

Blake's Closet
Susan Waters/startraksphoto.com; Andres Otero/WENN.com; Raymond Hall/GC Images

As the star who refuses to employ a stylist, Blake Lively proved that all anyone really needs for a press-tour wardrobe is a dozen designer names on speed dial.

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A Runway World Premiere

A Runway World Premiere
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Marc Jacobs took his cinematic spring collection to the Ziegfeld Theater and invited passersby to watch the arrivals - his models walked the red carpet before hitting the catwalk.

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Hamilton Rocks

Hamilton Rocks
Walter McBride/Getty Images

The hip-hop musical featuring our founding fathers, including the current face of the $10 bill, not only made a dynamic debut on Broadway but also turned treasury secretary into a covetable role.

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Hashtags of the Year: #AskHerMore

Hashtags of the Year: #AskHerMore
Instagram/Reesewitherspoon

"What are you wearing?" no longer cuts it when social media scoops the red-carpet reporters.

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Hashtags of the Year: #LoveWins

Hashtags of the Year: #LoveWins
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

To all those who said gay marriage would never be legal in our lifetime, don't hold your breath for an invitation to my wedding.

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Hashtags of the Year: #Swoll

Hashtags of the Year: #Swoll
Rick Kern/WireImage

They used to call it jacked or ripped until Drake came along and made muscles look, well, this good.

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Hashtags of the Year: #TheDress

Hashtags of the Year: #TheDress
Courtesy

Is it white and gold or blue and black or merely a bad picture?

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Jaimie Alexander

Jaimie Alexander
Lionel Hahn/Sipa USA

In Giorgio Armani Privé

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Claire Danes

Claire Danes
John Shearer/WireImage

In Prada

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CONTOURING

CONTOURING
Time Inc. Digital Studios

In the Renaissance they called this effect chiaroscuro.

90 of 100

Cookie

Cookie
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Taraji P. Henson found the mother-of-the-year role she was born to play.

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SEXY JANE FONDA

SEXY JANE FONDA
INFPhoto.com

Her Grammys appearance in a Balmain jumpsuit was perfection.

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JURASSIC WORLD

JURASSIC WORLD
Universal Pictures

Neither a convoluted plot nor inconsistent hairdos could stop a velociraptor scorned.

93 of 100

JUICE CRAZE

JUICE CRAZE
Getty Images

Watermelon juice replaced the kale salad as a ubiquitous request.

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EX MACHINA

EX MACHINA
Universal Pictures

What could happen when artificial intelligence surpasses our own.

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INSIDE OUT

INSIDE OUT
Courtesy Pixar

The brain personified was as hilariously dysfunctional as most Disney cartoon families.

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MICHELLE OBAMA'S GLAM NIGHT

MICHELLE OBAMA’S GLAM NIGHT

The First Lady swapped playing it safe for Vera Wang Collection bombshell and sideswept hair.

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CHINA AT THE MET

CHINA AT THE MET
Courtesy MET

The Costume Institute’s exhibition on Asia’s influence on art and fashion broke attendance records once again.

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Fashion’s WORLD TOUR

Fashion’s WORLD TOUR
REUTERS/Benoit Tessier /LANDOV

With their traveling cruise collections, the world’s flushest luxury houses competed for the most architecturally stunning destinations: Louis Vuitton headed to Bob Hope’s John Lautner–designed home in the desert, Dior flew to the Riviera for Pierre Cardin’s bubble-shaped Palais Bulles, and Chanel went all the way to South Korea, to a cultural complex created by Zaha Hadid.

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THE GLASS SLIPPER

THE GLASS SLIPPER
Xavier Collin/Image Press/Splash

Lily James chose a pair of slippers that would be the envy of Cinderella. These butterfly-topped heels by Christian Louboutin were a tribute to her role as the princess.

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SPELLBOUND

Cate Blanchette
INFPhoto.com

Adding her own bit of whimsy to the red carpet for the Cannes premiere of Carol, Cate Blanchett wore a “twisted fairy tale” gown from British designer Giles Deacon.

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