The 20 Most Memorable Red Carpet Looks of 2012

Some red carpet looks impress and others flop, but a rare few are seared into our collective memory.

20 photos
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Given the success of her Showtime show, "Shameless," it's no surprise that Emmy Rossum has been making increasingly stylish appearances in 2012. At a W Magazine event, the up-and-comer looked classically chic in a floaty white silk number from Georges Hobeika and satin ruby pumps.
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Tilda Swinton always ranks high on our list of red carpet favorites, but her lilac-blue Haider Ackermann ensemble at this year's 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards was one of her best yet.
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Also at the Globes, Natalie Portman rocked the signature hue of 2012—a saturated shade of bright magenta—with this strapless Lanvin stunner.
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Say what you will about her skirt-slit look at the Oscars, but Angelina Jolie was undeniably gorgeous at the Globes in this sleek satin Atelier Versace dress with a slash of scarlet at the shoulder.
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Awards season always yields some of of our favorite looks. At the SAG awards, Rose Byrne went for a playful white beaded jumpsuit with a plunging neckline by Elie Saab.
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Alexa Chung is compulsively clad in short, swishy dresses layered over button-down shirts, but for The Elle Style Awards 2012, the It-girl opted for a cool tweed tuxedo by Stella McCartney (which, of course, inspired a host of knock-offs).
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We're big fans of Michelle Williams' sweet, yet off-kilter style sense. At the premiere of "Take this Waltz" during the Tribeca Film Festival, the star tried a lacy layered look from Louis Vuitton that perfectly suited her fun pixie crop.
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Often called the "Oscars of Fashion," this year's Met Gala saw a host of A-list ensembles. Gwyneth Paltrow showed off her long lengs in a short Prada halter dress.
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Camilla Belle's sexy silver-beaded Ralph Lauren dress was our favorite look of this year's Met Ball, styled with '20s style curls and a rich oxblood lip.
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Of course, Emma Stone was a close second, clad in a playful scarlet number with a sparkling flower motif from Lanvin.
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At the closing night of Cannes, Diane Kruger was a red carpet knock-out in this black and white flower printed Dior gown, which featured an exaggerated bustle.
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Kruger was on something of a chic-bender this year. We loved the ice blue sundress and black cap that the starlet sported to Chanel's haute couture show this summer.
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Of course, what would 2012 have been without constant style updates on the Duchess of Cambridge? Kate Middleton's consistently chic, classic ensembles definitely befit a future queen—particularly this scarlet long-sleeve look from Alexander McQueen with matching chapeau.
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It may not have been a massive media event like the Oscars, but Jessica Biel hit it out the park in an understated white Christian Dior sundress with a scoop neckline at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
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Anne Hathaway was a vision at the NYC premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises," to which she sported this white Grecian-style Prabal Gurung gown.
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Dior and Marion Cotillard are a red carpet match made in heaven. At the European premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises," the French actress made a splash in a color-blocked strapless look and fire-red pumps from the brand's spring 2012 collection.
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For the President's reelection campaign, Michelle Obama turned in hundreds of terrific ensembles. But we were particularly taken with this smart, off-the-shoulder Laura Smalls number in burgundy brocade that she wore to the first night of the DNC.
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While we applaud Rihanna's bold fashion choices, the all-white jersey maxi dress from Adam Selman she wore (with cropped locks) to the MTV Video Music Awards felt fresh and chic.
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Kristen Stewart may be queen of the awkward paparazzi photo, but there was nothing awkward about the sheer gold gown by Zuhair Murad that she wore to the LA premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn."
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