Overpaid as they are, celebrities give us many things (some of which we didn’t ask for): movies, music, more skin-care lines than anyone knows what to do with, and the priceless gift of fashion worth talking about. As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the most glamorous, inspiring, over-the-top, and mystifying looks of 2022 — the ones that make you sit up and say, “Is that Heidi Klum dressed as a worm?”
Rihanna reframed maternity dressing
The year started off strong. January blessed us with Rihanna’s note-perfect pregnancy-reveal photos: a delicate flurry of snow in the air, A$AP Rocky on her arm, and her exposed belly framed by a hot-pink Chanel puffer jacket from fall/winter 1996. (A pair of light-wash jeans, a Chanel belt, and a gilded archival Christian Lacroix cross necklace rounded out the look.) It was just the first of many outstanding maternity outfits from Rihanna, from gauzy Dior lingerie to a glittering, shredded set from the Attico.
Julia Fox was the people’s muse
This year brought us the reinvention of Julia Fox. She was already a star, but her roughly six-week relationship with Ye put her style on the map in a new way. (You’ll recall the two attending Paris Fashion Week in January wearing matching leather-on-leather and denim-on-denim outfits.) Though the relationship ended, Fox went on to serve iconic and memorable looks all year. For example, a complicated and skin-baring latex dress held together with metal loops, a red-carpet gown that had her in a literal chokehold, underwear and denim accessories at the grocery store, a dress made from leaves and resin, a DIY look crafted from a beach towel, and many variations of her now-signature chunky black eyeliner. If you love fashion that is courageous and somewhat unhinged, it’s hard not to stan.
Euphoria gave us fashion LOLs
In February, we were all watching Euphoria. The show, which came back for its second season in January after a nearly three-year hiatus, quickly reestablished itself as one of the most compelling fashion shows on television. Case in point: Maddy’s cutout New Year’s Eve dress, Lexi’s closet full of Miu Miu, and, of course, Cassie’s gingham minidress that made her look like she was auditioning for Oklahoma!
Miu Miu’s teeny-tiny miniskirt dominated
Speaking of Prada’s little sister, no trend had us in its thrall in the early months of 2022 quite like Miu Miu’s microminiskirt did. Arguably the most attention-grabbing use of the look was Nicole Kidman’s cover of the Vanity Fair Hollywood issue, which had some onlookers clutching their pearls over the 55-year-old actress’s schoolgirl-esque outfit.
Zendaya and Timothée won our Oscars
Everyone has their favorite fashion moment from the Oscars in March — mine is Rita Moreno’s hat — but we can probably agree that Dune co-stars Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet stole the show that night. While Zendaya channeled Sharon Stone in a cropped silk button-down and a long silver skirt, Chalamet opted for a glittering Louis Vuitton tuxedo jacket, sans shirt.
Music’s big night brought out even bigger looks
The Grammys are like the Oscars — but weirder and more fun. (Also, there was no slap.) This year’s show, held in early April, delivered some great looks: Doja Cat looking like a Y2K dream in Versace, Lil Nas X in Fabergé-egg-inspired Balmain, and Billie Eilish artfully swaddled in Rick Owens.
Kim Kardashian’s historic Met Gala dress stirred up a firestorm
In the world of celebrity fashion, there’s no greater challenge than coming up with the outfit that gets everyone talking at the Met Gala. This May, Kim Kardashian landed that trick by wearing the same sparkling beige dress that Marilyn Monroe wore to sing “Happy Birthday” to JFK in 1962. This move was instantly controversial, drawing criticism from fashion conservators who argued that it’s unethical to subject the historic garment to wear and tear — and from those who questioned Kardashian’s use of extreme dieting to fit into the gown.
Megan Thee Stallion showed her butt (and we loved it)
In June, Megan Thee Stallion went full Mugler in her “Plan B” music video, which was co-directed by Mugler creative director Casey Cadwallader. The brand, which recently opened a retrospective of Thierry Mugler’s work at the Brooklyn Museum, supplied her with custom looks for the video, including a streamlined bodysuit and a crisp cutout blazer. “I’ve always felt like Mugler was such a clean house,” Megan told the Cut in her cover story for New York’s fall fashion issue. “It’s not too much, but it’s so bold, and that’s what I am right now.”
The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White made a compelling case for white T-shirts
Remember those heady days in July when everyone and their mother was horny for Carmy in The Bear? Adding to the troubled chef’s allure was his closet of perfect white T-shirts, which the internet’s menswear enthusiasts quickly identified as a mix of Velva Sheen and Merz B. Schwanen. (While we commend actor Jeremy Allen White for wearing the hell out of a basic tee, The Bear’s emerging fashion star is actually actor Ayo Edebiri, who has been turning out some elegantly playful Thom Browne and Loewe looks recently.)
Beyoncé went ultrahigh fashion for her Renaissance rollout
As the Cut’s Danya Issawi put it so succinctly, “Beyoncé is in her capital-F fashion era.” Her looks surrounding the release of Renaissance in late July were the stuff of fashion nerds’ dreams, from a metallic Mugler bodice and a black-and-gold Schiaparelli bustier with pointed breasts to a disco-inspired Giannina Azar dress covered in crystals. (Where’s the visual album, though, B? We are respectfully waiting.)
Jennifer Lopez wore a lot of wedding dresses
If you are going to get back together with your ex-fiancé after nearly two decades apart, you need to go big. And no one knows how to go big like our fedora-loving queen Jennifer Lopez. For her nuptials to Ben Affleck, she selected three different custom Ralph Lauren gowns: one with an enormous ruffled train, one dripping in pearls, and one with a Galadriel-esque hood.
Andy Sachs — we mean Anne Hathaway — sat front row at Fashion Week
The most exquisite moment of New York Fashion Week in September took place in the front row of the Michael Kors show, where Anne Hathaway was seated next to Anna Wintour. With her glossy bangs and brown leather jacket, Hathaway looked very much like her character in The Devil Wears Prada, the assistant to a Wintour-like fashion editor. (Wintour looked, as ever, like herself.) Hathaway later said the visual gag happened “by accident.” Sure.
Florence Pugh gave us revenge dressing in Venice
At the Venice Film Festival in September, fashion added a certain pizzazz to the alleged feud between Don’t Worry Darling’s director, Olivia Wilde, and its star, Florence Pugh. I’m talking, of course, about Pugh skipping out on the movie’s press conference and instead enjoying an Aperol spritz while looking gloriously unbothered in a Valentino shorts-and-bandeau set.
Bella Hadid walked the runway in a spray-on dress
Coperni brought the wow factor to Paris Fashion Week in September. For the brand’s finale, Bella Hadid was sprayed with a white liquid fiber that turns into a suede-like fabric upon impact. In a matter of minutes, the supermodel went from wearing nothing more than a G-string to walking the runway in a clingy couture dress.
Heidi Klum was a worm
Heidi Klum has always been deeply committed to dressing up for Halloween — she hosts a party every year and often shows up in wild prosthetics — but her enormous worm costume this year was a revelation. The memes! I highly recommend saving this interview, in which Klum told a reporter that she’s “just worming around” while lying flat on the red carpet, for those moments when your existential dread starts getting out of hand.
Lindsay Lohan made a comeback
As we approached the end of the year, the pop-culture gods gave us one final gift: Lindsay Lohan’s return to the screen in the Netflix movie Falling for Christmas. While her over-the-top costumes are something to behold, the real story here is that Lohan worked with Law Roach — Zendaya’s stylist and the recipient of the CFDA’s first-ever Stylist Award — to craft a series of luxe, ladylike outfits for her press tour. This is exactly the kind of energy we want to bring into 2023.
Looking Back on 2022
- New York’s 21 Most-Read Stories in 2022
- The Year the Apocalypse Came to Fashion
- The Craziest TikTok Beauty Trends to Come Out of 2022