Unsurprisingly, 2022 has been a big year for fashion. The world of style is fully, frivolously, back after the years of the pandemic. The economy is a different story, but that’s why we have the lipstick index: the theory that sales of affordable luxury goods increase during economic downturns. So, yes, the cost-of-living crisis may be raging, but so are the parties, red carpet looks, and front rows.
In fact, so many things have happened that it’s hard to believe they all happened in the same year. It almost seems ridiculous that the same year that gave us a slew of Rihanna’s pregnancy gowns also gave us the drama Don’t Worry Darling and accompanying red carpet looks from Harry Styles and Florence Pugh. And then, less than a month later, we saw Bella Hadid sprayed on a dress and Heidi Klum writhing like a worm.
In case something slipped your mind, here are the biggest viral fashion moments of 2022.
Rihanna serves maternity care after maternity appearance
A year of fashion moments has been kicked off in truly Herculean style with Rihanna on January 31st. Yep, the pink quilted Chanel AW96 coat that sent ripples everywhere, opened to reveal the singer’s baby bump, with Carhartt A$AP Rocky dressed dad at hand.
What we didn’t know then was that this was just the beginning. The next four months, leading up to the eventual birth on May 13, saw a glut of game-changing pregnancy clothes. Sheer front row Dior dresses, lace crop tops at Gucci shows, red catsuits on the cover of US Vogue et cetera, et cetera.
Nicole Kidman wears the Miu Miu mini
Ah, the ubiquitous Miu Miu miniskirt. Truly the garment of 2022, this little number has been worn by just about everyone and everyone over the past year. First it popped up from editorial to editorial (Zendaya for Interview magazine, Paloma Elsesser for iD), then it arrived on the red carpet (Sydney Sweeney, MTV Movie Awards) and in the selfies of the coolest sets of Gen Z style (male model Vin Ho, Emma Corrin and Tommy Dorfman).
But Nicole Kidman was, as Gen Z says, truly the best at it. The 55-year-old actress posed for Vanity Fair in a low-cut, off-the-shoulder dress duo of the miniskirt in February, sending the Internet into a tailspin and the demand for gym memberships into overdrive.
Julia Fox at the Oscars
It was definitely the Year of the Fox. It started with the infamous extravagant courtship with a rapper-who-will-not-be-named in January. Restaurant photoshoots, apartments full of clothes — and those were just the first two dates. The Uncuh Jahmz rapper and actress split on Valentine’s Day, and thus the rest of the year ended as a two-way affair. Her ex slowly disintegrated in a social media-documented meltdown like no other, as she rose steadily on the fashion scene.
A favorite? The Oscars afterparty dress. Leather fist neckline, human hair clutch, self-drawn swan lake eyes (say it with me now: “I made them myself”). May she reign long.
First look at Margot Robbie as Barbie
On June 27, as we were fast-forwarding into the height of summer, the cross-eyed fluorescent suits of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling arrived. Shot during a location shoot in Los Angeles for Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie, Robbie dazzled in an 80s doodled bathing suit and fuchsia bike shorts, with Gosling wearing a matching co-ord, both with illuminating yellow visors and roller skates. She combines this with Valentino’s PP Pink collection which she opened with 40 head-to-toe pink looks in March, and Barbiecore hysteria ensued. Since the movie doesn’t hit theaters until next summer, it looks like Barbiecore could (God willing) stick around until 2023.
Kim K breaks the internet (again), among other things
The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted its Annual Costume Institute Gala on the first Monday in May with the theme “Gilded Glamour,” as part of the second installment of its “In America” series. As usual, the arrival of the guests created a perfect storm of carefully selected and ridiculously off-topic themed looks, starting with hosts Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Anna Wintour and Lin-Manuel Miranda, ending with a very late , arm in arm with her ex-boyfriend, Pete Davidson.
Kim’s look eclipsed all others, when she revealed that she was wearing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday Mr President” dress, which the actress originally wore while singing John F. Kennedy in 1962. Sadly for Kim, this didn’t was the main point from the dress: it was quickly revealed that Kim’s famous butt couldn’t fit into the dress, so she had to lose weight to squeeze in, but then damaged it anyway.
Kate Middleton camps in the Caribbean
I love it when the Royals do something Interesting, real? I mean sartorially, not like, starting another Netflix series (please, I can’t). Plus, I’ve seen enough tartans, Alexander McQueen coats, and beige dresses on the women of this royal family to send me into a lifelong stupor, so when someone comes out with a little color, it’s nice. Kate Middleton did just that during her royal trip to the Caribbean in March, where she wore an unusually campy pink sequined gown by The Vampire’s Wife to a special reception in Belize.
The dress was a hit, as were many of her more ambitious outfits on the trip, but unfortunately those fuchsia sequins still weren’t enough to distract from the bad optics of the tour in general (remember the images of Kate and Will reaching across the wire fences, shaking hands with Jamaican kids? A step forward…
Anne Hathaway becomes the Devil Wears Prada, again
Anne Hathaway? In a throwback of the Devil wears Prada? Innovative. No, really was innovative. The Oscar-winning actress has branched out a lot with her looks this year, from Valentino PP Pink suits at Fashion Week, Christopher John Rogers rainbow jumpsuits for talk shows, to cute cone bra minidresses at Cannes, for courtesy of Gucci.
Though we’re serving up vibrancy and variation throughout 2022, we’re nostalgic beasts at heart, and so Anne’s fashion moment to beat them all was her little nod to Andy Sachs on FROW at NYFW. She wore a dark brown crocodile skin coat, oversized sunglasses (a hint of Anne among the Andys) and a black turtleneck, reminiscent of her Devil Wears Prada counterpart’s final movie look. What makes it even better: She wore it while she sat front row at Michael Kors next to the one and only Anna Wintour. Which is the inspiration for the fictional “Runway” boss Miranda Priestley.
Timothee Chalamet in his Haider Ackermann
This kid can do stunts, I’ll tell you. Back in September, Timothee Chalamet gave us another slice of red carpet reality when he showed up at the Venice Film Festival premiere of Bones and All in a Haider Ackermann crimson silk waistcoat, which people knew right away was the back was missing. How embarrassing for him! But no, like everything this showstopper-turned-heartstopper does, it was very intentional and greatly appreciated by 18-year-old boys and girls all over the world. This is definitely the best aspect of her Bones and All press tour, but she’s come up with some other good ones too, and all very on topic. Blood red silk, bare skin, crisp white dresses with rhinestone bone chokers: everything. Look, the boy came to eat, and he ate.
Florence Pugh arrives late with an Aperol Spritz
There’s a lot to be said for Flo Pugh’s big year in fashion, but his looks from the Don’t Worry Darling press tour must deserve honorable mention. Sure, she did so little press for the movie (eyes emoji) that there were actually only like… two, but boy, when she got there she turned around up. For the premiere at the Venice Film Festival (this festival was big on fashion moments, clearly), Pugh sent the red carpet wild in her huge black tulle gown, complete with huge puff sleeves and tiny d embroidered all over.
But it was earlier in the day that she taught everyone the true meaning of a starlet: arriving late at her hotel in Venice, skipping the press conference for her movie, hanging around with an Aperol Spritz, all while wearing a purple Valentino two-piece. And sunglasses. Perfect. No notes.
Bella Hadid has her dress spray painted
Good luck to anyone who was trying to have “the moment” of Fashion Week this fall because no matter what they did, everyone could only talk about the moment Coperni sprayed a dress on Bella Hadid. So much so that according to WWD the media impact of the performance was valued at 26.3 million dollars. Better than any old hype, huh?
The media sensation was the result of the work of Manel Torres, inventor of fabric spray Fabrican, who was one of two people tasked with spraying Bella Hadid’s naked body (except for bare underwear) on the runway to close out the show. Coperni . Then came Charlotte Raymond, head of design for the brand, who transformed the thong dress chic by delicately manipulating the shoulders and cutting into a thigh-high slit for her. Voila, viral.
Heidi Klum dresses as a worm
If the spray paint clothes started in October, the worms ended it. Heidi Klum’s annual Halloween party brought us classic costumes like The Joker, Catwoman, Cleopatra, and… a giant worm, which was, of course, worn by Klum herself. To be honest, what did you expect from Heidi Klum? In recent years she has dressed up as an old woman, Fiona from Shrek, and a human body without skin. She definitely isn’t aiming for her sexiness in her Halloween looks—well, except later in the evening, when she shed her worm costume to reveal a bedazzled nude body suit beneath her. (But most of all, she left the worm face.)
Jodie Turner-Smith hosts the Fashion Awards
It would be sacrilege to end this look without mentioning 2022 red carpet heavyweight, Jodie Turner-Smith. The actress has finally gotten recognition for her fashion chops this year in her most official form: she was asked to host the British Fashion Awards, which were held earlier this month. Responding in kind, Turner-Smith presented the event in not one but multiple striking and outlandish looks. Her first look—a lime green Gucci Greek gown—would have been enough on its own, but it’s not just Jodie Turner-Smith. We are manifesting this energy for 2023, right group?