Caitlin White
December 13, 2019 12:38 pm

We know, we know. Award shows and movie premieres are technically about celebrating directing, movies, music, TV, and performances. But the performances we want to talk about right now are fashion performances on the red carpet before those events. The best red carpet looks of 2019, in our humble opinion, are the ones we’re still thinking about, the ones that pushed boundaries, and the ones that, to put it simply, were just too darn pretty to ignore.

On the list are some fashionable standbys, like Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga. But it’s also full of “newcomers” who are making splashes with their fashion and beauty choices, like Kacey Musgraves, Gemma Chan, and Elle Fanning. And there’s Zendaya. Of course, there’s Zendaya. It seems every time a camera was on her, she slayed her style, from the ultra-formal to the more casual moments.

In our humble opinion, here are the best red carpet looks of 2019, in no particular order:

1Zendaya at the 2019 Emmys

Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images

We know Zendaya is killing it in the Marvel franchise as MJ, but we think she could audition for DC’s next Batman movie with just this Poison Ivy-esque photo. Zendaya made the best-dressed list for practically every single 2019 red carpet she graced, but this moment was probably our favorite.

2Kim Kardashian West at the 2019 Met Gala

John Shearer, Getty Images

Kim Kardashian West’s 2019 Met Gala look was the dress that spawned nearly a year of conversation. Kardashian West has since said that she had trouble breathing in the dress and that Kanye thought it was “too sexy” (whatever, Kanye), but come on. She looks like she’s dripping wet right down to her hair, and the pictures barely do it justice. It was a real moment, and that’s what you want on a red carpet.

3Kacey Musgraves at the 2019 Academy Awards

Steve Granitz, Getty Images

Kacey Musgraves isn’t here to blend in. Looking like Glinda the Good Witch, the country star helped spark a pretty-in-pink revolution for red carpet looks in 2019 with her tulle Giambattista gown. Sure it’s divisive, but we’re all going to remember it! (And we, for one, will be remembering it with heart eyes.)

4Constance Wu at the 2019 Golden Globes

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, Getty Images

Constance Wu made the “naked dress” trend outrageously pretty at the 2019 Golden Globes. That reddish-orange bow sash was the true cherry on top.

5Mandy Moore at the 2019 Emmys

Dan MacMedan, Getty Images

Mandy Moore is giving old Hollywood glam in a modern color combo on the 2019 Emmys red carpet. We’re just so excited to have her and her music (in addition to her TV stardom) back in our lives, so of course we had to add her to the best red carpet looks 2019 list.

6Billy Porter at the 2019 Academy Awards

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Billy Porter’s tuxedo dress was a real 2019 red carpet moment. It’s a show-stoppper, and we know we’ll be thinking about it for years to come.

7Janelle Monáe at the 2019 Grammys

Steve Granitz, Getty Images

It looks like Janelle Monáe’s angel wings have sprouted. Her unique Jean Paul Gaultier mini dress with its exaggerated shoulders, combined with her straight-up stunning hat, makes for a red carpet look we won’t soon forget. And that’s really saying something because Monáe always comes to play when she hits a red carpet.

8Lady Gaga at the 2019 Golden Globes

George Pimentel, Getty Images

We are so here for the drama of this red carpet dress. Lady Gaga matched her hair to her dress, and the puffed-sleeve, shawl-train masterpiece could not be contained into one vertical image.

9Gemma Chan at the 2019 Academy Awards

Dan MacMedan, Getty Images

Gemma Chan is also having a huge year for red carpet fashion. (Just look at her Golden Globes red carpet dress, which was making this so hard to choose!) We had to go with her pretty-in-pink moment at the Oscars. The high neckline and tufted fabric could make it look bulky, but she looks like a total dream.

10Elle Fanning at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

Toni Anne Barson, Getty Images

Elle Fanning made Cannes her own personal runway this year. Though she showed off so many jaw-dropping looks, if the festival gave a Palme D’or for best fashion look, it would have to go to Fanning’s tribute to Old Hollywood at the premiere of (fittingly) Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood. That hat!

11Ezra Miller at the 2019 Met Gala

Karwai Tang, Getty Images

So, we’re a little bit afraid but a lot in love with Ezra Miller’s trippy Met Gala red carpet look. The glittering corset belt and the tuxedo train are everything, but let’s be honest, it’s all about that makeup effect. We can’t stop looking!

12Lizzo at the 2019 American Music Awards

Taylor Hill, Getty Images

Two words: Tiny purse. The fashion moment that sparked a zillion memes has to make a spot on this list. We also love how fun Lizzo’s tangerine-colored mini dress is.

13Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet at the 2019 Academy Awards

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

We love a coordinated couple. Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet were so adorable (and so fashionable) on the 2019 Oscars red carpet. But truly, we’ll remember this one for the Game of Thrones‘ star’s lavender scrunchie.

14Halle Berry at the 2019 Golden Globes

Steve Granitz, Getty Images

Halle Berry was giving leg, a deep-V, a killer red-maroon color, and so much texture on the Golden Globes red carpet. Consider our jaws dropped.

15Priyanka Chopra at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

It’s the dress that caused a zillion wedding Pinterest boards to blow up. Priyanka Chopra looked like a fairy tale bride at Cannes, so much so that we’re totally rethinking that courthouse wedding.

16Emilia Clarke at the 2019 British Fashion Awards

Barcroft Media, Getty Images

The Mother of Dragons’ look is straight-fire. Emilia Clarke was glowing in yellow at the British Fashion Awards, and we absolutely cannot get over those dramatic sleeves.

17Jennifer Lopez at the 2019 Academy Awards

Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images

Oh, J.Lo, you never let us down. The 2020 Super Bowl halftime performer looked statuesque herself at the Oscars in this silver gown. We could have picked among so many of Jennifer Lopez’s best red carpet looks in 2019, but we love the modern, puzzle-piecey elegance of this long-sleeve and high-neck one.

Who made your best red carpet looks of 2019 list? While you answer, we’ll be busy staring at our 2019 Zendaya fashion mood board.