A Look Back at the Style Moments That Defined 2020

2020 Rings in with the Red Carpet

The year kicked off with all the red carpet glamour we’ve come to love from award season. Jennifer Aniston wow’d in white at the SAG Awards, Janell Monàe and Scarlett Johansson had high-shine moments at the Oscars and Cynthia Erivo sparkled in a $3 million necklace at the Golden Globes. What we didn’t expect was the end of red carpet events for months.

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Designers Pivot to Making Face Masks

In March, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state was in need of masks and PPE material as the fight against COVID-19 began, Christian Siriano was one of the first designers to answer the call. He and his sewing team began producing protective face masks, and it didn’t take long for others in the industry to follow. 

Brandon Maxwell, Nicole Miller, Michael Costello, Los Angeles Apparel founder Dov Charney, Pyer Moss founder and designer Kerby Jean-Raymond and many more all contributed to the fight against COVID-19.

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The Pillow Challenge

Halle Berry (pictured), Anne Hathaway, Tracee Ellis Ross and more stars all took part in the quarantine-inspired Instagram craze that encouraged users to turn their bedding into couture-worthy outfits.

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Tie-Dye Takes Over

Thanks to its nostalgic vibe and DIY-ability, tie-dye became the official print of quarantine. Searches for it on Etsy surged 146 percent, and a slew of stars sported the trend, including Gigi Hadid rocking it from head-to-toe.

If you still want to get in on the fun, we have everything you need to know about DIY tie-dye, here. 

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The Met Gala Is Called Off

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Fashion’s biggest night was put on hold until 2021, but besties Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen (who always attend the Met Gala together) still marked the occasion. “We’re ready! #MetGala,” Cohen captioned this socially distant Instagram on May 4. 

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BET Awards Bring Back Glamour

The June 28 show was virtual, but stars like Lizzo, who won for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist of the Year, still got decked out (she chose a custom velvet Mônot gown) for fans watching at home.

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Family Fashion Shoots

As coronavirus restrictions shut down many fashion shoots, celebs got creative by staging them at home with a little help from their famous families. 

Chloe and Halle Bailey modeled for Fendi on their own tennis court. Laura Dern enlisted her son to take pics for Valentino. And Gwyneth Paltrow’s G. Label lookbook was shot by husband Brad Falchuk at their Hamptons pad, with a special appearance from her daughter Apple Martin, 16.

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Beyoncé Elevates Black Designers

On July 31 Queen Bey dropped Black Is King on Disney+, a celebration of Black culture and African traditions. Her longtime stylist Zerina Akers assembled an array of jaw-dropping custom pieces, many by independent Black designers, including this jacket from Loza Maléombho.

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Michelle Obama Spells It Out

The former First Lady stole the show on the first night of the Democratic National Convention with her powerful speech — and her delicate “VOTE” necklace (custom made by ByChari) — which instantly began trending on Twitter.

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The Red Carpet Returns

The 77th annual Venice Film Festival marked the first major red carpet since the pandemic started, and on Sept. 2 style icon Cate Blanchett used it to promote sustainability (rewearing an Esteban Cortazar gown from 2015) and safety (posing with a mask). It doesn’t get more 2020 than that!

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Lady Gaga Makes Masks Couture

Lady Gaga proved safety and style are not mutually exclusive. From an astronaut helmet to multiple Chromatica-inspired face masks, the star wore six different couture creations on her face at the 2020 MTV VMAs.

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Fashion Week, Reinvented

From audience-free presentations to masked-up models, designers reinterpreted what fashion week means in the COVID-19 era at New York Fashion Week. Christian Siriano transformed the backyard of his Westport, Connecticut home into a socially distanced Spring 2021 runway. 

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Milan Host Maskless Shows

Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2021 presentation marked the first live show of the season, where models (like Ashley Graham) walked the runway sans masks.

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Black Tie Optional

When the Emmys went virtual this year, it advised nominees to “come as you are, but make an effort,” which meant stars interpreted the dress code in many different ways. For some, like Emmy winner Zendaya, brought the glamour of a red carpet to her living room in a custom Giorgio Armani Privé polka dot skirt and crystal-embroidered bandeau.

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Making It Work

Celebrity stylists continue to deck out their clients (as seen from Karla Welch’s fittings with Tracee Ellis Ross) for virtual events and shoots while dreaming of “brighter days ahead,” Welch wrote on Instagram. 

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