December 28th, 2012
Best of 2012, Celebrity Style, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Solange Knowles
Best of 2012: Fashionista of the Year
By Claire

We’re ending our Best of 2012 series with our most dynamic feature: Fashionista of the Year.

2012 saw a slew of stylish ladies gracing red carpets and TV appearances in glorious gowns, multi printed pieces, dangerously low cut stunners, and practical picks. From Presidential First Ladies to Pop Stars, let’s take a look at who Fashion Bomb readers nominated.

1. Solange Knowles

Our Fashionista of the Year 2011 winner has steadily held onto her crown through 2012, cementing her place in our hearts as a certified style icon.

The DJ, Mom, and songstress has wowed us with her adept use of prints, patterns, and playful looks that mix Afrocentricity with utter luxury. Whether in her signature yellow hue or working a patterned suit, she stands out with her mop of curly tendrils and fresh faced glow.

Fittingly, several other outlets have caught on to Solange’s je ne sais quoi. Vogue US has named her Best Dressed for two years in a row, and La Knowles has also managed to nab gigs with Carol’s Daughter, Madewell, and Rimmel.

Elle US oozed over her fantastic home decor, while Elle South Africa lauded her singular style. Rika magazine photographed her in Givenchy separates, and Glamour France peppered her body with prints.

Who could blame them? No matter where she goes, Solange manages to shine. A few of her stand out looks this year: the printed two piece she wore to the launch of H&M Mexico, the optic white Stéphane Rolland stunner she donned to the DKMS Gala, her numerous Roberto Cavalli moments, the Salvatore Ferragamo pieces she rocked to the brand’s 5th avenue flagship reopening, her Stella McCartney paisley number, and of course the lemony strapless Rachel Roy gown she wore to the 2012 Met Gala (naturally, it’s nominated for Outfit of the Year).

She truly drove it home with the flawless ‘fits she earmarked for her Losing You video, shot in South Africa.

We can only dream of what else she turns out as she continues to promote her sophomore project.

This Knowles is on fire! And she’s showing no signs of slowing down. Look back at this year’s highlights here.

2. Rihanna

Rihanna dominated as Fashionista of the Year for 2007-2010, until she unceremoniously lost her crown to Solange in 2011. Rih has been evolving as an artist, and her wardrobe reflects her new laid back vibe.

Sure, we fell in love with her edgy Gareth Pugh looks and full on Louis Vuitton ensembles, but she’s kept us intrigued with the unexpected. The glam gal who used to only sport stilettos started sidling up to Vans, Jordans, and Timberland boots.

Sometimes we’d despair, aching for our old Rih Rih back…

But then, just like that, the Bajan beauty turned up at a movie premiere or gala in a look that shut the whole dern place down (paging her Grammy’s Armani dress and her Tom Ford Met Gala gown, both currently in the running for Outfit of the Year).

Rihanna has such range, she can go from homeboy to hot siren and everywhere in between in an instant, looking gorgeous at every shutter snap.

2012 also saw Rihanna get more involved in the industry, whether spearheading her Styled to Rock show, or trying her hand at design. After creating a capsule with Armani, she joined forces with River Island to produce a collection.

She nabbed her 2nd Vogue cover in 2012, and appeared (basically naked) in GQ, V Magazine, and on the cover of her 7th (!) album, Unapologetic.

Her bold, devil may care attitude is simply what we love about her.

With a lithe body that looks good in just about anything, an adventurous spirit, and a heap of hairstyles to match, Rihanna held our attention. And isn’t taking risks all while looking fly what being a fashionable artist is all about?

We think so. Take a look back at Rih here.
3. Kerry Washington

With a hit show on TV, and a major movie in theaters, Kerry Washington is gunning for that number one Hollywood spot.

When out and about, she exudes Tinsel Town chic, flaunting looks from Gucci to Mary Katrantzou to Temperley.

Breathtaking beauty is always her best accessory, along with a thin frame which clothes hang off effortlessly.

With several projects in the works, she posed for Elle, Vogue Italia, Vibe, Los Angeles Confidential, and Uptown magazines.

With brilliance and radiance to match, her chic picks are only the cherry on top.

See a selection of her looks here.
4. Jennifer Lopez

One thing is clear about Jenny from the Block: she knows what looks good, all the time.

You’ll rarely see J. Lo looking anything but picture perfect. Her judging role on American Idol was a simple study in stunning ensembles.

From neon Michael Kors to Valentino to straight-off-the runway Salvatore Ferragamo, we knew every time we asked you whether a La Lopez look was Hot or Hmm…, we’d get a resounding Hot!

Jenny is not new to the game, and while she’s found her chic stride, she rarely surprises, preferring to skew sophisticated vs. trendy or overwhelmingly overdone.

There’s certainly style in simplicity. With fine threads, a sickening shoe game, adorable twins, and gorgeous Casper Smart by her side, what more does a Bronx girl need?

See more J.Lo here.
5. First Lady Michelle Obama

Everyone has a love affair with President Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle fulfills her role of First Lady with grace and utter elegance.

She dazzles at every stop in pieces plucked from American designers, from everyday staples like J.Crew to custom Tracy Reese.

With rarely a hair out of place, our First Lady is fabulous. Knee length shifts work well for her, as do dotted pencil skirts, cardigans, and kitten heels.

The best thing about our First Lady’s style is its relatability. With a slew of high profile A-listers twirling around in thousand dollar frocks, Michelle sources from ASOS, tips into Target, and unapologetically wears her pieces more than once.

Glamourous, yet reasonable, Michelle Obama represents the best in fashion: dressing in a way appropriate to your position, all while keeping an eye on your pocket.

It doesn’t get better than that, does it?
Who should be 2012′s Fashionista of the Year?

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79 Responses to “Best of 2012: Fashionista of the Year”

  1. cheriemacherie says:

    my vote is jlo- classic or rihanna-effortless

  2. Celenia says:

    This was a tough one..Solange and Jennifer were my top 2 with Kerry close behind then. FLOTUS is always lovely , but Rihanna imo didn’t hold up this year. She had some high notes, but then looked really sloppy in others. Overall, I had to give it to JLO. Her style is always impeccable.

  3. Taj says:

    For this list I think it is between Solange and Jennifer Lopez but I voted for Solange because it has really been a break out year for her fashion wise.

  4. meekaG says:

    Rihanna was a disappointment in 2012. Solange did her thang this year but I’m in awe of First Lady Michelle Obama so I just had to vote for her.

  5. HarlemVanity says:

    I’m here for Jlo. That is all.

  6. solange because her style has range…

  7. smv says:

    Solange stood out for me in 2012. the fro, the prints, it just worked. So she gets my vote.

    honorory mention to:
    jlo: she is that chick
    Michelle O: she is the head chick

  8. Lonyx says:

    Jlo, every style is different in it’s own right but I would say Jlo is the more versatile in her looks

  9. ChiHou says:

    Solonge all day!

  10. no more rihanna please…love her but she looks so trashy now. my vote’s for kerry : )

  11. Chris styles says:

    Damn it was between Rih, JLo and Solange for me. But y’all picked Rihs worst outfits of the year to display and Solange’s best…so my opinion was a bit swayed…Solo it is…

  12. Brandon says:

    Jennifer Lopez all the way baby! The epitome of GLAMOUR!

  13. Whatevs says:

    Solange slayed…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Solo for the win!!! J-Lo gets “Body of the year” though, hands down.
    *runs to do more sit-ups*

  15. FashAnon says:

    Solange and Jennifer are my top 2

  16. ICe says:

    This was a tough one this year! JLo and Solange was my top 2. Kerri Washington style so good this year too. Ugh decisions decisions decisions!!

  17. NishaJ90 says:

    def. solange n jlo, but how the hell did rih past 1st lady?

  18. Tai says:

    I love Solonge, but I went with Kerry just as the underdog. She always looks great and her style seems so classic and effortless.

  19. Soul Touch says:

    Solange all the way.

  20. ladyluo says:

    The year clearly belonged to Solange although I love all the other choices too

  21. Dobe says:

    Tough one! But it definitely goes to Solange! Great style, unique, and fresh! J. Lo and Kerry are amazing, as well, and it goes without saying that our First Lady shuts it down every time!

  22. NotHereForThat says:

    MUCH better list! Claire has done it again! I always loved Solange’s indie/earth textures, Kerry has came up, and I appreciate Rhianna’s many risks. J Lo is always a classy stable…hmmmm. I would have to go with Solange!

  23. MonaLisa_310 says:

    I do believe I voted for Solange last year. Just did it again…

  24. regine says:

    wow! claire!! you wrong for this boo! you know you coulda put better pics of rihanna up there! anyway, doesnt matter because it shows Ri is a TRUE fashionista. in comparison to the other people who are all spor

  25. regine says:

    wow! claire!! you wrong for this boo! you know you coulda put better pics of rihanna up there! anyway, doesnt matter because it shows Ri is a TRUE fashionista, in comparison to the other people who are all sporting ‘red carpet looks’ to rhi who actually pulls of downtime looks also. I dont see any range from the others CLAIRE!

  26. Samantha says:

    Solange. JLo. In that order.

  27. Marthe says:

    I don’t know, I love Rih’s style a lot, even if she had some bad moments. I voted Solange last year but she didn’t change that much to make her that interesting again this year. Still, she is definetly my second choice!

  28. I was trying to vote for someone other than Solange since she won last year, but she’s clearly shutting it down. I also loved JLo and Kerry Washington this year. However, Solo keeps getting better and better. There’s no denying her style.

  29. Noirre says:


  30. lima says:

    Pleasse!! Solange got no kind of range! I’m from africa and the whole afrocentric thing is played..i’ve seen more creative outfits. Rhi on the other hand has a lot of range and sports very stylish looks even in her downtime

  31. eugene says:

    Claire!!! you are not low!! You picked the worst pictures of rihanna and put it up against more glammed up looks of the others. Just shows she’s still throws it down even when she’s not trying. Btw dont even know why solange is up there she’s so one note in her style, the tribal prints do more of the styling for her.

  32. lessie says:

    I don’t need any pictures put up here to tell me that rihanna is the fashionista of the year!

  33. Sherrie says:

    This really is a tough one.

  34. Diamond says:

    I think in terms of pure fashions, you have to give it to Solange. She was killing it, the combinations were sick. However, I think in terms of who most influenced fashion this year it has to go to Rihanna. I hated her style but her laid-back/effortless style caught on. I wonder why but it did.

  35. ParisL. says:

    I don’t think Mrs. Obama should be in this.. SHe is HONORARY in every sense… SO excluding her.. I say Rih Rih cucky behind..

  36. Tallulah says:

    Solange killed it this year.

  37. COCO says:

    Rih-anna, In Pijamas, Is running down the stairs…LOOOOL. That photo is reaaallly not her best outfit X-D I vote the almighty Solange Knowles- I have a photo montage of her best outfits, just so I can try and make my own versions of them, thats how much I love her style

  38. COCO says:

    * I like Rihanna’s ability to carry off prtty much anything (thats why I envy tyall, slim pear shaped women) but she kind of follows trends more than setting them- her style was very 90′s grunge meets hood glamour, its actually pretty similar to the kind of steez a lot of girls on instagram rock. Its just the direction mainstream fashion went in this year, and she followed it.

  39. Orchid says:

    Solange . Hands down. I just love, love this girl’s style. I would wear all those pieces. ( If I had the money and the body, lol!) Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I think Solange works her own style and does not have a stylist. She’s a bit like Kate Moss in that respect.

  40. Alex says:

    Solange hands down!

  41. COCO says:

    …also. And I promise I’ll shut up after this LOOOL….Kerry Washington’s style bothers me a little. She’s so sexy and has a great figure when she’s a little heavier, but she usually dresses very conservatively and quite plainly, almost as if she’s much older than she is and stays so thin, it hides how curvy and yummy she is. Its actually a shame, I actually wish she’d work with a different, younger stylist who could add a little sex appeal and youth to her style (like Monica Rose) whislt keeping it classy…and make her gain some weight!

  42. BLUE IVY'S FOOT says:

    * Solange does work with a couple of stylists including a pair of Nigerian girls with a site called poodlepusher…they were actually featured on this site…and also, some other guy she woked with before them also inspired her style heavily

  43. binks says:

    Solange and Lady Michelle Obama as honorable mentions!

  44. Tee says:

    J-lo be killin em’…gotta go with her.
    Sexy n classy…at all times

  45. Scar says:

    I say J-LO although Solange is a good runner up. J-Lo served every time.

    Rih-Rih is getting kind of *yawn* in the fashion department at times well this year at least.

    Kerry Washington spot should have been Kelly Rowland or Tiki Sumpter

    First Lady is always good.

  46. tiFFers says:

    You all are making this SOOOOOOO hard this year! All of these ladies bring it! I can’t vote:-/

  47. Jei says:

    Solange hands down but J-Lo better werk with that body.

  48. mia says:

    RI Ri j lo and Kerry. Solange for honorable mention.

  49. Angela says:

    Solange killed it!

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