*Editor’s note: the word iconic is used here on a sliding scale 😉
Oh, 2018. For many, this year has brought unprecedented disappointment—a list so long, I won’t even bother trying to unpack it. And for some, this was a triumphant year full of firsts and reasons to celebrate small victories, despite the massive shitshows happening worldwide. From fashion to pop culture to politics and where they intersect, there was a lot to cover. In fact, many of our stand-alone picks combined all three, with the personality and what they wore representing a deeper social statement. Below, our list of the most iconic moments from 2018—and what they wore—whether good, bad, or ugly.
Nicki Minaj v. Cardi B at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party
The brawl that started it all. Once a year, Harper’s Bazaar hosts its ‘Bazaar ICONS’ party that coincides with Fashion Week and celebrates all the people Carine Roitfeld deems worthy of the title. The September fete usually comes and goes with a few glitzy dresses and even fewer moments that are actually iconic. So was not the case this year. The event exploded with drama and a viral video of attendees Cardi B and Nicki Minaj hashing out some beef with the use of fists—and high-fashion accessories. Cardi wore a very dramatic red ruffled Dolce & Gabbana gown and at one point even took off a shoe to chuck in Nicki’s direction before she was escorted out of the party complete with a giant goose egg on her forehead. Meanwhile, Nicki gloated in tiger print Alexandre Vauthier and blond, wet-look styled hair. From runway to real life, who woulda thunk.
Ezra Miller in Moncler
Actor Ezra Miller is widely known for his style choices, challenging gendered stereotypes with risk-taking looks. And though we expected something unexpected from the goat midwife, stepping out this November on the red carpet in a full-blown puffer coat gown and black lipstick was not in our repertoire of guesses. The head-to-toe look was one of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s designs, in collaboration with Moncler for its Genius Group series. In an oil-slick black patent that covered every surface of its conical shape, the look was like nothing we’ve ever seen before on the red carpet. Miller’s bold and unapologetic sense of style encourages a mainstream rethink of traditional dressing, gendered garments in particular, and we are here for it.
Beyonce by Tyler Miller on the cover of Vogue
At this point in my life, I’ve pretty much accepted that Beyonce is a mainstay in the fashion crowd. Everything—from the pregnancy announcement of her twins to Black Panther references at her Superbowl performance—is praised for its style and finesse. So, it came as no surprise that Bey’s cover for Vogue’s September Issue made waves. In the story, Bey rocks the designs of young black creatives, like our office fave, Grace Wales Bonner. But it wasn’t just the fashion; the real show-stopper was 23-year old photographer Tyler Mitchell, who made history as the first ever black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover. I think there was a collective it’s about fucking time, yet the cover was no doubt incredibly powerful.
Rihanna in Margiela at the Met Gala
Vogue’s annual Met Gala theme can throw many a celebrity for a fashion curveball, unable to grasp the audacity to go full on fashion. But not Rihanna. The girl knows how to show up for a theme party, that’s for certain. On the first Monday in May to the tune of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination,” the pop-singer and Fenty designer wore a papal-inspired look by Margiela that absolutely stole the show. Not only did she top the best-dressed list for the second year in a row, but the clear spinoff of papal robes and crown sparked many a debate on the double-standards around cultural appropriation.
Justin Bieber eating a burrito
In one of the most widely speculated celebrity photos of October, a man who appears to be Justin Bieber is shown sitting on a park bench while eating a burrito, sideways. The situation in question, dubbed forever as ‘Burritogate’ showed a young Bieber in his native style environment: aka disheveled athleisure and jeans that look like they should have been left in 2002. Debate was sparked, analyses ensued, the pink sweatshirt was dissected piece by piece and so many asked ‘why, oh why is he eating that burrito sideways?’ The image ended up being a hoax by YouTubers Yes Theory, but ‘Burritogate’ proved that while Justin may be making some very independent style choices, you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Emrata getting arrested at the white house
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Today I was arrested protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Men who hurt women can no longer be placed in positions of power. Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is a message to women in this country that they do not matter. I demand a government that acknowledges, respects and supports women as much as it does men.
In early October Emily Ratajowski or as most know her @emrata was arrested while protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court. It’s not every day you see celebrities—especially those homegrown by social media—using their platform for change. The model went casual in high-waisted blue jeans, a white ribbed tank, and classic Nike Cortez, saying of the day during her appearance on Busy Tonight, “Voting is awesome. But there are so many other things we can do all other days of the year.” We stand by that message.
Meghan Markle in Stella McCartney
Love or hate her, Meghan Markle’s royal debut was a very big moment this year. The bride wore an off-the-shoulder Givenchy by Claire Waight Keller gown (that on its own spurred a series of daytime drama), but it was the halterneck Stella McCartney number that she wore to her reception that really got me. The choice catapulted Markle into modernity and injected some much-needed life into the royal affair.
Dakota Johnson in Hedi for Celine
In October, the Suspiria actress was the first and to our knowledge, maybe only celebrity who has worn Hedi Slimane’s inaugural collection for Celine. The collection itself was arguably the most divisive subject of the SS19 runways, and consequently, so was Dakota’s red carpet look. The red sequin minidress took form in a plunging neckline, draped skirt, and puffed sleeves, which stylist Kate Young paired with strappy Guiseppe Zanotti mules, and if taken out of context was a perfectly striking premier style. I’m choosing to harbor on the fact that no one else since has worn Hedi’s Celine. Will just leave that there…
Serena Williams in OffWhite
Just a few days after Serena Williams’ iconic black catsuit was banned by French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli, she showed up to the US Open in a show-stopping look designed by none other than Virgil Abloh. Williams is no stranger to pushing the rules when it comes to her wardrobe, but the Off-White x Nike collab went next level with a full-on tutu and bedazzled sneakers. The look was yet another example that Williams’ won’t stand for the criticism and policing of her body. Mic dropped.