20 defining fashion moments of the 2010s
The decade in style
Style-watching over the past 10 years yielded garments that started memes, outfits with political purpose, and some unforgettable pieces of pure beauty. When we look back on the 2010s, these are the fashion moments we'll remember.
Lady Gaga at the VMAs, 2010
"I am not a piece of meat," Lady Gaga said. A star is born, indeed.
"Savage Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011
Just over a year after the death of Alexander McQueen, the Met's Costume Institute honored the brilliant young designer with "Savage Beauty," an exhibit of his work that launched at the Met Gala. The collection included "manta dresses," pictured, from McQueen's final show, SS 2010's "Plato's Atlantis" — some pieces from which had also been used in Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at her wedding, 2011
For the first (but not the last) fairy-tale wedding of the decade, the new Duchess of Cambridge (and former Kate Middleton) looked like a true princess in a gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Making almost as many headlines was the bride's sister and maid of honor, Pippa, in the same label.
Angelina Jolie at the Oscars, 2012
Walking the red carpet at the 2012 Oscars, Angelina Jolie determinedly kept her right leg sticking out of the high slit of her strapless Atelier Versace gown, inspiring a meme.
Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars, 2013
The Hunger Games actress — and one of the decade's fastest-rising stars — wore this gorgeous strapless Dior when she won an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook (and tripped on her way to the podium).
Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala, 2013
The theme for the 2013 Met Gala was "Punk: Chaos to Couture," and a very pregnant Kim Kardashian blew up the internet in a fitted floral gown — and matching gloves — by Riccardo Tisci. She's served many provocative looks since, but the "couch dress" is burned on all of our memories.
Miley Cyrus (with Robin Thicke) at the VMAs, 2013
Miley Cyrus came in like a wrecking ball at the VMAs in 2013, when she performed — alongside Robin Thicke, whose "Blurred Lines" was later the subject of a lengthy copyright lawsuit — in this nude latex bikini. Her provocative dance and skimpy wardrobe (revealed when she removed the teddy bear leotard she opened with) finally proclaimed, once and for all, that Hannah Montana was dead.
Pharrell at the Grammys, 2014
Angelina Jolie's leg can, um, step aside — there's a new style meme in town. Hitting the Grammys wearing a huge, vintage Vivienne Westwood hat, Pharrell had his own viral fashion moment — and effectively launched the era of weird red carpet dressing.
Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars, 2014
Lupita Nyong'o had a true Cinderella moment on the carpet at the 2014 Oscars — where she took home a statuette for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, her first feature film role — in dreamy pale blue Prada.
Rihanna at the Grammys, 2015
Style queen Rihanna had a showstopping moment on the Grammys red carpet in 2015, in an almost unfathomably voluminous tulle gown by Giambattista Valli.
Kanye West unveils YEEZY season 1 at New York Fashion Week, 2015
Kanye had experimented with a handful of fashion ventures earlier in his career, but he didn't take off as a major force in the industry until the launch of YEEZY, his collaboration with Adidas, halfway into the decade. The wildly popular Yeezy Boost sneakers became the label's must-have piece, and Kanye's influence has altered the landscape of a famously impenetrable and often inaccessible industry.
Taylor Swift at the Grammys, 2016
Still in her clean-lines 1989 era, a crop-topped Taylor Swift announced the color of the latter half of the decade — pink, so much pink — when she hit the Grammys red carpet in 2016.
Rihanna at the Met Gala, 2015, 2017, and 2018
RiRi doesn't take the Met Gala's annual fashion challenge lightly, which has contributed to her status as a pioneer of getting weird with red-carpet style. Wearing Guo Pei for 2015's "China: Through the Looking Glass," Rei Kawakubo for 2017's "Art of the In Between," and Maison Margiela in "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," she has a history of nailing the theme.
Beyoncé at Coachella, 2018
In a history-making set at the annual music fest, Beyoncé used fashion to celebrate black womanhood. Her intricate costumes, created in collaboration with Olivier Rousteing, invoked Nefertiti and HBCU Greek life.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at her wedding, 2018
Unlike her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle didn't go the fairy-tale route when she married her prince. The divorced, biracial, American actress-turned-royal stuck to her more understated style for the big day, choosing a simple gown in a heavy silk by Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller.
Timothée Chalamet at the London premiere of Beautiful Boy, 2018
As the decade wound to a close, rising star Chalamet led the charge for a new generation of stars leaning into expressive, vibrant menswear. Among his fellow style soldiers in the ongoing battle to rescue male celebrities from the shackles of boring black tuxes are Donald Glover, Harry Styles, Chadwick Boseman, and a certain quintet…
Queer Eye's Fab Five at the Emmys, 2018
Netflix's Queer Eye reboot made waves for its stars' style as well as its message of compassion. Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Karamo Brown have all consistently served looks since the series' launch, contributing to the wave of creative men's dressing.
Rita Moreno at the Oscars, 2018, and Jennifer Lopez at Milan Fashion Week, 2019
Pop-culture reboots (the power of existing IP!) and fashion recyling (the impending death of our planet!) became ever more popular toward the end of the 2010s. Rita Moreno and Jennifer Lopez both got into the spirit by bringing back past looks — Moreno altered the dress she wore when she won an Oscar in 1962, and Lopez modeled a made-over version of her iconic Versace from the 2000 Grammys.
Billy Porter at the Oscars, 2019
In another instance of creative dressing for men, Billy Porter made a statement in a genderbending tuxedo gown by Christian Siriano at the last Oscars of a decade marked by activist fashion.
Cardi B at the Grammys, 2019
Cardi B closed out the decade, which was increasingly filled with performative fashion, with this structural oyster dress, a '90s vintage piece by Thierry Mugler.