Fashion

IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHO WON THE DRESS OF 2019?

From ‘meme couture gowns’ to Celine Dion’s camp spectacle

Emma Firth | 17.12.2019

Share the story
Link copied

2020 is coming, and no we’re not quite ready for it. First up, some deep reflection - followed by a bubbling, low-level anxiety of everything we have not ticked off the impossibly long to-do list. Casting our minds back over the dresses that stole the show this year is, however, the best kind of rumination. From ‘meme couture gowns’ to Celine Dion’s camp spectacular at the Met, BURO. spotlights the award-worthy dresses of 2019. Which one would you crown the winner?

1/10

THE BIG MEME ENERGY

It’s cold, Christmas has drained your bank account and your social life has gone into hiding. Let’s face it, January can suck. This year, our Instagram feed got a major dose of feel-good factor. No, not an inspiring New Year, New You quote (go away please), but all the things you wish you could say but don’t, adorned on rainbow-coloured tulle gowns. Yes, Viktor & Rolf’s couture show brought the internet goods, with dresses emblazoned with slogans to fit your every mood: From "Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come" and “I’m not shy I just don’t like you.” To the classic: “Go Fuck Yourself.”

2/10

THE ONE THAT WAS SURPRISINGLY FUNCTIONAL

Big and frothy, long and silky, skin-tight and sequin-laden: we love the idea of borrowing an awards dress for the night. Though, as delightful as they look, sometimes not the most practical of dressage. That was until we spotted Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan at the Oscars in a ruffled pink Valentino gown with…pockets! Which she later admitted she had stuffed with cookies and rice crackers. Quite brilliant.

3/10

THE ONE THAT NEEDED ITS OWN TEAM OF ESCORTS

Cardi B’s ensembles deserve a special place in the fashion history books: whether dripping in bling, wearing a (Richard Quinn) face mask to Paris Fashion Week or going full-on Chanel on the front row in tweed jumpsuit. Though she managed to outdo herself at this year’s Met Gala, bringing the red to the red carpet in a larger-than-life feathered Thom Browne creation, featuring $250K worth of rubies. That, my friend, is how you set the standard.

4/10

THE ONE THAT BROKE THE INTERNET (AGAIN)

If there’s one person this year who has inspired us to dig deep into our wardrobes for hidden treasures, it’s Jennifer Lopez. This year, the iconic singer and Golden Globe nominated actress shut down the Versace show during Milan Fashion Week in a revived version of the infamous Jungle dress she wore to the Grammys in 2001, which launched Google images. What goes around, always comes back around.

ADVERTISEMENT. CONTINUE READING BELOW

5/10

THE ONE THAT FULFILLED THE BRIEF

“Well, it’s like… at first I was a little bit confused when I heard camp," said Celine Dion at this year’s Met Gala. “I wasn’t sure what it meant. I thought like, camping. We’re going camping! We’re going to build a camp, and everyone’s going to stay and sleep all night together.” Despite some brief confusion, Dion fully embraced the theme, with a ‘glittering goddess’ gown inspired by a Judy Garland dress worn in 40s musical-drama Ziegfeld Girl.

6/10

THE ICE-BREAKER

Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter was responsible for one of the most talked-about red carpet moments of the decade, not just the year. When he wore a custom floor-length tuxedo gown by Christian Siriano to the Oscars, searches for the designer increased 101% in 24 hours, according to Lyst. Porter said he wanted to make a political statement about masculinity and didn’t give one iota about the haters. “If you don’t like it, go somewhere else,” was his response to critics, “You don’t have to look.”

7/10

THE OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR DO-OVER

At Cannes Film Festival, widely considered to be the most glamourous soirée of the summer, understatements are frowned upon. One of our favourite red-carpet dispatches from the event this year, was Elle Fanning’s soft-pink silk Gucci gown she wore to the opening ceremony, completing the look with Chopard jewellery and a power red lip (for the very best of the latter, see here). While Fanning has described her style as “unicorn flower child” in the past, this is Grace Kelly personified.

8/10

THE MODERN DAY CINDERELLA

Phoebe Waller Bridge is high up on our women of the year list (cosying up next to J.Lo, Celine Dion and Lizzo). Aside from being one of the most in-demand talents, the Fleabag writer was the star of this year’s Emmys – later on, pictured in her champagne Monique Lhuillier ball gown, smoking a cigarette and drinking a margarita surrounded by her Emmy awards at the Chateau Marmont. A dream New Year’s Eve TBH.

9/10

THE ONE THAT, UM, GOT LOST

Fashion loves a drama. The one that we could not quite get over was the case of Lady Gaga’s periwinkle-blue Valentino Golden Globes gown. Story goes that the dress was put up for sale by housekeeper Sara Corea, after she apparently found it at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel. Reportedly left behind in the actress's hotel room, after she wore it to collect the award for Best Original Song at this year's ceremony. Corea handed it in to lost property but, when left unclaimed, it was returned to its finder, who subsequently put it up for auction. TMZ reported it as missing to the Beverly Hills Police, with the fashion house and hotel working hard to take it off the auction site. The auction house is said to have countered that it "followed proper procedures" in obtaining the gown, which comes with a "Letter of Authenticity" from Corea. And now for the plot twist: the gown was withdrawn by Nate D. Sanders Auction House just moments before bidding closed in November. Case closed.

10/10

THE DOPAMINE DRESSER

While technically we’re supposed to gear up for a ‘classic blue’ comeback, according to Pantone, we’re still finding obsessed with the G-spot (the green fashion trend). Alongside winning Model of the Year, at this year’s Fashion Awards, Adut Akech repped the shade du jour, in a velvet and taffeta dress of dreams by Valentino.

images | shutterstock

​ ​
Share the story
Link copied
Explore more
SUBSCRIBE TO BE MORE BURO.