Pop went through some fashion growing pains in 2011 but overall, this was a pretty decent (if not earth-shattering) year for musical style. Lady Gaga no longer shocks us the way she once did, but she’s still more creatively attired than any of her peers. Meanwhile, as Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry compete for the runner-up position for pop’s most flamboyant dresser, Rihanna kept sartorial sex in the air (she doesn’t care, she loves the smell of it, etc.). But where will they stand in the style hierarchy in a year, with newcomer Lana Del Rey already making strides as a new kind of pop star with an odd style sensibility to match?
We can’t forget the men, either: this year, Kanye West designed womenswear and we learned that he shouldn’t quit his day job. Still, he is one of the best-dressed men showing up for that job, with Drake close behind. And as for bands? The most Vogue-ready band in existence, Hurts, continues to stand head and tailored shoulders above the rest.
Then there were the greats this year – Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Grace Jones – all handling style decisions at middle age with various degrees of creativity, but to overall winning results.
Our year-end Best of Musical Style gallery is here.