2018's red carpet highlights will change your approach to party dressing

Lessons from the best in the business on making a style statement

Words: Daniël Geldenhuys | Photography: Getty

This year in red carpet moments has been one for the history books. From extremely important activist movements to mega meme generating looks, they're proof that in order to stand out you've got to be more than just stylish. Revisit the year's best looks, then apply that styling sensibility to your party dressing agenda. 

Claire Foy in Stella McCartney at the Golden Globes, 8 Jan

Claire Foy in Stella McCartney at the Golden Globes

It was a profound moment in red carpet history: stars stepped out in all-black looks to support #TimesUp, an organisation that offers legal and monetary support to victims of sexual harassment. Claire Foy in her Stella McCartney suit was a vision of female strength and style. Looking to channel Claire Foy your next festive occasion? Keep it slick, simple, and never underestimate the power of a bold red lip.

Lupita Nyong'o in Versace at the Academy Awards, 5 March

She called her Versace dress Vibranium, referring to the material from which the Black Panther's suit is made. Lupita served contemporary warrior princess, and represented the style movement that is #WakandaForever. This season, personalise your party dress by incorporating an element of your personal heritage in the styling. Wear it with the same pride the Black Panther crew did theirs.

Rihanna in Maison Margiela at the Met Gala, 7 May

Attending an event where the dress code reads 'your Sunday best' for the exhibit Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, Rihanna opted to dress like the pope. Of course she pulled it off, fuelling a million memes, and making other guests' attempts at OTT drama seem slightly desperate. The takeaway here, other than how exquisite beading is your friend, is to wear your bold party dress with that signature Rihanna confidence. You can't go wrong.

Nandi Madida in Ryan Keys at the SAMAs, 2 June

Nandi Madida in Ryan Keys at the SAMAs, 2 June

Back home, the SAMAs is always a good place to look for quality red carpet style moments. The way Nandi Madida styled her Ryan Keys flapper gown with futuristic sunnies (confirming on Insta she had Afrofuturism in mind) and graphic hair is worth a second look. It's absolute proof that something as simple as a contemporary accessory can take a pretty dress and make it super cool.

Lady Gaga in Valentino Haute Couture at the Venice Film Festival, 31 August

Lady Gaga in Valentino Haute Couture at the Venice Film Festival

Turns out you need a music star to revive that old Hollywood glamour. Lady Gaga wore a breathtaking Valentino Haute Couture gown to the premiere of A Star Is Born in Venice, creating a nostalgic red carpet moment, spellbinding in its pure glamour and beauty. As for the styling takeaway, when you have the privilege of wearing a gown this gorgeous, all you need are some dainty sparkly things in your ears to dot your Is and cross your Ts.

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