It's been quite an unforgettable year in fashion: Raf Simons debuted a highly anticipated collection for Dior, the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit opened at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and illustrious French label Yves Saint Laurent rebranded itself as Saint Laurent Paris, among other happenings. As we reflect on 2012's most impactful sartorial stories, however, we must pay homage to the celebrities and tastemakers who help set the trends. From beauty transformations (Taylor Swift's fresh fringe!) to the emergence of a dark horse powerhouse (Miranda Kerr's sudden street style cred!), read on for our edit of the Best Dressed savants. Some are mainstays, others are newcomers, but all have impressed us with their memorable looks this year.WHO: Kristen Stewart
WHAT: Best Transformation
WEAR: This year, Kristen Stewart graduated from sneakers and skinny jeans to directional gowns and short suits, and the fashion world has certainly taken note! But true to form, the actress hasn't ditched her signature edgy look. Rather, she opts for avant-garde silhouettes and menswear-inspired cuts that make her a fashion force to be reckoned with.
WHO: Diane Kruger
WEAR: Thanks to her intrepid sensibilities, Diane Kruger's a perennial favorite here at Who What Wear headquarters. Over the past 12 months, she fearlessly attempted the trickiest trends, from cropped sweaters to micro-print dresses, always with stellar results. We can't wait to see what this bold stylesetter has in store for us next year.
WHO: Mandy Moore
WHAT: Best Comeback
WEAR: As longtime fans of Mandy Moore, we were thrilled this year when the star made a splash on our fashion radar. A front-row fixture at New York Fashion Week, Moore wore a series of stunning outfits that showcased her willingness to experiment, whether it was pairing bright pink heels with a khaki suit or sporting a modern printed blazer.
WHO: Kiernan Shipka
WHAT: Style Icon in Training
WEAR: Who says you can't be a style superstar at age 13? Mad Men actress Kiernan Shipka may be young, but the tween pulls off decidedly sophisticated outfits without losing her youthful charm. She's well on her way to style icon status: after all, this is a girl who sported streamlined Zac Posen at the Emmy Awards earlier this year.
WHO: Eddie Redmayne
WHAT: Dapper Dude
WEAR: Starring in Burberry's S/S 12 campaign probably has something to do with why Eddie Redmayne's our Dapper Dude of the year. The storied British label certainly influenced the Les Miserables actor's style, which is comprised of impeccably tailored and elegant suits.
WHO: Miranda Kerr
WHAT: Street Style Savant
WEAR: Perhaps you've noticed our ongoing sartorial love affair with Miranda Kerr over the past year. But can you blame us? The model relies on tried-and-true favorites, like her Isabel Marant ankle boots and Rag & Bone jeans, but she's a pro at making her outfit look brand new every time. How? She expertly lends a chic downtown twist and her layering skills are simply unmatched!
WHO: Emma Stone
WHAT: Red Carpet Chameleon
WEAR: Emma Stone has certainly reaped the accolades for her incredibly diverse acting career, but we think she deserves just as much credit for her style too. She wore a string of sought-after runway looks on the red carpet this year, from designers like Jason Wu, Lanvin, and Giambattista Valli, but always with sophisticated panache that hints at just how comfortable she is in her fashion choices.
WHO: Solange Knowles
WHAT: Mix Master
WEAR: Solange Knowles makes it seem effortless, but her ability to combine prints, wear pops of color, and incorporate head-turning accessories in every outfit is no easy feat. That's precisely why Madewell tapped her to style and model their fall collection earlier this year, and why we've unanimously anointed the musician as our resident Mix Master.
WHO: Cara Delevingne
WHAT: Model Muse
WEAR: There's no doubt about it: Cara Delevingne's off-duty style is as charming as her fun-loving personality. In fact, her enviable cool-girl look is nearly as prolific as her soaring modeling career (she appeared alongside Redmayne in Burberry's S/S 12 campaign and was tapped as the face of Chanel's Resort 13 collection). Whether she rocked a luxe tuxedo look or simply wore a bright beanie and casual shorts, Delevingne's style was always inimitably chic.
WHO: Taylor Swift
WHAT: Hit Her Stride
WEAR: Taylor Swift's always championed sweet, ladylike style: first came the floral sundresses and cowboy boots, then a string of sparkly cocktail dresses and evening gowns. But 2012 saw the singer hit her sartorial stride. From polished streetwear (crisp blouses, colorful jeans, oxford shoes) to glamorous red carpet looks (cool cutouts, ornate embellishments, even menswear-inspired suiting), she's truly come into her own this year.--Tiffany Tse
Photo of Eddie Redmayne, courtesy of Burberry; photo of Miranda Kerr, courtesy of Splash News; photo of Cara Delevingne, courtesy of Mulberry; photos of Diane Kruger, Emma Stone, and Mandy Moore, courtesy of Getty Images; photo of Kiernan Shipka, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; photo of Solange Knowles, courtesy of Just Cavalli, photo of Kristen Stewart, courtesy of WENN; photo of Taylor Swift, courtesy of AKM-GSI.