Congratulations to everyone who managed to pull off a stellar 2011 — Kate Middleton and Tim Tebow, we’re looking at you — but let's get real: Even the one-percenters had their share of whiffs. Thus, as the flip side to our kudos-filled 11 in '11 slideshow of fashion success stories, we present the celebrities who could really use a red-carpet boost in 2012 — for respectability, for high-profile Revenge, or even for actual revenge. After all, there's no better way to start the New Year than by sticking it to your enemies. Or your ex.
Johansson is so lauded for her sexiness that David Fincher said he couldn’t cast her in Dragon Tattoo (on the theory that people are always just waiting, hoping, for her to get naked). So it’s a bad sign that not only can we barely remember what she wore in 2011 — good or bad — but we feel like we hardly saw her at all outside of cranky-looking pictures paired with articles about the snogging habits of ex-hubby Ryan Reynolds, or speculation about her fling with Sean "Old Enough to Be Her Father" Penn. We hope she rewrites her story in 2012 — from Allegedly Jealous Ex to Hot and Foxy Lady — and she can start by hitting up every awards season party wearing the OPPOSITE of that musty Dynasty getup she trotted out last year (not to mention her freaky lace number from the Oscars). Time to pay attention to her, rather than whom she is or isn't dating and divorcing.
Justin is 17, so we understand that between the hair and the specs and the earrings, he’s just having a little fun. But look at these pictures — he’s a teen boy trying to come off like a Kanye-style smooth operator. Doesn’t it seem a little strange, even sad, that he’s already turning into a caricature of himself (or other people)? Not that he’s helping his own cause: Somebody really, really should have told him to leave the snake at home — it's weird to bring a reptile to an awards show, unless you are Britney Spears and you're going to dance with it, plus he was unable to refrain from waving it in his girlfriend’s face and snickering about the double entendres. His homework for 2012 is to dial it down and relax. Be Justin, not The Bieb — and try to understand the distinction.
Hendricks is fantastically gorgeous when she's in costume as Joan on Mad Men, which makes it depressing that we usually shield our eyes when she hits the red carpet. Hendricks desperately needs a stylist to start massaging some designer egos and scoring Christina some fashion coups, because we should be awaiting her appearances with baited breath, not nervous stomachs. And the person who finally hits a Hendricks home run, and does so without whining about her measurements, will get so much favorable press — as will Christina herself. It’s a win-win. Let's get the girl — and the girls — some professional help.
Girlfriend had a rough end to 2011, but thanks to her family’s uncanny ability to turn lemons into Nielsen lemonade, we’re pretty sure her Marital Troubles won’t lead to her living out her days anonymously in a shed somewhere. Still, when much of the world thinks you are a spoiled fame-seeker who rushed into a ridiculous marriage because you caught a raging case of Kate Middleton Syndrome (and then pocketed millions of dollars before bailing as fast as possible), maybe it's time for a little image makeover. Specifically, Kim needs to morph into a real person, like the one we saw a glimpse of on the Marie Claire cover — nothing shiny, no shrubberies for eyelashes, sans spackle. It’d be a lot easier to warm up to her—and, ahem, side with her, Kardashian Spin Machine — if she didn’t look like her own wax replica.
Maybe Ashton and Kim should hop on the phone. Because while Ashton may need that absurd cranial manscaping for Two and a Half Men, here’s something Kutcher needs even more: for the world not to think he is a stank-ass cheater being styled by some dude living out of a dumpster. Is there any better time to come out of your house looking amazing than when you are a) suffering through a nasty, awkward breakup during which b) all public opinion is totally against you and c) you really want to stick it to your haters? It’s the only move he has left short of dating Kim Kardashian. Game on, Ashton.
Is there any better time to come out of the house looking amazing than when you are a) suffering through a nasty, awkward breakup during which b) all public opinion is totally with you and c) you really want to stick it to your ex? It’s a simple checkmate, short of convincing George Clooney to finally date his age. Game on, Demi. (On both fronts.)
Speaking of Revenge, we hope that the star of the only breakout television hit of the year is ready to have a seriously smashing 2012. VanCamp herself is adorable, but that spotlight is only going to get hotter, so we hope she’s accordingly ready to turn up her wardrobe a notch or twelve. Designers will want to send her stuff, if they haven’t already, so we hope she picks wisely and with guts (and gusto). If everyone’s going to be watching, might as well give them a show.
Since she rocked out the royal wedding in navy blue this past April, we’ve barely seen Victoria, save for a November appearance in basic black at the British Fashion Awards. Sure, she was gestating, but nothing gets the public itchy to see a former zany favorite quite like red-carpet maternity leave. The longer we wait, the more she has to knock off our socks when she does return. Sure, Victoria the businesswoman is great, but we miss Posh, and 2012 would be a great time to let her roam free for a bit — after all, her company is plenty respected by now. Let’s have some fun.
Let us first acknowledge how bizarre it is that the girl from Secret Life of the American Teenager, perhaps the worst-acted show on television, is getting genuine and apparently well-deserved awards buzz for The Descendants. Let us next acknowledge that after a lackluster start to 2011, Shailene has been ratcheting up her style, probably as a nod to the fact that someone who may get an Oscar nomination can't really show up places looking like a tween yahoo. And let us finally acknowledge that, as we head into proper awards season, she needs to hit the whole Polished Professional Actress look out of the park. Shailene, we've seen Secret Life. Distance yourself through fashion.
Remember right after Katie Holmes married Tom Cruise, she cut her hair into that amazingly chic bob? Remember what Katie Holmes wore this year? That’s right: Like ScarJo before her, odds are nobody much knows what Katie Holmes has been up to this year, beyond taking Suri shopping (and letting Tom sit out the events for Jack & Jill, which was kind of her). The erstwhile Joey Potter is as gorgeous as ever, but her public persona is fading away like that picture of Marty McFly at the end of Back to the Future. If she wants to be a civilian, more power to her. But if not, Katie would be well advised to stop walking out of the house in Holmes and Yang (her vanity design project, which has a tendency to look like a C+ home-ec assignment) and start turning up the volume.
While Blake was dating Leonardo DiCaprio, she generally looked rather chic, which we suspect may be because she was hyper-conscious of trying to impress someone above her age, fame, and talent level. We don't mean that as an insult; it’s just a fact, and although we can tease her about it, she wasn’t wrong to shelve the Marchesa mermaid couture in favor of simpler sophistication. But Blake has drifted back into tackier and more attention-grabbing waters now that she’s dating Ryan Reynolds. (Should he be offended?) Next year, we’d like to see classy become her new baseline. By now, Blake, we all know what you’ve got. So entice us to look rather than force us into it.
This one's easy to sum up: ENOUGH WITH THE PRINCESS DRESSES, SISTER. There's a lot of acreage between Taylor Swift's endless array of strapless glittery gowns, and, say, Taylor Momsen's pantsless boob-flashing, and we'd love it if this Taylor would investigate that territory. America's sweetheart doesn't have to look so sweet all the time. Actually, now that we think about it, if both Taylors could find some way to meet in the middle, our work here would be done.
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