Donna Tartt appears to produce a novel a decade – and 2013 saw her third, The Goldfinch, released. With it, fashion rejoiced along with the literati: the author’s razor-sharp bob returned for another moment in the spotlight. It really is a thing of beauty, one that gives the Queen of the Bob, Anna Wintour – and new convert Miley Cyrus – a run for their money. Tartt teams it with a proper look but unlike Anna, who loves a frock, Tartt wears her bob with tailoring almost as sharp as the plot lines in The Secret History. The result is the kind of disciplined, taut and clever style that the rest of us can only aspire to.
Matt Damon as Scott Thorson in Behind the Candelabra
Sure, Michael Douglas got all the headlines for his turn as Liberace, but Damon’s wardrobe got all the love from fashion insiders. Forget sequin suits and floorlength furs, and focus on 70s suiting, primary-coloured sportswear and a floppy, feathered haircut that should be adopted by all men immediately. All accessorised with a glass of champagne, the, ahem, money shot is his diamante bell-boy outfit, complete with hat. Reminiscent of the uniform worn by models operating lifts at this October’s Louis Vuitton show, it outshines Liberace without breaking a sweat.
If football managers were once all of a blur to fashion – with Arsène Wenger the one bright spot of elegance – José Mourinho arguably changed all that. He brought a look – salt and pepper hair, mac and looped scarf – to the dugout. But even the return of the self-anointed Special One to the Premier League was eclipsed this November when Borussia Dortmund played Arsenal in the Champions League. Manager Jürgen Klopp is 2013’s cult style reference for a particular niche: those who appreciate both fashion and football. It’s all thanks to flowing locks, statement specs and a 100-watt smile. The do is a new addition – Klopp is the Wayne Rooney of Germany: he had a hair transplant in April.
Rebecca Hall is the Diane Kruger of 2013. OK, they don’t look at all alike and Hall doesn’t date Pacey from Dawson’s Creek, but they both successfully straddle the whole looking-great-while-experimenting-with-fashion-on-the-red-carpet thing. Hall has been doing this all year but our favourite look of hers came at Venice in September: a Christopher Kane midi shirt dress with a design of contouring mapping that brings all those geography lessons back and makes them far more fabulous. The frock choice is to be applauded but it’s the details that give it the Kruger seal of approval – flat metallic sandals and a side-parted bob. Fearless and flawless. Bravo.
Solange at Coachella
The fact that Solange Knowles wore this outfit to Coachella is a mere footnote to why this look works. The April festival is always a catwalk on grass but Knowles could have been anywhere. A neon pink J Crew midi skirt, camisole and mid-heel sandals was a killer of a summer statement and it’s a look that has rippled through fashion’s upper echelons this year. Pay attention. Understated, cool and easy, but with a masterful colour pop – it still looks new eight months on, and that suggests there’s still mileage here. Just wait. Tropical print and sensible heels will be just the thing come summer 2014.
Baby North West is just one month older than baby Prince George Windsor but in fashion terms she’s light years ahead. To be fair, North was born into the court of Kim and Kanye and has a whole cluster of high-end designers seeking to dress the seven-month-old, while Prince G has a whole host of royal box ticking to contend with. North’s wardrobe highlights already include scaled-down creations from Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Alexander Wang and Phoebe Philo. Meanwhile, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci is her fashion godfather and sent her a mini Bambi T-shirt, replicated from his hit A/W catwalk collection. Harper Beckham: watch your crown.
Cara may have stolen the column inches as the most talked-about model of the year, but in terms of off-catwalk style, 42-year-old Mitford descendant Stella Tennant is peerless. Her insouciant appearance on the front row ahead of the Chanel show in Paris was the moment when her best-dressed status was consolidated. Her Chanel top, effortless black trousers and left-field fur-lined Céline sandals said: “I’ve come a long way since my nose ring and kilt days in Vogue, guys.” This month, she appeared at the British fashion awards in another black and red combination. On Tennant, red and black is a nod to punk but the loose tailoring is breezy and classy. Never vampy.
Festival fashion has been treading water for a while now. Kate, Sienna, Alexa, snore. That is until Cressida Bonas unexpectedly woke us up at Glastonbury this summer. It was her shouldn’t-work-but-it-did mix of ripped dungarees, fluoro sunglasses and a scrunchie that reinvigorated festival fashion. Her wavy, dishevelled party hair looked fit for an 80s coming-of-age movie, while the plate of chips was the cunning accessory that defused the posh-privilege aspect of it all. Since Glastonbury, Cress’s tresses have gathered their own momentum. Her mini plaits and kirby grips have a now quality that Duchess Kate and her mannered waves can only dream of.
Bobby Gillespie at Glastonbury
Sure, Mick Jagger looked like a spring chicken in a green jacket designed by girlfriend L’Wren Scott but Bobby Gillespie stole our hearts in his pink suit. Gillespie, you see, should really have received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his style by now. His bowl cut, skinny tailoring and down-the-barrel-of-a-gun stare – not to mention super-stylist wife Katie England – have made him a favourite of fashion. The pink suit – which was unapologetically raspberry, not the timid blush shade of MS pink coats – reminded us why. The Primal Scream frontman is, quite simply, a rock star who knows how to wear clothes.
Gillian Anderson in The Fall
The summer threw up an unexpected new sartorial category – BBC2 thriller chic. More specifically, we became obsessed with Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of DSI Stella Gibson, the woman at the heart of a gruesome serial murder inquiry with a penchant for a quality silk blouse. One episode saw the scene-stealing cream shirt become soaked in the blood of a dead colleague. Months later and the look – power femininity – is more memorable than the gruesome plot. The look isn’t owned by DSI Gibson (Carine Roitfeld might have something to say about that), but in 2013 the Fall blouse entered the unofficial boxset style annals.