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11 of the most jaw-dropping British red carpet moments in 2021

Lady Gaga (L) and Cynthia Erivo (Ian West/PA)
Lady Gaga (L) and Cynthia Erivo (Ian West/PA)

It’s been a bit of an odd year for red carpet fashion – we started January in lockdown, meaning many big events were still held virtually.

But as the world started tentatively opening up, celebrities threw themselves back into red carpet fashion with renewed vigour.

It’s the sartorial response to spending so much time in sweatpants, and a delight for anyone who loves to see a bit of style and drama.

After a year full of viral fashion moments, these are the best looks to grace the British red carpet…

1. Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo arrives for the EE BAFTA Film Awards
(Ian West/PA)

Held in April, the Bafta film awards was one of the first major events to be held in person. It was more stripped-back than we’re used to, but we were still treated to some glamour – including Cynthia Erivo, who pulled out all the stops in a shimmering Louis Vuitton minidress.

The intricacy of this armour-inspired outfit is breathtaking, and we particularly like how Erivo chose a shorter hemline – not something you see often at big award shows.

2. Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa accepts the award for Best Female Solo Artist at the Brit Awards
(Ian West/PA)

Dua Lipa took home awards for best female solo artist and best album at this year’s Brits, and she paid homage Amy Winehouse in her look. Her gravity-defying beehive was a clear nod to the late singer, and Lipa wore another British icon for the occasion – Vivienne Westwood, known for her corset dresses.

3. Harry Styles

Harry Styles accepts the award for Best Single during the Brit Awards
(Ian West/PA)

Harry Styles has been heavily inspired by Seventies fashion this year – just see the brown geometric suit he wore to the Brit Awards. It’s a covetable look, and one to rival the viral feather boa he wore to the Grammys in March.

Harry Styles Feather Boa GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs - Find & Share on GIPHY

4. Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel arrives for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards
(Ian West/PA)

Black dresses don’t have to be boring on the red carpet: Michaela Coel showed how to give them a unique spin for the Bafta TV awards in June. She wore an elegant design by London-based label Maximilian, with long red cuffs and cut-outs at the front and back.

5. Nicola Coughlan

Nicola Coughlan arrives for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV
(Ian West/PA)

Nicola Coughlan brought a blast of colour to the Baftas, wearing a bold orange dress by Valentino. With statement sleeves, a structured silhouette and dark make-up, her look was bang on-trend.

6. Laura Whitmore

Laura Whitmore attending the National Television Awards 2021
(Ian West/PA)

Gunmetal isn’t a colour you often see on the red carpet, making Laura Whitmore’s National Television Awards outfit even more eye-catching. With a structured bodice and floaty skirt, it was just the right mix of edgy and romantic.

7. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga attending the House of Gucci UK Premiere
(Ian West/PA)

Lady Gaga’s film House Of Gucci has been a real gift for fashion lovers. Not only are the movie costumes incredible, but Lady Gaga has served some serious looks on the press tour – including her bright purple outfit for the London premiere. The dazzling dress was, of course, Gucci, and Gaga clearly had fun moving the chiffon cape around.

8. Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union attending the Fashion Awards 2021
(Ian West/PA)

After such a long break from red carpets, you can really see celebrities embracing red carpet drama – meaning outfits seem bigger and bolder than ever before. Take Gabrielle Union’s gown for the Fashion Awards 2021: a neon green couture Valentino creation, with a massive skirt, long train, and vertiginous hairdo.

9. Billy Porter

Billy Porter attending the Fashion Awards 2021
(Ian West/PA)

Many attendees at this year’s Fashion Awards wore one of the UK’s biggest designers: Richard Quinn. Billy Porter hosted the event in a black and silver geometric look by the designer – and even brought a bit of theatre to the red carpet by surrounding himself with a group of dancers, also dressed in head-to-toe Quinn.

10. Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra attending the Fashion Awards 2021
(Ian West/PA)

Priyanka Chopra Jonas wore a classic Richard Quinn outfit for the same event. Her floral jumpsuit  had statement shoulders, built-in gloves and shoes, and a seriously extra train.

11. Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale arriving at the 24th British Independent Film Awards
(Ian West/PA)

Kate Beckinsale brought winter elegance to December’s British Independent Film Awards, wearing a sophisticated white caped gown with silver sleeves – by one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designers, Jenny Packham.

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