Today, we’ll take you on a journey through yesteryear, covering all the bases – from red carpet couture and evening casuals to street styles and looks on the job – of our favourite celebrity looks of 2012. In no particular order, our top ten best-dressed actresses, models, designers and personalities of 2012 are …

Most Effortless: Cara Delevingne

Our favourite look: Cara Delevingne's street style – pulling a black vest over her Burberry Prorsum striped jacket gives it a peplum silhouette (Genius!), and pairing them with skinny black pants and peep toe wedge boots keeps the look sleek and pulled together.

After making herself a household name last year, this British model shows no sign of slowing down – she was dubbed Model of the Year 2012 at the British Fashion Awards, and even played a small role in the film adaptation of Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’. Delevingne has a knack of pulling outfits together and making it all look effortless … well, she is a top model after all. Her hair is often seen down and slightly unruly, even on the red carpet. With her minimalist approach to make-up, she kicks it up a notch by pairing her outfits with key statement pieces without going over the top. Reminding us that sometimes, less is more than enough.

Best Bombshell Beauty: Rihanna

Our favourite look: Rihanna performing at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Did you know that her costume was only created two hours before the show! And those to-die-for-shades? Vintage Chanel.

A constant fixture across best dressed lists, 2012 saw Rihanna’s style tone down from her previous album’s overtly revealing, edgy style to a subtler classic bombshell look. Fitting silhouettes and classic colours prove that Rihanna doesn’t need a gimmick to sell her music anymore – that she’s here to stay, and don’t we know it.

Most Ethereal: Fan Bing Bing

Our favourite look: Fan Bing Bing at Louis Vuitton's Autumn/Winter Ready-To-Wear 2012 show. Dressed in full Louis Vuitton, save the Christian Louboutin heels, Fan Bing Bing gets extra points for consistency.

Fan Bing Bing was the one to watch as she blazed through fashion week and the Cannes Film Festival, pulling off show-stopping looks after another. A constant vision of perfection, Fan never steps out with a hair out of place. Classic with a twist of her own, her style can rival most Hollywood starlets. Fan has definitely inspired us embrace our femininity and all things lace for 2013.

Versatile Superstar: Emma Stone

Our favourite look: Emma on the poster of her latest movie, 'Gangster Squad', in a gorgeous floor-length, high-slit red gown, which we predict will be in the list of unforgettable on-screen looks alongside Audrey Hepburn's little black dress and Kate Winslet's glittering black dress that took Leonardo's breath away in 'Titanic'.

Hollywood It-girl, Emma Stone, has graduated from the comedy roles that had us intrigued, and into some serious movie-roles – showing her versatility not just onscreen, but also on the red carpet. What we love about Stone is how she can rock glamourous looks like that vampy black Gucci dress at the French premiere of ‘Spiderman’, then show up at a Revlon event fresh-faced and down-to-earth in a simple Daniel Vosovic dress, but still looking just as stunning.

Queen of High Fashion: Elle Fanning

Our favourite look: It's a tie between the Rochas Resort 2013 floral gown she wore to the London premiere of her movie 'Ginger and Rosa', or the retro print purple Miu Miu ensemble she wore to the Toronto premiere of the same movie. Plus points for being original and daring!

Bypassing growing pains and into our High Fashion Queen title at the age of 14, Elle Fanning is also the youngest on the list. No surprise here, as she and big sister, Dakota, are constant fixtures in fashion magazines, at events dressed by top designers, and even in model pairings for Marc Jacobs. With poise and grace that is scarily beyond her years, Elle dresses almost exclusively in straight-off-the-runway couture dresses … But what can you expect when you’ve been strutting the red carpet since you were a toddler?

Most Unconventional: Marc Jacobs

Our favourite look: Hands down, Marc Jacobs in that daring Comme des Garçons shirt dress at the Met Ball. Challenging conventional menswear in lace and white boxers, our hats were taken off to Marc Jacobs.

The only man on our best dressed list is also our most unconventional. Menswear has always revolved around the same basics, but Marc Jacobs never fails to have a bit of fun with fashion. Spotted wearing kilts, skirts and pink shirt dresses (and contrasting tattoos), we don’t see many men following suit, but who knows? Men might finally don skirts the same way women embraced embraced androgyny in the ’70s. For 2013, don’t just think out of the box, crush it and build a new one. Jacobs is an inspiration for those ready for a fashion revolution – we know we are.

Most Improved: Miley Cyrus

Our favourite look: When performing at VH1 Divas, Miley garnered lots of compliments – even from Miss Kelly Osbourne – when she strutted on stage fully-clothed in black, with a heavily studded top that bared her flawless abs.

Hannah Montana rest in peace! Miley Cyrus kissed her alter ego and Southern belle personality goodbye when she reinvented herself. Although Cyrus has been growing out of her child star personality for some time now, it seems the cropping and bleaching of her hair was the final ultimatum. Most of the time, you can spot her with her midriff showing, and why not? She has the body for it. Miley Cyrus, congratulations, you are our most improved celebrity of 2012!

Ultimate Street Styler: Olivia Palermo

Our favourite look: Hanging on to her fiancé during a photo shoot, Palermo was the image of a Parisian chic in a classic little black dress paired with pumps, nothing revolutionary but definitely stylish.

Street style is a testament of a celebrity’s true style. A frequent front row personality at fashion week, Olivia Palermo is no stranger to the industry and the way it works. In fact, it seems Olivia has the fashion guidebook up her sleeves. Whether she is out about town or at the beach, she always manages to look oh-so-chic. Her key to a flawless look seems to be mixing and matching, be it with texture or prints in classic silhouettes and the perfect accessories.

Breakthrough Fashionista: Rita Ora

Our Favourite Look: Rita Ora at the British Fashion awards looking sleek in Stella McCartney – but what really caught our eye was the holographic clutch! Modern and chic, frosty white is also the colour to watch this season.

23-year-old Rita Ora burst onto the commercial music scene and into the hearts of style watchers everywhere in 2012. Her unique look is attributed to her Kosovar Albanian ethnicity, but what we love most is her loud vintage-inspired sense of style, choice of bold lip colours and blonde hair. Citing Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Monroe and Daphne Guinness as her style icons, Rita Ora has proven to be a master of eclectic mix-matched style – a great representative of her time.

Downright Funkiest: Solange Knowles

Our favourite look: Solange Knowles attending the Just Cavali show. Wearing Roberto Cavali Resort 2013, she paired this graphic blazer with an equally graphic dress. Some times, pairing two statement pieces really just equate to one great statement.

Little sisters are big on our best dressed list – counting down the third little sister in our list, Solange Knowles takes the award for most daring, most funky. Bright colours, mixed retro prints, quirky designs and that cute Motown fro? Solange is in a genre of her own. Invited to DJ at fashion events such as the BCBG Max Azria & Hervé Léger party and the H&M opening in Mexico City, Solange makes a prominent mark on fashion as an individual.

Text credit: Sheena Liam and Yi Peng Yap
Image credit: Zimbio