Cover your eyes if you're questioning your commitment to Sparkle Nation, because this year's best gowns were a blinding bevy of sparkles, sequins and stars. And yes, they were good.

I'll admit it: I was never sold on Anne Hathaway as a woman of style, but her pure glam Armani Prive, at this year's Oscars, made me a believer. And how.


There was a lot of Glinda this year. Rose Byrne's Valentino Emmy iteration was among the best - "fairy princess" as a compliment, for a change.


More pure pretty? Olivia Wilde's Reem Acra confection at January 10th's Golden Globes.


People were sharply divided over Rihanna's November 23rd AMA frock - I thought it was a triumph for both the singer and Marchesa, both sweet and spiky.


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I couldn't choose a favorite betwixt Natalie Portman's triumphant Rodarte, at the Oscars...


...or her more casual November 24th Vena Cava at the New York City Ballet. So I added both!


There was no arguing with Penelope Cruz's vintage Balmain, worthy of her Oscar win.


More stunning vintage? Thandie Newton, at the Baftas on February 7th.


In the sea of bugle beads that was 2009, Liv Tyler's May 4th Met Costume Institute Ball Stella McCartney stood out as classic, sexy, and fun.


Gabourey Sidibe had a number of amazing looks this year, but I particularly loved this vivid empire-waisted gown, at September's Toronto Film Festival.


Another example of a trend done perfectly: Leslie Mann's absurdly slinky screwball bombshell (by Pamella Roland) at the Oscars.


I loved Ashley Olsen's minimalist chic at the 5/4 Costume Institute Ball. A grown-up take on quirk! (By The Row.)


In the same school, Amber Valletta earns a place on this list for the second year in a row for her simple column at November 12th's NARS 15x15 launch.


And speaking of quirky elegance, how could I not mention Tilda Swinton, looking typically chic and idiosyncratic at Cannes, May 17th.


If I had to name a favorite? Probably Chloe Sevigny's Isaac Mizrahi Resort at the 2009 Emmys. As pretty as anything we saw but, on her, also totally fresh and pitch-perfect.


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