Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed - these are the stars who ruled the red carpet

Nailing red carpet dressing, these are the Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed stars

Critics Choice Awards 2023 Best Dressed: Jennifer Coolidge, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeo, Viola Davis, Kate Hudson
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When it comes to the Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed, that's a list every star wants to be on. Celebrities were out in force on the red carpet, for the second prominent award ceremony of the season, hoping to scoop an award for their work and some sartorial kudos. 

Award season is one of the most important periods in the fashion calendar. Giving designers the opportunity to show off their latest runway collections and kick-start the fashion trends 2023. Last year the Critics Choice Awards best-dressed guests chose outfits that highlighted the latest trends, with plenty of bright, dopamine dressing-inspired looks, alongside classic sequin ensembles and gowns with pockets. For this season, the Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed followed suit, opting for color pops of yellow, pink and orange and a heavy dose of metallics, although black outfits were overwhelmingly popular too.

While the best Oscars dresses generally offer the most drama, the Critics Choice Awards 2023 fashion offered playful elegance, seen through clever use of color, voluminous silhouettes and capes. As we make our way through the season of big dresses it was also great to see stars bucking the trend, with some guests shunning evening gowns for sleek tuxedos, such as Britt Lower's striking white caped two-piece and Cate Blanchett's shirt and top combo.

Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed: 14 stars who rocked the red carpet

Many of the actors who made the Golden Globes 2023 best dressed list have scored big again tonight, selecting the best dresses from some of the world's leading design houses to secure their spot. With hours of preparation prior to each event, this is a busy period for the Hollywood elite but their unwavering cool on the red carpet makes the final result seem effortless. When it comes to Critics Choice Awards fashion, these are the looks we can't stop thinking about. 

1. Viola Davis

Viola Davis on the red carpet Critics Choice awards

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Stealing our hearts on every red carpet she graces, Viola Davis truly shone in this Valentino number and secured her spot with ease on our Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed list. The striking sequined gown featured an asymmetric silhouette, with a racer-front style cut on one shoulder, and ruched detailing across the chest. However rather than being bare armed, the dress then flowed into a cape, delivering drama and glamour in droves.

The floor length silhouette and subtle A-line cut skimmed the stars curves to create one of the most show stopping looks of the night. Accented by delicate diamond jewelry, Viola Davis certainly dazzled. 

2. Angela Bassett

Critics Choice Awards red carpet image of Angela Bassett

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After a sensational win at the Golden Globes last week, which saw Angela Bassett sport one of the best Golden Globes dresses too, the star opted for a Christian Siriano outfit for the Critics Choice 2023. A double win, for the star, who scooped the award for Best Supporting Actress, Angela Bassett's red carpet look didn't let us down either.

A directional peplum dress, there was a distinctive '80s feel to the gown but with a modern twist. Crafted from velvet the dress featured not one, but two bubble hemmed peplums that fluted into a ruffled train, a frock that ensured Angela Bassett would not be missed. Bubble hems are back for the 2023 fashion trends and this extreme iteration of the look was the perfect starting point for the trend.

Nipping in at the waist, to ensure the dress didn't overwhelm, the velvet number featured a figure hugging square bustier, enhancing Angela Bassett's natural curves. Completing the look with a figure lengthening gold choker, giving a nod to the jewelry trends 2023, the whole outift was accented by a leopard print clutch which added a playful feel. This is going to be a look that's hard to top during the rest of the season.  

3. Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh on the red carpet at Critics Choice Awards

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Another of our Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed, Michelle Yeoh looked directional on the red carpet in a Carolina Herrera number. Having had a strong start to award season, Michelle Yeoh swapped the metallics of her Golden Globes ensemble for bold color and an even bolder silhouette.

Pink is set to remain one of the biggest fashion color trends 2023 and this pink and black dress was quite the show stopper. The central part of the dress, a simple black column design flattered Michelle Yeoh's frame, but the evening wear drama was delivered by pink off the shoulder sleeves that draped into a train, adding volume and an almost cape like appearance, a style that was particularly popular over the course of the evening.

4. Jennifer Coolidge

Jennifer Coolidge on Critics Choice Red Carpet

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The little black dress is a capsule wardrobe hero when it comes to the best cocktail dresses and evening wear so we don't blame Jennifer Coolidge for sticking to this formula and in fact black dresses were hugely popular for some of the Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed. A look that will never go out of style and will always feel at home at this style of event.

Fresh from her win at the Golden Globes, Jennifer continued to shine in a custom made, Dolce & Gabbana curve flattering frock and picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in White Lotus. The deep V-neck coupled with the empire line waist band and ruched middle is a winning combo for creating an hourglass silhouette. The long black gloves, accessorized with jewels give this old school Hollywood ensemble a thoroughly modern feel. 

5. Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams at the Critics' Choice Awards

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Rarely not on the best dressed list, when it came to the 2023 Critics Choice Awards Michelle Williams knew exactly how to play it. Looking effortlessly elegant in a one shoulder, Louis Vuitton metallic gown, the simplicity of the cut is complemented by the complexity and hand embroidered work of the fabric. A muted but glamorous look, Michelle Williams is one star who manages to make any red carpet look utterly effortless. Teaming the gold dress with a short chain necklace from Tiffany & Co that matched the dress perfectly, this is not the boldest of red carpet looks but it delivers on elegance in droves.

6. Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson Critics Choice Awards red carpet

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Kate Hudson looked liked she had been dipped in liquid gold in this sensational Oscar de la Renta halterneck dress that grazed the side of Kate's silhouette, and featured an exposed back. The fabric looked incredibly light, and gently floated into a sheer tulle fishtail, embellished in floral appliques. Playing nicely into the latest fashion trends for frothy and romantic dressing, the addition of a chain cuff and chain necklaces gave the overall ensemble a tougher finish. Wearing some of the best designer heels, Kate opted for Christian Louboutin, peep toe shoes, Kate Hudson showed how to red carpet perfection with an edge. 

7. Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts on the red carpet Critics Choice Awards

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One of the most elegant looks of the night, Julia Roberts was another of our Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed who opted for a Hollywood in its heyday look. Conjuring up the feeling of old school glamour and understated style, Julia Roberts long skirted, long sleeved Schiaparelli dress featured gold embellishment work across the torso to create a figure lengthening finish. Teamed with Chopard jewelry, the simple figure-hugging top and A-line skirt was by far not the most outrageous of the night, but it was one outfit we certainly felt could stand the test of time.

8. Lily James

Lily James at the Critics Choice awards on the red carpet

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Another daring fashion choice, Lily James caused quite a stir at the Golden Globes and her winning style streak continued on the Critics Choice Awards 2023 red carpet.  Another star in Oscar de la Renta, the almost sheer, voluminous dress bucked the trend for floor length frocks, instead skimming just above the ankle and had a playful, yet elegant feel. Nipping in at the waist before flaring out in to a full tulle skirt, Lily's waist was highlighted by an oversized bow. Another trend reflective look, we're expecting tulle and full skirts to play a key part in occasionwear dressing next season, and dresses with a similar silhouette (with a more solid lining) to Lily's shoulder baring number are ideal for what to wear to a wedding this summer.

9. Claire Foy

Claire Foy on the red carpet of the critics choice awards

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Claire Foy's embracement of color and print earned her a spot on our Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed list. Wearing Italian clothing brand Prada, the royal blue color is set to be the hue to invest in to reinvigorate your wardrobe. The red carpet rarely sees much print action, with stars usually opting for block color or metallic designs, ensuring the combination of a yellow floral print and blue base really stood out. The Sculptural back to this dress really makes it a standout piece, and unfortunately is somewhat lost in red carpet pictures, but the bustle-inspired design gives this dress an elegant finish, while the color and print keeps it modern. With barely there jewelry, Claire Foy plays into the clean lines of the dress, opting for a pair of stud earrings, forgoing a necklace to let the dress do the talking. 

10. Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler on the red carpet at the Critics Choice Awards

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With the nerve racking job of hosting the Critics Choice Awards 2023, Chelsea Handler looked absolutely stunning on the red carpet in a Maticevski dress. Clashing with the carpet in a bright orange dress, the one shoulder silhouette was an overwhelming popular choice of style for many of the Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed guests. A naturally figure lengthening silhouette, Chelsea's fitted dress gave her extra height, thanks to the sculptural shoulder. While the waist seam helped to contour and highlight curves. With a red carpet-worthy train for a dose of drama and a bold gold cuff to add polish, we loved this bold outfit choice.

11. Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning on the red carpet at the Critics Choice Awards

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Wearing British designer brand, Alexander McQueen, Elle Fanning  had one of the more statement looks of the night. The bustier dress with slash and cut out detailing had a real renaissance feel to it that looked at home on the red carpet. 

Crafted in off-white, the sculptural silhouette, that was pulled, draped, slashed and pinched to create full rounded hips and a tiny waist, was another red carpet look that channelled nostalgia, an over-arching theme for many of the Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed. Adding a touch of sparkle, Elle opted for gold metallic shoes to style out the look and give this period-drama ensemble a runway-ready finish.

12. Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett on the critics choice red carpet

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Winning both on and off the carpet, one of the most unexpected looks of our Critics Choice Awards 2023 best dressed goes to Cate Blanchett, who looked sensational in a muted beige two piece by Max Mara. Offering a more utilitarian vibe, Cate's look was reminiscent of the best shirt dresses, except this particular iteration was award season-ready. The bias cut skirt draped into a small but noticeable train, while the coordinating shirt featured front patch pockets for an androgynous feel. Breaking all the red carpet rules by shunning glitz and glam, Cate did so with the style and elegance of a red carpet pro, showing that confidence and glamour is about more than sequinned attire.

13. Patricia Arquette

Critics Choice Awards - Patricia Arquette

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We fell for Patricia Arquette's Grecian-inspired Valentino dress straight away. The mint hue taps into the pastel color trends we expect to emerge over the coming months, while the empire line cut, coupled with the deep V-neckline is just oh-so-flattering on curves. 

With an accompanying caped back, this dress was ideal for the red carpet, offering an elegantly dramatic finish. Fully leaning into the Grecian vibes, Patricia wore a bold gold necklace and two cuffs, one on each wrist to complete the ensemble. 

14. Jessie Buckley

Jessie Buckley on the red carpet for the critics choice awards

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One of our favorite outfits of the night, Jessie Buckley was another star who opted for a renaissance-inspired gown. Wearing Vivienne Westwood, the bustier style top highlighted Jessie's curves, nipping her in at the waist before swooping into an elegant skirt that wouldn't look out of place at the Bridgerton ball. Featuring three striking fabric layers, including black and cream silk and a tulle trim for added depth, the off the shoulder gown paid homage to the dresses of yesteryear for an utterly elegant finish. Paired with delicate De Beers jewelry, this was one of the most timeless looks of the evening. 

When it came to Critics Choice Awards 2023 Fashion Trends, black was the overwhelming color choice of the night, with stars opting for sculptural shapes in a muted hue to allow the silhouettes to do the talking. Never out of style, a black dress is guaranteed to toe the line in terms of tone and elegance for a red carpet event, making this a shrewd fashion choice. 

But that doesn't mean there was no color at all. Those stars that did opt for bright color clothes really embraced the look with pops of pink, yellow, orange and trending royal blue all making an appearance on the red carpet. And of course, metallics and sequins played their part too, as no award show would be complete without silver and gold. 

Shapes were big, big skirts, big peplums and supersized trains and capes signalled a return to glamorous red carpets look that had been missing in recent years. But while silhouettes did take on an oversized feel, dresses were carefully nipped in at waists, to ensure the styles didn't overwhelm the stars. One shoulder dresses also made a big red carpet comeback and was one of the most popular silhouettes of the evening. 

Rivkie Baum
Fashion channel editor

Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with twenty years' experience in the industry. Rivkie studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, and fell in love with styling and journalism, and has covered fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York, as well as shooting editorial all over the world.

Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has appeared on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.