Year In Review 2011: Best Dressed Latino Celebrities
2011 might not have been the best year for Latinos with regards to politics, education or immigration reform, but when it came to fashion, Latinos most certainly hit all the right notes.
We saw Latino celebrities readily making it to "Best Dressed" lists. TV star and activist Eva Longoria was praised by fashion commentators for her black Zac Posen gown at the 2011 Golden Globes awards. Similarly, film, TV and music star Selena Gomez was complimented for the golden body-fitted J Mendel dress she wore to this year's Grammy Awards.
The wave of recognition continued as legendary Peruvian fashion photographer, Mario Testino, was honored at El Museo del Barrio's Annual Gala in May. His work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair and he has contributed to the imagery of leading fashion houses such as Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss, making him one the world's most renowned contemporary fashion photographers.
In 2011 we saw Latinos and Latinas experimenting and taking new risks with their fashion styles, at the forefront of new trends. They were often visibly influenced by their Latino roots and culture, seen in their choice of wearing up-and-coming designers, bold colors, organic textiles and prints, reinforcing the stereotypical sensuality or 'hotness' associated with Latinos.
The slideshow below reflects our opinion as to some of the best dressed Latinos of 2011. It includes men and women, musicians and films stars, models and fashion designers.
Do you agree with this list? Who do you think is THE best dressed Latino celebrity this year? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And for more on the best of 2011, visit bestof2011.aol.com.
#11 EVA LONGORIA
Gabrielle Solis, Eva Longoria's character on ABC's Desperate Housewives, is an extroverted, confident woman with a sharp eye for fashion and nice things. The real Eva Longoria is not so vain and dedicates <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/latino-celebrities-philanthropists-_n_1095927.html?" target="_hplink">a big part of her time to charitable causes.</a> In 2011, Longoria wore the designs of her BFF Victoria Beckham. From the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/07/eva-longoria-parker-victoria-beckham_n_707019.html" target="_hplink">chic beige number she wore to her perfume launch </a> to a<a href="http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2011/04/05/hottest-chef-ever-eva-longoria-dons-two-victoria-beckham-dresse/" target="_hplink"> baby pink short frock and a navy blue skin tight dress </a>she wore to promote "Eva's Kitchen: Cooking With Love for Friends & Family" on The Early Show and later on the Letterman show, she's clearly a fan of Beckham's collection. And when she's not wearing body-hugging dresses from Beckham's collection to red carpet events, <a href="http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2011/08/04/eva-longoria-style-jeans-vest-classic-pics/?v=d" target="_hplink">Longoria opts for a more casually classic look -- jeans and a black blazer.</a> Whether it's the Gabrielle Solis in her or not, Longoria's style sense never seizes to amaze.
#10 MARIO LOPEZ
Although Mario Lopez looks just fine <a href="http://www.celebuzz.com/2011-07-29/mario-lopez-ditches-his-shirt-for-daddy-duties-photos/" target="_hplink">shirtless, </a> the TV celebrity also knows how to wear a tux. <a href="http://www.tvguide.com/photogallery/grammys-2011-red-1029239/1029275" target="_hplink"> He looked splendid in his silver, clean cut ensemble at the 2011 Grammy awards. </a> This year he decided to cross the line from fashion enthusiast to fashion designer when he created a new line of underwear called Rated M. "The M stands for masculine, modern, Mario..." <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2011/12/mario-lopez-designs-underwear-now.html" target="_hplink">he told New York Magazine</a>. The Saved By The Bell star also hosted the Foodies and Fashionistas Style Week in Orange County, California. In this picture, sporting a more relaxed look, Lopez arrives at the TCA Party for CBS, The CW and Showtime on August 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.
#9 JENNIFER LOPEZ
Among her many hats (actress, singer, dancer, producer), the Puerto Rican-American celebrity can now add fashionista. Not only has she embarking on her fashion design-- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/jennifer-lopez-kohls-_n_929377.html" target="_hplink">debuting her Kohls' clothing line this year</a>-- but she's also becoming a fashion icon of sorts. When she first rose to stardom, J-Lo was known for her barely-there outfits. <a href="http://www.zimbio.com/Shoes+And+Fashion/articles/4243/Top+20+Most+Iconic+Red+Carpet+Dresses" target="_hplink"> Remember that green plunge sheer Versace dress she wore to the Grammys?</a> While the verdict is still out on that piece, Lopez has demonstrated that she's open to challenges and experiments when it came to clothes.<a href="http://main.stylelist.com/2011/07/24/idol-worship-j-lo-s-greatest-fashion-hits/#photo-3" target="_hplink"> Since then, she was amazed fans with an interesting variety of apparel. </a> This year was no exception. With two babies at home, J-Lo looked radiant recently in Peru, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/04/jennifer-lopez-smiles-peru-photo_n_1127895.html?ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino Voices" target="_hplink">where she was spotted in this short yellow dress.</a> In this picture, she poses after winning the Best Latin Music Artist award during the 2011 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California.
#8 SELENA GOMEZ
Selena Gomez must be the envy of practically every teen girl. She not only dates Justin Beiber and has her own successful acting and musical career she also has a keen sense of style. The teen actress turned pop singer of Mexican descent is without a doubt a fashion enthusiast. She was one of the <a href="http://www.stylelist.com/2011/11/21/best-dressed-2011-american-music-awards_n_1105152.html#s488096&title=Jenny_McCarthy_Victoria" target="_hplink">best dressed celebrities at the 2011 American Music Award</a>s and she stunned the crowd with her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/07/mtv-european-music-awards-selena-gomez_n_1079253.html" target="_hplink">nine different outfits as host of the 2011 MTV European Music Awards in Belfast, Ireland. </a> Oh yeah, and then she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/selena-gomez-rocks-super-short-minidress-photos_n_1071391.html" target="_hplink">rocked this skin-tight grey mini dress. </a>
#7 GAEL GARCIA BERNAL
The mexican actor is known for his creativity and pushing boundaries with his fashion sense. He has a history of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/slideshow/970782/191089/" target="_hplink">unique wardrobe choices including scarves, shiny blazers and patterned ties.</a> He has talent for always managing to look amazing. <a href="http://fashiongrunge.com/tag/gael-garcia-bernal/" target="_hplink">Fashion blogs love Garcia's eclectic style</a>. He gets props for his mix of clean cut shirts and grunge style. He mixes heavy leather jackets and ripped jeans giving him a very laid back look. At a 2011 meeting at the National Press Club where Garcia aimed to shed light on the struggles of migrants trying to cross the border into the U.S., he wore a gray v-neck t-shirt and blazer while maintaining his sense of style, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/post/celebvocate-gael-garcia-bernal-speaks-up-for-latin-american-migrants/2011/09/13/gIQA5zaDQK_blog.html" target="_hplink">according to the Washington Post. </a>
#6 SALMA HAYEK
The Mexican actress has an eye for sophistication. Even with her petite figure (<a href="http://www.celeb-height-weight.psyphil.com/salma-hayek-height-how-tall-salma-hayek-is/" target="_hplink">she's only 5'2</a>), Salma Hayek has always managed a larger-than-life look . In 2011 she impressed fans with her range of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/23/salma-hayek-puss-in-boots-outfits_n_1109586.html#s494870&title=November_22_at" target="_hplink">outfits during the "Puss In Boots" premier tour</a>. From the teal silky dress at the Paris premier to the black pants suit and red top at the Chicago screening, Hayek proved once again that she's not afraid to take chances. Let's hope she continues experimenting!
#5 ROSARIO DAWSON
A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban descent, Dawson is considered one of the most distinguished Latinas in the fashion world. Whether she's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/02/rosario-dawson-anna-wintour_n_791032.html#s196665&title=Anna_Wintour_Terry" target="_hplink">attending parties with high fashion names like Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg </a> or looking sleek and glamorous in a <a href="http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2011/06/04/hot-or-not-rosario-dawsons-lbd/" target="_hplink">simple black number,</a> Rosario Dawson never goes unnoticed. In 2011, Dawson took her interest in fashion to the runway. She participated in the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/17/naomi-campbell-rosario-dawson-fashion-for-relief_n_862895.html" target="_hplink">"Fashion For Relief Runway</a>" in Cannes, alongside Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova. The Fashion for Relief charity organized the show and an auction that followed to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross to aid victims of the earthquake and tsunami there. This picture was taken at the annual garden party to commemorate the fundraising work of Raisa Gorbachev at Stud House, Hampton Court on Sept. 22, 2011 in London, England.
#4 CAROLINA HERRERA
Carolina Herrera's collections are colorful and vibrant but the fashion designer is known for a much more sober and conservative look. Her signature white blouse has become a staple of elegance in the fashion world. Herrera oozes that old Hollywood glamour look. It was the timelessness of her look that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/15/carolina-herrera-fall-ad_n_877364.html" target="_hplink">inspired the campaign ad for her latest collection</a>. Herrera is originally from Caracas, Venezuela but has been living in New York since the 1980s. She created her first collection in 1981 and six years later expanded into bridal fashion. In 2000, she opened her first store on Madison Avenue. Her 2011 ad campaign includes a 1970 portrait of the designer herself taken by photographer Norman Parkinson. Her collection was one of the most talked about after Spring 2011 fashion week, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/29/anna-wintour-invited-nick_n_987118.html" target="_hplink">with fashion guru Anna Wintour and pop star Nicki Minaj on front row. </a> Herrera generated a media frenzy with her production of the $35,000 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/08/16/kristen-stewarts-carolina_n_927913.html" target="_hplink">wedding dress for the much anticipated Twilight</a> wedding scene of Bella Swan (Kirsten Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson). <a href="http://www.latina.com/fashion/designers/exclusive-sneak-peek-carolina-herrera-bella-s-twilight-breaking-dawn-wedding-gown" target="_hplink">Here</a> she explains the inspiration that went behind the dress, which took six months to make.
#3 NINA GARCIA
The Colombian fashionista gained recognition as the tough judge on Project Runway. But Nina Garcia started making a name for herself long before. She worked for eight years at Elle magazine as fashion director, and later as editor-at-large. In 2008, she left Elle for Marie Claire magazine where she currently works as fashion director. Nina has <a href="http://www.ninagarcia.com/post/1602714022/biography" target="_hplink">credited her stylish parents for inspiring her.</a> They did well. Garcia who gave birth to her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/29/nina-garcia-baby-boy-alexander-david_n_789098.html" target="_hplink">second child</a>, Alexander David Conrod, in 2011. This picture was taken at the <a href="http://avaxnews.com/fact/amfAR_MILANO_2011.html" target="_hplink">amfAR MILANO 2011 at La Permanente </a>on September 23, 2011 in Milan, Italy.
#2 ZOE SALDANA
Her father is Dominican and her mother Puerto Rican. Zaldana grew up in Queens, New York, and in Dominican Republic. Both of these cities are palpable in Zaldana's fashion style: she wears sleek and somber cuts like a true New Yorker, mixed with bold colors and prints, reminiscent of her Caribbean roots. Zoe Saldana's path to stardom started as a dancer in "Center Stage" and her role besides Britney Spears in the movie "Crossroads". <a href="http://www.stylelist.com/2011/08/26/zoe-saldana-style-evoluti_n_935760.html#s338792&title=Showing_a_knack" target="_hplink">Year after year, she has impressed with her fashion sense. </a> In 2011, Zaldana starred in the lead role in the action movie Colombiana and was invited to be a guest judge in Project Runway. What did she wear? A bright red trimmed Onesy. In this picture Zoe Saldana arrives at the 12th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on November 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
#1 CAMILLA BELLE
Camilla Belle, the L.A. native of Brazilian descent, is our choice as the most fashionable Latina of 2011. Her impeccable taste and eye for elegance makes her one of Hollywood's most fashionable stars. Belle has been working in Hollywood since she 7 years old and landed a role in the made-for-TV "Empty Cradle". <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/29/camilla-belle-style-pictures_n_814255.html#s230251&title=November_2001" target="_hplink"> </a> In 2011, she dazzled in a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/camilla-belle-pink_n_1096961.html" target="_hplink">pink corset dress at the Chopard reopening celebration of their South Coast Plaza boutique in Orange County</a>. She proved that one can be classic and still have fun with fashion at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/22/camilla-belle-young-hollywood-awards_n_865210.html" target="_hplink">The Young Hollywood Awards, where she wore a white Tom Ford suit. </a> Her eye for fashion took her to the runway this year. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/13/camilla-belle-carmen-dell_n_808539.html#s223267&title=Actress_Camilla_Belle" target="_hplink">Alberta Ferretti picked "real people" to walk the runway at her 2011 Pitti Immagine Uomo 79 fashion show in Florence and Belle was one of her chosen models. </a> She donned a beautiful low-cut silver dress. She won over the crowd. In this picture, Belle attends LACMA Art Film Gala Honoring Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari Presented By Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Nov. 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.