The 42 Photos That Defined the Styles Desk in 2023

Styles is with people: how they dress, how they live, how they navigate our dynamic world. As such, we are engrossed in looking closely. This year’s collection of images reflects those fixations, whether in a cropped shot of Gwyneth Paltrow’s bare face, or in the swirling memorial for a dancer at a Brooklyn gas station. Each photograph in this roundup gives readers unfettered insight into the characters and places that commanded our gazes.

This year we peered into the California rose garden of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Cheryl Hines as she discussed her husband, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and his 2024 presidential campaign. We captured Pharrell Williams at the Louis Vuitton men’s atelier in Paris, on the eve of his first collection. We were on the scene for the reopening of the “never pay retail” mecca, Century 21, and in Hollywood when a certain septuagenarian bachelor made his television debut. From Beyoncé fans to A-listers in the front row, from influencers to fashion high school students, our pictures defined what it felt like to be on the front lines of culture in 2023.

“As Jared made his way through the room, the disembodied cat head seemed to float above the crowd, a solid representation of the ‘jump the shark’ status reached at this year’s Met Gala.” — Rebecca Smeyne

“When photographing someone who has been photographed a lot, my goal is to try to create images that look and feel different. Even though we only had 10 minutes, we were able to make images that feel intimate and unhurried.” — Dana Scruggs

“I peered over a shelf only to come face to face with a shopper. We both froze, and I snapped a frame before we shared a laugh at our mutual surprise.” — Jonah Rosenberg

“What I love about photography is that no matter how much planning you do, the magic of an unpredictable moment can surprise you at any time. I put the camera down for a second and looked up to notice Alexandre tossing the Tiffany box in the air in front of his face.” — Landon Nordeman

“My assistant and I found ourselves herding pigeons onto a subway grate with pieces of hot dog bun. Pigeons are clever — they understand that subway grates aren’t ideal to walk across — but it’s all absolutely worth it for the irresistible taste of Wonder Bread hot dog buns.” — Adam Powell

“Beckett was instantly raw and vulnerable with me. Entering his living quarters felt like touring a museum or a storage unit from the 1960s, cobwebs and all.” — OK McCausland

“I wanted something that would embody exactly what she stood for in that moment: a young Black woman from Atlanta at the top of her game. I think this portrait exudes that sense of power.” — Wulf Bradley

“I wanted the viewer to see what Sabrina would look like when relaxed at home, but also make it ‘extra,’ like her personality. It felt awkward yet funny and familiar, like Sabrina.” — Lanna Apisukh

“Once the trucks started selling, it was chaos. I saw Annabella breathlessly escape from the crowded line with a hefty armful of goodies and took some photos as the realization of her success finally set in. She was wearing the joy and relief on her face as proudly as her coveted sweatshirt.” — Zack Wittman

“Models are often perceived and interpreted through various lenses, and the concept of portraying more than one face resonated with me because of that.” — Melissa Schriek

“As someone who is often nude and a huge proponent of nudity, it was interesting to note how many different thoughts and feelings came up for me. It felt very freeing and was one of the most empowering experiences I have had in life.” — Jeanette Spicer

“I wanted everyone to feel their glamour and beauty. I wanted people to feel as if they were face to face, as I was, with such majesty.” — Gus Aronson

“I love how men’s grooming has become so much more expressive over the years. It was just really cool to hear men talk about their self-care routine and figure out what style they wanted.” — Jessica Chou

“It was the first day of summer camp. As I saw this group of campers gather outside of their bunk, I thought of the endless possibilities that lay in front of them during a summer yet to unfold.” — James Estrin

“I never thought in my wildest dreams I would photograph an adorable pig in a bow tie, but I was here for it. ” — Ariana Drehsler

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