This week in fashion: Taraji P. Henson, supermodel Jourdan Dunn, Nicki Minaj and more rock stellar style

Simple and sweet was the theme this week, with the exception of Nicki Minaj, who always has to break from trends with her outrageous outfits.

The rapper and judge on American Idol even pushed the boundaries for her this week by wearing  a “Camilla Spring 2012 Rainbow Crepe Top and Crystal Embellished Leggings,” according to the black fashion blog The Fashion Bomb. Between the floor-length fringe and the mind-scrambling whirls of color, Nicki certainly deserves a nod for the most attention-stealing outfit. She certainly knows how to use fashion to remain a major focus in the public eye among a sea of competitors.

The rest of the best showcased very lady-like ensembles, some taking advantage of the latest trends to put the finishing touches on understated looks that were feminine and chic. Taraji P. Henson, for example, wore a jacket with a nipped waist showcasing its peplum drape, a must-have element of fall style.

Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes wore a form-fitting sheath dress with a hint of herringbone to a going away party held in her honor in New York City, keeping it very sophisticated, yet very sexy.

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Zoe Saldana inspired a similar vibe with a royal blue dress with a full skirt. This is a change for the fashion maven who often wears skin-tight dresses that show off her enviably slim physique. This look for Zaldana accentuated her curves, coming off as womanly with a whiff of innocence reminiscent of the ’50s.

Gorgeous supermodel Jourdan Dunn wore a bold, gold strapless number that required little in the way of accessories to make a gorgeous statement. Her look was paired down, but mega-glam. In a  related aesthetic choice, actress Sanaa Lathan’s bright red off-the-shoulder dress paired with an animal print shoe provided more than enough pop to create a sensual ensemble with very few elements.

And what could be more understated than posing in your undies? While that is an oversimplification in itself, Kerry Washington‘s cover shot for Uptown magazine’s new issue, which was revealed this week, relies on “barely there” lingerie to make a big impression. What might be even more interesting than her near-nudity is what the actress reveals in her cover story.

Scandal actress Kerry Washington is looking stunning in black as she poses in a film noir style shoot for Uptown magazine’s Dec/Jan issue,” reports popular celebrity blogger Necole Bitchie. “Inside, she dishes on the controversy around her new film Django Unchained being a slavery flick, as well as her multiethnic family and the range of roles she chooses to play. She also reveals that she’s wanted to quit the entertainment industry for good plenty of times.”

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From the looks of the photo spread that accompanies the article, Washington can opt to enter a career in fashion as a model if she tires of acting before the camera. Her felicity as a style and movie star gets her my vote for style star of the week.

Who do you think had the best look?

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.