The top 5 red carpet designers
For actresses, winning Oscar season is a two-step process: first, get nominated; second, own the
best-dressed list. For the all-important fashion element, stars turn to designers whose red carpet credentials are as glittery as any sequined gown. In anticipation of the 2014 Oscars, we rounded up the five best celeb designers—and their most
iconic awards night looks.
Red carpet designer: Elie Saab
Signature style: Known for his bold colours and feminine silhouettes, the Beirut-born Saab—now based in Paris—is quite possibly the go-to red carpet designer for landing his celeb clients on countless best-dressed lists.
Best dressed: Saab outfitted Naomi Watts and Jennifer Lawrence at TIFF in 2012—both went on to become Best Actress nominees that season—with Watts in a fitted mauve gown from the Resort 2013 collection, and Lawrence in a wool jumpsuit from the Fall 2012 runway.
Memorable #wins: The Halle dress. Saab created the iconic burgundy satin gown with floral embroidery along the torso that Halle Berry wore to the 2002 Oscars where she claimed Best Actress for her role in
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Red carpet designer: Valentino
Signature style: Under his namesake label, Valentino Garavani dressed more celebs, royals and socialites than any other designer over the past four decades. Think delicate, flowing dresses, ornate embellishments (a fondness for vermillion and roses) and always polished. Now that Garavani himself has retired, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have inherited the tradition of red carpet dressing.
Best dressed: Jennifer Aniston’s penchant for red Valentino gowns (red tulle to the
Along Came Polly premiere in 2004, the voluminous floor-length dress at the 2013 Oscars). The remake of Jackie O’s 1963 mint green one-sleeve silk gown worn by Jennifer Lopez to the 2003 Oscars.
Memorable #wins: The Fall 1982 black velvet and white striped-couture gown that Julia Roberts wore while accepting her Best Actress Oscar for
Erin Brockovich in 2001. Sure, she claims that her niece, Emma Roberts, chose the gown, but it still stands in history as the legendary Julia dress.
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More award-winning red carpet designers on the next page…
Red carpet designer: Versace
Signature style: The late Versace once famously proclaimed: “On a hanger, no dress is sexy…My clothes come alive on the woman who knows how to be sexy in them.” This mantra still translates today into purposefully exposed skin, intricate designs, and gowns that literally appear as if they were made specifically for that woman’s body.
Best dressed: The Gianni Versace-designed safety pin gown worn by Elizabeth Hurley as she accompanied (and outshined) then-BF Hugh Grant to the premiere of his flick
Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994. And what’s probably J.Lo’s most-snapped red carpet moment ever, the plunging blue-green silk chiffon jumpsuit she wore to the 2000 Grammys.
Memorable #wins: While she wasn’t up for an award that year—it was Brad Pitt who was nominated for Best Actor—Angelina Jolie’s black Atelier Versace gown worn to the
2012 Oscars inspired its own Twitter account (@AngiesRightLeg) for the perfectly positioned high-cut slit.
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Red carpet designer: Christian Dior
Signature style: Whether it’s fitted all the way down or billowing into a train of satin or sheer paneling, no Dior gown is unnoticed on the red carpet. Likewise for the lady bold and delicate enough to rock it.
Best dressed: Nicole Kidman stunning in a chartreuse haute couture gown—designed by John Galliano for Dior—at the 1997 Oscars. Marion Cotillard in a navy and white gown tied in front with a delicate bow at the
2013 SAG Awards.
Memorable #wins: Jennifer Lawrence’s tiered Dior couture gown that she wore while accepting her Best Actress award for
Silver Linings Playbook—right after tripping on it on her way to the stage at the 2013 Oscars.
Red carpet designer: Tom Ford
Signature style: The master of the impeccably tailored suit knows a few things (OK, everything) about how to design a dress for a woman’s body. So much so that young starlets (read: Hayden Panettiere) are willing to pay for his gowns to wear on the red carpet in order to look their best.
Best dressed: Good taste and the red carpet go together like Tom and Gwyneth: Ford designed the red velvet tuxedo for Gucci that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the 1996 VMAs, and the knockout cape dress she wore to the 2012 Oscars under his own label of Fordian elegance.
Memorable #wins: The beaded, sparkling champagne Gucci gown that Charlize Theron wore to the 2008 Oscars when she collected Best Actress for