Who Are the Top Red Carpet Designers? (See How Many You Can Guess!)
Find out which industry favorites made the mag's Top 25 list
We all have our own laundry list of favorite red carpet dresses from this year’s award season (Emma Stone‘s chartreuse Elie Saab’s creation, Naomi Watts‘ shimmery Tom Ford column and Kerry Washington‘s metallic Marc Jacobs number, to name a few). But The Hollywood Reporter took it a step further, rounding up the most heavy-hitting designers on the red carpet (as well as their celeb muses) for the mag’s second annual Top 25 Red Carpet Designers issue. Below, Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Alexander Wang and more industry favorites open up about the rules of red carpet dressing — and the lovely ladies they’ve dressed.
Kors, who considers stars like Blake Lively, Kate Hudson and Emily Blunt to be his muses, opened up to the mag about his No. 1 red carpet rule, which is to make sure his clients feel comfortable and confident in his creations. “The dress should make the woman feel like her best self,” he said. “You want it to fit well, complement her style and show off her personality all while looking glamorous and chic. And of course, it should look great from every angle.”
Lively gets those things right all the time, Kors says: “Even in the most glamorous dress, Blake still looks at ease, which I think is the trick to looking terrific.”
“There is an effortlessness to the elegance of all of Michael’s clothes,” Lively said of the designer. “His brand of glamour seems attainable. Everything he does is really warm and inviting, just like he is — very inviting.”
Wang, who just ended his tenure at Balenciaga, counts Nicole Kidman as one of the French fashion house’s muses. “Nicole brings poise and grace to everything she wears, even if it’s a T-shirt and jeans,” the designer said of the star. “She’s able to transform clothes and the way you perceive them. That’s true style.”
Going forward, Wang will concentrate on his own line — and if Taraji P. Henson’s custom Emmys gown is any indication, he’ll be taking red carpet eveningwear in an edgier direction.
Posen cites Katie Holmes as his red carpet muse (and close friend), saying her energy is what draws him to her. “When I first saw Katie and her rapport on a red carpet, I saw that magic,” the designer said. “Some people are just born with star quality — she comes alive on the red carpet and you can feel this.”
And his most memorable moment with the star? A high-fashion date night to this year’s Met Gala. “I loved going to the Met Ball with Katie [wearing] my deep blue gown, and I love the pleated pink dress she wore to the premiere of The Giver.”
His No. 1 rule for the red carpet is similar to Kors’s mantra: fit is king. “Color always works, but above all is how it all fits on the celebrity — on the carpet you see the garment at 360°,” he said. “When building the dress, it starts with draping fabric, having in mind the woman whom you are designing for. The shape gets reworked in my atelier, and from there, it’s about details: placement of seams, stitches and body architecture. It’s a true collaboration with the celebrity.”
And lastly, the creative duo behind Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, open about about their long list of celebrity favorites, including Ms. Goop herself, Gwyneth Paltrow.
“We are very honored to see our dresses worn by so many actresses because it reveals facets of their personality,” Chiuri told the mag. “Keira Knightley, Tilda Swinton, the Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher are a constant source of inspiration in our work, as is Gwyneth Paltrow.”
But even with all of the label’s success, the pair will never forget the exact moment when it all began. “The first red carpet is the most unforgettable one: Chloe Sevigny wearing Valentino at the Golden Globes in 2010,” Piccioli said.
For the full list of Top 25 Red Carpet Designers, pick up a copy of The Hollywood Reporter on newsstands now.
Which cover is your favorite? Is there a designer who didn’t make the list, but you think should? Share below!
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