With the Oscars imminent, awards season, also known as red carpet season, is coming to an end. And the season has become almost as important to designers as it has to actors. There are of course always the mainstays like Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, Armani Privé, Marchesa, J. Mendel, Reem Acra, and Oscar de la Renta. In fact, we'd bet money on all of the above being answers to the inevitable "who are you wearing" question this coming Sunday, as they have been since what seems like the beginning of time.
But over the past couple of years, there have been some new names in the red carpet conversation.
From Erdem to Alexandre Vauthier, click through to learn a little more about the new wave of red carpet designers (so you'll be an expert on all 10 of them before the Oscars)!
Alexandre Vauthier Who's worn it: Heidi Klum, Michelle Dockery, Rita Ora, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga Who he is: Former head designer of Jean Paul Gaultier couture and one of Paris' younger couturiers, Vauthier is known for his sexy, statement-making gowns packed with tons of glamour, i.e. perfect for the red carpet. He's also known to send an intentional nip slip down the runway. We doubt we'll be seeing that one on the runway. Though, you never know.
Kaufmanfranco Who's worn it: Allison Williams, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Jane Krakowski, Julianne Hough Who they are: New York-based Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco have done stints at Valentino, Ungaro and Anne Klein before launching their own label which has hints of all three. Their designs are sophisticated, modern, sexy and unfussy.
Raf Simons for Dior Who's worn it: Marion Cotillard, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence Who he is: I mean, if you don't know at this point...Basically, this Belgian former Jil Sander designer who got his start in menswear is the buzziest name in fashion these days. In addition to making everyone--critics, buyers and execs--happy, his designs, both couture and ready-to-wear, are a sure fire way for a celeb to get on a best dressed list.
Jenny Packham Who's worn it: Heidi Klum, Taylor Swift, Amy Adams, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Middleton Who she is: Ever heard of Kate Middleton? She's been a champion of Packham's designs for years and is one of her many famous clients, who seem to have increased in number recently. Packham, who also has a strong bridal business, designs gowns that are classically feminine and a bit more demure than some of the others on our list.
Roksanda Ilincic Who's worn it: Bella Heathcoate, Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Chastain, Lena Dunham Who she is: This buzzy British designer has seen a pretty meteoric rise in red carpet credits in just the past year, mainly via the fashion darling actresses who aren't afraid to go in a more fashion-forward direction. Her dresses are glamorous with unexpected touches--like a shocking color combo or flirty hemline.
Andrew Gn Who's worn it: Emmy Rossum, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain Who he is: Gn hales from Singapore, is pronounced like "Jen" and has done stints at Ungaro and Balmain (where he lasted only one season). Quickly after launching his own line, he became a red carpet mainstay thanks to impressively-constructed gowns that are at once feminine, flattering and statement-making.
Maria Lucia Hohan Who's worn it: Emma Roberts, Stacy Keibler, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez Who she is: Hohan's frilly, feminine special event dresses have quickly become a go-to for Hollywood's girliest girls. Think every dress Taylor Swift has worn, ever.
Zuhair Murad Who's worn it: Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart Who he is: This Beirut-based Lebanese designer shows during couture week and designs sparkling, intricate, glamorous gowns begging to be worn on a red carpet. And they are, constantly.
Zac Posen Who's worn it: Lena Dunham, Coco Rocha, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Biel, Lea Michele, January Jones, Glenn Close, Tina Fey Who he is: Of course we all know Zac Posen. He's been around for years, but has definitely seen a resurgence recently--both in his business and his red carpet dressing. His clients have been exclusively A-list, from Lena Dunham (whom he used to babysit) to Glenn Close.
Erdem Who's worn it: Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker, Keira Knightley Who he is: Erdem Moralioglu is a Toronto-born, London-based it-Brit designer who constructs some of the sweetest, most unapologetically pretty dresses around. We'll never tire of his lacey, floral frocks and neither will stylish A-listers of all ages, from Kristen Stewart to SJP.