The Oscars may be Hollywood's biggest night, but they're also a very important evening for designers. Tom Ford even relocated his runway show and dictated many a fashion editor's (including Anna Wintour's) travel schedule around the event.
Just like the Academy Awards themselves are the most prestigious and coveted by the industry professionals that are up for them, the red carpet is the most pivotal for a brand -- it's where we expect to see the best of the best when it comes to celebrities and dresses. Designers and stylists saved their best dresses for Sunday night and celebrity placements were carefully planned by brands, whether they were paid for or prayed for. This was an especially big night for four brands -- Oscar de la Renta, Maison Margiela, Azzedine Alaïa and Rosetta Getty -- each of which used the Oscars as a stage to make a significant debut.
For Oscar de la Renta, it was the first red carpet appearance by a dress designed by Peter Copping. Sienna Miller stunned in a dress from Copping's debut collection for the house, which walked the runway less than a week ago. It was not only an important moment for Oscar de la Renta, the brand, which likely carefully considered which actress it would dress on this night; but it was also a big moment for Miller, who has recently successfully emerged as a more polished version of the style star she's always been.
Of course, Copping wasn't the only recently-appointed creative director to make his red carpet debut: Presenter Cate Blanchett looked lovely in an unfussy John Galliano for Maison Margiela gown. Margiela has never been seen as a typical red carpet label, but Galliano has long been a red carpet designer; thus, it was a big moment and a signal of change for the evolving fashion house.
Then there was Azzedine Alaïa. The brand, which eschews many fashion industry traditions like holding a runway show during fashion week, has literally never dressed anyone for the Oscars, until Lady Gaga. The designer chose this night and this performer to create three custom gowns. According to Vogue, Lady Gaga and her stylist Brandon Maxwell had spent a lot of time at Alaïa's home and wanted to share their Oscars moment with a designer they were close to. We wonder if this means Alaïa will be making a bigger red carpet push going forward -- it would certainly get people talking about his masterful designs more than they have been, and there's nothing wrong with that.
But Sunday night might have been the biggest deal for Rosetta Getty, who launched her namesake line just last year, and dressed Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, a childhood friend of hers. Not only did Arquette win, but she also he had one of the night's most memorable and talked-about speeches and thus, most visible dresses. While physical appearance may not have been Arquette's preferred talking point on Sunday, she looked great in this gown.