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The Surprising Designer Who's Winning This Season's Red Carpet Race

After 25 years in business, Brit designer Jenny Packham already has dressed Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julie Bowen and Kristen Bell.

Jenny Packham

This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Lots of hot young designers try to get awards exposure, so perhaps it’s a bit of a surprise that 47-year-old Jenny Packham has pulled off one of the style coups of the awards season.

The British designer had Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kristen Bell, Emily Mortimer, Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens all wearing her classic, ethereal gowns with a heavy dose of beads -- the designer’s stock-in-trade -- at the Golden Globes.

PHOTOS: Top 10 Red Carpet Looks at the 2013 SAG Awards

“Her designs are feminine with a nod to old Hollywood glam,” says stylist Nicole Chavez, who dressed clients Zeta-Jones in a pink flutter-sleeve gown and Bell in an embellished empire dress.

At an Audi pre-Globes bash, Modern Family’s Julie Bowen stood out in a glitzy cocktail dress, while Kelly Osbourne chose an edgy yet feminine studded number for the SAG Awards. Other fans include Angelina Jolie and Kate Middleton.

Packham, who flew out in April to personally show stylists her collection at Chateau Marmont, is tight-lipped about whom she might dress for the Oscars but says she hopes that the looks will trend toward “fresh cuts and flowing lines” instead of this season’s ubiquitous strapless corseted styles.

With a design studio in New York’s Meatpacking District and a London head office, Packham will show her seventh collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Feb. 7-14.

PHOTOS: Top 10 Red Carpet Looks at the 2013 Golden Globes

“I love the energy of New York,” says the mother of two daughters with husband and company CEO Matthew Anderson.

For fall 2013, Packham -- who is celebrating 25 years in business -- will send rich, romantic looks down the runway. It’s a safe bet that some “It” girl actresses and their stylists will be front row.

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