Designers Dish

Designers Dish, NYFW Spring 2015 Edition: Zac Posen

"Timelessness" is the mission for the man whose gowns have helped the likes of Jessica Chastain and Sarah Silverman break out as fashion stars
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The 34-year-old designer of some of New York's and Hollywood's chicest and most classic eveningwear has been cutting great gowns for New York Fashion Week for 13 years now. And Zac Posen also has been cementing his red-carpet status ever since Jessica Chastain's Venice Film Festival debut in 2011, in which she stunned in a Zac Posen buttercup yellow chiffon Grecian gown.

Recently, Michelle Dockery donned his sexy strapless green dress at the Audi pre-Emmy party, Jessica Alba wore another blue Zac at the Sin City premiere and Katie Holmes appeared to great fanfare in his powder pink cape ballerina dress at the New York premiere for The Giver.

Why do you think your dresses have appeared on so many actresses on the red carpet over the years?

I love films, Hollywood and the role that the entertainment industry plays in inspiring futures, but I don't design with the red carpet in mind. I design for the empowered, chic, glamorous woman, and I'm deeply passionate about actors. My philosophy is to give my designs a timelessness, and performers respond to this. These women want to look back years from now at the pieces they wore and still feel iconic.

What role do Hollywood stylists play in raising the profile of your brand?

They share the power of the performer with the managers, agents and publicists. Hollywood's stylists have the capability to make a performer an internationally recognized star, which is phenomenal. I've grown up with so many incredible stylists and image-makers since I started going to L.A. at 21. Hair and makeup artists have a lot of power as well. It's all a big collaboration.

What's the best way to publicize your brand now -- social media or ad campaigns or the red carpet?

I believe that online and offline marketing tools go hand in hand. I think social media and celebrities resonate across the borders of nations. They make your voice heard exponentially. Whatever you do, do it naturally.

Can you give us a preview of the spring 2015 collection in New York -- which will show up during awards season?

Graphic, sculptural, sexy and focused!

FROM LEFT: Katie Holmes in a chiffon Zac Posen in August; Greta Gerwig wore coral to June's CFDA Fashion Awards; Sarah Silverman made a splash in a Zac Posen at the Met Ball

This story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

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