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Well, no one can say Hollywood had the same ol', same ol' this past year. Not long ago, few knew the names Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, Saoirse Ronan, Daisy Ridley and Rami Malek. Today, they're among the hottest talent in the world thanks to a few Oscars, award noms, big movies and Emmy-winning TV shows. But the long march from oblivion to A-list isn't an individual journey. At every step of the way is a stylist who helps craft the look and story of each star. "I didn't know that much about the fashion world, so it's good to have somebody who understands what's going on," says Larson of Cristina Ehrlich (No. 2 on THR's list), who began dressing the indie breakout like she mattered in Chanel, Celine and Jason Wu, as her role in Room gained buzz, with the denouement a Gucci cobalt dress she wore to accept her best actress Oscar. Brooke Wall, CEO of The Wall Group, which was acquired by WME/IMG in July and reps 15 of the 25 stylists on 2016's list, says crisply, "There's a strategy behind every look." Mark Shapiro, WME/IMG's chief content officer, adds: "Perception is reality in this business. By pairing the right individuals in this always-on media environment, our stylists can change public opinion, attract opportunities and help their clients be the best versions of themselves."
Just ask Lady Gaga — the No. 1 most tweeted-about actress on this year's Oscar carpet, in part because of stylist turned designer Brandon Maxwell (No. 13), or Trainwreck's Amy Schumer, whose increasingly classic choices have come courtesy of costume designer turned stylist Leesa Evans (No. 25). And if you can't recall who won best documentary short at the Oscars, chances are you might remember what you saw on Instagram: 19 million accounts had 64 million interactions related to the big night. That's just from one event in the big business of fashion-meets-Hollywood, albeit perhaps the biggest one. "Growing up, I dreamed about having one of my designs on the Oscars carpet," says Gaga's Maxwell. "It felt surreal."
Read more: Who Gets Taraji P. Henson Red-Carpet Ready: 5 Rising Hollywood Stylists to Watch | Who Dresses Adele, Taylor Swift and Beyonce: Music's 5 Most Influential Stylists | Who Dresses Leo, Michael B. Jordan and Tom Hardy: 5 of Hollywood’s Most In-Demand Men's Stylists | Brie Larson's Oscar Dress, Bradley Cooper's Tux: 25 Stylists, 50 Looks, One Year