Call these past 12 months a time of upsets, from the presidential election to the best picture race. Now add Hollywood red-carpet fashion to the list. Who would have thought that political pins and ribbons could (almost) outshine diamonds on Oscar night?
THR's No. 1 stylist Karla Welch wanted to make a statement, so she pinned blue ACLU ribbons to all of her clients' gowns, including nominee (and cover star) Ruth Negga's Valentino. So did Kate Young (No. 3), who affixed Planned Parenthood pins to nominee Michelle Williams' Louis Vuitton and presenter Dakota Johnson's Gucci clutches. (That's not to say that Jessica Biel's giant $2 million, 200-baguette diamond Tiffany & Co. tribal collar — courtesy of Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, No. 7 — was any less dazzling.)
Of course, whether a stylist outfits his or her star client with tiny bits of flair, megawatt bling — or even puts a glitzy parrot gown on Nicole Kidman at the SAG Awards, like Julia Von Boehm, No. 5, did — it's no small statement when it comes to the booming business of the red carpet. Nearly 21 million viewers tuned in to ABC's Oscar preshow alone, with even more social media impressions generated, all of it leading to increased retail sales and greater brand recognition.
Says Stacey Jones, founder of entertainment marketing agency Hollywood Branded Inc.: "The red carpet is a thousand times more important to a brand than any advertisement." As the power stylists on THR's list know well, you can't put a price on Hollywood glamour — not even Trumpian turmoil can dim that.
Additional reporting by Jane Carlson.