Those dresses you saw at the Emmys didn't just happen. They began in the imagination of these talents, who use Hollywood stars as both muse and marketing, as the billion-dollar players talk shop on the eve of awards-season domination. Says Tom Ford: "It's about dressing the right person in the right dress to create a truly memorable moment."
"People say I no longer do couture," Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci tells THR. "I still do couture, but in a different way: Everyone sees it when Jessica Chastain, Madonna or Julianne Moore wears it on the red carpet."
Demand for gowns at awards shows like the Emmys and Oscars and film festivals like Toronto and Cannes is de facto replacing couture — custom eveningwear once only shown to Old World society clients — and Hollywood and fashion houses are more intertwined than ever before. "The real couture today is not to the measurement; it's to who you are," says Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, who dresses Emma Stone and Meryl Streep. "This is what you see best on red carpets."
As fashion recognizes the power of dressing A-listers (after all, says Zac Posen, who dressed six actresses for the Emmys, "Retailers usually demand that a style that walked the carpet be part of future collections as a result of an increase in demand"), powerhouse agencies vie to own pieces of the fashion sphere, with WME-IMG adding glam-squad agency Wall Group to a portfolio that already includes New York Fashion Week.
After NYFW wrapped Sept. 17 in its new WME-selected downtown locations, revenue brought in $850 million to New York City's economy, with A-listers Naomi Watts, Julia Roberts, Nicki Minaj, Moore, Lupita Nyong'o, Amy Schumer, Lorde, Katy Perry, Sofia Coppola, Pedro Almodovar and Lady Gaga (whose stylist Brandon Maxwell launched his own collection, which she promptly wore to the Emmys) attending. It was like the Oscars, the Grammys and damn good clothes — all rolled into one.
Big number: 93: total red-carpet looks seen during Wang's less-than-three-year tenure at the Parisian fashion house. The 31-year-old designer was named to the top design post in 2012 and announced his departure in July. His final bow will be Oct. 2 in Paris. In terms of how Wang will fete his Balenciaga finale, "It's too early to say, but a glass of champagne would be a fitting start!"
Has dressed in 2015: Taraji P. Henson, Zoe Kravitz, Julianne Moore, Rooney Mara
Musings about muse Nicole Kidman: "Nicole brings poise and grace to everything she wears, even if it's a T-shirt and jeans. She's able to transform clothes and the way you perceive them. That's true style," says Wang, whose favorite films starring the Oscar winner are Eyes Wide Shut and Moulin Rouge! ("Her energy and sense of fun — it's an over-the-top movie").
Favorite red-carpet moments: "It was a dream come true to dress Nicole for the Country Music Awards," Wang tells THR. He also cites dressing Sienna Miller for American Sniper and Cannes as a highlight: "She's fearlessly taking on a new level as an actress and looks so chic." And Wang has enjoyed the challenge of a "new gen": Dakota Johnson at the start of the Fifty Shades of Grey tour in New York, Kravitz, Emilia Clarke, Lily James and Nicola Peltz. "I can't leave out Rooney Mara," he adds. "She always brings a powerful air of mystery and reserve on the red carpet."
Moving on: On the heels of a year of double-digit growth, Wang's announcement that he would be leaving Balenciaga to focus on his own eponymous label was a shocker. His first red-carpet dress was created especially for Taraji P. Henson for the Emmys, indicating Wang will start doing his own eveningwear collection.
Big number: 20 million: the brand's collective following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube — the result of $400 million spent on global marketing in 2014 and a racy, youth-oriented #MyCalvins campaign starring the likes of Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner (who was seated in the front row for the Sept. 17 New York show instead of the usual A-list actresses like Naomi Watts).
Has dressed in 2015: Lupita Nyong'o, Sienna Miller
Favorite red-carpet moment: "Lupita's appearance at the Academy Awards was definitely a highlight. The dress was such an iconic Calvin Klein silhouette — so luxurious — and she carried it with such grace," says Costa, 51, of Nyong'o's Calvin Klein Collection halter gown that featured more than 6,000 pearls. Nyong'o's stylist Micaela Erlanger deemed the look "glamorous and so very modern." Says Erlanger: "What I love about Francisco's designs is that they're glamorous but in a subtle and unexpected way. There is so much more to the designs than at first glance. The detail and intricacy are in the clean lines, silhouettes and fluidity of the fabrics and embroideries, resulting in absolutely beautiful creations."
The business of the red carpet: "I split my design responsibilities into three categories: runway, preseasons and red carpet. Red carpet is a different side of the business but extremely important," says Costa, who references Cher in Bob Mackie (1986) and Barbra Streisand in Arnold Scaasi (1969) as the most inspiring Oscar-night looks ever. "Given the overwhelming response over the years from our red-carpet dressing, Calvin Klein Collection has begun offering versions of these creations in-store and online. I like the idea of making something that was seen on the red carpet available to our customer."
Big number: $6.8 billion: brand value as of May, with plans to build an e-commerce platform in the next year.
Has dressed in 2015: Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Diane Kruger, Keira Knightley
Biggest red-carpet moment: The brand was seen about 76 times on the red carpet this year, but the clear standout was Oscar winner Moore's custom-made Chanel Haute Couture bustier dress by Lagerfeld. The gown, which featured 80,000 hand-painted sequins and flowers, required 987 hours of work and 27 people to complete. Says Moore's stylist Leslie Fremar, "The dress Karl designed was a masterpiece, and each detail was mind-blowing — an iconic dress for an incredible moment."
The business of fashion: "This job is for warriors. This is not for romantic softies. The day you sign a contract for a big job at a big company, you know what to expect," Lagerfeld, 82, has said.
Big number: $1.7 billion: The amount Christian Dior Couture alone — which was featured on Hollywood red carpets 151 times this past year — generated in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, making it one of the largest luxury fashion houses in the world. The brand's social media made an impact as well, with 5 million followers on Instagram and more than 6 million followers on Twitter. "Internet media has changed the way we pay attention to clothes," Simons, 47, has said. "Is the constant Tumblr of images and cultures a threat or an opportunity? I'm not so interested myself, but I am interested that other people are interested."
Has dressed in 2015: Rihanna, who was the first black ambassador for the brand, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, Emilia Clarke, Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Dakota Johnson, Lily James, Felicity Jones
Biggest red-carpet moment: Cotillard at the 2015 Oscars in white perforated Dior Couture.
Big number: $1.165 billion: total revenue for the brand's fiscal year ending March 31, up 7.1 percent from the previous year, according to the luxury fashion house. It also has enjoyed 107 appearances on the carpet and boasts 5 million Instagram followers, despite the #BoycottDolceGabbana Twitter furor led by Elton John following the designers' comments opposing gay adoptions, surrogacy and the "artificiality of LGBTQ families."
Has dressed in 2015: Emily Blunt, Elizabeth Banks, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Fan Bingbing, Zoe Saldana, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Washington
Biggest red-carpet moment: Banks in a white belted mermaid sheath at the Venice Film Fest.
Next up: The brand of 57-year-old Dolce and 52-year-old Gabbana opened 50 stores last year and is planning on 39 openings this year, including 10 new stores in China and three in the U.S.
Big number: $15.7 million: revenue projection for 2015. The brand is stocked in more than 170 retailers worldwide, including a new flagship in London for the designer, who, in a few years, went from obscure British designer of wild prints to a major red-carpet favorite of A-listers.
Has dressed in 2015: Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, Marion Cotillard, Rosamund Pike
Biggest red-carpet moments: Knightley in a purple lace Erdem peplum gown with an illusion V-neck at the 2015 SAG Awards and Jones in a sheer, printed, long-sleeved frock at the BAFTA Tea. The 38-year-old designer cites "Alexa Chung at the Met Ball" as his favorite.
Favorite Oscars: "I remember watching the Oscars when I was a child. My favorite moment ever was Martha Plimpton wearing a vintage dress in 1989 with River Phoenix," says the East London-based designer.
The business of the red carpet: "It's not something I actively pursue," says Moralioglu, "but it's great to see my clothes in different contexts and being worn by so many extraordinary women."
Rule for the red carpet: "It's never about designing specifically for the red carpet; it's about designing a dress that makes someone feel like the most beautiful version of themselves."
A fan of … : Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie and 1974's Luchino Visconti's Conversation Piece. Adds the designer: "But my favorite film of all time is Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock. I'm also obsessed with Game of Thrones and House of Cards."
Big number: $34.2 million: estimated wholesale revenue from more than 300 retailers in 2014. Valli also dabbled in beauty this year with a MAC Cosmetics collaboration: five lipsticks, inspired by reds, pinks and fuchsias of his favorite flowers.
Has dressed in 2015: Rihanna and Amal Clooney, for whom Valli is a favorite on red carpets.
Biggest red-carpet moment: Rihanna in a voluminous Giambattista Valli Haute Couture ball gown of silk, tulle and embroideries in cotton candy pink at the Grammys. "It was so unexpected. I loved how she was almost running late, the last one to walk the carpet — it looked like she just got out of the shower, zipped up her haute couture dress and ran out of the car with very little makeup," says Valli, 49, of the singer. "You could see that she was really enjoying wearing the gown."
The business of the red carpet: "My philosophy is this: It's not important how many people you dress, but who you dress," says the Italian designer, who shows in Paris. "Whoever walks the red carpet needs to reflect your maison's spirit. Lately brands are putting too much effort to dress as many people as possible. I focus more on people with whom I can build a conversation. The red carpet is not a business, but [something on which] you share the pleasure of creating something together," says Valli, who is sole owner, CEO and creative director of his brand. In September 2014, he launched ready-to-wear line Giamba; it's attracting young actresses such as Kiernan Shipka and Nicola Peltz, who love the playful designs for the red carpet.
Big numbers: $2.8 billion: revenues in 2014, up 16 percent compared to 2013. And with 10.2 million total social actions across Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, the brand is ranked No. 11 among the top 25 global luxury brands, according to audience-intelligence research firm Shareablee Inc.
Has dressed in 2015: Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon
Biggest red-carpet moment: Watts in a black, white and silvery patterned halter gown with a side cutout at the Oscars — the Birdman star changed into an equally chic plunging white Giorgio Armani pantsuit for the Vanity Fair party.
The business of the red carpet: The 81-year-old Italian designer, who feted his brand's 40th anniversary this year with Leonardo DiCaprio, Blanchett and Tom Cruise in attendance, says of Hollywood: "Nowadays, red-carpet events are an actual business. Celebrities have a strong impact on people who see them as models and are influenced by their clothing choices. This effect has become even more powerful thanks to digital resources and social media. The picture of a dress worn by a star goes around the world within seconds, and this has a huge impact on the public's taste."
Rule for the red carpet: "I like subtle elegance and a style that isn't too ostentatious. That's my commitment as a designer, and not only for red carpets," Armani (whose partner, architect Sergio Galeotti, died in 1985) tells THR. "I try to create a look reflecting the personality of the person wearing it, which they may feel at ease with. I always avoid excess, as it's never elegant, whether you're on the red carpet or not."
Big number: 4.29 million: the brand's followers on social media, including Instagram, Twitter and the designer's own Instagram.
Has dressed for 2015: Julianne Moore for the Met Ball, the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes, Rosamund Pike, Jessica Chastain, Julia Roberts, Amanda Seyfried, Kim Kardashian and Rooney Mara
Biggest red-carpet moments: Moore in green beaded fringe at the SAG Awards and Pike in a red lace corset gown at the Oscars. "I love Julianne, and green is her best color," Tisci has said to THR. "We really know how to work together now. And Rosamund has never looked better. I am most happy when I'm dressing actresses who are truly intelligent as well as beautiful."
Rule for the red carpet: "The way we do celebrities in my opinion is personal," says the 41-year-old designer. "You have to get to know them to understand the body. You listen, and you collaborate. We have to say no a lot, too. It doesn't work for them or for us if it's not the right collaboration."
Big number: $12.4 billion: the value of Gucci as of May. Michele was appointed creative director of the Italian label in January — a month before presenting the fall 2015 womenswear collection — replacing Frida Giannini (who married former Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco in June — both had been let go at the end of 2014 for flat and declining sales). Michele, 42, joined Gucci during the Tom Ford era in 2002 and was head accessories designer before his new role. "I am trying to cause a little revolution inside the company, to push another language, a different way to talk about beauty and 'sexiness,' which is an old word," he has said.
Has dressed in 2015: Lupita Nyong'o, Cate Blanchett and Chloe Grace Moretz. It recently was announced that Michele designed costumes for Madonna's Rebel Heart tour: "It has been a marvelous experience and a great gift collaborating with Madonna. Now that I have seen her working, I believe she is a true artist and am crazy about her."
Biggest red-carpet moment: Cannes Film Festival juror Sienna Miller stepped out in two Gucci creations during the festival: the first, a rose-colored silk tiered gown with a black suede flower at the Macbeth premiere and, for the closing ceremony, a blue lace gown with a leather bodice and floral belt.
Big number: 350: the number of photos he curated for "Alber Elbaz/Lanvin: Manifeste," a photography exhibition that opened Sept. 9 at Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in Paris.
Has dressed in 2015: Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong'o, Sienna Miller, Natalie Portman
Favorite red-carpet moment: Stone's big-bowed jumpsuit at the Golden Globes: "It was still very respectful with embroidery and a big sash — and more relevant for women today than the cliche siren gown. I thought, 'Maybe she will wear it, maybe she will not,' " admits the 54-year-old designer. "Not every actress can wear pants to an awards show. It was a Sunday here in Paris, the day of the Charlie Hebdo funerals. And I sent Emma an SMS and said, 'It's such a big day in Paris, all about freedom and choices. Go with your heart. It's not so important if you wear it today. I will not be mad if you don't wear it.' A second later, I get an email from Emma: 'Alber, I'm wearing it.' It's all about the moment and the truth and being relevant. It added karma to this jumpsuit: freedom of speech in Paris and freedom of behavior in L.A."
The business of celebrity and fashion: "Everything affects business today. We're living in a time where everything is about making noise, being everywhere all the time," Elbaz tells THR. "I know it is important if someone is wearing your dress, your shoes and jewelry. If you're hot, they buy you, and if they buy you, the company is doing well. The question is how to make it more personal. By loving the actresses and respecting them, it makes it all the more easy for me."
On awards shows: Elbaz, who shows in Paris, has a soft spot for Giuliana Rancic. "I am crazy about her. I watch her reality show — such a nice family. I also miss Joan Rivers," says Elbaz, adding: "We watch at midnight here in Paris with one eye — you never know if they will be wearing the dress; they can change momentarily."
Photos Hollywood Hearts Lanvin
Big number: $28.1 billion: brand value as of May, with $10.1 billion in sales. In May the label showed its first collection outside of Paris, in Palm Springs on the Bob Hope estate, with a front row featuring Alicia Vikander and Catherine Deneuve.
Has dressed in 2015: Vikander, Sofia Coppola, Nicole Kidman, Rachel Weisz
Biggest red-carpet moment: Swedish actress Vikander, the brand's new 2015 ambassador and face, has quickly risen through the fashion ranks. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. star hit the film's New York City premiere in a silk dress with leather-harness detailing and donned an embroidered peasant gown at The Danish Girl premiere during the Venice Film Festival.
Big number: £200,000 (more than $300,000), the amount awarded to the designer of this privately held company for winning the 2015 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund Prize.
Has dressed in 2015: Kerry Washington, who wore Mary Katrantzou four times this year, Michelle Obama, Lizzy Caplan
Favorite red-carpet moment: Washington at the Golden Globes in a pink and purple color- blocked, not-quite-to-the-floor gown. "I love seeing strong, powerful women wearing my designs," says Katrantzou, 32. Washington's stylist Erin Walsh notes that the Scandal star's look was "pretty daring" because it showcased "an unexpected designer, length, texture and color combination."
The business of the red carpet: "Film stars will always be in the spotlight, so to not include it in your strategy would be ignoring a huge influence," says the London-based designer. "It's interesting which moments last — Taylor Swift wearing my hotpant jumpsuit at the 2014 VMAs is an image that still appears everywhere!"
Rules for the red carpet: The designer, who debuted her clothing line in 2008 and is best known for pioneering fashion's digital print revolution, says she focuses on "a balanced blend of elegant silhouette, interesting fabrication and details" and loves embroidery or lace for the red carpet.
Big number: $986 million: total revenue as of June 27, an increase of 7.3 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 alone.
Has dressed in 2015: Taylor Swift, Emily Blunt, Michelle Obama, Anne Hathaway, Olivia Wilde, Emma Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow
Favorite red-carpet moment of 2015: Kors, whose net worth is an estimated $1 billion, has a list of red-carpet highlights that he shared with THR: "This year, some of my favorite moments were Taylor Swift in our cutout emerald gown at the AMAs; Blake Lively in a beaded dress at the Golden Heart Awards; Emily Blunt in the white silk jersey goddess gown at the Golden Globes and in the geranium floral-embroidered gown at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards; Reese Witherspoon in a pearl-embroidered dress at the Palm Springs International Film Festival; Kate Hudson in gold at the Met Gala, and then, last but not least, Gigi Hadid in a gold jumpsuit for the CFDA Awards."
Rule for the red carpet: "The dress should make the woman feel like her best self," says the 56-year-old designer, who married his partner of 25 years, former Kors intern Lance LePere, in 2011. "You want it to fit well, complement her style and show off her personality all while looking glamorous and chic. And of course, it should look great from every angle."
A fan of ... : Kors says All About Eve, Sabrina, and both Thomas Crown Affairs "will always be on my fashion film list." On TV, he's watching Empire, House of Cards and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. On social media, he says, "I like following people who really let their personality shine through and friends whom I don't get to see often, like Blake Lively, Kate Hudson and Anna Dello Russo."
Big number: $150 million: reported current sales — "either the biggest of the small independent brands, or the smallest of the big," says Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen. Creative director Copping spent 20 years working at Louis Vuitton and Nina Ricci in Paris before Oscar de la Renta handpicked him to be his successor just prior to his death in October 2014.
Favorite red-carpet moment in 2015: Sienna Miller at the Oscars. "I had just arrived in the house of Oscar de la Renta, and the Oscars were a week or so afterward. Sienna chose from the collection, so it was great for me to see a dress I designed for the house worn at the Oscars. It was the first dress I had done for the Oscars, so it was a double whammy," says the designer, who also dressed two 2015 Emmy nominees, Elisabeth Moss and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Musings about muse Ruth Wilson: "You know, we are both Brits, and I think there is something there. I just love Ruth's personality, her sense of humor. I like the choices that she has made in her career, and she does make great choices for the red carpet. If it is Oscar de le Renta, that's fantastic, but I have seen her in other brands looking stunning. For me, she always stands out," says Copping of the Affair actress, whom he met on a Vogue shoot in 2012 and most recently outfitted for this year's Met Ball.
The business of the red carpet: "It's important for our business and can have a huge impact when it is done well," Copping tells THR. "I think it is more impactful when projects have an authenticity — a collaboration between the house and star."
Rule for the red carpet: "Obviously there are certain things that can make a dress pop — color, embroidery — but that's not what does it for me," says the designer. "I think it is when a woman looks right in the dress, and the dress isn't wearing the woman."
A fan of ... : Belle du Jour, Zoolander and Hollywood stylist Kate Young's Instagram.
Big numbers: $4.65 billion: sales as of May. On the red carpet, Prada appeared 61 times and Miu Miu 44 for a total of 105 appearances. At the Emmys, the brand dressed Zoe Kazan (Miu Miu) and Claire Danes (Prada).
Has dressed in 2015: Diane Kruger, Rachel Weisz, Uma Thurman, Sienna Miller, Kerry Washington, Emily Blunt
Favorite red-carpet moment: A one-two punch at 2015's Met Ball: Blunt in a pale blue satin embroidered gown with dark blue embroidered matching cape and Olivia Wilde in a pink jewel-encrusted sheath with matching long, gray jewel-encrusted gloves.
Rules for the red carpet: "Modern" is a big theme for the intellectual Mrs. Prada, 66, whose husband, Patrizio Bertelli, also is her business partner. "I am a very trendy person," she has admitted, even when it comes to the red carpet. "I am always interested in what's next." While her designs might be considered avant garde, she also is aggressive about the red carpet and often picks one actress — in 2014, it was Lupita Nyong'o and 2015 it's Kruger — to make sure Prada has major presence. "I can't pretend I don't care about competition."
Big numbers: The brand was valued at $12 billion as of May and has experienced a new kind of heat with its Manhattan celeb-laden outpost Polo Bar. Lauren, worth $6.3 billion as of January, has three children with wife Ricky, including David, his exec vp global advertising, marketing and communications.
Has dressed in 2015: Anne Hathaway, Shailene Woodley, Robin Wright (and Jessica Chastain and Julianne Moore were snagged for the front row at New York Fashion Week)
Favorite red-carpet moment: Hathaway in an edgy, gold lamé hooded Ralph Lauren Collection gown at the Met Gala. The designer, 75, tells THR: "Anne Hathaway gives the simplicity of this T-shirt dress in gold lamé an exotic style that is totally hers. The hood framing her beautiful face is a bold statement about a new kind of glamour." Adds Hathaway's stylist Penny Lovell: "The look was inspired by artist Huang Yulong, whom Anne admired. Once the Ralph Lauren team saw the sculpture, they immediately sourced the incredible couture-grade lamé, made from actual metal."
Rule for the red carpet: "A woman can often become the victim of the red carpet and lose her own sense of identity," says Lauren. "Those that take it in stride are those that seem confident about who they are and let their personal style walk with them."
Big number: 40 percent: the amount that revenue for the brand (which dropped Ilincic from the name) has grown for the past four consecutive years.
Has dressed in 2015: Elizabeth Banks, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett
Biggest red-carpet moment: Bullock at the L.A. Minions premiere in a black-and-yellow color-blocked dress and custom Rupert Sanderson pumps with Minion eyes adorning them.
The business of the red carpet: "I can't deny the importance of the carpet because the exposure received nowadays is tremendous, especially with the immediacy of social media," says the London-based designer, 37. "It has become like a science all its own, something that was not imaginable when I first started. I view it as a positive thing and love seeing actresses having fun with fashion."
Rules for the red carpet: "It's important to have comfort and function meet fresh design, to look polished and effortless at the same time," says Ilincic, who has a daughter with husband Philip Bueno de Mesquita, founder of the sports shoe brand Acupuncture. "I think a good dress will always have an element of red-carpet magic in it."
Big number: 70 percent: amount of sales from prefall and resort collections, which only began showing in London in May 2014.
Favorite red-carpet moment in 2015: Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Met Gala. "Her dress was a collaborative project, and we were both involved from A to Z," says Mouret, 54, who's trading in his first Madison Avenue boutique for a six-story townhouse at 1006 Madison Ave. that, at 5,250 square feet, is nearly four times as large ("Exciting projects in New York, and you never know … you might find me in L.A.!").
A fan of … : USA Network's Suits and Netflix's House of Cards. The designer tells THR: "Sometimes I'll see some of my dresses making an appearance."
Big number: $787 million: annual sales revenue in 2014, which has more than doubled since Slimane, 47, took charge in 2012.
Has dressed in 2015: Margot Robbie, Dakota Johnson, Cara Delevingne
Best red-carpet moment: Oscar night, where presenters Robbie and Johnson wore, respectively, a plunging black gown and an embellished single-shoulder dress. "Margot's look had a sense of effortlessness," says Robbie's stylist Cristina Ehrlich.
Rules for the red carpet: "Sending a message of Yves Saint Laurent's androgynous yet sexy aesthetic on a carpet is as important for an actress as it is for a woman on the street," says Ehrlich of Paris-born Slimane, who lives in Beverly Hills.
Big number: 500: the number of celebrities who attended his L.A. runway show at Milk on Oscar weekend, including Julianne Moore, Beyonce, Jay Z, Jared Leto, Scarlett Johansson, Miley Cyrus, Reese Witherspoon and Elton John.
Biggest red-carpet moment: Witherspoon in an ice blue- and-black off-the-shoulder gown at the 2015 Oscars.
Rule for the red carpet: The 54-year-old designer tells THR: "It is not about dressing everybody. It is about dressing the right person in the right thing to create a truly memorable moment."
The business of the red carpet: "It is challenging as it can have a direct impact on your business. However, what you see on the red carpet often has nothing to do with what is happening in fashion, so I sometimes feel there is a disconnect," says Ford, who has a son, Alexander, with husband and former Vogue editor Richard Buckley.
Next up: "Currently, I am working on my next movie" — Nocturnal Animals, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams — "which films through this fall," says Ford, who directed A Single Man starring Colin Firth and Moore in 2009. "I am also focused on our Tom Ford business," which is expanding with new stores in Miami and Houston. Ford also outfitted Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre, out Nov. 6, and says: "I am a huge fan of Daniel in real life. He is someone whom I respect and who is also incredibly stylish. He knows what clothes look good on him — a key to dressing well."
Big numbers: 57 percent: increase in earnings for 2014, in addition to a 36 percent gain in revenue; 1 million Instagram followers.
Has dressed in 2015: Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna
Musings about muses: "We are very honored to see our dresses worn by so many actresses because it reveals facets of their personality," says Chiuri, 51. "Keira Knightley, Tilda Swinton, the Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher are a constant source of inspiration in our work, as is Gwyneth Paltrow."
Favorite red-carpet moment in 2015: "It was touching for us to dress Keira Knightley for the Oscars when she was pregnant with her daughter in two dresses from the Spring 2015 Haute Couture Collection, whose theme was love," says Piccioli, 49, who met Chiuri while they both worked at Fendi.
First red-carpet moment: "The first red carpet is the most unforgettable one: Chloe Sevigny wearing Valentino at the Golden Globes in 2010," says Piccioli.
The business of the red carpet: "For a fashion house such as the Valentino Maison, it is meaningful to dress celebrities for red carpets, not only for business but also because of the tradition of the brand," says Chiuri. Both creative directors were named following founder Valentino Garavani's retirement in 2007. "Cinema and red carpet are important facets of the Valentino heritage. Rome, for instance, the creative nerve of Valentino Maison, has been linked to Italian neorealism. 'Hollywood on the Tiber' is still a major reference point for cinema."
Fans of … : Says Piccioli: "We both spend the evening, when possible, enjoying The X Factor."
Big number: 27 percent: increase to $29.7 million in net profits for 2014. Versace is set to become the next Italian house to go public, with an initial offering as early as 2016. The label is on track to reach revenue of at least $904 million by 2017, CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris has said.
Has dressed in 2015: Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Rita Ora, Miley Cyrus, Caitlyn Jenner, Jane Fonda
Favorite red-carpet moment in 2015: "Caitlyn Jenner in a white Atelier Versace gown at the 2015 ESPY Awards," says Versace, 60. "Her speech was touching! Her words are relevant, and she is an inspiration to the world and me."
Favorite red-carpet moment: "The Versace gown that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammys in 2000," says the beloved fashion industry icon, who has modeled in Givenchy campaigns and is close friends with Miuccia Prada. "I wanted to use Versace print in a new way, revealing so much of her incredible body yet draping her like a gown. Jennifer had just had her first smash hits, and she had an incredible sense of daring. She looked so radiant, like she ruled the world."
Rule for the red carpet: "Icons have always been a part of the Versace DNA, whether of mythological times or today's icons on the red carpet. The perfect red-carpet moment is when we can create a unique Atelier Versace gown that lets the individual's power and beauty shine," says the designer, who with former model Paul Beck has a daughter, Allegra, who owns 50 percent of Versace stock (Donatella's brother Santo owns 30 percent).
Big number: 950,000: followers of the brand's Instagram feed.
Has dressed in 2015: Viola Davis, Katie Holmes, Dakota Fanning, Naomi Watts, Michelle Obama
Musings about muse Katie Holmes: "When I first saw Katie and her rapport on a red carpet, I saw that magic," says the designer, 34. "Some people are just born with star quality — she comes alive on the red carpet and you can feel this."
Rule for the red carpet: "Color always works, but above all is how it all fits on the celebrity — on the carpet you see the garment at 360 degrees," says Posen, who dressed six women at the Emmys, including variety sketch winner Amy Schumer. "When building the dress, it starts with draping fabric, having in mind the woman whom you are designing for. The shape gets reworked in my atelier, and from there, it's about details: placement of seams, stitches and body architecture. It's a true collaboration with the celebrity."
Favorite red-carpet moment in 2015: "I loved going to the Met Ball with Katie [wearing] my deep blue gown, and I love the pleated pink dress she wore to the premiere of The Giver," says the designer, who lives in SoHo with stylist Christopher Niquet and their three dogs.
Next up: Delta Air Lines commissioned Posen to redesign the uniforms for 60,000 flight attendants, agents and crew. And, for two years, Posen has been quietly managed by Untitled's Jason Weinberg, who reps Watts and Holmes, which may imply that the designer is being primed for television and film.
Big number: 76: number of red-carpet appearances in the past year, including many on Oscar night and at Cannes.
Has dressed in 2015: Nina Dobrev, Kristen Stewart
Biggest red-carpet moment: Jennifer Lopez in a custom beaded caftan gown at the Golden Globes. "You can always count on Zuhair for workmanship and celebration of the body," says Lopez's stylist Rob Zangardi of Rob & Mariel.
Rule for the red carpet: Says Murad, 44: "I prefer a strong silhouette, embellished yet always luxurious and ultrafeminine."