Welcome back to the first-annual StyleBistro Awards! Today, we're putting some major categories up for reader's choice voting—including Womenswear Designer of the Year!
For this category, we're bringing you both runway images from select collections and—in the spirit of StyleBistro and our love of all things celebrity—photos of stars wearing the designer pieces.
Take a look and vote for who you think should win Womenswear Designer of the Year in our poll below. And, just in case you missed any StyleBistro Awards reader's choice categories, you can find them all here. Check back on August 21st when we announce the winners.
Marion Cotillard at The Dark Knight Rises premiere and Jessica Biel at the Total Recall premiere
Raf Simons for Dior: After six years at the helm of the Jil Sander label, Raf Simons took the reins at Dior this fall, producing his first collection for autumn couture. Simons is, by far, the most talked-about designer of 2012—his work is critically-acclaimed, easy on the eyes, and the touching sentimentality with which he imbues his collections has seemed to strike a chord with the international fashion community. So far, we've only spotted the pieces less than a handful of times in the wild—see Marion Cotillard, above left, and Jessica Biel, above right.
Stella McCartney:Stella McCartney has always been a women's designer—in the sense that her work has always been coveted and beloved by the coolest girls around. This year, she hit the jackpot with her innovative and colorful spring collection—printed, textured mini-dressed in a wire variety of silhouettes. Check out four of our favorite looks from the runway, below, as well as celebs sporting Stella.
Stella McCartney spring 2012
Stella McCartney as worn by celebrities:
Gwen Stefani at the premiere of My Valentine; Solange Knowles at the summer presentation dinner; Cameron Diaz at the Met Gala; Kristen Wiig at the Met Gala
Jason Wu: A longtime darling of the New York fashion scene, Jason Wu first sprang to prominence on the national fashion radar when First Lady Michelle Obama started his wearing his creations, well, everywhere. Then there was that Target collection that blew up and sold out in five-seconds-flat. Now, his is one of the most-coveted tickets at New York Fashion Week and one of the most recognizable young designer names in America. Check out four looks from his runways, below, and see how celebs are wearing his gorgeous dresses.
Jason Wu, spring 2012
Diane Kruger in Cannes; Gabrielle Union at a dinner for InStyle; Emma Stone in Rome; Jessica Pare at the CFDA Awards
Phoebe Philo for Celine: In the four short years she's been at the helm of Celine, Phoebe Philo has transformed the label from a staid, conservative, genteel French fashion house to a power-player on the international super-cool-tastic scene. Celine's now worn (and wanted) by street style stars, top fashion editors, scenesters, and celebs—and, no wonder! Check out some snaps from the fall 2012 collection, below, and note the surprising use of color juxtaposition and brilliant and playful takes on oversized silhouettes.
Celine fall 2012
Tilda Swinton at the BAFTAs; Miranda Kerr in Celine trousers in New York City; Alexa Chung at Bicester Village; Victoria Beckham at LAX
Victoria Beckham: Spice Girl turned designer Victoria Beckham has had a landmark year—not that her other years haven't been landmark years, but this one is especially landmark-y—she reunited with her Spice Girlfriends, performed at the Olympics (and even kind of looked like she was having a good time!), landed the September cover of Glamour US, and her eponymous high-end clothing collection has really taken off. Check out these runway images from her fall 2012 show:
Mary Katrantzou: London-based Greek designer Mary Katrantzou's prints are the talk of the fashion industry—and Hollywood, from the looks of it. The Central Saint Martins graduate showed two stunning collections at London Fashion Week this year—and her clothes were a staple on the red carpet on the backs of celebs such as Hannah Simone, Kelly Osbourne, January Jones, and Elizabeth Banks. We love how Katrantzou pushes the limits—there's nothing boring or ordinary about her designs.
Mary Katrantzou fall 2012
Hannah Simone at the Teen Choice Awards; Kelly Osbourne at the Kreiss anniversary celebration; January Jones at the premiere of La Revolution Bleue; Elizabeth Banks at the Met Gala
Giambattista Valli: Always a red carpet and celebrity favorite—is it any wonder with his eye for color and flair for drama?—Giambattista Valli's always-red-carpet-worthy gowns and dresses were everywhere this year. This former head of the house of Ungaro launched his first couture collection in 2011—and has even done a mass market collaboration with Macy's.
Giambattista Valli fall 2012 couture
Jessica Biel at the Daily Show; Diane Kruger at Cannes; Nieves Alvarez at a Glamour Spain party; Amy Adams at the Met Gala
Jenny Packham: British fashion designer Jenny Packham has been around for years, but she's only just become a household name. Why? Four words: The Kate Middleton Effect. Best-known for her ethereal gowns and wedding dresses, Packham's creations are a new favorite on the red carpet—we've spotted her work worn by ladies like Kristen Bell, Kate Hudson, and Kate Winslet.
Jenny Packham fall 2012
Kristen Bell at the Hit & Run premiere; Kate Hudson at the White House Correspondent's Dinner; Kate Middleton at the BOA Olympic Concert; Kate Winslet at the Golden Globes
Frida Giannini for Gucci: When Frida Giannini landed the head honcho gig at Gucci, no one expected that the then-relatively-unknown designer would be such a major hit. But season after season, Giannini's talent and vision speak for themsleves. We can't get enough of Giannini's dark elegance for fall—and neither, it seems, can stars like Cameron Diaz, Emma Stone, Salma Hayek, or Olivia Wilde.
Gucci fall 2012
Cameron Diaz at the Oscars; Emma Stone at the People's Choice Awards; Olivia Wilde at the Vantiy Fair Oscars Party
Oscar de la Renta: The quintessential New York luxury designer made a big statement with his fall 2012 collection, which blended playful styling—messy bobs affixed with crystal and velvet headbands—with smart suiting, luxurious layered wraps, and poofy ballgowns. It was magical. And celebs like Zooey Deschanel, Lea Michele, Anna Kendrick, and Jessica Biel seem to agree.
Oscar de la Renta fall 2012
Zooey Deschanel at the ESPY Awards; Lea Michele Anna Kendrick at the 50/50 premiere; Jessica Biel at the Total Recall photocall
Vera Wang:Vera Wang's fall collection is all about sleek elegance—and we think it's one of the designer's all-time best! We've also seen a serious uptick in the number of celebs wearing Vera Wang on the red carpet this year—see Katy Perry, Viola Davis, Sofia Vergara, and Paula Patton, below.
Vera Wang fall 2012
Katy Perry at the Hyatt; Viola Davis at the Oscars; Sofia Vergara at the Golden Globes; Paula Patton at the Met Gala
Which designer do you think should be named the 2012 StyleBistro Awards winner for Womenswear Designer of the Year? Vote here -
Poll: What's Your Pick for 2012 StyleBistro Awards Womenswear Designer of the Year?