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What a celebrity wears on the Oscars red carpet can be a make-or-break moment—and most of the time it’s a celebrity stylist who’s wielding the power behind the scenes—determining which designer and dress ultimately come together. In recent years, celebrity dressers have become such an important part of the Oscars, that Women’s Wear Daily recently heralded it the “Day of the Stylists.”
Before you roll your eyes at what seems like a huge exaggeration, remember that the Academy Awards are viewed by more than 40 million people in the U.S. alone—not to mention all the space in magazines and on the web that gets dedicated to the awards, and the red carpet. Bottom line: the dresses that the nominees wear get seen by a lot of people.
When Lupita Nyong’o called out her stylist Micaela Erlanger during the Oscars last year for helping her to select a pale blue Prada gown, Erlanger’s profile skyrocketed, while Nyong’o claimed the title of fashion icon.
Could something similar happen at this year’s Oscars ceremony, taking place on Sunday? Here, a look at the seven power stylists behind this year’s nominees. Why seven, and not ten? Stylist Leslie Fremar has two Oscar nominated clients—Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon (she reportedly had them rent hotel rooms next to each other for the big day so she could go between them easily). Then there are the two Oscar nominees who don’t have stylists—Marion Cotillard who’s under contract with Dior and Meryl Streep (when it’s your 19th nomination you don’t need one!)
1. PETRA FLANNERY
Oscar Nominated Client: Emma Stone
A Los Angeles-based stylist, who grew up in California, Flannery has said her own personal style veers towards Céline, while her red carpet choices tend towards minimalist glamour. With a client list that includes Amy Adams, Claire Danes, Emma Stone, and Zoe Saldana, Flannery has been behind some major Oscars red carpet moments in the past—most notably the bold purple Givenchy Haute Couture gown that Saldana wore in 2010.
Flannery, interestingly, began her career working at Elite Models representing models, before heading on her stylist path, first assisting Andrea Lieberman, then working on editorial gigs at Nylon and Vogue, before making a name for herself in the celebrity styling world. As for her Oscar dress philosophy, she told The Hollywood Reporter she thinks about “what shapes flatter that person, what shades work and what feels right in conjunction with the style of the dress…The wrong color can take away from the elegance of a design.”
2. LESLIE FREMAR
Oscar Nominated Clients: Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon
Fremar started her career as a fashion assistant, then climbed the ranks at Prada before launching her own celebrity styling business. Fremar now boasts one of the most enviable client lists around including Charlize Theron, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, and Reese Witherspoon. This year, she’s is dressing not one, but two Oscar nominees: Witherspoon and Julianne Moore (whom Fremar is so close with that Moore reportedly helped her decorate her New York City apartment).
Fremar told USA Today of playing double-duty: “I’ve worked with both of them for a really long time. It kind of feels like you’re doing their wedding, if you want to put it in real terms.”
3. RYAN HASTINGS (left)
Oscar Nominated Client: Rosamund Pike
A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, Hastings is the most press shy stylist of the bunch, which is what drew client Rooney Mara to him to be her stylist. “He’s very quiet and thoughtful, and we just instantly got along,” Mara told Vogue. Hastings’ star has been on the rise since dressing Carey Mulligan for her “Great Gatsby” press tour back in 2013, putting her in looks like a black Balenciaga by Alexander Wang jumpsuit, a Dior Couture blush-colored duchess-satin gown, and a Vionnet black and white gown.
After styling Rosamund Pike in a barely there cut-out Vera Wang gown for this year’s Golden Globes, all eyes are on him to see what he comes up with at the Oscars.
4. ANNABELLE HARRON (right)
Oscar Nominated Client: Patricia Arquette
Born and raised in Australia, and now a resident of Los Angeles, Harron became Patricia Arquette’s stylist after being recommended to her by the actress’ manager last year. A veteran celebrity stylist whose styling work has also been featured in Vogue Italia and Marie Claire, Harron has gravitated towards a lot of Escada for Arquette this award’s show season. She told The New York Times: “The way that they cut dresses is just flattering for her in particular. We’ve gone into the archives and really experimented.” As for the Oscars, Arquette has already revealed she’ll be wearing a gown created by her longtime friend Rosetta Getty.
5. ILARIA URBINATI
Oscar Nominated Client: Laura Dern
Born in Rome and raised in Paris, Urbinati is the daughter of a photographer father and an art dealer mother, which probably explains where her creative streak comes from. After jobs that ranged from boutique buyer to magazine writer, Urbinati tried her hand at styling. Besides dressing Hollywood darlings like Shailene Woodley, she has developed a reputation as a go-to for male A-listers like Bruce Willis, Ryan Reynolds, and Bradley Cooper.
As for her plans for her Oscar nominated client Laura Dern for the awards she told Women’s Wear Daily: “You’re not going to see Laura in a princess gown. She’s more effortless so we’re going for a cooler, sexy vibe because I want to make sure she looks like herself.”
6. LEITH CLARK
Oscar Nominated Client: Keira Knightley
Hailing from Canada, Clark is the founder of indie fashion magazine Lula, along with styling for labels like Poltock and Walsh and Erin Fetherston. Her breakout styling moment came when she dressed longtime client Keira Knightley in a silk dress by Mary Katrantzou for the Venice Film Festival in 2011.
The dress quickly sold out on Net-a-Porter and at Barneys. Knightley, a Chanel spokesperson, will all but certainly be in the French label come Oscars night, but leave it to Clark to give the couture Knightley is wearing a cool and modern edge.
7. KARLA WELCH
Oscar Nominated Client: Felicity Jones
One half of the bi-coastal styling team Kemal & Karla, Welch has dressed a roster of big names including Michelle Williams, Lily Collins, Zooey Deschanel, Hailee Steinfeld, and Olivia Wilde (quite the client list). Notably, Welch has put her Oscar-nominated client Felicity Jones on the map this award’s show season in looks by Christian Dior Haute Couture and Balenciaga. “With Felicity, we are true collaborators,” Welch told Women’s Wear Daily.
“We talk about every look and we really think out the process. There’s a lot of back-and-forth, which is fun and ultimately what you hope for.” All signs point to Welch dressing Jones in Dior for the Oscars, but the stylist has also hinted that we could be in for a surprise. The world is watching.