2016 Was the Year of Red Carpet Designers You've Never Heard Of

Taylor Swift
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Taylor Swift speaks onstage at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. 

Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci may be best friends with the Kardashian/Jenner/Hadid supermodel crew, but they're not the only designers whose creations the ladies are sporting on the red carpet.

This year, a new crop of unknown couturiers also made waves by offering sexy options to fashion's new guard, including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen, as well as forever divas Mariah Carey and Beyoncé.

Common elements among these designers' creations include lace-up details, sheer fabrics with crystal embellishment or fringe... and Monica Rose. The A-list celebrity stylist has been the force behind many of the covetable new-name styles of Jenner, Hadid and Teigen, as well as Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Sofia Richie and Chanel Iman.

Rose has an almost unparalleled knack for spotting lesser-known designers all over the world. "I constantly need to be inspired and I love introducing new brands to my clients," the stylist tells Pret-a-Reporter of her hunt for the next big thing. "I also work with a lot of showrooms all over the world that represent a plethora of new talent that I am introduced to on the regular."

In 2016, enterprising young designers didn't necessarily need pricey PR machines or private appointments with Vogue editors to gain the international recognition once reserved exclusively for talent shipped out of Central St. Martins or Parsons: The New School of Design. With the help of social media and talented stylists like Rose, whose clients often top best-dressed lists regardless of the label they're wearing, the playing field has been leveled. 

Billboard Year in Music 2016

"My goal is to always make my client look and feel their very best while taking things to the next level whenever possible," she added. "At times, that requires finding undiscovered talent to work with to mix things up -- we try all of the best options and ultimately select what looks best. To me, it's all about the fit and intricate details -- how you style the look -- to make it all come together and make the designer’s work shine on the red carpet."

A handful of the designers on Rose's radar are Hollywood-adjacent, L.A.-based brands, a testament to the flourishing Los Angeles fashion scene. "I think it's important to me to work with any talented designers that I can help along the way," she said. "There is so much talent out there — if I can help them by putting one of my clients in their designs and get them a write up it makes me happy!"

Here, eight of the designers who are helping Rose redefine sexy red-carpet dressing.

Bryan Hearns

Los Angeles-based designer Bryan Hearns has made bodycon shapes with chain detailing and chunky hardware a signature of his edgy style. 

However it's really thanks to Kylie Jenner that Hearns has earned a turn in the spotlight. Jenner first wore a risque look to the 2015 American Music Awards, and has since been spotted in his form-fitting tube dresses and cut-out tops and pants while out and about.

"I was introduced to Bryan Hearns through Style PR located in Los Angeles," said Rose. "I was styling Kylie Jenner for the AMAs last year and asked if the designer would like to sketch up some dresses as options. They sent me a few sketches from a couple different designers that they represent, but I loved what Bryan came up with the most."

She added, "I get booked on a lot of jobs last minute, so it is nice to be able to work with local designers and have them at my fittings."

At this year's AMAs, Halsey performed "Closer" while wearing a deconstructed hoodie from the designer.

Kylie Jenner out in L.A.: 


Victoria Justice in L.A.:


Kylie Jenner at the 2015 AMAs: 

Halsey at the AMAs:
Halsey performs onstage at the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 20, 2016 in Los Angeles.Lester Cohen/WireImage


Yousef Al-Jasmi

Yousef Al-Jasmi is a Kuwait-based red-carpet designer known for his svelte and sparkly designs which have found favor with curvy ladies like Khloe Kardashian and Ariel Winter. The designer uses all kinds of Swarovski bells and whistles on his designs, from crystal fringe to delicate embellishments crafted on sheer fabric. 

Khloe Kardashian at the Angel Ball: 

Victoria Justice at the premiere of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again:

Victoria Justice attends the premiere of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again" at The Roxy Theatre on Oct. 13, 2016 in West Hollywood, Calif.Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Ariel Winter at the HBO Emmys after party:



Julien MacDonald

Though Julien MacDonald has been on the scene for a few years — having held positions at Chanel, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen in the late '90s and early '00s — the designer has seen a resurgence thanks to the young crop of socialites who have been rocking his designs on the step-and-repeat. Both Hadid sisters as well as Taylor Swift have become fans of his sheer beaded and fringed designs.

Bella Hadid at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party: 

Gigi Hadid while hosting the AMAs: 

Gigi Hadid attends the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 20, 2016 in Los Angeles. Frazer Harrison/AMA2016/Getty Images for dcp

Taylor Swift at the 2016 CMAs:


Yousef Akbar

Australian designer Yousef Akbar caused quite a buzz after outfitting Chrissy Teigen in her black AMAs gown, which might have been the highest-slit ever to hit the red carpet. The 30-year-old told the Daily Mail he "had no idea she was due to wear it," adding that he had simply sent the sample to Rose's showroom weeks beforehand. The 30-year-old designer is still fresh on the scene (with under 5K Instagram followers), and certainly benefiting from the exposure.

Teigen stepped out again on Dec. 1 in a black ensemble by the designer, this one also held together by gold nuts and bolts. 

Chrissy Teigen at the AMAs: 

Chrissy Teigen at an event for Retailmenot: 



Yanina Couture

Russian designer Yulia Yanina founded Yanina Couture in 1993, however it wasn't until the past year or so that the house gained major red-carpet action. Emma Roberts wore a tulle creation to the Vanity Fair Oscars after party in February, but it was Gigi Hadid who made waves when she stepped out in a sheer, bum-baring white gown to the Daily Front Row Awards in March.

More conservative and romantic designs by the label have recently been worn by Camilla Alves and Sophie Turner.

Gigi Hadid at the Daily Front Row Awards: 


Natalia Fedner

Natalia Fedner is a Los Angeles-based designer who specializes in chainmaille eveningwear and unorthodox knitwear. 

She currently has a patent pending for a "a 100 percent metal textile that acts just like a 4-way stretch fabric." According to her site, the chainmaille "instantaneously molds to the body of the wearer, adopts the heat of the wearer within 15 seconds." Most recently, the sexy fabric was spotted on Keke Palmer at the 2016 AMAs, and the Kardashian/Jenners have been known to wear her knits on the street. 

"I discovered Natalia Fedner designs at a local boutique and looked her up," said Rose. "I was happy to learn that she is L.A.-based — it’s so convenient to be able to go into her studio and see her full collection."

Stylist B. Akerlund also outfitted Beyonce in a chainmaille top for herLemonade video when it debuted in April.

Keke Palmer at the 2016 AMAs:

Bebe Rexha at the 2016 EMAs: 

Host Bebe Rexha poses in the winner's room during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2016 on Nov. 6, 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for MTV


La Bourjoisie

Like Yousef Al-Jasmi, La Bourjoisie is a brand that's known for bling. 

Founded by 36-year-old Lebanese designer Antoine Salameh, the brand has gained celebrity fans like Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey, whose buxom bods are complimented by his hip-hugging silhouettes, often embellished with crystals. 

The brand caused quite a stir recently after they recreated a dress worn by Paris Hilton in collaboration with Rose for Kendall Jenner's 21st birthday bash in November. The crystal-covered custom creation was worth $9,000.  

Kelly Rowland at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards:

Jennifer Lopez at the 2016 Latin Grammy Awards: 

Jennifer Lopez attends The 17th Annual Latin Grammy Awards at T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 17, 2016 in Las Vegas. John Parra/WireImage

Kendall Jenner on her birthday:


vintage Paris Hilton vibes. 21 21.

A photo posted by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on


Mariah Carey performs at Beacon Theater: 

Kristian Aadnevik

Models can't seem to get enough of Norwegian designer Krisitan Aadnevik, who launched his leg-bearing label in 2004. 

With his sheer lace details, high-slits and corseted waists, the London-based dressmaker has become a favorite of the Victoria's Secret Angels as well as a handful of divas including Beyonce, Rihanna and Selena Gomez.

Kendall Jenner at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards:

Stella Maxwell at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party:

Stella Maxwell attends the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after party at Le Grand Palais on Nov. 30, 2016 in Paris, France.Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Taylor Hill at Harper's Bazaar's Icons Party:

Winnie Harlow at Edward Enninful's dinner at Mark's Club:

Winnie Harlow attends Edward Enninful's OBE dinner at Mark's Club on Oct. 27, 2016 in London, England.David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Edward Enninful

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.


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