Predicting 2012’s Red Carpet Fashion Trends

January 16, 2012

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red carpet fashion

For fashion watchers, Hollywood awards season isn’t so much about who wins an award for acting as which celebrity wears the best (or worst) outfit to the awards shows.

Ai InSite talked to two professionals in the fashion industry — Jacquelin Leahy and Kate Minton — to get their opinions on what 2012’s hot trends in red carpet fashion will be.


Leahy, a Fashion instructor at The Art Institute of California — San Diego, forsees a change in the colors stars are wearing.

“[I see a] color evolution of acidity citrus tones and bold Mondrian blues and greens. Where the reds were very energetic in hue, this next season they will be more subdued in organic mater tone — think burnt orange and poinsettia,” she says.

Leahy adds that 2011’s popular purple hues — including the eggplant Rodarte dress worn by Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett’s lavender gown — will become similarly subdued, evolving into smoky orchid tones.  

Kate Minton, who in 2009 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion & Retail Management from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, adds that many celebrities will go the “safe” route of wearing typical awards show colors — black, metallics, and red.

“But the kick will be some sweeter colors like baby pink and baby blue,” Minton says.

She states that while there will always be celebrities who go glam, some may choose to go a minimalist route this year.

“I think the glam looks will be almost Studio 54 in feeling to continue on with the 70s trend,” Minton says. “That might also put some volume in the hairstyles.”


Minton mentions Carrie Underwood’s Christian Cota dress worn to the 2010 People's Choice awards as a real red carpet fashion standout.

“She doesn't necessarily push the envelope but she really knows how to make the right choices for herself,” she says. “I think she often gets looked over because she's a country singer.”

Sandra Bullock also won kudos for her awards show style.

“She looked amazing at every awards show she went to last year,” Minton says.

One trend Minton didn’t like? Celebrities wearing bridal gowns on the red carpet.  

“If it's redone in a different, non-bridal color, I can accept it,” she says. “Let the bridal gowns be for brides.”

Leahy appreciated the classy styles of Michelle Williams’ cloud Chanel Haute Couture sheath gown, Cate Blanchett’s ombre textured lavender Givenchy Haute Couture gown, and Angelina Jolie’s emerald Versace Atelier gown.

She also commends Williams for “being brave and having the figure to wear that amazing beaded dress — one should only hope to look that gorgeous in such a minimalistic piece.”

Leahy adds that Blanchett’s choice was daring and not particularly appealing to the masses — which won her points for individuality.

For pure Oscar glam, Leahy singles out Mila Kunis’ lacy Elie Saab Haute Couture gown.

“I found Mila Kunis to have on the decorative gown that we watch the Oscars for,” she says. “She truly looked lovely and she was wearing the gown — not the gown wearing her.”


Adding to her praise of Mila Kunis’ Oscar gown, Leahy says Kunis is the star she’d most want to dress.

“Mila has much range for a designer. She can look elegant, as proven in Elie Saab, and she can also wear very youth-driven, hip clothing from Balmain without looking like she is trying too hard,” she says.

Minton adds, “I always love what January Jones does. She tends to catch a lot of heat for her choices but when you look back at it, she's always one step ahead of a trend that ends up going mainstream.”

Minton commends Jones’ sexy, playful, and bold choices.

“She wore Versace to the Emmys (in 2010) and looked completely different. I appreciate her versatility,” she says.


With all of the winning gowns, there are bound to be losers. Many times, these attention-grabbing outfits are meant to push the envelope and make a statement.

“I really do look forward to the Bjorks of the world with their swan outfits and dresses made out of American Express credit cards.  Never fails to bring a smile to my face,” Minton quips.

Author: Written by freelance talent for Ai InSite
Contributing writer for EDMC.

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