Red Carpet Recap: The It Celebs, Trends, and Designers Everyone Is Talking About


Welcome to Who What Wear's inaugural Red Carpet Recap. Our red carpet coverage throughout the year is quite exhaustive, but this is the first time we're giving you a thorough post–award season and Met Gala retrospective look. Following a few years of red carpet upheaval due to the pandemic, things feel very much "normal" again, so there's no time like the present to do a deep dive into the award season that was. 

There are a million different aspects of celebrity red carpet style that we could talk about here, but you probably don't have all day, so we decided to focus on the most important highlights of the present-day red carpet. Our team of editors voted on the celebrities, trends, and designers—along with other fun categories such as beauty looks and controversial moments—that have made the most impact as of late. In this recap, you'll hear all about the "winners" from red carpet–obsessed editors and a team of industry experts.

With that, join us as we take a very eye-pleasing look at the state of the red carpet in 2023.


(Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for BAFTA; Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images; Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images for Bulgari; Greg Doherty/WireImage; Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Greg Doherty/WireImage)

The celebrity red carpet "in" crowd elicits a slew of flashbulbs and breathless coverage across the internet every time they step in front of the cameras. They know what works for them, but they take risks and clearly have stylists that really get them. Some of them are It-girl and It-guy veterans while others are new on the scene.

(Image credit: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images for Bulgari; Marc Piasecki/WireImage; Stephane Cardinale Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

On Anne Hathaway: First image: Versace dress; Bulgari necklace; Second image: Valentino dress, tights, shoes, and bag; Bulgari earrings; Third image: Valentino dress and shoes

Anne Hathaway is one of those celebrities that Who What Wear editors regularly lose it over. She and stylist Erin Walsh haven't missed a step since she made her unofficial red carpet comeback circa early 2022. As Thomas Monks, content director of popular celebrity fashion ID source @CheckTheTag, puts it, "It's the renaissance of Anne Hathaway. And she isn't playing the role of the princess of Hollywood anymore. She's here to wear what she wants, not what she should. The confidence she exudes is everything."

(Image credit: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Greg Doherty/WireImage; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

On Zendaya: First image: Valentino dress; Bulgari jewelry; Second image: Louis Vuitton vest and pants; Third image: archival Versace dress; Christian Louboutin shoes; Bulgari jewelry

Zendaya could easily make the It-girl list every single year in our book. Monks agrees, saying "I've been following Zendaya's style for years. She's not a new It girl, but the perpetual. She knows how to dress for the moment. Every era is different, but it always is consistently her. I literally cannot think of one single look that's a favorite because they all are."

It's likely that there's an audible gasp every time she steps onto a red carpet. Her partnership with Law Roach has led to one stunning look after another. She can wear anything and make it look good, but she never ever phones it in.

(Image credit: Neil Mockford/FilmMagic; Amy Sussman/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for BAFTA)

On Taylor Russell: First image: Schiaparelli suit, corset, and hat; Second image: Loewe top and skirt; Third image: Alexander McQueen jacket, skirt, bag, and shoes

Taylor Russell, who works with stylist Ryan Hastings, burst onto the red carpet scene late last year while promoting Bones and All, and we haven't stopped thinking about her since. Catherine Kallon, founder and editor of Red Carpet Fashion Awards, tells us, "2022 was the breakout year for Taylor Russell. Her best fashion alliances were with Schiaparelli and Alexander McQueen." It's not often that you see a fresh face take as many red carpet risks as she has, but it's paid off, and we can't wait to see how her style evolves. 

Kathleen Miozzo, editor in chief of @CheckTheTag, says of Russell, "[She] was the breakout star from the 2022 film festival circuit. Balenciaga Couture, vintage Ralph Lauren, and Schiaparelli Couture just showed that, as a new face, she wasn't here to play. It ultimately made her the first celebrity face of Loewe, and how much more It girl does it need to be?"

(Image credit: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Stephane Cardinale Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

On Paul Mescal: First image: Gucci suit and bow tie; Cartier brooch; Second image: Gucci blazer and pants; Third image: Gucci suit and Cartier brooch

Paul Mescal was an award-season fixture this year, receiving his first Oscar nomination for Aftersun. While his looks are classic at their core, he uses accessories and fit (in the form of wide-leg pants and longer blazers, for example) to set himself apart from the red carpet pack. Mescal, who wears Gucci for most of his red carpet appearances, is clearly in good hands with stylist Felicity Kay. Monks says it best: "When it comes to just oozing effortless masculinity with a twist, I always look forward to seeing Paul Mescal on the red carpet. He's a Gucci boy whose punky bad-boy aesthetic just oozes sex appeal."

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Christopher Polk/Billboard via Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

On Bad Bunny: Jacquemus suit and cape

Bad Bunny, who has worked with stylist Storm Pablo for the past four years, has really solidified himself as a "fashion guy" in 2023. His dramatic Met Gala Jacquemus look this year, in particular, was one of the most memorable of the night. As Kallon says, "I feel like the Met Gala will see a new fashion era for Bad Bunny. Those baggy dungarees are set to be a thing of the past." Not just anyone can pull off wearing a tailored suit with a baseball cap, but Bad Bunny can. More of that, please.

(Image credit: Greg Doherty/WireImage; KAREN DI PAOLA/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images; Mike Marsland/WireImage)

On Timothée Chalamet: First image: Helmut Lang vest; Rick Owens pants; Cartier jewelry; Second image: Haider Ackermann jumpsuit; Third image: Alexander McQueen suit; Vivienne Westwood necklace

Like Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet just might be a red carpet It guy for the rest of his days. Chalamet's fashion partner in crime is designer Haider Ackermann, who is responsible for his most viral red carpet looks, including the backless red jumpsuit at last year's Venice Film Festival. Miozzo broke down the partnership, telling us "His friendship with Tilda Swinton is all you need to know. She introduced him to Haider Ackermann, and the rest is history. The boy knows how to be extremely 'fashion-y,' but it always comes across as effortless. He gives the same cool energy in any shirt as he does in a tuxedo, but you'll never catch him in the standard. And he just landed a Chanel perfume commercial, so who knows what's next?"


(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage; Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images)

Celebrities are fully embracing runway trends this season, and it's been thrilling to see how they translate to the red carpet. Gone are the days of boring "just play it safe" looks. We're in the era of making sartorial statements. These trends got our votes for the most popular on recent red carpets.

(Image credit: Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images; Karwai Tang/WireImage)

On Olivia Rodrigo: Thom Browne dress; Lorraine Schwartz jewelry; On Harry Styles: Harris Reed suit; On Rihanna: Valentino dress; Gianvito Rossi shoes; Bulgari necklace

Rosettes are one of the prettiest trends of 2023, so it's not surprising that they've been a red carpet staple as of late. Celebrity stylist Tara Swennen gave us her take on its popularity, saying "[We've] seen them on the runways in oversize iterations and with fun details popping up at everything from premieres to red carpets such as the Oscars on the likes of Halle Berry and Cara Delevingne. These beautiful accents can be worn on dresses and accessories, such as chokers, and even lapel pens for men, and when worn correctly, [they] can be a beautiful focal point of one's look."

(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Alberto Rodriguez/Variety via Getty Images)

On Emily Ratajkowski: Feben dress; Jimmy Choo shoes; On Jennifer Lopez: Valentino dress and shoes; Tyler Ellis bag; Shiphra jewelry; On Sophie Turner: Louis Vuitton dress

It's safe to say that there hasn't been a red carpet yet this year that didn't include a sheer look. Even the major award shows were inundated with the risqué trend, and it was the trend at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. "This year's sheer trend adds sexiness and femininity to one's look. It's very wearable when done right! Subtle is always best for me, and balance is, of course, the key. Sheer tops and tees as well as flowing skirts make great layering pieces. I just recently put Idina Menzel in a mesh Dundas rock-and-roll iteration for the GLAAD Awards in New York City," Swennen says of the trend.

(Image credit: Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images; John Shearer/WireImage; Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)

On Cate Blanchett: archival Louis Vuitton shirt; Louis Vuitton skirt and jewelry; On Nicole Kidman: archival Chanel dress; Harry Winston earrings; On Zendaya: archival Versace dress; Bulgari jewelry

If you're a celebrity and want to win over the fashion crowd, wear an epic vintage look, and we won't be able to stop talking about it. Wearing a look with some history behind it is a great conversation starter on the red carpet, and the sustainability factor of the act speaks for itself.

Zendaya, in particular, has worn multiple archival looks this year, including early 2000s Versace at the NAACP Image Awards. Kallon of Red Carpet Fashion Awards says, "Either Zendaya is living in the wrong era, or she has an amazing knack for making those '90s supermodel gowns feel so current." Other standout looks include Cate Blanchett at the Oscars in an archival Louis Vuitton blouse and Nicole Kidman in a Chanel gown that she wore in a Chanel No. 5 commercial in 2004.


(Image credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

On Dua Lipa: Tiffany and Co. necklace; On Rihanna: Bulgari necklace; Belperron necklaces; On Florence Pugh: Tiffany and Co. necklace and earrings

I think we can all agree that one of the best aspects of the red carpet is the jewelry. This year has provided us with many memorable jewelry moments, but these three will stay on our minds for years to come.

Dua Lipa at the Met Gala: Dua Lipa chose Tiffany & Co. to accompany her tweed Chanel gown. The standout piece was the brand's stunning over-100-carat Legendary diamond, which is reminiscent of Tiffany's iconic yellow diamond

Rihanna at the Met Gala: Rihanna's custom Valentino rosette look was accompanied by a multi-strand Bulgari necklace containing hundreds of diamonds and pearls alongside earrings and more necklaces by Belperron.

Florence Pugh at the Oscars: For the 2023 Oscars, Pugh wore Tiffany & Co.'s sculptural Orchid Curve necklace, featuring more than 38 carats of diamonds. Her pink tourmalines and diamond earrings, also by Tiffany & Co., completed her fresh, nontraditional jewelry look.


(Image credit: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Bryan Rodner Carr; Leon Bennett/FilmMagic; BFA; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Noam Galai/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)

On Cara Delevingne: Elie Saab dress; Stuart Weitzman shoes; Bulgari jewelry; On Madelyn Cline: Givenchy dress; Tabayer jewelry; On Dua Lipa: Chanel dress; Tiffany and Co. necklace

In this social media–guided world we live in, we can't talk about the red carpet without discussing the looks that went viral thus far this year. Accordingly, we tapped social media management platform Dash Hudson to examine Instagram content from the major red carpet events. Based on their engagement analytics, these are the looks that captured the most attention.

Cara Delevingne: Delevingne's 1.5 million likes and comments eclipsed every other attendee's post-Oscars Instagram post. Her regal Elie Saab gown was the talk of the night.

Madelyn Cline: Cline's kelly-green Givenchy dress at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party generated 3.5 million likes and comments on Instagram, proving that she's one to watch on the red carpet.

Dua Lipa: Dua Lipa, who was one of the hosts of this year's Met Gala, wore a tweed Chanel gown on the red carpet, and the internet lost it as soon as she stepped on the red carpet. Her post brought in a whopping 6.1 million likes and comments.


(Image credit: Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty Images; Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images; Arturo Holmes/Getty Images )

Truth be told, it was tough narrowing it down to just three designers. Gucci, Dior, and Chanel have also had banner years, but there's an especially buzzy trio that has given us some of the most standout looks of the year on carpet after carpet.

(Image credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images; Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty Images; ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Stephanie Hsu: Valentino dress; On Florence Pugh: Valentino dress and shoes; Tiffany & Co. jewelry; On Emily Blunt: Valentino dress; Judith Leiber bag; Chopard earrings

Valentino has given us one dramatic red carpet moment after another this year, setting multiple trends in the process. The influential fashion house counts some of the most noteworthy red carpet fixtures right now as friends of the brand—Pugh, Zendaya, and Hathaway.

(Image credit: Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images; Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Noam Galai/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)

On Sydney Sweeney: Miu Miu dress; Tourneau/Bucherer 1888 jewelry; On Olivia Rodrigo: Miu Miu dress; Tiffany & Co. necklace; On Emma Chamberlain: Miu Miu skirt suit and shoes; Cartier jewelry

Miu Miu is undoubtedly the fresh and cool It-girl brand right now. It's one that we see a ton of off the red carpet, so it's exciting to see how it translates to formal occasions such as the Grammys and Met Gala. The brand is responsible for bringing a big dose of chic whimsy to the red carpet as of late and never takes itself too seriously. Just take a look at Sydney Sweeney's red carpet looks from the past year, and you'll see why more and more celebrities are likely itching to work with Miu Miu.

(Image credit: Amy Sussman/WireImage; Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images; Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

On Jenna Ortega: archival Versace dress; Jimmy Choo shoes; Tiffany & Co. jewelry; On Anne Hathaway: Versace dress and shoes; Bulgari jewelry; On Lady Gaga: Versace dress; Tiffany & Co. jewelry

Versace is responsible for so many head-turning red carpet looks lately, proving that the brand is hotter than ever. From the rooftop show it staged in L.A. during Oscars week to the fervent interest in archival looks (see trend section above) and just the magnetism of Donatella Versace herself, it's solidified itself as the glamorous fashion house celebrities and their stylists are clamoring for.

Versace's choice of red carpet It girl Anne Hathaway as the face of the brand is another significant 2023 development. As Kallon puts it, "Anne Hathaway's bombshell era has given her style a new lease of life on the red carpet, which is why Versace is such a good fit for her right now." 


(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue; ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images; Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Having the right hair and makeup is key for a successful red carpet look, and many celebs have knocked it out of the park on recent red carpets. But it's these three that our editors think really nailed it.

Suki Waterhouse at the Met Gala: Waterhouse's makeup artist Cedric Jolivet and hairstylist Candice Birns worked in tandem to create a look as dreamy as her ethereal Fendi dress for the Met Gala. Makeup artist Courtney Hart gave us her input, saying "Her glam was soft yet sophisticated and delicate. Her eye makeup felt like watercolors, and the green and pink hues matched her dress perfectly. Makeup should be playful, and Suki's was an excellent example of that."

Lizzo at the Grammys: Lizzo's glowing Grammys beauty look was the ultimate example of how stunning red and orange makeup can be. Her makeup artist Alexx Mayo coined it "flushed, diffused cherry cheeks." It was perfectly balanced by hairstylist Shelbeniece Swain's take on the wet-hair trend. Hart agrees with our Lizzo praise. "Lizzo's Grammy moment this year was by far one of my favorite looks in recent history. There were a number of trends happening in one look, and they all balanced seamlessly. Lips are very in at the moment, and her red was perfectly matched to her bold look," she says. "This was also a very monochromatic makeup look. Her eye, cheek, and lip were all in the same tone. This is a classic trend but one I always love seeing. Lizzo also used a trend that I'm seeing a lot at the moment called blush draping. In blush draping, blush is applied in a sweeping motion along the cheekbones, temples, and hairline to create a natural-looking shadow."

Cara Delevingne at the Oscars: Delevingne's Oscars look was wildly chic and sophisticated from head to toe. Makeup artist Hung Vanngo opted for rosy shades to complement her sultry, smoky eyes, and hairstylist Danielle Priano created a slicked-back updo that was the perfect counterpoint to her voluminous Elie Saab dress. Hart says of the look, "Cara Delevingne was the epitome of Hollywood glamour at the Oscars this year. Her rose-tone monochromatic eye and lip were a perfect accent to her dramatic red gown. The texture choices in her makeup helped to balance this look. The satin finish on her lip as opposed to matte allowed the whole look to feel light and sultry."


(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images; Kopaloff/Getty Images for Vanity Fair; Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

On Doja Cat: Oscar de la Renta dress; Messika jewelry; On Hunter Schafer: Ann Demeulemeester top and skirt; On Kylie Jenner: Schiaparelli dress and shoes

We love a good controversial look here at Who What Wear, and the red carpets this year have offered up plenty. But these are the three that no one could stop talking about long after the red carpets were rolled up.

Doja Cat at the Met Gala: The Karl Lagerfeld Met Gala theme this year was taken quite literally by some, including Doja Cat, who dressed as a glamorous Oscar de la Renta–clad version of Lagerfeld's beloved cat Choupette—facial prosthetics and all.

Hunter Schafer at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party: When Schafer stepped onto the red carpet in a fresh-off-the-runway Ann Demeulemeester look, jaws dropped over her top, which consisted of not much more than a single feather. Schafer was styled by Law Roach (who is known for his controversial high-fashion looks) right before he announced his retirement from styling.

Kylie Jenner at Paris Couture Fashion Week: Jenner attended Schiaparelli's couture show in Paris in January wearing one of the designer's looks from that same S/S 23 collection that can best be described as polarizing. The strapless black dress was adorned by a faux lion's head, which some took offense to, but much of the controversy stemmed from people mistaking it for real taxidermy.

Next, 9 Major Trends That Will Define Fall 2023 Fashion

Opening image: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images; Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.