New York fashion week is perfectly positioned for the 86th annual Academy Awards. Designers show their fall collections just weeks before the big Oscar telecast, which is arguably also fashion's biggest night as armchair stylists scrutinize everyone who walks down the red carpet.
Stylists have their pick of the runway looks, which won't arrive in stores until August, so the most dazzling gowns can make their debut in Hollywood on Sunday night. Here are some gowns that have red carpet potential (and also might show up at the top Houston charity galas).
No doubt that Zac Posen is influenced by the grand couturier Charles James, who is being honored with a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Menil Collection in May. This strapless teal gown, which closed Posen's runway show, pays homage to James and represents the best of retro Hollywood glamour.
In recent years, Naeem Khan has become a red-carpet favorite. This gold column gown looks like an Oscar, don't you think?
This Carolina Herrera strapless red gown from the fall collection is a photographer's delight.
This barely-there gown from the Reem Acra fall collection oozes Hollywood glamour and sensuality.
Oscar de la Renta always creates red carpet stunners. The shorter hemline in the front and gold embroidery make this gown stand out.
Donna Karan gowns are made for strong, confident women, who are plentiful on Oscar's red carpet. Nominees don't usually show this much skin, but it's a standout.
This Lela Rose strapless gown reflects the color of the season: Radiant orchid.
The Ralph Lauren fall collection also paid tribute to the shade of the season in a softer hue.
Monique Lhuillier jazzes up the basic black gown with beading and a hot pink underling that peeks through.
The J. Mendel fall collection includes this strapless gown in a deep purple shade.
The designing duo Badgley Mischka has Oscar on their minds with this gold gown featuring a sheer skirt from the fall collection.
Pamella Roland's swirly black and purple gown is an entrance-maker.
Highlights of this Marchesa tomato red gown include the bold color, nice draping and the beaded shoulder and midsection.
Intricate embroidery is a hallmark of this Reem Acra gown.
Oscar de la Renta combines black and gold in a subtle yet bold gown from the fall collection.