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Best Gowns Are Oscar Ready

Oscar ready! The best red-carpet gowns from top designers at New York fashion week

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Zac Posen evening gown fall 2014 collection

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).

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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.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Naeem Khan fashion week fall collection February 2014

In recent years, Naeem Khan has become a red-carpet favorite. This gold column gown looks like an Oscar, don't you think?

Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera red evening gown fall 2014 collection

This Carolina Herrera strapless red gown from the fall collection is a photographer's delight.

Photo courtesy of Reem Acra
Reem Acra look 25 fall 2014 collection

This barely-there gown from the Reem Acra fall collection oozes Hollywood glamour and sensuality.

Photo courtesy of Marchesa
Marchesa look 34 fall 2014 collection

Marchesa specializes in red carpet ready designs. Could it have something to do with the fact that co-designer Georgina Chapman is married to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein? We're wondering if Chapman will be wearing this gold stunner to Sunday night's Oscar ceremony.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Tadashi Shoji evening gown fall collection Feb 2014

Tadashi Shoji is expected to dress several Oscar nominees, including Nebraska's June Squibb, nominated for Best Supporting Actress. This black gown with a beaded bodice was a favorite of his fall collection.

Photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta look 47 fall 2014 collection

Oscar de la Renta always creates red carpet stunners. The shorter hemline in the front and gold embroidery make this gown stand out.

Photo courtesy of Donna Karan
Donna Karan gown look 38 fall 2014

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.

Photo courtesy of Lela Rose
Lela Rose look 41 magenta gown fall 2014 collection

This Lela Rose strapless gown reflects the color of the season: Radiant orchid.

Photo by shootdigital
Ralph Lauren gown fall collection 2014

The Ralph Lauren fall collection also paid tribute to the shade of the season in a softer hue.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Monique Lhuillier evening gown fall 2014 collection

Monique Lhuillier jazzes up the basic black gown with beading and a hot pink underling that peeks through.

Photo courtesy of J. Mendel
J. Mendel look 38 fall 2014 collection

The J. Mendel fall collection includes this strapless gown in a deep purple shade.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Badgley Mischka evening gown fall 2014 collection

The designing duo Badgley Mischka has Oscar on their minds with this gold gown featuring a sheer skirt from the fall collection.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Pamella Roland evening gown fall 2014 collection

Pamella Roland's swirly black and purple gown is an entrance-maker.

Photo courtesy of Marchesa
Marchesa look 32 fall 2014 collection

Highlights of this Marchesa tomato red gown include the bold color, nice draping and the beaded shoulder and midsection.

Photo by Albert Urso/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Reem Acra evening gown Fall 2014 collection

Intricate embroidery is a hallmark of this Reem Acra gown.

Photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta look 49 fall 2014 collection

Oscar de la Renta combines black and gold in a subtle yet bold gown from the fall collection.