His influence in Hollywood is legendary. Known as the designer who brought high fashion to the red carpet in the '80s, the maestro remains a major reference point among actresses who are drawn to the restrained elegance and craftsmanship-over-showmanship aesthetic of his clothes. Each drape, tuck, and crystal exalts rather than overpowers the wearer herself. "You should get a sense of the person from the gown she is in," Giorgio Armani says. It's a formula that appeals to a flurry of women, often as different as frost from fire in terms of style and look. Right after his serene spring 2014 show, he spoke about the "nonchalant" drama he creates for the women he dresses—and adores. To see Armani's memorable muses who brought their own special magic to his designs, look through our gallery and for the full story, turn to page 199 of the December issue, available on newsstands or download it for your tablet now.
Plus, join our Twitterview with the designer Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. ET. Details here.
1. Cate Blanchett
"The integrity she brings to her job shows up in the intensity of her performances. Cate's style is innate, like her talent. This dress, from my China collection, looks like it was sculpted on her. She wanted something striking that would make her appear less romantic and delicate, so I chose this sequined gown that has the strong, elegant red of a Chinese lantern," Armani said to InStyle.
2. Anne Hathaway
"A true modern star, Anne conquers with her smile and her graceful, willowy figure, which is perfect for my evening gowns. She looks stunning in my close-fitting silhouettes. These sequined gowns with Swarovski crystals—especially the one in degrade tones of amber—hug her slender shape, revealing her curves in a very chic manner."
3. Alicia Keys
"When it comes to fashion, the singer is tied to tradition, getting inspiration from her mother's sophisticated style. I chose this fluid chiffon gown from the Armani Privé collection that accentuates her sleek figure with a draped bodice and high slit."
4. Katy Perry
"Sometimes it takes time for young people to find their path—or the style that best suits them. Katy is both sweet, as the striped dress shows, and sensual. For the Grammys red carpet (right), I wanted to design a high-impact dress that reflected her personality. It had to be both angelic—hence the feathered wings—and provocative. The bustier is embroidered with Swarovski crystals and paired with a silk organdy skirt."
"She is the essence of modernity and glamour. Young, charismatic, and sophisticated, yet sexy and unrestrained. I chose a short silver-and-gold dress encrusted with Swarovski crystals that had a flattering V-shaped neckline. There's a sexy V in the back too."
6. Naomi Watts
"Naomi is a reserved, private woman whose face has a unique way of expressing her feelings. This luminous dress—with its neckline that resembles an abstract triangle—perfectly enhances her radiant beauty, as does the one-shoulder strap, popular since the '40s."
"The singer made my job easy because she lives her physicality with ease. We opted for a sleek black dress with cropped sleeves and a high neckline to elongate her figure."