In our increasingly image-driven era, ruling the red carpet is not as simple as it used to be. The stakes have never been higher for stars to make an indelible impression on television, on social media, and in the pages of a magazine. Inside the November issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Oct. 16, we celebrate 50 women (and a few of their male counterparts) who prove that fashion, when used wisely, can be a compelling weapon. Below are the top 10, and check out the the full list of actresses inside the November issue, available on newsstands and for digital download Oct. 16.
1. Rihanna in Giambattista Valli
Minutes before the red carpet ended, the singer arrived to the Grammys in a show-stopping pink cupcake gown by Giambattista Valli. "She wears couture like a T-shirt," the designer tells us. She more of her best looks here.
2. Julianne Moore In Giorgio Armani Privé
Her awards season sweep went beyond collecting trophies, as Moore triumphed in gown after gown. She chose a plunging black Giorgio Armani Privé gown with feathers and beads for the 68th Cannes Film Festival. See more of her best looks here.
3. Emma Stone in Lanvin
"If anyone could pull off wearing pants to the Golden Globes, it's Emma," says her stylist Petra Flannery, who considers this custom Lanvin jumpsuit a risk that paid off. "Everything from the hand-beaded bodice to the taffeta bow sash was perfect." See more of her best looks here.
4. Blake Lively in Monique Lhuillier
At the premiere of Age of Adaline, Lively wore a gown with a fitted lace bodice, voluminous tulle skirt, and flowing train. With this choice, she also revealed her encyclopedic fashion memory, asking for the dress from a three-year-old collection. See more of her best looks here.
5. Jennifer Lopez in Valentino Haute Couture
At the 69th Annual Tony Awards, Lopez brought her star power to Broadway's biggest night in this strapless navy gown with gold sequined detailing. See more of her best looks here.
6. Taylor Swift In Elie Saab
For the 2015 Grammys, Swift chose a turquoise Elie Saab that featured a short skirt under the ball gown. She accessorized with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry and Guiseppe Zanotti shoes. See more of her best looks here.
7. Cate Blanchett In Giorgio Armani Privé
Blanchett suited up for the Giorgio Armani 40th Anniversary Silos Opening in sleek ivory Giorgio Armani Privé suit separates with a black obi-inspired tie belt at the waist, complete with black pumps. See more of her best looks here.
8. Lupita Nyong'o In Gucci
At Cannes, the actress opted for a custom pleated chiffon gown with hand-painted floral crystals along the waist and plunging neckline. See more of her best looks here.
9. Emma Watson In Ralph Lauren Collection
Though Watson is no stranger to vivid color, her minimalist style tends to favor a strong and assertive palette of black and white. To wit: Watson attended the Duke of Cambridge's Royal Marsden dinner at Windsor Castle in England wearing an elegant white and gray ensemble paired with a Roger Vivier Boîte de Nuit clutch. See more of her best looks here.
10. Keira Knightley in Delpozo
The then-pregnant actress chose an embellished, flowing look from Delpozo's spring 2015 collection for the Critics' Choice Awards. See more of her best looks here.