Scarlett Johansson

AP Photo / Tammie Arroyo

How do famous design houses manage to hook up celebrities with dresses than are often hideous? Shouldn't they know what looks hot and what doesn't?
— Ryan

Hot is relative, my dear. Look at Jennifer Aniston, poor little spud-faced thing. Eyes like a Siberian husky, she has. And yet some people just adore her looks, and think she's a Greek goddess in the manner of Aphrodite or Persephone. Then there's Sarah Jessica Parker. Someone at Vogue must have thought she was pretty, because they put her on the cover a few months back.

Same deal with designer dresses and accessories. One person's hideous is another person's irresistible. Otherwise, how do we explain ScarJo in that scary red-orange dress on the left that makes her look like a roadside warning cone? Or Jennifer Hudson in that space bolero at the Oscars? We don't. That's how.

But you can't blame only the designer for creating an ugly dress. What about the middlemen? The minions? Find out who the real sinners are when it comes to bad red carpet looks, after the jump.

For the uninitiated, celebrities loathe any kind of hard labor. In Hollywood, cooking counts as hard labor. So does picking an outfit for the red carpet. Stars rarely do that themselves, instead relying on a hot stylists, like Jennifer Rade (Angelina Jolie) or Maria Serra, who is credited with getting Gwyneth Paltrow to finally show off her gams.

Stylists, in turn, have favorite, pet designers—clothiers they consider brilliant artists, good friends, or powerful benefactors who should never be told "no." In those cases, I am told, stylists often take whatever the designer hands them and turn right around and slap it on the hapless celeb.

In other instances, "the designers give the stylist something for free, and the stylist feels obligated to put that on the client," says fashionista Folake Kuye, who helped create the look for a Britney Spears video as well as magazine shoots before turning to her own fashion label, WeWe.

The celebrities, meanwhile, rarely question stylists' choices.

"They prefer to rely on their stylists to make them look good," Kuye says. "Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't."

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