Stars to Watch for on the Red Carpet This Awards Season (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

at 11:30 am | By

Half the fun of awards shows is what happens beforehand.

We’re talking about the red carpet fashion show that precedes all the season’s big awards show, from the People’s Choice Awards to the Golden Globes and Oscars.

If it weren’t for the red carpet, how would Angelina Jolie’s left leg ever have launched its career as an Internet meme? Or how would we have seen Ryan Seacrest falter as Sacha Baron Cohen (aka “The Dictator”) dumped ashes on his shiny new tux — and hair.

And of course, without the pre-show red carpet extravaganza, we wouldn’t get some of the most memorable fashion moments.

While the ridiculous easily come to mind (recall: Bjork‘s swan costume at the 2001 Oscars or Lara Flynn Boyle’s ballerina costume at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards), some red carpet gowns have been responsible for launching a career or two. Nicole Kidman’s chartreuse Dior Haute Couture dress at the 1997 Oscars and Michelle Williams’ canary Vera Wang confection at the 2006 Oscars are just two examples of game-changing gowns.

Who are this year’s front contenders for the red carpet’s best-dressed lists? And which stars could launch their red carpet career this awards show season?

To prep you for the official start of this year’s Awards Show Season — which starts this week with the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday followed by the Golden Globes on Sunday — we’ve rounded up a list of the starlets to look out for on the red carpet.

A few are best-dressed regulars, while others have had one or two…or three (but who’s counting?) fashion mishaps before. (One actress even challenges the standard convention that pants are necessary in public, but that makes her all the more interesting to watch, no?)

Take a look at the stars we’ll be watching out for this red carpet season and see if you agree. 

Who are you most excited to see on the red carpet this season?

Play the video for a look back at the best and worst red carpet moments of 2012.

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By Amelia Mularz