Fashion forward: the women to watch in 2019
Talented, current and oh-so-very stylish, these eight women will light up the red carpet in the coming months, writes Meadhbh McGrath
January means we're heading into the thick of awards season, and this year's crop of films look set to bring a whole host of stylish new faces to the red carpet. But it's not all movie stars - on the small screen, a new addition to Xposé is livening up terrestrial TV, while an Irish singer-songwriter is making waves in London with an energetic new mixtape. Here are our picks for the ones to watch in 2019.
Crazy Rich Asians was the blockbuster romance of the summer, and Constance Wu was its shining star. Also known for her role on hit comedy series Fresh Off the Boat, she made the transition to full-on movie-star glamour on the press tour promoting her film, wearing sparkling couture pieces. Her sequinned Ralph & Russo gown at the Los Angeles premiere was nothing short of spectacular, and we're likely to see her become a fixture on the red carpet in the months, and years, to come, with two planned sequels set to catapult her to fame.
The Black Panther cast rewrote the red carpet rulebook this year, with everyone from golden girl Lupita Nyong'o to Hollywood veteran Angela Bassett offering up breathtaking looks. Most exciting was Danai Gurira, a playwright and actress best known for the long-running zombie show The Walking Dead. Her silver-screen moment, however, introduced us to a true style savant. Her elegant peacock-inspired gown by Jean Louis Sabaji at the European premiere showed she wasn't one to shy away from daring looks, while her delicate pink Gabriela Hearst at the Oscars, with metallic paint along her shaved head, was fabulously modern. She's kept up her hot streak, too - last month, she managed to make a tricky sequin-embellished Vivienne Westwood gown work beautifully. We can't wait to see what she has in store for Black Panther's big night.
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins returns this year with If Beale Street Could Talk, an Oscar-tipped drama with newcomer Kiki Layne in the lead role. The 26-year-old is gorgeous, and has a knack for pulling off difficult Gucci pieces - a brand she's developed a fruitful relationship with. We think she's likely to be this year's red carpet breakout, like Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander and Lupita Nyong'o before her.
Xposé's newest reporter (and Weekend cover star) describes her style as inspired by "her Caribbean and African roots meets Dynasty". Nadine is a firm believer that plus-size fashion doesn't need to be dull or shapeless, and her vibrant mix of colours and prints is joyously bright and bold. We loved her interpretation of race day fashion, in a lively floral off-the-shoulder dress by Richard Quinn for Debenhams, with contrasting accessories and red lips - one to keep an eye on, both on and off our screens.
The Oscar winner is back with a bang, thanks to the acclaimed Amazon series Homecoming and buzzy new film Ben is Back. They're likely to guarantee her presence on the awards circuit next year, and she's been celebrating her comeback with a new look, thanks to longtime stylist Elizabeth Stewart. That means lots of colour and high-impact pieces, from a matching pink suit and bubblegum-tinged braid to a monochrome Givenchy cape to a polo shirt dress from streetwear label of the moment Off-White. We're looking forward to seeing what else they've got planned.
The Kerry actress and singer has an eclectic sense of style, and is a great advocate for flats on the red carpet - she's known to pair dramatic evening gowns with Converse or trainers. After exciting roles in The Woman in White and Taboo, 2019 will see her hitting the big screen opposite Renee Zellweger in the Judy Garland biopic, and joining Benedict Cumberbatch in Cold War drama Ironbark.
The stunning 22-year-old is one of the most promising actresses of her generation, and she's a budding style star to boot. You may recognise her from BBC miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, or Bafta-nominated independent film Lady Macbeth, and next year she'll play Amy March in Little Women, alongside Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep. Whether she's sitting in the front row at Dior or stepping out in cult Insta-fave brand Staud, the actress, who has said she will never lose weight for a role, always looks confident and happy in her own skin.
The Dublin artist formerly known as Bonzai is lighting up the London music scene, and recently changed her moniker to the phonetic pronunciation of her real name (Cassia O'Reilly). Between festival appearances, a feature on the new Nile Rogers & CHIC album and supporting Mura Masa on tour, she's had a busy 2018 and is gearing up for an even bigger 2019. We were drawn in by her vintage Dior gown, topped off with leather gloves and platform boots, at the Grammys and we hope to see more of her cool, laid-back stage looks, inspired by 90s R&B stars.