Best Clothing Designer (2003)
In a town that's not all that fashion-forward, up-and-coming British-born designer Vanessa Riley is a true find. Known for her extravagant, corseted couture gowns and sweeping, floor-length coats, Riley has dressed the beautiful people for events like the Grammys, the Academy Awards and Houston's society balls. But her designs are not inaccessible to the rest of us -- especially if you know how to rationalize. Her glamorous must-have pieces are more than worth the reasonable investment when you consider: 1) the quality craftsmanship, complete with satin linings and hand-sewn buttonholes; 2) the luxurious personal service -- Riley will custom-fit one of her designs in the fabric of your choice for a nominal fee; and 3) the fact that you'll never run into someone else wearing the same thing at a party. When you can't afford to rationalize, stop by the Vanessa Riley London studio for one of her terrific sales -- sometimes you can find last season's gorgeous creations for under $50.