• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

How 22 soup cans saved designers Badgley Mischka's Oscar debut

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

For fashion designers having a major celebrity wear their brand can immediately turn them from unknowns to highly desired.

But for Mark Badgley and James Mischka of Badgley Mischka their opportunity almost didn't happen after spending their life savings on one dress.

"Our first Oscars was Winona Ryder in 1996 at the Oscars. She wore a beautiful peach lace gown," said Badgley. However, Mischka revealed: "It was a white lace dress the night before the Oscars and she wanted it to be blush colored. So, James and I had to dip-dye it in the kitchen sink."

Unbeknownst to Ryder, the duo revealed the dress shrunk six inches, which caused them to get very creative in order to save the dress.

"We bought a first-class ticket to Los Angeles, first class for the gown, and we tied 22 Campbell's soup cans around the hem. And by the time it got to L.A. that night it had stretched out and she wore it. It was beautiful on her," concluded Badgley.

LaQuan Smith fondly remembered how Lady Gaga changed the trajectory of his brand in 2010.

"She was wearing these 3-D mesh leggings and everyone was freaking out," he said.

"Then Rihanna one month later pops up in the catsuit in the 'Rude Boy' video. And it was just like domino effect, domino effect."

Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji became a household name after actress Octavia Spencer won her 2013 Oscar wearing one of his gowns.

"Ten years later I think they listed the best, you know, Oscar dress," said Shoji.

From there, Michelle Obama wore several of Shoji items during her time as First Lady.

"I'm an immigrant from Japan and American First Lady is wearing my dress it's kind of dream," said the designer.

Obama was also a 'game charger' for Caroline Herrera creative director Wes Gordon in 2012.

"I had my own collection prior to working at Herrera, and very early on I made a piece for First Lady Michelle Obama…. so, so exciting and incredible and surreal."

Later Gordon went on to create an Emmy look for actress Sarah Paulson at Herrera.

Naeem Khan apprenticed for legendary designer Halston in the late 70's, where he was able to work with some of Hollywood's biggest stars at the time.

"Even though it was not under my own label but I was designing it for Halston, it was Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor. So, I mean, working with her when I was 18 years old, she was my first ever glamour experience of seeing her on stage and fitting her. And, you know, there were so many others like Carol Channing and Martha Graham, but she, Liza Minnelli, was the first one," said Khan with a smile.

Irish designer Paul Costelloe was Princess Diana's personal designer from 1982 until 1997 and said the royal was his "first celebrity and probably the best I'll ever have."

"She was such a pleasure to dress. Going into Kensington Palace, trying on a few garments on her, giving her an old kiss and a bunch of flowers. She was a wonderful ambassador for the brand."

Red bottom king, Christian Louboutin's first celebrity experience with then Princess Caroline of Monaco took him by surprise and caused an immediate impact on his footwear business.

"She came in my first store. I opened my first store at the end of '91 in October '91, and she came in November '91 and so I didn't know her. And so, I used to call her my second fairy, because she's been a really... she's been an important... she had a huge impact."

(Production by Alicia Powell, Tara Cleary, Nelson Villarreal, Thierry Chiarello, Michaela Cabrera, Hanna Rantala and Will Russell)