Celebrities love Lorena Sarbu! It’s only been three years since the Romanian-born, New York-based designer launched her first eveningwear collection, and her creations have already become red-carpet favorites, appearing on Carrie Underwood, Emma Stone, Heather Morris, Miranda Lambert, and more. “The woman I design for is ambitious, she’s confident, she’s determined,” Sarbu told InStyle.com at her fall 2012 fashion show. “But she’s also authentic, she’s not afraid to show emotion. In fact, I welcome that to my designs. I want to translate this femininity and this toughness.” The mix is clear in Sarbu’s delicate gowns teamed with serious embellishments, and intricately beaded dresses with gutsy, up-to-there hemlines. Getting ready for a big event yourself? Heed her advice when choosing an outfit: “Just listen to your instincts.” See who else loves Sarbu’s designs in the gallery—we could be seeing something of hers at the Oscars this Sunday!

— Caitlin Petreycik, with reporting by Rose Walano