Phew! What a year the lovely Lea Michele has had! In just a few short months (as die-hard fans know, Glee debuted May 19, 2009), Michele has gone from up-and-comer to a bona fide star–and with a spotless red carpet track record to boot! As the star debuts on our October cover, we catch up with her stylist Estee Stanley and count down our favorite Lea Michele red carpet looks!

Stanley–who helped style Michele’s cover-shoot–has been working with the 24 year-old actress for the last year, and so know her red carpet highlights even better than us STF do! Here, we run down our favorite LM fashion moments while Estee shares her get-dressed tips and anecdotes:

The always-on-it Tracey picked up Lea Michele on her style radar even before the 2010 awards show swirl, thanks to the bodacious Isaac Mizrahi strapless dress she wore to a FOX party last January. What a hot little number! “I’ve always been a big on neutrals,” says Estee. “With her amazing complexion, Lea can wear anything–including neutrals, taupes and flesh-tones.” For ladies who might not be blessed with the star’s “I can wear it all” skintone, Estee suggests mixing in bright colors like blue and green, with a pale neutral like the hue on Mizrahi’s bustier.

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PHOTO: Getty Images

PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 11: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the Fox Winter 2010 All-Star Party held at Villa Sorisso on January 11, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Lea Michele quickly solidified her rep as an up-and-coming trend-setter during the awards season swirl at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards: Only the perennially chic Naomi Watts trumped Michele (who wore a gorge emerald green Catherine Malandrino dress) when we asked you to vote on your favorite look of the night.

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PHOTO: WireImage

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 23: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 23, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

The Glee star followed it up with a risky–but ultimately successful–move by wearing a skintone-matching Herve Leroux gown to February’s Director’s Guild Awards. The bright red lipstick–her only main accessory for the night–is what sealed the deal of total awesomeness.

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PHOTO: WireImage

CENTURY CITY, CA – JANUARY 30: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the 62nd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on January 30, 2010 in Century City, California. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/WireImage)

In May, Lea stepped out in a Jenni Kayne LBD look that any girl would love (or want to steal!). The green earrings trick that Angelina Jolie used a few Oscars ago looks vibrant and oh-so-pretty on the *Glee *star.

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Then, later that same day, she made the work-to-party switcheroo look easy as she amped up the glam factor for a fancy-schmancy Time magazine gala. Lea beat out Taylor Swift and Demi Moore with her stunning, peach-toned strapless dress, while also showing off what might be the world’s cutest tattoo ever.

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PHOTO: 2010 Charles Eshelman

“I’m always of the mind that girls should dress up when they have the opportunity,” notes Estee. “Some people thought that Lea’s black tulle Oscar de la Renta gown was a little too much, but I said, Why not?! There are plenty of times to go low-key, but if you’ve got the chance to dres up, why not take advantage of that and have fun with it?” Y’all agreed with the Oscar de la Renta choice, as she landed on our 2010 Golden Globes Best Dressed List and quickly became one of your favorite looks of the night!

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PHOTO: WireImage

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 17: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 17, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

In June, Lea Michele edged out some tough competition (Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts and Catherine-Zeta Jones, to name a few) with her gorgeous marigold-colored Zac Posen gown. “We saw that dress and loved it immediately,” recalls Estee. You did too! You a whopping 44.5% of you thought she deserved the title of Best Dressed at the 2010 Tony Awards!

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PHOTO: FilmMagic

NEW YORK – JUNE 13: Actress Lea Michele attends the 64th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)

“Lea is super casual when she’s off-duty,” says Estee, “But she works so much that she’s either in jeans, headed to work or in a gown and headed to a party! I’ve never seen any one with such an extreme schedule!” Case in point? The gilded, party-perfect Reem Acra dress Michele wore to a festive Glee event in July.

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PHOTO: Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD – JULY 27: Lea Michele attends Fox’s “Glee” Academy event held at The Music Box Theatre on July 27, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

In August, Lea proved that she can nail the whole cute ‘n’ casual thing too: As seen at the Blackberry Touch party, when paired with a low-key top, her perky Jenni Kayne metallic skirt hits the perfect “I’m just hanging out tonight, looking fab, no big deal” vibe. “Jenni Kayne makes all these great day-into-evening skirts and dresses,” says Estee. “And while I am a fan of a girl dressing up, this was definitely not the time or place to go with a big, poufy evening gown.”

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PHOTO: FilmMagic

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 11: Actress Lea Michele attends the U.S. launch party for the New BlackBerry Torch on August 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

The Emmys, of course, are a different story entirely! Opting for another high-drama Oscar de la Renta dress, Michele turned heads at this year’s Emmy Awards. “Lea knew she wanted to go navy,” shares Estee, “And I’d fallen in love with this gown when it debuted on the runway. It was perfect!”

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PHOTO: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 29: Actress Lea Michele arrives at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Which of Lea Michele’s red carpet looks do you like best? Which of ’em would you like to wear on a big (and I mean, BIG) night out?

For more about the pint-sized Glee star, you could…

*Read her cover-story, find out how to get her Emmy night hair, steal her eye brightening makeup trick or snag the “xox” rings she’s wearing on our cover!


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