Red carpet moments can make or break an A-list career, and nobody knows that better than the group of power players behind some of our favourite celebrities’ most iconic looks. Yup, the most influential figures in Hollywood are the A-list stylists responsible for cultivating some of the most admired wardrobes in Tinsel Town, and one of them has just revealed exactly how valuable their talents are.
At the Vulture Festival’s Hollywood Power Stylist Panel at the weekend, the right-hand women (and men) to the likes of Emily Blunt and Lady Gaga were quizzed on the ins and outs of styling, and exactly how much money designers are willing to pay famous faces to wear their creations. Jessica Paster, the brains behind Emily Blunt’s enviable arsenal of gowns, claimed that actors and actresses can receive up to $250,000 from designers to wear just one dress, while stylists themselves can expect between $30,000 and $50,000.
So just how did these stylists become so successful? We caught up with Jessica and a few of Hollywood’s other most powerful names to find out exactly wat it’s like to be a stylist to the stars, and what they all love most about their jobs…
Clients: Miranda Kerr, Andrea Riseborough, Emily Blunt
How did you get into styling Hollywood stars? Well, I wanted to be an actress and studied for three years, but when it was time to audition I failed miserably. Severe stage fright! So, I did what I really loved and started styling. I was an assistant for two and a half years until I went on my own.
Which red carpet look are you most proud of? Too many to mention – I’ve been doing this for 16 years. The ones that gave me my first “YAY” moment as a stylist were Minnie Driver at her first Oscars and Cate Blanchett in that infamous hummingbird dress. The Oscars are always a high. I love working with Emily Blunt. Never has a client looked so beautiful, each and every time.
Who is the most daring of your clients? Andrea Riseborough because she marches to the beat of her own drum. It’s so fun. What are your ultimate style tips? Confidence and colour! For Oscar season, it has to be lots and lots of sparkle – don’t be afraid to overdo it.
Talk us through how you put these A-list looks together… Emily is always the prettiest girl at the party. What can I say, she is perfect. I knew when I saw the Alexander McQueen orange dress it would look beautiful on her.
Clients: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kate Bosworth, Elizabeth Olsen
How do you go about creating a look for each client? All of my girls have such different styles. The first thing to do is listen to them. When it comes to something like the Oscars start with visuals and get them to look on Style.com or in magazines for things they like, then go from there and try and push it a bit more in terms of fashion. It’s as my job to inspire them and get them excited by what I find. I’m really conscious of making them as individual as possible. With each girl it’s a collaboration.
What is the best thing about your job? I like not knowing what job is next and the excitement of the evolution of designer to stylist back to designer. I absolutely love fashion and can’t wait to see new collections. Then I just want to get my top picks on my clients. A smile and relaxed stance in a great dress on the red carpet is the reward in itself.
What are your ultimate style tips? Don’t wear high heels if you can’t walk confidently in them! Anything that pulls the waist in always looks good in photos. Though neither Kate or Rosie’s Oscar looks are figure-hugging, they both subtly define their middles. And try to create a gap between you’re body and you’re arm – it’s slimming. Start with a dress shape that suits you then pick a great colour. Make sure it’s fun with colour, texture or shape like Kate’s boucle or Rosie’s wide legs. It should be something you dream of wearing and don’t have the occasion for. It needs to be something that stands out and makes you feel special. Go for a great fun shoe and put on some eye-catching jewellery. Avoid looking like a Christmas tree but add some sparkle or fun somehow!
Talk us through how you put these A-list looks together… This was an instant ‘wow’ dress that I knew Rosie would love! She has a natural instinct for fashion and knows what suits her. As soon as she saw this dress she fell in love. It was the perfect dress for the Vanity Fair Oscar party – classic and striking without being too overboard. Antonio Berardi designs dresses that are youthful, fashionable yet still sexy – this is the best combination for red carpet big events. Rosie looked radiant.
Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn
Clients: Lily Collins, Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna
How do you go about creating a look for each client? We start with the event that they’re going to, whether it’s a major red carpet event like the Oscars, a music video or photo shoot, and then discuss ideas. We always want to push their own individual style to create something that’s unique to only them, and the Oscars is one occasion you can really go all out.
Which red carpet look are you most proud of? There’s so many to choose from – these looks are like our children! But if we had to, Rachel McAdams in the red lace Marchesa dress at Cannes. We also loved Rihanna’s Dolce & Gabanna tuxedo and Jennifer’s fuschia Gucci dress from the Met Ball.
Who is the most daring of your clients? Right now, No Doubt. We’ve been creating a lot of custom pieces for them. We get to create an entire mini-collection for every event.
What are your ultimate style tips? Make sure what you’re wearing is a great fit. Accessorise – Lily’s dark nails and jewels added to the drama of her Vanity Fair Oscar party dress. Be daring. Try a color or accessory that makes you push your style to the limits. Be creative!
Inspired by these A-list ladies? Why not head to TheFashionDrop to check out today’s amazing edit of all the best high street buys? Just click here to shop your heart out. You’ll be Hollywood-ready in no time…
By Gemma Gow