Alexis Bittar, Alterations, Behind the Scenes, best dressed, Champagne, fashion, Fashion Stylist, Golden Flobese 2015, Golden Globes, Neiman Marcus, Red Carpet, Red Carpet Fashion, red carpet style, style, stylist, Wardrobe Stylist, Zac Posen
Some of you have asked for behind-the-scenes details on styling my client Kristen for the Golden Globes. It wasn’t that different from any other special event styling, though the glam quotient was significantly higher. By (semi-)popular demand, here’s how it went down, Foxes. Happy Friday! xo
How the Stars Do It
Before we jump in, a couple of differences between this and how celebrity stylists work. Like you or me, Kristen shopped for a dress; we were limited by what was available and spending real money. Most of the time celebrities and their stylists have access to designers, showrooms or publicists who lend or gift pieces in exchange for publicity. Some celebrities are even friends of or ambassadors/paid spokespeople for fashion houses. This means you can count on them to wear the brand often on the red carpet– Jennifer Lawrence and Dior, Kiera Knightly and Chanel, Emma Stone and Lanvin. Even though getting the dress was different, a lot of the styling process is similar.
Scouting the Look
Kristen found out she was going to the Globes about a week out. In case it isn’t abundantly clear, that’s not a ton of time. Putting it in context, most celebs have a month or several months of lead time before awards season to plan looks with their stylists. Thankfully, Kristen’s someone I’ve worked with for a long time so luckily we had a great rapport and sense of one another’s style.
My first step, and a common step of many stylists: online research. I wanted to understand what retailers had what pieces, how long it would take to get them to us. I also dragged Anastajza to see what was in stores and took a lot of photos. I pulled all of this info into a detailed scouting report, which included styling notes like shoe and accessory considerations, and sent it to Kristen. I also reached out to my retail contacts to get a sense of what was possible in terms of getting dresses to the store and getting alterations rushed– alerting the troops if you will.
Before Kristen Arrived
“The pull” is the fancy term we stylists use to describe the items we pre-select for a client to choose from. With research done and feedback from Kristen, we turned our attention to refining it. We decided to shop at Neiman Marcus because of the breadth of designers and styles we could try and the fact we could rely on their amazing service both in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, if we needed it. We quickly realized it was going to be faster and more reliable for us to purchase and overnight gowns as customers, rather than have the stores request them through their sale systems, which can take a couple of days. We arranged for them to be delivered and at the same time edited the selection on-hold at the store for her to try on. We also worked with the store to have plenty of shoe and accessory choices on-hand. As Rachel Zoe famously said on her show, “options.”
Everything pulled and shopping day upon us, our attention turned to dressing up the dressing room for her– I mean how many times in your life do you get to dress up for something like this? We wanted to make it fun and, because of all of the great help from our girls Pamela and Lia at the store, we had plenty of extra time for some fun and ridiculousness of our own, like selfies.
We used the personal shopping room at Neiman’s, which even for a jaded stylist is pretty impressive and giant (like the size of my living room and then some). All decked out with her gown selection, and plenty of extras in the back, it was really fun to see Kristen’s reaction when she arrived. Kristen’s Zac Posen gown was our pre-shop favorite and the first we tried on. From that moment, it became the one to beat. Despite other amazing choices (she looks good in everything!), we kept coming back to it.
Dress decided, we spent a lot of time swapping out jewelry and shoes and bags to find the perfect mix. I wasn’t going to LA with her so we wanted to be sure everything was set and talked about details like hairstyles and which direction her asymmetrical Alexis Bittar cuff should point. Luckily the dress fit beautifully through the bodice, but we needed some hemming and alterations at the hip, so we had her pinned up and crossed our fingers everything would be ready by Saturday at noon…when she had to head to the airport.
I was not joking when I said Neiman’s was amazing. We shopped late Wednesday and Kristen got a call Friday night her dress was ready. We had a standing date to take a look at it on Saturday and made a deal to wear yoga pants and be comfy after a stressful week. Of course, I comply and she shows up looking polished and perfect! I gave her a pass because she claimed she was dressed for traveling. Luckily, everything fit like a glove and the only challenge left was how the heck to get the dress on the plane. In the end, we stuffed and folded it up. I had already called ahead and alerted her hotel she would need a special garment steamed that evening, so we were sure it would be red-carpet-ready the next day.
Red Carpets & Beyond
Kristen got to walk the red carpet and was super sweet to send me photos of that and as she got ready. I mentioned it in my best dressed post and may be partial, but I think she and her look were just as stunning as anyone else on the red carpet. And speaking of sweet and stunning, these flowers arrived at my house a couple of days after the event. They were icing on the cake of a super fun week.
Today, our (at least my) favorite princess celebrates another year. Happy birthday, KMid! In her honor, I thought we could take a minute to appreciate Kate’s style smarts and take a look at some lessons we can apply in our own wardrobe. Happy styling (and weekend), Foxes. xo
She Calls the Tailor to Add, As Well As Take Away
We all know about altering pieces for fit. And, the style savvy know creative changes like swapping buttons or removing pockets can make an OK piece amazing. But almost no one thinks to ask their tailor to add fabric. At 5′ 9″ skirts appear short on Kate and she often lengthens pieces beyond any standard seam allowance to be sure not to show too much leg. Look closely and you can see the seam where she added six inches of fabric to this Goat coat before her visit to New York last month. The same trick also works for too-short tops. Don’t stress if you don’t have perfectly matching fabric, go for a contrast color or texture, like lace or leather instead.
She’s A Master of High-Low Mixing
Almost more than actual style, the cost of Kate’s wardrobe makes headlines. She loves a deal and the high street as much as the rest of us. Kate’s as likely to wear Topshop, Reiss or Jigsaw (where she worked) as she is luxe English designers like McQueen or Jenny Packham. Even better, she’ll mix the two and wear an inexpensive blouse with a very expensive skirt. You know, like how normal people put together outfits with pieces of different pricepoints. She knows the trick to making high street look expensive is to pick classic shapes and look for details that are well done, but not over the top, like the lacy print of this Topshop dress (paired with Ralph Lauren blazer).
She Dresses For The Occasion
One of my favorite things about watching Kate’s style is that she always dresses for the occasion, even if it means donning a cowboy hat (at a rodeo in Canada) or wearing a hoodie and a blindfold (to help lead a scout meeting in London). Some people wish she would always dress formally, but I love how she keeps it real. I mean people, including this stylist, love a good hoodie under the right (and sometimes lazy and wrong) circumstances. If it’s good enough for Kate, it’s good enough for me.
Charlotte Olympia, Diablo Magazine, Editorial Styling, fashion, Fashion Stylist, Good Boy Friday, NIKE, Personal Shopper for Men, personal shopping, Personal Style, Personal Stylist, SFFW, style, Stylist Men, Ted Baker
Writing this is a bit like awkwardly running in to a friend I haven’t called back in months…Ohhhh, heeeyyyy….I bet you thought I forgot you, Foxes. Quite the contrary, you’ve been on my mind a lot. And, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I’ve been busy styling away since my last post (in July!!!).
At the risk of turning a style blog into a therapy session, I’ve been MIA here because life majorly kicked my ass the second part of 2013. My family’s been facing a serious illness. Though I am healthy, the fight’s affected and demanded a lot from me. Other than lots of great clients who completely made me feel normal (THANK YOU!), I retreated from almost everything else last year, including you. I’m sorry for disappearing without explanation.
My family’s fight for health continues, but taking on 2014, I’m (mostly) harder, better, faster, stronger and excited to get back to sharing with you. Still, it doesn’t seem right to move ahead without taking a moment to look back at all you missed. Here’s what I was up to while life fell apart. (Scroll/click on the photos for descriptions of the action.) Happy to be back at it, Foxes.
Making it Work at Work
What happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room. Still, I couldn’t help snapping photos of memorable moments and perfectly arranged clothes during appointments.
Men of Style
A lot of people ask, “do you style men?” Of course! Guys want to look great too. I worked with some seriously dapper dudes the past few months.
In addition to working one-on-one with personal styling clients, I’ve been on-set for quite a few runways and editorial and commercial shoots since we chatted. Turns out, I’ve got a knack with a steamer.
You Can Never Have Too Many Shoes
As I reviewed the hundreds (I mean HUNDREDS) of photos I’ve taken in the past six months, I noticed shoes are overly represented in the mix. Kinda like in my closet.
In the midst of the stress, I found time to have some fun with family and friends (not to mention obsess over my cutie nephew, B).
It’s kind of appropriate that the first and last projects I did since writing were styling for my friend Kellee‘s awesome children’s clothing line Good Boy Friday. We shot the Spring/Summer ’14 lookbook last July and wrapped the Fall ’14/Winter ’15 last week.