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August 30 2014

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87 posts tagged "Dolce & Gabbana"

Dressing for Fame: Versace, J.Lo, RiRi Gone Rogue, and More Career Tidbits from Stylists Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi

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If celebrity status is conferred in red-carpet appearances, then no actress today can compete without the help of just the right stylist. As Kerry Washington once told Glamour after she noticeably upped the sartorial ante, “There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand careerwise—because they knew how to work that red carpet.” A carefully crafted collaboration between stylist and client, the perfect look can create an indelible impact on agents, casting directors, and those of us watching from the sidelines. Straight from the epicenter of all things celebrity, we’ve asked some of the industry’s top stylists to share their experiences and impressions from their perch above Tinseltown. With our Dressing for Fame series, we bring you an exclusive, insider look at everything it takes to create those iconic moments captured by a million photo flashes.

Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn

Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn

It takes quite the fashion force to dress J.Lo for the stage, Rachel McAdams for the Cannes red carpet, and Pharrell for his many (sartorially daring) public outings, but the powerhouse styling duo of Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi have proved they’re nothing if not up to the task. Whether they’re commissioning original pieces to bring an idea to life, going back to their roots on music video sets, or forging relationships with up-and-coming talent, their scene-stealing tastes draw a uniquely diverse client mix that includes the abovementioned stars and beyond. Here, the duo talks exclusively to Style.com about going rogue with RiRi (they worked with the songstress for four years), being equal-opportunity stylists, and why women are more complex to style than men.

How did you both begin styling?
Rob Zangardi: I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated with a fashion merchandising degree from Ohio University. After college, my twin brother was working in NYC as a casting director, casting the audience for the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards. He knew I would love it, so I stood in the pit to watch the show and ended up meeting a stylist who worked at MTV. I had no idea what a stylist was until then, but it sounded like my dream job. Because of her, I ended up getting hired at MTV to help with their New Year’s Eve show, which turned into a full-time job—right place, right time. And the rest is history.

Mariel Haenn: I was in school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for fashion design and I met someone who introduced me to the music video world. I started as a seamstress on videos, and then was assistant-styling while still in college. Once I graduated, I was fortunate enough to keep getting called to assist, but in the back of my mind, I was focusing on working at a design studio. I considered styling my means of making a living until I found the job I really wanted. Cut to 13 years later, turns out this is the job I wanted.

RihannaWhat’s the most memorable moment you’ve created thus far?

RZ: Rachel McAdams in the red Marchesa at the Cannes Film Festival was pretty memorable. She just looked like a movie star—you couldn’t take your eyes off of her. That train added the perfect amount of glamour and drama but didn’t overpower the woman wearing it. It was definitely a moment.

MH: Rihanna in the Dolce & Gabbana tux at the [2009] Met Gala. That was a special moment because we went completely rogue. It was a Marc Jacobs year and we got a call 30 minutes prior that so-and-so was wearing the same boots we’d planned on putting Ri in. So last minute, we went for plan B, and plan B ended up being this complete outlaw moment for both Rihanna and in Met history. It was something special.

RZ: Working with Versace to re-create Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Grammys dress for her most recent performances was also huge. It was pretty unbelievable to see her in the print that started it all.

How do you find working in New York different from working in L.A.?
MH: Styling-wise, New York tends to be much more avant-garde and fashion-forward. L.A. is a bit more risk averse and tends to focus on glamour more so than experimentation. There’s also a different level of polish. In L.A., you never want to look like you’re trying too hard—it’s almost as if people put even more effort into looking “effortless” than anything else—while in New York, there’s a broader range in dressing up and down.

RZ: It might sound cliché, but New York’s pace and tone also feels a lot quicker and has this undeniable sense of purpose. The way people walk in New York is representative of how they are. There’s a bigger hustle. It feels more natural for us, honestly, since we are always on the move and juggling multiple projects. The collaborations in L.A. tend to also be more commercial. New York is a greater creative playground. We get to be more forward-thinking and innovative.

What’s your favorite event to dress clients for and why?
RZ: Working on tours and music videos is definitely something we both really enjoy because there is more storytelling involved. There’s an entire arc that goes beyond a broad theme, so to speak. The looks have to work together with different elements to communicate so much. It’s not simply a supplement or continuation of the story, it’s a significant part of it.

MH: Collaborating with designers on custom pieces is a big thrill for us, too. Red carpet is fun, but there’s something to be said for bringing an idea to life rather than plucking from what already exists. A great example is having had the honor of working with Versace for Jen [Lopez]‘s stage looks in NYC. The experience itself was pretty surreal and the end result was nothing short of exceptional.

How do you manage to juggle multiple clients with multiple obligations and aesthetics all at once?
RZ: This is where it’s great to have two people rather than one. We like to joke that we are carbon copies of each other, so it’s like being in two places at once.

MH: The reason we started working together to begin with is because Rob was the only one I trusted to hand my clients over to if I wasn’t available for a job. The partnership was very organic. In terms of balancing the different aesthetics, you sort of train your mind to understand each client and their personality. There’s a lot of relationship-building there. After that, it’s almost impossible to mix aesthetics because you associate the person with the look so instantly.

How do you think working as a pair strengthens your styling? What has this relationship been like?
RZ: Our taste is practically the same, yet we complement each other well in terms of workflow and personality. The relationship is like an old married couple meets brother and sister, if that makes sense.

MH: For lack of a better phrase, two heads are truly better than one. It’s great to have someone else to bounce ideas off of, especially when in a more risk-taking scenario. It’s also great to have someone challenge you or ask the right questions when you’re dead set that something might look great but it could actually be better.

How do you balance dressing clients in looks by emerging designers as well as clothes by respected, longstanding favorites?
RZ: We try to be “equal opportunity” stylists and simply pull what we think will work best for the client in that particular scenario, despite notoriety. The designers we have relationships with always end up in that mix because we sincerely admire their work. That relationship is built from using their pieces over and over as opposed to an obligation.

MH: Plus, we know which clients love which designers and will want to try their pieces no matter what, like Jen with Zuhair Murad, for example.

Do you approach styling men and women differently?
MH: Men usually go one of two ways: very classic or completely modern. You have someone like Will Smith, who is just dapper Old Hollywood movie star head to toe, and then on the flip side, somebody like Pharrell, who loves to play with fashion and sees it as an extension of his art. Styling women has a much greater spectrum, and there are many more shades of gray. It’s equally important to understand the client’s personality and experiences, regardless of gender, and women, by nature, tend to have more complexity. This reflects in how many different ways you can go with a look.

What do you think of the “stylist as celebrity” trend?
RZ: In a more open, share-friendly, social-media-driven world, anyone can be a “celebrity” for their craft or, in some cases, their lifestyle. The definition of celebrity has shifted in that regard. From a creative standpoint, that’s a great thing, because regardless of what you do, you can be found and your work can be followed, admired, and act as inspiration for somebody else. This creates an elevated benchmark for everybody and their work, and in turn, much more interesting, provocative, and creative end products.

Photos: Courtesy Photo; Wireimage 

Runway to Red Carpet: Celebrity Fringe and Rihanna’s Latest Surprise

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When it comes to fashion, the red carpet can often be filled with the same old, same old. But now and again, some bold celebrities shake things up with experimental, next-level looks. Here’s what’s feeling fresh this week.

RihannaWe’re halfway through steamy July, and this week, A-listers were looking for ways to stay cool on the red carpet. Luckily, the Resort ’15 collections (which won’t hit stores until November but have been popping up on celebs since their Spring debut) offer some crafty cutouts. We noticed a few stars beating the heat with dresses boasting built-in air-conditioning, if you will. Kate Hudson and Allison Williams tried the trend at a screening of Wish I Was Here on Monday in New York. Hudson was statuesque in a black Michael Kors Resort ’15 column with a sequin bustier, and Williams chose a ladylike Altuzarra Resort ’15 sheath. On Wednesday, Nicola Peltz stepped out in an ebony ensemble with a keyhole cutout from Balmain’s Fall ’14 runway. She paired a gold-embellished crop top with a banded leather skirt for the Rio de Janeiro premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Elsewhere, two of our favorite redheads got on board with one of Spring’s hottest hair trends, turning up on the red carpet with freshly chopped bangs. Jessica Chastain’s fiery fringe perfectly complemented her navy lamé Mary Katrantzou Fall ’14 gown, and Emma Stone sported hers with a flowy purple Dolce & Gabbana Fall ’14 look.

Last, but certainly not least, RiRi, ever the daredevil, surprised fans by turning up in an Alexander Wang LBD and a gold Givenchy-esque septum ring at an event in Rio de Janeiro after Sunday’s final World Cup match. We have to hand it to her, just when we think we’ve (quite literally) seen it all, she manages to surprise once again. Here, a roundup of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Gade / AKM-GSI

A Modest Proposal: Designers Take a Covered-Up Approach to Eveningwear

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EveningwearIn today’s social-media-fueled culture, modesty has become an overlooked virtue. While we admittedly got a thrill scrolling through endless Instagram posts exploring various angles of Rihanna’s butt crack following Monday night’s CFDA Awards, it takes a brave fashion icon like Rih to pull off a look leaving that little to the imagination. But for those women who still prefer to maintain an air of mystery, designers have us covered—literally. In recent months, we’ve noticed an upswing in full-on maxi dresses, which serve as evidence that high necklines and long sleeves can be sexy, too. Take, for example, Dolce & Gabbana’s billowing floral gowns for Fall (wind machine not included) or the body-veiling, mosaic-print numbers (complete with matching harem pants) featured on Chanel’s Cruise runway in Dubai last month. Adding fuel to the more-is-more eveningwear trend are the new Resort collections from Gucci’s Frida Giannini and Erdem Moralioglu, who presented curve-hugging column styles and floor-skimming guipure lace confections, respectively. For IRL proof that modesty and sensuality don’t have to be mutually exclusive, look no further than The Row’s Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen: The chic twins have been rocking maximum coverage ensembles for years.

Click for a slideshow of our favorite modest eveningwear looks.

Dolce & Gabbana on Women, Their Legacy, and the Evolution of Their Brand

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dgblogThis is an excerpted portion of an interview that originally appeared on Style.com/Arabia. Read the full interview here.

Seemingly yesterday, this Italian mega brand had a tremendous amount of mainstream appeal, backed by celebrities like Madonna in the nineties for its sultry take on fashion and sensuality. But since 2009, the most famous design duo in the world has been reinventing Dolce & Gabbana as a patrimonial brand, using the classic codes of Italy with full-fledged nods to history, art, and tradition. Upon meeting the designers in Dubai ahead of a private dinner, they asked me where I came from. I responded, “Tunisia, the land of Azzedine Alaïa.” They replied that they look up to this fashion genius. One thought came to mind: If Alaïa did the same job taking inspiration from Tunisia as Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana do from their country, perhaps we would attract more tourists—but that’s another story altogether.

ON THEIR LEGACY AS FASHION DESIGNERS

For people like you who work on the imagining and representation of a culture, what does the Orient evoke for you?

Domenico Dolce: The Orient is one thing, and Dubai is another altogether. Dubai is a metropolis. Today, Europe is seen as the famed grandmother, the oldie, whereas here everything is new. During the Italian Renaissance, architects built Florence, Naples, and Palermo; they invented the Baroque. Here, we are witnessing history: the birth of a new city.

Stefano Gabbana: In 300 years, the Emirates will mark the sign of the times. You see, Sicily is not so far from Arab culture. There are so many things that link us together in food, in taste, in decorum—the feeling between Arabs and Sicilians is actually pretty close. [Between the years 831 and 1072, Sicily was actually an Islamic state referred to as "The Emirate of Sicily," whose capital was Palermo.]

dgblog2

And what about the women of both cultures?

SG: Both represent femininity.

DD: There’s a comparison to be made between the south Italian culture, North African culture, and the culture here—the woman as the maternal mother, the center of the family.

It seems like there are some designers who love women and others who love fashion…

DD: Exactly!

SG: Well, you have some who love women and some who hate them. [laughs]

In many of your previous interviews, you seem preoccupied by the legacy of Dolce & Gabbana. You even mentioned as a joke that when you die, Karl Lagerfeld will come to replace you at the helm.

DD: For sure! He is immortal. [laughs] His spirit still flies over Dubai. [Lagerfeld hosted Chanel's 2015 Cruise show in Dubai two weeks before our interview.] He is a superhero; he has the gift of transformation. Soon he will become a baby all over again…

You create collections like some people tell a story. The last show was even more evident as a fairy tale. We spoke before about how you are particularly aware of your legacy. Now let’s imagine a Dolce & Gabbana museum many years from now. What would be the main stories within it?

DD: Each collection we do is a story.

SG: We cannot design without a story in mind.

DD: As you know, not each story is a good one…

SG: Like cakes! Not all cakes come out good. Some are undercooked, overcooked…some are even burnt.

dgblog3Don’t say that, as now I obviously want to ask you which collection was “burnt” in your eyes.

DD: Oh, we burnt some…

SG: But it’s not negative. Even if things don’t go your way, it is still a positive experience—it teaches you what not to do. Failure is always useful. Thankfully, in thirty years of our career, most of the collections were successful. But we also made errors, errors that we caught afterward.

Let’s go back to this ultimate collection. Which items might we find there?

DD: A guipure [corset], for sure. A low neckline black dress with long sleeves…

SG: The tube dress, the slim-fit skirtsuit in black…

DD: The camisole, always…

SG: A lace dress.

Anything else?

DD: High-waisted briefs and a black bra. They were there from the first collection in 1984 and they never changed. To tell you the truth, when we do a fitting and I see models without a bra, naked with their tiny nude thongs—I hate thongs; they drive me crazy—we have to make them wear the bra, the briefs, and the camisole, and then we can start dressing them. We like dressing women to then undress them.

SG: It is very seductive for a man.

They have to work for it!

DD: Other than the safe of a bank, what’s more exciting for a man than to hear the “click” of a bra opening? Here’s another thing that belongs to the feminine codes that are so fascinating to us and that we don’t want to lose: No matter how the body changes, big or small breasts, what matters is the gesture—it is the most important factor in fashion. You don’t just wear clothes to protect you from the weather or to be “cool” or “trendy.” Cool is a moment—you can be cool from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and then you’re old. Better to be charmante, have charisma…

SG: And style! The garment is your way of manifesting your style. It is a medium—you cannot be the slave of it.

DD: We often talk about it together. The garment needs to be worn in désinvolture, nonchalance, because it should be yours, not because it is cool. But don’t forget that we have thirty years of career behind us. We were maybe “trendy” years ago. I am not even sure…

SG: Now we don’t care about that. It is not that we are avoiding it, but we are not obsessed with trends anymore at all. Novelty is good—it’s new, it’s fresh. But trends? Personally, I don’t care.

Photo: Courtesy Style.com/Arabia

Fit to Be Tied: Lace-Up Details on the Fall Runways

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Now TrendingOversize, architectural shapes have earned quite a bit of attention in recent seasons, but at times it can seem as though designers are trying to mask or resist the female figure rather than embrace it. And so, it was refreshing to witness a return to sensuality on the Fall runways in the form of curve-enhancing, corset-inspired details. Raf Simons led the charge at Dior, sending out tailored sheaths featuring decorative lacing—apparently a nod to the laces of trainers—that traced along the torso and hips. Tough grommets whipstitched in leather turned up on the Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, and Hood by Air runways, while Dolce & Gabbana took the trend in a more overtly sexy direction with fluttery chiffon dresses boasting built-in bustiers. Its tightly cinched numbers might require a fainting couch. Similarly, there was a slight fetishistic undercurrent about the tall lace-up boots that accessorized key looks at Antonio Berardi and Versace.

Here, a slideshow of Fall’s toothsome lace-up details.