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July 10 2014

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9 posts tagged "Elizabeth Stewart"

Dressing for Fame: Elizabeth Stewart Talks Styling the Stars

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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.

Elizabeth Stewart

Elizabeth StewartIf this past awards season is any indication, Elizabeth Stewart is a practiced pro who shows no signs of slowing down. The woman behind Cate Blanchett’s awe-inducing array of Armani, Sandra Bullock’s colorful body-con dressing, and Julia Roberts’ delightful menswear flourishes, Stewart continues to keep her clients at the top of best-dressed lists while sticking to their individual styles with impressive ease. Having worked at W, WWD, and The New York Times Magazine before entering styling, Stewart’s editor’s eye brings a studied approach to the pull. Here, she talks exclusively to Style.com about how the industry has changed, the role of social media, and why she likes working closely with designers.

How do you think your experience as an editor has shaped your styling career?
It really, really helped me to work in the Paris office of WWD. Spending so much time in ateliers in Paris helped me understand what goes into making a dress.

When did you know you wanted to start styling?
It happened by accident…I was writing for WWD and they needed someone to style the covers of W Europe.

Your first client was famously Calista Flockhart during her Ally McBeal run. How do you feel styling has changed since then?
I still work with Calista. Red-carpet styling is a real job now! It’s become much more of a “thing,” with so much interest in it—and much more of a business.

Does the increasing role of social media ever affect your sartorial decisions?
Social media adds a crazy and kind of fun element to what we do. It does not affect decisions usually, although we refer to it a lot in the room, especially when making a choice we know won’t be popular. I think because I’ve been a fashion editor my whole life, and fashion editors are not only opinionated but think they’re always right, the court of public opinion is not a problem for me. If the world likes a choice, I think everyone is right! And if they don’t, it’s the opposite!

When you’re working with an actress like Cate Blanchett, who is closely aligned with Armani, do you find the brand affiliation constricting? Or does it allow for more options?
It’s actually quite interesting to work so closely with a designer. I love knowing the whole design team and discovering all the resources that they have available. It’s a depth of knowledge I wouldn’t have about them if Cate didn’t have the relationship.

If you were dressing yourself for an awards show, which designers would fill your “try on” racks?
I wear a lot of Proenza Schouler and Prada dresses. So maybe I’d start with them!

Do you have an infamous fashion blunder or red-carpet mishap that has affected your process?
Not really. I always have a backup dress, which I am convinced is why I never need one. My one funny story is that Amanda Seyfried and I decided we liked a certain minidress better backward. I said, “No problem, just make sure you mention it on the red carpet so people know we did it on purpose.” She did, but the press ignored that fact and just wrote about how she had put her dress on backward!

What’s your biggest awards season indulgence?
Indulgence and awards season…oxymoron. Although this last awards season I stopped e-mailing at midnight rather than 1 a.m. And OK, I was eating chocolates the whole time. There’s the indulgence!

How do you honor the various aesthetics of different clients while still staying true to your styling ethos?
I love all kinds of fashion and love the opportunity to work with different aesthetics. That is what is great about dressing other people—I’m not limited to what just works on me. I really like to channel a client and filter her likes.

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.comĀ 

Hollywood’s A-list Stylists Get a Moment in the Spotlight

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Elle FanningNow that awards season is over and all of the prestigious statues have been doled out, the unsung heroes behind the stars can get some shine of their own. At Soho House in Los Angeles yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter hosted a lunch celebrating its annual Power Stylists issue.

Topping the list of honorees are Elizabeth Stewart, who dressed Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, and Julia Roberts for their countless appearances; Petra Flannery, the mastermind behind Amy Adams’ American Hustle promotional parade; and newbie Micaela Erlanger, who is featured on the cover of the issue alongside clients Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o.

“It’s really exciting to know that you can have this kind of impact, that you can help shape and coif someone’s image and brand and know that what you’re doing really is powerful beyond just picking out a pretty dress,” Erlanger enthused, calling her work with Nyong’o a true collaboration.

At the luncheon, stars and their stylists arrived in pairs: Olivia Munn with Erlanger, Ashley Greene with Cristina Ehrlich, and Bella Heathcote with Penny Lovell. After Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi addressed guests, Hollywood Reporter writer Merle Ginsberg asked the actresses in the crowd what it felt like to be a plus one. Laughter ensued.

As Lizzy Caplan, stylist Tara Swennen, and Evan Rachel Wood all discussed awards season dressing, Elle Fanning broke down her kindred connection with stylist Samantha McMillen, who also styles her sister, Dakota. “I’m always texting her looks,” Fanning said, referring to the files of Style.com runway images she admits to keeping. And as was echoed by celebs and their stylists throughout the lunch, each look is a team effort. “The details are very important,” she said. “Samantha always makes sure to bring funny socks and things like that to make it me.”

Photos: Courtesy Photo

Hollywood’s Most Powerful Stylists Revealed

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The results are in. Today, The Hollywood Reporter released its third annual list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists. The winners include big names we’ve been hearing a lot about of late—Kate Young, who’s been whipping up a buzz with her new Target collection (and who styles Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Natalie Portman), came in at number four. Elizabeth Stewart, who chronicled her experience styling Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Chastain, Julia Roberts, and Cody Horn for the Golden Globes for Style.com, came in at number five. And Rachel Zoe, who styled Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence in their much-talked-about Oscar gowns, slid in at number three. Petra Flannery, who styles Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, and Megan Fox, was this year’s runner-up. And the big winner is (drumroll, please) Leslie Fremar, who styles discerning stars like Julianne Moore, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Connelly. A surprise on the list was designer (and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend) L’Wren Scott, who came in at number sixteen for dressing Nicole Kidman.

Photo: Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Red-Carpet Ready: Elizabeth Stewart’s Golden Globes Diary

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In the days leading up to the Golden Globes, L.A.-based celebrity superstylist Elizabeth Stewart is giving Style.com an exclusive behind-the-scenes account of what it takes to dress Hollywood’s hottest starlets. This season, she’s working with Best Actress nominee Jessica Chastain, Les Misérables star Amanda Seyfried, Julia Roberts (who’s presenting), and Cody Horn on their red-carpet looks. Below, Stewart gives us a glimpse at the last leg of her styling process, and, of course, shows us the actresses’ final looks.

Friday, January 11

I start the day with Cody Horn so we can find her Globes dress. As usual with Cody, it’s the first one we try on. We try some more for good measure (here she tries a Ralph Lauren classic black gown with a vintage YSL necklace). There is Ana sewing in the background!

Then I meet Freida Pinto at the Roger Vivier suite to do a quick fitting and pull some shoes and bags. Freida loves color and is always telling me about great Indian designers. Here, we’re having a laughing fit with Anne Crawford from Vivier (we all get punchy this time of year) and selecting bags with Denise Kim from Vivier. We grab lunch while we are there. The PRs have come to realize that if they don’t feed us stylists, we don’t have time to eat!

Next, I meet a designer downstairs who has flown in with Oscar sketches. Then I head home to meet Kristin Davis, dropping off some shoes to Salma Hayek for her Globes dress on the way. When Kristin Davis comes by, we sit on the floor and gab while choosing bags. I’ve styled her for 12 years, people! That’s a lot of history. I love how she is intently studying this Vivier bag. That’s the one! Youssef Marquis from Givenchy happened to come by at the same time. Those are his feet.

Saturday, January 12

D-day: the day before the Globes! It starts off with some serious multitasking. Here I am making pancakes for my son, Ben, and his friend Diego, while simultaneously communicating with Jessica Chastain, who is packing in NY, and texting with the moms at my daughter Ivy’s volleyball tournament, which I am missing. They are winning at least!

First stop of the day is Amanda Seyfried’s. Youssef from Givenchy has flown in her Globes dress and his tailor Ana (my tailor is also named Ana!). We fit the dress, try Fred Leighton jewelry that Katie pulled while we were in NY, and Youssef shows off the shirt Riccardo Tisci made for him. It has Youssef’s puppy on it! We also squeeze in a quick SAG fitting and look at sketches. Continue Reading “Red-Carpet Ready: Elizabeth Stewart’s Golden Globes Diary” »

Red Carpet Ready: Elizabeth Stewart’s Golden Globes Diary

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In the days leading up to January 13′s Golden Globes, L.A.-based celebrity superstylist Elizabeth Stewart is giving Style.com an exclusive behind-the-scenes account of what it takes to dress Hollywood’s hottest starlets. This season, she’s working with best actress nominee Jessica Chastain, Les Misérables star Amanda Seyfried, Julia Roberts (who’s presenting), and Cody Horn on their red-carpet looks. Below, Stewart gives us a glimpse at the day-to-day pre-Globes process.

Thursday, January 10

I had an early morning fitting with Linda Cardellini, who is nominated for an Indie Spirit Award. Then I met with Brit Marling, who showed up with a bunch of pressed juices.

Brit stars in—as well as co-wrote and co-produced— The East, which is premiering at Sundance. She has super cool, sophisticated taste, so we get very excited at our fittings—we share a love of fabulous fashion!

My seamstress Ana fit her right then and there. There’s so much going on that we just wanted to get it done! Now my assistant, Katie, and I will split up: She will get Amanda Seyfried ready for the Critics’ Choice Awards while I get Jessica Chastain ready.

Still Thursday! Jessica Chastain flew in to L.A. for the Critics’ Choice Awards tonight. Afterward, she has to fly right back to N.Y. for two performances of The Heiress before coming back on Sunday for the Globes. She does it all with a smile. Her family is really great. Here is her grandma Marilyn, who is her date for the Critics’ Choice! This is right before they are out the door. Continue Reading “Red Carpet Ready: Elizabeth Stewart’s Golden Globes Diary” »