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July 29 2014

styledotcom The looks that should have walked the #ComicCon red carpet: stylem.ag/1AuceTS pic.twitter.com/e9zyEVRRzQ

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24 posts tagged "Jennifer Lopez"

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 

Elisabeth Weinstock’s New Home for Him, and Her

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Informed by the ethos of “him, her, and home,” interior designer-turned-accessory designer Elisabeth Weinstock will bow her first store in West Hollywood on Monday. After years spent working on interiors projects, Weinstock, who counts Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Naomi Campbell among her fans, branched out and crafted an exotic skin jewelry box. It was this that got her into the accessories biz and, with the help of L.A. store Maxfield, she realized there was quite a market for her high end vision of sleek, understated cases and bags. Her collection, which is produced locally, is one that addresses today’s modern needs—for instance, there are plenty of tech accessories. But there are a few kitsch and novelty items, too. “I love creating things that are off the beaten path—a tampon box, a condom box, even a dopp kit as a clutch,” the designer says.

With her interiors experience at play, Weinstock repurposed a 1930s house to achieve an 1,800 square-foot abode for her thoughtful designs. The new store is divided into three sections: The first is a “man cave,” which features Weinstock’s bestselling dopp kits (most popular in boa and watersnake) and humidors, along with a croc football and anaconda boxing gloves—ideal for the guy who really does have everything. “There’s a customer that’s hungry to find something new, something different that’s made like an everyday object,” she reasons. The more feminine “boudoir” area offers an elevated take on the cosmetics case, a crossbody bag, a wallet, and a clutch in a range of skins. Finally, there’s a home, or “living room” section, where shoppers can find custom coffee tables (one of which is shown in viper), stacking boxes, and the jewelry boxes upon which the brand was built. “Without sounding too cliché, it’s modern and edgy but still everyday,” Weinstock says of the space. Not cliché at all—in fact, it mimics the very spirit of the collection.

Elisabeth Weinstock’s new store will open on Monday at 8159 W. 3rd Street, West Hollywood, CA; www.elisabethweinstock.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Elisabeth Weinstock

A Leading Role for Lopez

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“I don’t normally get to play roles opposite ladies,” joked Jason Statham last night at the MoMA for the Cinema Society screening of his new movie Parker. “Most of my roles are spent banging thugs around in the head!” And what a lady he got—Statham stars alongside Jennifer Lopez in the gritty heist flick. “Not a bad leading couple, huh?” said director Taylor Hackford. He and Lopez were old friends before he had worked with her professionally. Costar Micah Hauptman was pleasantly surprised by Lopez’s work ethic. “She would show up early on set, she wanted to get as many takes in as she could, and was asking all of us if her scene works—she’s really collaborative.” Lopez plays a real-estate agent down on her luck, to say the least, and took inspiration from her own personal life—filming began as her own separation from then-husband Marc Anthony unfolded. “At work, you have to be so professional in the moment, but I was lucky to be in front of the cameras and act exactly as I felt.” Usually a fashion-week regular, Lopez plans on skipping out this season in order to begin work on her tenth studio album.

After the screening, guests braved the bitter cold and crossed town for the after-party, held at the newly renovated Marquee. “Sometimes I just want to wear Uggs, but it doesn’t really go with this look,” said Australian actress Emma Booth, who plays Statham’s love interest in the film. And how does Lopez deal with frigid New York weather? “I’m leaving for Vegas tonight!”

Chanel’s New It Bag Is Hula-Ready

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Chanel is no stranger to the novelty item—surfboards, fishing rods, and more have all been emblazoned with the double-Cs—but this morning’s show at the Grand Palais included a doozy: quilted Chanel bags stretched into what appeared to be giant hula hoops. Will they be a street-style sensation next season? Time will tell. At the very least, they may be the rare item to make a case both to label fans (like Jennifer Lopez, seated front-row) and their kids (her 4-year-old daughter Emme Anthony, seated on her lap). For those inclined toward something a bit smaller, the bag also came in a mini size. The smaller could be the bigger hit.

Photo: Gianni Pucci / GoRunway.com

The Most Powerful of Them All

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The Costume Institute at the Met earlier this year celebrated two of fashion’s female greats: Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli. It was indeed a great triumph for powerful ladies in all fields. The annual Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world, out today, honors Prada and a few other stylish women with the attention they so deserve. No surprise here, but CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg came in at number 33, above one of fashion’s other most powerful ladies, Anna Wintour (#51). Joining them are fashion favorites like Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Gisele Bündchen, Queen Elizabeth II, Beyoncé, and J. Lo. Click here to see the full list. Honorable mention goes to power women in the making including Kate Middleton (you can’t win everything; sorry, Kate), Girls‘ Lena Dunham, Jennifer Lawrence, and Spanx creator Sarah Blakely. Maybe next year, ladies.

Photo: Larry Busacca / Getty Images