September 2 2014

styledotcom Are you ready for #NYFW? Here's everything you need to know:

Subscribe to Style Magazine
1 posts tagged "Kristin Stewart"

Dressing for Fame: Tara Swennen Talks Fans, Critics, and Kristen Stewart’s Sneakers


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.

Tara Swennen

Tara SwennenWith a family legacy in fashion, Tara Swennen’s fashion fate appeared to have been sealed even before she began assisting top stylists Andrea Lieberman and Rachel Zoe. Now it’s her own understanding of the red-carpet game that’s put her name firmly on the map. She’s created provocative looks for Kristen Stewart, modern appeal for Julie Bowen, and fanciful femininity for Kaley Cuoco. Here, the stylist reveals how Stewart’s couture-meets-Converse aesthetic came to be and who matters more: fans or critics.

Why did you become a stylist?

I have always loved fashion. One of my grandmothers was a fashion journalist and the other a seamstress with her own label in Belgium, so it runs deep in my blood.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job—besides the fun perks, of course—is the people. It’s a business where I get to meet lots of interesting characters and interact with people all over the globe, so I love that aspect.

How do you juggle your clients and their different aesthetics?
I love to discover each and every one of my client’s specific tastes and let them speak for themselves. Fashion should be unique and individualistic, so I try and let each client’s personality shine through in their clothes.

Kristen StewartYou’ve put Kristen Stewart in sneakers on the red carpet. Was this her idea or yours? And how did you feel about the look as a whole?

Originally, the appearance of Kristen’s sneakers on carpets came from a place of necessity. She was constantly getting hurt on set, as she loves to do her own stunts, but she truly is an everyday T-shirt-and-jeans girl like myself. So we embraced it and it became part of her look.

Do you find it challenging to work on full press tours? What are the limitations or challenges that those present?

I love working on full press tours. The amount of clothes, the length of the tour, the packing, and the travel can prove challenging, but it’s also very rewarding to watch the story you’ve helped create unfold through a client’s looks.

Who do you take into account more, critics or fans? And why?
The most important thing for me is that my clients love their look and feel great! I always joke with them that they aren’t fashionistas until they’ve taken enough risk to make it on a worst-dressed list. To me, fashion is an art in that it’s meant to be interpreted, so I value any feedback, from fans and critics alike.

What do you wish more people knew or understood about the work you do?
The behind-the-scenes logistics. This business requires tremendous amounts of planning, organization, and political savvy on top of great taste and people skills. But if you can master those things, it’s one of the most rewarding professions out there!

Photos: Courtesy Photo; Getty Images