7 posts tagged "Pharrell"
For lifelong fans of icons like Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, and T.E. Lawrence, seeing their most famous articles of clothing is the closest thing to traveling back in time. Former banker David Gainsborough Roberts is one of those fans, and he amassed dozens of collectibles over the past 20-plus years. To share his passion with the world, he has opened an exhibit titled Famous and Infamous at Christie’s in London. He told the Daily Mail, “In 1989 I bought a Marilyn Monroe film costume and my life changed completely.” Included in the exhibit is the red sequined dress Monroe wore in the 1953 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes and John Wayne’s signature Stetson hat. Pharrell, take note: The competition for most celebrated topper of the year just got really steep.
Famous and Infamous will run through September 2 at Christie’s in London.
Dressing for Fame: Versace, J.Lo, RiRi Gone Rogue, and More Career Tidbits from Stylists Mariel Haenn and Rob Zangardi-------
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
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.
What’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  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.
Vivienne Westwood’s Mountain Hat. An Adidas track jacket. A pair of Stan Smiths. With those clues, you already know who we’re talking about—even if you’ve only briefly glimpsed at pop culture this year. So far this has been the Year of Pharrell, with the singer-producer-serial collaborator gracing every imaginable award show, network, and stage, hat in tow. What you might not know is that Pharrell Williams’ recent style evolution is not entirely of his own making—he’s had help along the way from stylist duo Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, who had their big break with Rihanna’s iconic “Umbrella” video in 2007.
Zangardi and Haenn have assisted Pharrell since January with everything from his Coachella set attire to the video for “Marilyn Monroe,” which premiered yesterday. In the fantasy-staged visual, as he serenades myriad ladies, Pharrell gets even more mileage out of his hat in an impressive array of colors, provided by Westwood. One even has a lemon-sized hole, cut personally by Pharrell. We caught up with Haenn over the phone to talk about Pharrell’s DIY fashion sense, how well-loved he is by designers, and his next possible fashion statement.
What kind of direction did Pharrell give you when you started working together?
We got a couple of verbal directives about what he likes: a Wes Anderson vibe for the color palette, woodsy and Boy Scout but not literal—not like patches on the shirt—rugged, chic, and polished yet still very wearable. Not flashy at all.
Did the “Boy Scout” cue prompt his Vivienne Westwood hat?
The hat was totally him. We can’t take any credit for that. It was initially inspired by another hip-hop group from the eighties [The World's Famous Supreme Team and Malcolm McLaren's video for their 1982 collaborative single "Buffalo Gals"]. When he sees something he likes, it just clicks and he figures out how to make it a staple.
At this point, does he consider the hat to be his signature?
I think so. He’s gotten so much recognition. I’ve even seen a hat shaped like his cut out of a piece of toast with a red Comme des Garçons heart out of ketchup on Instagram. When you see any hat shaped like that, you automatically associate it with Pharrell, which I think is really smart.
Were you, Rob, and Pharrell surprised by all of the hat jokes that came after he wore it?
Not at all. It was kind of expected. When something is different, there’s a lot to be said about it. But he doesn’t take any of it to heart. He’s comfortable with who he is, so it doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks. As far as creating an iconic stamp, I think it will be forever his thing. Now he’s doing different colors. We even cut a hole in his hat for the video and the hat he wore at Coachella as well. So he’s finding different ways of doing it.
What’s it like to style someone who’s so involved in the business of fashion?
We love it. He knows what he likes. He paints on his Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, and he’ll bring them over like, “Look at what I brought. Can we figure it out together?” For the “Marilyn Monroe” video, he kept wanting to wear his own thing, but we had so many racks. We were like, “Look what we have.” I think he likes us because we understand his vision and push him—because he’s comfortable with wearing whatever he wore on set for a video. When we met him, he was like, “I’ve never worked with stylists before, but I want to work with you guys.” The only time he had worked with a stylist was when a magazine forced him to, but he was like, “You guys get it.”
Did he paint the shorts he wore to Coachella?
Totally. On our first shoot together, we got a call from someone on his team saying, “We’re going to grab some Sharpie markers. He’s feeling inspired.” He used the Sharpie markers to paint and color his shoes, which was awesome.
In your line of work, is it unusual for a client to be so hands-on?
Yeah, he’s different because he likes to customize his own thing. Jennifer Lopez is pretty involved. She has a good sense of what she wants to do, but she also trusts us to help bring it to fruition. But no one is hands-on, DIY like him.
What’s been the biggest challenge of working with Pharrell?
He’s so specific, wants to be different, and likes dressing down. So we have to find more interesting ways for him to dress casual and still have it be an iconic statement for a video or performance. Usually in videos, people go over the top more than they do in real life, but he just wants to look like himself—we want to make it video-worthy.
How did his shorts suit by Lanvin come about for the Oscars?
He has a really good relationship with Alber [Elbaz]. We didn’t have anything to do with that, but I think it was genius. Nobody would ever do that. The fact that he’s done it is kind of adorable.
For the “Marilyn Monroe” video, was there one stylistic theme?
No, we had to figure out different looks for the different setups. The treatment was really detailed with a lot of different scenarios, so it was tricky to figure out. We had something else planned for the red, white, and blue room, but right before we shot the scene we realized the red, white, and blue striped sweater would work better.
Were there other last-minute changes you had to make?
We had to custom-make an arrow that looked like he got shot in the heart but wouldn’t fall as he walked and danced—and only had one day to do it. So we called a prop guy who we’ve worked with. I don’t want to give away our secrets, but it was basically held on by a magnet. It was kind of like a necklace magnet, but we made it look like we poked a hole in his shirt where the arrow hit.
Have a lot of designers approached you about dressing Pharrell?
When we started doing requests for him on the first job, we quickly found out that everybody is into him. Since he loves fashion and is known for his great collaboration, I kind of figured everybody would be. I was excited to learn how much Chanel enjoys working with him. They did a collaboration where he custom-made a necklace for himself—he wears it in the video. Chanel, Lorraine Schwartz, Hoorsenbuhs, and Ofira are pretty much his go-tos for jewelry.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere. It could come from movies, fabric patterns—I’m outside right now looking at a building that has four different colors of paint on it. It’s pretty much anywhere we go. I think I, Rob, and Pharrell work that way. Our moodboard has turned into photostreams on our iPhones since we’re always on the run.
What were the last images you exchanged?
Smaller details like wearing a feather pin instead of a bow tie or tie. A suede string tassel keychain but superlong. We really like details, especially when you’re dressing someone who wants to be dressed down. It’s the little details that make someone stand out.
Though most festivalgoers consumed themselves with the “street” style in Indio, we shouldn’t forget whom we actually dashed to the desert to see. Pharrell’s hat, Lorde’s take on normcore, and André 3000′s on-trend beauty embrace were just a few of the style statements we saw at Coachella. Here, some of the most notable sartorial choices from the Coachella music festival:
British singer/songwriter Bryan Ferry kicked off day one of Coachella in an embroidered floral tux combo from Kim Jones’ Fall ’13 Louis Vuitton collection.
One half of the electrofunk duo Chrome paired Saint Laurent’s Sumi Ink Club moto jacket in the best way possible, with ripped jeans.
Beyonce’s stylish sis Solange wore a red-hot runway look from Max Mara Spring ’14 for weekend one and Azede Jean-Pierre Spring ’14 during weekend two.
Crop tops are completely unavoidable when it comes to festival attire, but when Kid Cudi showed up in a cropped sweatshirt (on both weekends), he had us feeling all sorts of nineties nostalgia à la Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Props to the “Pursuit of Happiness” singer for showing the ladies how it’s done.
Not seeing Pharrell in his Vivienne Westwood hat is like not seeing flower crowns at Coachella. When we weren’t ogling the music mogul’s impressive guest roster, the “Happy” singer’s Technicolor-adorned denim cutoffs caught our attention—a sure sign that the singer is clearly up on the trends.
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s feminine sartorial choices always seem to complement her lullaby-like melodies, but the songstress opted for bolder statements of dress during both weekends of the festival. The “Video Games” singer wore vibrant minidresses replete with blown-out floral prints—a look that channeled go-go girl meets flower child.
Dum Dum Girls
The Dum Dum Girls kept true to their vampy aesthetic and wore all black e’rything. The desert heat did not prevent the all-female rock band from avoiding dark ensembles—they just wore less fabric, like mesh tops and nipple pasties.
Seventeen-year-old singer Lorde, who usually opts for a more gothic style of dress, kept it casual for her performances, showing up in an all-white sports-bra-and-baggy-pants combo during weekend one, and a loose-fitting suit with white leotard during weekend two.
Outkast don’t mess around when it comes to beauty trends. Singer André 3000 nailed two of the season’s mane moments when he returned to the stage (for weekend two) in a braided, platinum wig.
Krewella singer Jahan Yousaf repped her roots in a black muscle tee that read “Hug Me, I’m Paki,” which she paired with liquid-looking, leatherlike leggings and Adidas high-tops.
Joshua Hodges of the electronica band STRFKR took us from the California desert to a deserted island. The Oregon-born front man gave us all sorts of Gilligan’s Island vibes in a sunshine yellow shirt and straw basket-weave hat.