Power Players: The Top Celebrity Stylists of Awards Season

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These style gurus are the secret weapons behind some of the most fashionable celebrities—and the hottest red carpet looks around.

CRISTINA EHRLICH

Cristina ErlichPhoto Credit: Kristian Schuller

Clients include:

Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Tina Fey, Penelope Cruz, Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Allison Williams, Lena Dunham

In the know:

This New York-born stylist didn’t begin her fashion career until later in life, dancing professionally until the age of 27 until she retired to pursue her other love.

Her first styling memory:

“My first taste of what it felt like to create a real moment with a client was when I was styling Mandy Moore, back in the day, for the 2002 MTV Awards. It was a real ‘Wow!’ where everything came together and I realized that it was so much more than just putting a dress on a pretty face.”

The item she can’t live without: 

“My Pierre Hardy black leather motorcycle boots are my essentials.”

Her fashion rule of thumb:

 “I’m not a stylist or a style-maker who believes in trends. It is more about creating moments that are timeless, cool, and feel appropriate for the client I am working with. What I do with a client one year, style-wise, can be completely different the next year. It has to do with the feeling and the vibe of that particular moment and translating it through their look on the red carpet. It is also crucial that the woman shines through the clothing she is wearing and she is the dominant factor.”

Her essential items for awards season 2017:

“Every one of my clients is approached uniquely and differently. I consider what they are promoting, what their age is, the designers they have relationships with or what they feel most confident wearing. It is important to me to find looks that invigorate them and get them excited to go on the carpet.”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of:

“I will eternally be proud of the blush Atelier Versace gown Penelope [Cruz] wore to the 2007 Oscars. It was her Audrey Hepburn moment.”

TARA SWENNEN 

Tara SwennenPhoto Credit: Tara Swennen

Clients include: 

Kristen Stewart, Aja Naomi King, Odette Annable

In the know:

This Cornell graduate began her career at Barneys New York prior to assisting two of the industry’s biggest names, Andrea Lieberman and Rachel Zoe. Honing her skills on costume design and red carpet work, Swennen was inducted into the Costume Designers Guild after collaborating on NBC’s primetime show, Cane. 

Her first styling memory:

“One of my first styling memories was drawing croquis at [the] very tender age of six or seven and styling them out with various outfits and accessories. I then turned those sketches in as part of my college application to Cornell University for their textiles and apparel program. I like to think they helped with my acceptance!”

The item she can’t live without:

“I can’t live without five things: black pumps, blue jeans, crisp white shirts, a black trench and Jack Purcells.”

Her fashion motto:

“Always be true to yourself and shine! If you got it, own it—no matter what your age, shape or color!”

Her insider tip:

“All the tricks of the trade! Amazing undergarments, double-stick tape, shoe aids and my amazing tailor!”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of:

“I could never narrow it down to just one, but I did recently love Kristen Stewart’s white one-sleeve Rodarte look at The New York Film Festival. It was unique and fun with a twist; it had a romantic yet rock and roll vibe!”

LESLIE FREMAR 

Leslie FremarPhoto Credit: Leslie Fremar

Clients include:

Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Connelly

In the know:

This New York City-based stylist began her fashion career at Vogue prior to becoming the in-house director of celebrity relations at Prada and ultimately deciding to become a full-time stylist.

Her first styling memory:

“When I interned in high school at Flare magazine in Canada, I remember going on my very first shoot like it was yesterday.”

Her essential fashion item:

“A black blazer.”

Her fashion motto:

“You have to feel good to look good.”

Her essential items for awards 

season 2017:

“I think we will see a lot velvet.”

The red carpet look she’s 

proudest of:

“I’m proud of every look because so much work goes into creating [them]. I could never just choose one.”

JILL LINCOLN & JORDAN JOHNSON

Jill Lincoln & Jordan JohnsonPhoto Credit: Jill Lincoln & Jordan Johnson

Clients include: Jennifer Lawrence, Sofia Vergara, Kiernan Shipka, Jennifer Garner, Isla Fisher, Julianna Margulies

In the know:

Jordan and Jill oversaw the styling studio for Rachel Zoe together, before branching out on their own.

The items they can’t live without:

Jill: “My Saint Laurent tux jacket.. it’s my unicorn fashion item.”

Their essential items for awards season 2017:

“Nipple covers (we can talk about this for days), a tailor on hand for the day of events (because we’ve experienced every wardrobe mishap imaginable) and a plan for cocktails when the client gets out the door.”

The red carpet look they’re proudest of:

Jill: “Does Sofia Vergara’s wedding dress count? The stories that dress could tell… We joked that we ‘birthed’ that dress. I had a baby a month ago and still equate that experience to giving birth with all the same emotions.”

Jordan: “Jennifer Lawrence’s red gown at last year’s Golden Globe Awards was very special… when we added a necklace to that dress, the whole look became a moment!”

ELIZABETH STEWART 

Elizabeth StewartPhoto Credit: Elizabeth Stewart

Clients include: Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Viola Davis, Amanda Seyfried, January Jones, Jessica Chastain

In the know:

After 12 years in the style department of the New York Times and W magazines, and another two in the latter’s Paris office, Elizabeth Stewart began styling the crème de la crème of Hollywood stars, fashion campaigns, television commercials and everything in between. She moved to Los Angeles for love after marrying a Hollywood producer, and currently resides in Santa Monica with her husband and two children.

Her first styling memory:

“I started as a writer for Women’s Wear Daily and, eventually, they sent me to Paris. The day I landed, they were shooting Amber Valetta for the W magazine cover. I literally went from the plane to this shoot, helped out, and got the styling bug!”

The fashion item she can’t live without:

“I can’t live without my Proenza Schouler day dresses.”

Her fashion motto:  “Just try it!”

Her essential items for awards season 2017:

“Finding something that inspires the person wearing it.”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of:

“Lately, I have loved supporting young designers, like [putting] Cate Blanchett in Yacine Aoudi and Esteban Cortazar.”

MICAELA ERLANGER

Micaela ErlangerPhoto Credit: Micaela Erlanger

Clients include: Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Hudson, Naomie Harris, Common, Jared Leto, Michelle Dockery

In the know:

This self-described glamour girl cites modern art and classic Hollywood films as her inspirations.

Her first styling memory:

“My first styling memory was probably that of being an intern. I was on a shoot, and the excitement of being on set was such an adrenaline rush. Getting to see the photos come to life in the pages of a magazine, and getting to witness what it took to create that moment, was unlike anything I had experienced. I knew this line of work was my calling.”

Her fashion motto:

“‘Confidence is key’ and ‘Always, always, always dress for the occasion’. Also, I often tell my new clients that knowing what you don’t like is sometimes more important than knowing what you do like.”

 Her essential items for awards season 2017:

“I do have to say that I love seeing the sequin trend on the runways this season, so that is certainly something to look out for!”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of:

“Lupita Nyong’o in the red cape Ralph Lauren gown at the Golden Globes.”

ILARIA URBINATI 

Ilaria Urbanati

Clients include: Rami Malek, Ben Affleck, Nina Dobrev

In the know:

Good taste was always in Ilaria Urbinati’s blood: not only was she born in Rome and raised in Paris, but her first job was working for her aunt, designer Laura Urbinati, in whose West Hollywood boutique she became a buyer and manager. In the fall of 2008, Ilaria opened her own store, Confederacy, where she served as COO, co-owner and buyer. Along with her retail experience, Ilaria has achieved great success in design collaboration—teaming with Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes to create a limited edition line of suits, co-designing Rebecca Minkoff’s women’s line for two seasons and styling her runway presentations, and working with Gucci and Ferragamo on custom designs for Bradley Cooper, Armie Hammer and Chris Evans. Her additional cool credits include the head costume designer for the first season of The L Word and tour wardrobe designer for clients Plain White T’s, Alanis Morissette and Lady Antebellum.

Her first styling memory:

“I used to style all the girls at my boarding school. My aunt (fashion designer Laura Urbinati) would send me a box of clothes from her store of sale stuff that didn’t sell from designers like [Maison] Margiela, Comme Des Garçons, and even Balenciaga, and everyone would take turns borrowing my stuff. I kept a log on my dorm room wall of which items were out on loan with whom.”

The fashion item she can’t live without:

“My Gucci chain bag (a recent gift from the brand), my Axel Arigato sneakers and my Vince suede booties.”

Her fashion rule of thumb:

“My styling rule of thumb is ‘May the best dress win.’ We play a major game of politics trying to get our clients into the right brands, the right trends, the most current runway looks―but, at the end of the day, the dress that looks the best on you always wins—no matter who makes it. Also, ‘The right dress (or suit) on the wrong person is the wrong dress’. That’s a biggie. And lastly, my rule in fittings is ‘You don’t have to wear it, but you do have to try it’. If it’s a look I really believe in, just try it. I promise, if you hate it, I won’t make you wear it. Clients make a lot of discoveries that way. It takes the pressure off.”

Her essential items for awards season 2017: 

“We have a lot of male Oscar frontrunners this year, so I would say lots of cufflinks and shirt studs, lots of watches, lots of bow ties and lots of patent leather tux shoes. With men, it’s all in the details.”

What trends she’ll be dressing her clients in:

“I’m having a velvet moment.”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of:

“Lizzy Caplan at the Emmys in the black and white Donna Karan Atelier gown. I love a red carpet ‘moment’ that alters a client’s trajectory in the style world.”

JEANNE YANG

Jeanne YangPhoto Credit: Jeanne Yang

Clients include: Robert Downey Jr., Vin Diesel, Matt Bomer,

George Clooney, Jamie Dornan, Christian Bale, Scott Eastwood

In the know: This super stylist currently works with a super (hero) crew:

four Batmen, two Supermen, two Spidermen and Ironman.

Her first styling memory:

“My first big one was styling a music video for Blink 182 and being [filmed] for MTV’s ‘Making the Video’. I had to get nude dance pants for the boys at a male stripper store to make [them] appear

naked. I just kept thinking, ‘My first big video and the guys are not wearing any clothing!’”

The fashion item she can’t live without: “A white shirt.”

Her essential items for awards season 2017: 

“Tuxedos with color and pattern, bow ties with personality. A handkerchief is also a must.”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of: 

“I loved getting Robert Downey Jr. into a navy Lanvin tuxedo and sneakers by Alber Elbaz to the Oscars and Susan Downey in a coordinating gown.”

KATE YOUNG

Kate YoungPhoto Credit: Kate Young

Clients include: 

Selena Gomez, Sienna Miller, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman, Margot Robbie, Rachel Weisz

In the know:

Kate Young is definitely an ‘It’ girl among stylists. Not only does she style runway shows, she consults for labels, has designed vegan shoes with Natalie Portman and luxury lingerie for Triumph Japan, and has also collaborated with Tura on a line of sunglasses. This former Vogue staffer now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two young sons.

Her first styling memory:

“I used to copy the outfits in Vogue to wear to middle school.”

The fashion item she can’t live without:

“My 15-year-old navy blue sweatshirt. It’s my favorite thing.”

Her essential items for awards season 2017:

“I can’t tell you—that would ruin it!”

The red carpet look she’s proudest of:

“Always the last one I did…”

ROB ZANGARDI & MARIEL HAENN

Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn

Clients include: 

Jennifer Lopez, Ciara, Gwen Stefani, Hailee Steinfeld, Cara Delevingne, Rachel McAdams, Lily Collins, Emily Ratajkowksi

In the know:

This style duo is constantly on the move. When they aren’t coordinating the looks of their A-list clients, they’re acting as the creative directors of Jennifer Lopez’s collaboration with Kohl’s or stepping into the role of brand ambassadors for household product

names Gillette, Coty Fragrances and Saks Fifth Avenue. Their expertise has been tapped for a wide range of design projects, from high-end fashion houses (including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Jeremy Scott) to Kanye West’s first runway fashion collection.

Their first styling memory:

Rob: “Growing up with a twin brother and going to a private school with uniforms, the opportunities to dress and stand out as an individual were rare. Anytime I had a chance to wear something that would make me different, I went for it. Our family also grew up with a very mid-west preppy-style lifestyle. My first connection with styling was really styling myself, but also [making] it my own.”

The fashion item they can’t live without:

Rob: “I own about 16 pairs of Saint Laurent jeans. (I always go through phases with jeans. I’ll find a pair I absolutely love and then buy as many pairs as I can.) [The] same goes for James Perse T-shirts, Calvin Klein underwear, J.Crew sweatshirts and Acne sweaters.”

Mariel: “A black blazer and boyfriend jeans. Lots of rings.”

Their fashion rule of thumb:

Rob: “For every day, having a capsule wardrobe is incredibly convenient, especially if you’re always on the go. Find something that really works for your personal style, lifestyle and comfort level, and roll with it. Then, for special occasions, bust out the big guns.”

Essential items for awards season 2017:

Rob: “Look for new ways to dress up: lady tuxes, caped rompers, jumpsuits, interesting separates, monochromatic looks.”

Mariel: “[We are] looking for emerging, up-and-coming designers that bring a new fresh look to the red carpet!”

The red carpet look their proudest of:

Rob: “Jennifer Lopez wearing the marigold caped Giambattista Valli gown to the 2016 Golden Globes. We usually dress Jen in a lot of blushes and neutrals, so going for a big color in such a big way was not only exciting for us, but for everyone involved, as well, with hair and makeup. She looked like Hollywood royalty. It’s a look that made everyone’s heads turn and will remain timeless!”

 

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