Q&A

Dynamic Duo: 'Community's' Gillian Jacobs and Stylist Caley Rinker Prep for Comic-Con

Before the pair headed down to sunny San Diego, we went behind the scenes to find out how Rinker helps Jacobs prepare for the four-day extravaganza.
Jessica Chou

Whoever dreamed up the term, "effortless style," has clearly never walked a day in the shoes of stylist Caley Rinker. Known for her keen eye for detail and fit, Caley’s work is regularly seen on a who’s who of Hollywood, including Kelly Osbourne, Casey Wilson, Gillian Jacobs and Gwyneth Paltrow. Together with her sister, makeup artist Nikki Lawson, Rinker debuted their new styling and makeup studio this spring — a charming, sun soaked vintage-meets-modern space near The Grove, where the sisters often team up to provide clients with a head-to-toe styling and makeup session. "We both have a look that we want as a whole," Rinker tells Pret-a-Reporter. "It’s fun to collaborate and to be honest as sisters. We both share our opinions freely."

Rinker’s client Jacobs is just one of the faces who is regularly spotted at the studio, often enlisting the services of the sister act. Ahead of her annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con in San Diego, the actress let us in on a styling session with Rinker, and together, the two spilled the beans on how the behind-the-scenes collaboration really comes about.

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What do you look for in a stylist?

Gillian Jacobs: I like to wear young, new designers, so I want somebody who always has their eyes open, and doesn’t just rely on their five favorites. I like someone who is always looking for new people and developing those relationships, and introducing you to those people. There are so many designers I’d never work before — Tanya Taylor, Novis — who Caley introduced me to, and I now love.

 

Rinker fits Jacobs in a Thakoon piece, a potential daytime look for Jacobs at Comic-Con.

 

Caley, who’s your ideal client?

Caley Rinker: A client who is really going to trust you. We all want to wear what we’re comfortable in, but as a stylist, you’re hired for a reason. So when a client says, "This is outside of my comfort zone, but I trust that you know what you’re doing," that’s when you have the most fun, and you can take risks and it pays off. Gillian has been very open since the beginning. There are all these reasons in my head why I am putting together and outfit, and she trusts that. It’s very collaborative for [Gillian and me]; we’re always talking about fashion, and what the next move is for us. We both get the industry. She’s very much in the know of hot, cool designers.

How do you stay on top of what’s new, Gillian?

Jacobs: I troll Instagram, Style.com, Elle.com. I used to live in New York and I have friends that work in the fashion world, and I feel like I had an ear to the ground there. My friends will tell me about lines, and I also look at new shows that are coming out. Or if I see an actress or model wearing someone that I like, I will research it.

 

Jacobs gets Rinker's styling input on a Dries Van Noten floor-length gown, one of her rare purchases. Rinker is wearing a Phillip Lim top, Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, and a Jennifer Zeuner necklace.

 

Caley, how did you go about pulling Gillian’s looks for Comic-Con, and how many are you sending her with?

Rinker: I started strategically reaching out to designers and picking outfits online a few weeks ago, when I found out that Gillian was going. Now that we’ve worked together for so long, I can narrow it down to which designers will work for her. Instead of going around pulling pretty dresses, there’s much more thought, and a strategic plan.

Jacobs: This is my fifth year going. I’m doing a day of press, so I need a day look, and my castmate Jim Rash and I are presenting at the mtvU Fandom Awards, so I need to have a night look.

Rinker: If I am not going to be there, I like to send clients with a back-up outfit. You never know a zipper could go. So we usually pack an in-between outfit that she could wear day or night. And events pop up, too, so you like to take an extra look, just in case.

 

From left: L.A.M.B. or Sophia Webster or Stuart Weitzman? Jacobs mulls her shoe options.

 

Is there anything special you need to take into consideration when pulling looks for Comic-Con?

Jacobs: It’s got to be fun, young, colorful. You have to have an awareness of where you’re going, what the event is, what you’re promoting, and who the audience is. That always informs the way you dress.

 

Jacobs and Rinker picking out jewelry.

 

Gillian, how would you describe your sense of style?

 

Jacobs: I really like print. I am short, so even if there are things that I like, or like on other people, I have to be aware that sometimes that won’t work on me because I’m not 5’10”. It has to have a shape for my body, otherwise I look like I am two inches tall. I have to wear things that skim my body more closely than a runway model would.Describe a typical fitting.

Rinker: Sometimes we will have a tailor come here, or I will pin it on my own. If we have the tailor here we try on about five to ten different looks and then pick our favorites, and pin those, then we do shoes, and pick the jewelry last, and pack her up and have it all ready.

Caley, which designers are on your radar right now?

Rinker: My all-time favorites are Chloe, Phillip Lim, Thakoon, and Dries Van Noten. I like the more risky, fun, edgy designers. I think that’s why we both click, because [Gillian] likes those designers as well. And sometimes they are not as wearable as you want them to be. They are very conceptual designers, but its kind of fun when you find that dress that’s all of those things combined, and it works on the red carpet.

 

Willow Roe jewelry

 

Which of Gillian’s outfits stands out in your minds as the one that really knocked it out of the park?

Rinker: We did a pink, one-shoulder Paule Ka gown for the InStyle Oscars party. It was really stunning, and we were so upset that no photos were taken!

Jacobs: I think the Tanya Taylor one that I wore to the premiere of Life Partners in Tribeca was a really good one. That was really Caley’s vision, because it was so shapeless on me the first time we tried it on, and it was a really intricate tailoring job. It totally worked, and looked great on me.

Who gets the final say on an outfit?

Jacobs: I don’t think we’ve ever disagreed. Truly, it is also the tailoring that also makes a difference. Sometimes I will put something on and think, “I don’t know about that,” and Caley will say, "If we tailor this, and this, and this, it’s going to be great." Then she starts to pin it, and you can really see it.

 

Left: One of the racks in Rinker’s styling studio, laden with designers such as Maje and Monique Lhuillier. Right: Shoes on display in Rinker's studio.

What do you think?

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