Leslie Jones Fashion Emergency Not Designers' Fault, Stylists Say
"She should have known four to five months ago the date of premiere, and said, 'I'm not a sample size, I need to go to designers early or buy myself a dress.' Don’t be blaming designers and saying they don’t like you," says Jessica Paster, whose clients include Emily Blunt and Nia Vardalos.
Are designers really to blame for Leslie Jones’ Ghostbusters red-carpet fashion emergency? Maybe not.
Jones created a fashion firestorm Tuesday when she took to Twitter to complain she has nothing to wear for the Ghostbusters premiere on July 9 because no designers want to dress her.
"It's so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for movie," the Saturday Night Live comedienne tweeted. "Hmmm that will change and I remember everything."
Jones stars in the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon.
Stylists I talked to estimated that the 6-foot stunner is probably not a sample size, meaning a runway model size 4, but rather a size 8 or 10, and that could be part of her frustration. But not because of any size bias.
"It’s just pure economics," says The Hollywood Reporter power stylist Jeanne Yang. "People have this belief that showrooms and designers have racks and racks of clothing in all sizes. They don’t."
Reps for Jones did not immediately respond to THR's request for comment.
"When you’re a designer, sitting with your accountant, you have to think about how much it costs to create a sample," explains Yang. "It may take hours to do a muslin, and thousands of dollars to create one specific piece. You justify it because you use it for so many things. One dress has to serve for the runway show, for sales, and to get publicity. If you have a sample that has to fit a model, you don't have the option of creating things for premieres. No one ever does a variety of sizes. No one has those resources, even the biggest designers don’t.
"For something as big as the Oscars or when you are given enough time, designers may lay out the expense of creating something," she continues. "But then, a lot of designers who do go through the trouble to create things, and spend the money and time, sometimes they take a gamble then the client says they don’t like it. Then you’ve spent $5,000 to $10,000 for a dress that's not worn. It can be the death of a line."
Some celebrities who don't conform to fashion's narrow body ideals have to buy — not borrow. Size 6 Bryce Dallas Howard bought the Jenny Packham dress she wore to the 2015 Golden Globes off-the-rack.
"I’ve had clients who are not sample sizes, for example Nia Vardalos. Designers are more than happy to lend to her. Unfortunately, she’s not a sample size. So the production company gave me a budget to buy her clothes," says stylist Jessica Paster, who also works with Emily Blunt, Olivia Munn and Miranda Kerr. "Christian Siriano saved the day by pulling non-sample sizes, and he himself, the weekend of the premiere for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, did the final fitting with Nia.
"This is nobody’s fault except Leslie’s," says Paster. "She should have known four to five months ago the date of premiere, and said, ‘I’m not a sample size, I need to go to designers early or buy myself a dress.’ Don’t be blaming designers and saying they don’t like you."
It looks like Siriano is saving the day again. He’s confirmed to dress Jones for the film’s premiere during Outfest.
"I love Leslie and I'm a huge fan of her work," Siriano said by email. "I can't wait to create something special for her to wear. Hopefully I will see her in my studio this week to make something new and exciting for her to wear. I support all women no matter age or size!"