Pret-a-Reporter

This Is Why Meryl Streep Keeps Winning on the Red Carpet

REX USA
Meryl Streep in Lanvin at the 2012 Oscars (left) and the 2014 Oscars (right).

Thanks to stylist Zoe Buck, a fresh new talent on the red-carpet scene, the Oscar nominee is maintaining her role as one of Hollywood's best dressed.

Meryl Streep probably has been down more red carpets than any actress alive, having been nominated 19 times for Oscars alone. Eternally celebrated for her acting gifts, the actress has not been overly concerned with red-carpet fashion, turning up in generic ball gown after generic ball gown during the 1990s. However, since the 2011 press tour for The Iron Lady, she has begun to wear labels such as Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Valentino, Michael Kors — and her silhouettes have gotten much more modern. In a chic black-and-white cape-sleeved Paule Ka gown at this year's Golden Globes, she was one of the best dressed. Her secret weapon? Stylist Zoe Buck, the sister of Sybil Buck, once a famous model.

"I met Meryl through close family friends," the Los Angeles-based stylist tells THR, "and over the five years I knew her before working together, I came to regard her as family." Meanwhile, Buck assisted stylist Andrea Lieberman and worked on a Celine Dion tour. When Streep asked her to collaborate in 2011, it was "an honor," says Buck. "She's the most gracious person. The looks for the appearances are always Meryl's choice. But she's very open to a look that's challenging."

Buck has excelled at providing flattering and well-cut designer options to Streep, now 65, whose timeless beauty is renowned, but who, like many American women, is not sample-size. The first look Streep wore for the 2011 tour was one of many Stella McCartney pieces, "a pairing that made a lot of sense," says Buck: a white coat over a black dress. Streep also donned an "ethereal and ballsy" gray Vivienne Westwood wrap coat and finished out that awards season with a gold lamé Lanvin at the 2012 Oscars ("a departure, but totally regal"). Pockets are a must for Streep (as in the Valentino couture floral skirt she wore to the 2012 AFI Awards), Buck notes, adding that Streep's red-carpet transformation was organic: "It's always good to mix it up and pull in pieces that aren't necessarily the shape that we've gotten comfortable in."

This story first appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

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