VMAs 2015: Miley Cyrus' Stylist Speaks
Simone Harouche, the mastermind behind Miley's VMAs vibe, breaks down her process of outfitting music's most out-there dresser.
This year's VMAs gave us so much fodder that we were almost excited to arrive at our office water cooler on Monday morning. Almost. Between Bieber's tears, Kanye's political aspirations and Nicki Minaj's threats, we don't know whether to laugh or cry at the current state of society. But one thing that we do know for sure is that Miley Cyrus' looks — as expected — absolutely stole the show.
Cyrus' complex, dream-like costumes can be attributed to her longtime stylist Simone Harouche, who — as she does on all of Cyrus' tours and major red carpet appearances — worked from start to finish with the pop star to create the sartorial vibe of Sunday night's elaborate show. And the Internet was plenty abuzz during and after the show attributing Cyrus' looks to frequent collaborator Jeremy Scott, who neither styled nor designed her clothes for the show — though he did create an Instagram installation and retool MTV's famed Moonman statue.
We caught up with Harouche while she was backstage at L.A.'s Microsoft Theater to find out exactly how the evening's wardrobe — complete with custom Versace pieces and vintage accessories scored from Harouche's favorite secret spots — took shape.
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There's been a bit of Internet confusion as to what Jeremy Scott's participation was in creating Miley's VMAs looks. They're close friends and you've worked with him before for pieces on her tours. But what exactly was his participation in creating Miley's VMAs outfits?
There was no participation with Jeremy on Miley's looks. Miley is an artist. She has a specific vision for things. We have been working together for over six years and have always discussed and collaborated together on her ideas and message, and how we can communicate that through her wardrobe.
There were a ton of custom pieces created throughout the night from the likes of Versace and Prada. How did you decide which designers to call on for custom looks?
Based on our first meeting when she originally told me she was hosting, we started sending references to each other that inspire us. Based on specific ideas she had, I began reaching out to designers we love and respect and began the creative process of mood boards, sketches, modifications.
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How involved was Miley in the process of designing each look?
Miley is completely involved in the entire aesthetic process, from start to finish.
Did you bring in a lot of her Bangerz Tour aesthetic for the various looks she wore during the show?
This VMAs show was the beginning of a whole new era for Miley. Having said that, we decided to go for a whole new aesthetic that was a definite departure from the Bangerz Tour. [Last night] was just another page for her evolution as an artist. We were inspired by so many different eras and ideas, but at the end of the day, she really just wanted to have a fun time with it all, and not take it so seriously.
That definitely came across. This is probably like asking you to name a favorite child, but did you have a favorite costume?
It's hard to pick a favorite. All of them have their own specific identities and were all projects of labor and love. I personally love them all and think they are all individually unique and special. Her performance look (including all 30 fabulous drag queens) was collaborated with and designed by BCALLA. I also love her custom Versace red-carpet look, it was such an iconic look! The custom Prada mirrored look was also amazing! Too many incredible looks and talented designers to pick a favorite.
How far in advance did you start planning?
We started in early July. I knew Italy was closing for the entire month of August, so we had to make some miracles happen very quickly!
Describe a fitting with Miley — we can only imagine it's wild and interesting, but also quite fun.
I'll just say that working with Miley is an amazing experience. I love her. We have been working together for six years, she continues to evolve and push boundaries as an artist and a person. She inspires me and challenges me to expand my own creativity, and not just settle for what's there. She challenges me to always push further.