“I hoped that maybe I’d be on it by the time I’m 35,” said stylist Sophie Lopez, the edgy Londoner behind Kate Hudson’s awe-inspiring Oscars look, and number 15 on The Hollywood Reporter’s fourth annual 25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood List. Lopez was one of the list makers present at a Jimmy Choo-hosted luncheon on Wednesday honoring the town’s most important behind-the-scenes imagemakers. “I’m 30,” she said, between bites of chicken paillard. “So I guess I’m early.”
Whether early or right on time, Lopez joins an elite class of celebrity dressers responsible for putting the likes of Charlize Theron, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon and Bradley Cooper in the various suits, tuxedos, gowns and jewels that end up dictating global fashion trends -- not to mention topping a best-dressed list (or two). They arrived at lunch on Wednesday having awards season hits on both red-carpet veterans and newcomers such as Lupita Nyong’o, whose recent red-carpet rainbow solidified her title as Hollywood's -- and fashion’s -- next major thing.
“I’m thrilled,” said stylist Micaela Erlanger, who owns the list’s number three berth and is responsible for Nyong’o’s cavalcade of colorful Ralph Lauren, Prada and Miu Miu confections that, combined with her Oscar-winning performance in 12 Years a Slave, catapulted her into stardom -- seemingly overnight. Erlanger, who came to lunch in young yet prim Oscar de la Renta, worked as an assistant to late stylist Annabel Tollman before finding clients in Michelle Dockery, Nyong’o and, as of late February, Newsroom actress Olivia Munn.
“Everyone kept telling me how amazing she was, so I emailed her,” said Munn, who attended the lunch (also in Oscar de la Renta) as her style maker’s plus-one. “For me, it all starts with Micaela and the gown. The collaboration comes in when it’s something I don’t feel comfortable in. But everything else is her.”
As stylists and their stars created custom pairs of Jimmy Choos at the brand’s interactive, made-to-order trunk (Erlanger got her pair emblazoned with a tiny heart), number 20 placeholder Tara Swennen – who works with Kristen Stewart -- reminisced about her issue photo shoot at the Paramour mansion in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood -- which, as she mentioned while enjoying a beet and goat cheese salad, is apparently haunted.
“There’s taxidermy everywhere there,” said Swennen, who also works with Kaley Cuoco and Julie Bowen, of the massive Eastside manse that served as backdrop for her February 25 photo shoot. “It was crazy.”
While Swennen was snapped for the issue along with stylists Samantha McMillen (No. 14), Karla Welch (No. 4) and famous clients Elle and Dakota Fanning, Michelle Dockery and Robin Wright (to name a few), the list order itself remained under closely guarded wraps until Wednesday morning.
“Honestly, I had no idea I was number one,” said Elizabeth Stewart (clad in Givenchy), whose mighty awards season run with Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock earned her 2014’s top berth. “I’m kind of blown away.”
As Stewart's name was announced by Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi -- who flew in from London to attend Wednesday’s lunch – it was clear from the applause and cheers that the roomful of her peers were blown away, too.
But the support wasn’t solely saved for Stewart. There was no shortage of gushiness from any of the day’s honorees, who offered congratulations, hugs and compliments to one another other throughout the afternoon.
“I am so incredibly honored,” Erlanger said of her newly minted place within the exclusive group. “To be in the company of so many inspiring stylists … I’m thrilled.”