In Her Shoes: A Chat With Celeb Stylist Tara Swennen
Kristen Stewart's confidant in all things fashion talks Jimmy Choos and Converse Chucks.
When it comes to pulling together Kristen Stewart's fierce ensembles, look no further than power stylist Tara Swennen.
Not only does she work with K. Stew, she also counts Emily Ratajkowski, Odeya Rush, Julie Bowen and Kaley Cuoco, to name a few, as clients, and works on commercial campaigns for brands (Neutrogena and Target, included) and editorial shoots for InStyle, Nylon and Teen Vogue.
Ahead of the busy awards season, we caught up with Swennen and found out why white Converse Chucks are her everyday go-to, but when it comes to a night out, Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins have her heart.
Pret-a-Reporter: What are your personal favorite pair of shoes of all time?
Tara Swennen: My favorite pair of shoes of all time are a pair of simple black pumps given to me as a Christmas gift from Jimmy Choo. They are black leather with a three-inch heel and an interesting cut-out detail on the top of the toes, and are probably the most comfortable shoes of all time. They are simple and chic and I literally have worn them down to a nub.
What makes a great red-carpet stiletto?
I think it depends on the person as well as the outfit. Comfort is usually key for most of my clients as they have to wear them for hours on end, but shoes are one of the greatest statement makers so most women are willing to fight through the pain if it's worth it for the look. To me, a great stiletto needs to give that beautiful lift and shape to a woman's leg so the arch and heel height are very important to me. Kurt Geiger, Christian Louboutin, and Giuseppe Zanotti are making great stilettos at the moment.
What is your favorite ensemble that you've styled where the shoes and clothes just all came together?
I put Kristen Stewart in a checkered brown and cream Louis Vuitton romper for an event in Japan where the shoe was going to be one of the most important elements of the outfit. We managed to find the perfect Brian Atwood gladiator type heel to pair with it. It had amazing buckles and the brown leather cross crossing matched perfectly. They were sexy and feminine with a little bit of edge — the perfect shoe for Kristen.
CHECK IT OUT: Kristen Stewart in a Louis Vuitton romper and Brian Atwood shoes at the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Getty Images)
How many pairs of shoes would we see in your shoe closet right now?
I probably have close to 50 pairs of shoes in my closet. I organize them by color and then by shoe type — boots, flats, heels. I think it's a tie between Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin.
What are your favorite shoes for when you are working?
On a daily basis while working you will see me and a pair of Converse Chucks or Jack Purcells. I am a simple jeans and T-shirt kind of a girl during the day, and I need to be comfortable while pulling or shooting for 12 hours straight. I gravitate towards white and I simply love them!
What is your opinion on the trend of the block-heeled pump?
I am a fan of the block-heeled pumps. I think when worn right they can be very sexy, but they are not for everybody. I tend to love a chunky heel more in a boot but quite a few designers from Fendi and Balenciaga to ASOS have managed to perfect the look!
And lastly, what shoes do you think will dominate the red carpet this awards season?
I think platforms will always prevail due to the fact that they add much needed height under gowns. But strappy simple heels like the Stuart Weitzman Nudist will also trend. Satin is always the most popular fabric but modern metallics will also come into play as well!
TARA'S TAKE: Julie Bowen, left, Odeya Rush and Kristen Stewart are among the stylist's famous clients. (Photos: Getty Images)