Q&A: NICOLE CHAVEZ
What makes a great Oscar dress?
Something that's out of the ordinary, something unexpected: Nicole Kidman's Dior Couture chartreuse dress from 1997. That was such an unexpected color and something that so different; it was extraordinary. It's about taking a risk and doing something outside the box. Sometimes just a reaction in general, good or bad, is kudos. Even though Scarlett Johansson got mixed reviews this year, I didn't mind. You have to check your ego at the door.
What are the most important things to consider when dressing a celebrity for an awards show?
The level of the client's comfort, which translates into confidence. They have to be physically and emotionally comfortable in it.
What are common mistakes one can make dressing a celebrity?
It's really important to me to listen to my clients and understand where they're going, what they're promoting. I put myself in their environment and do the research. You have to check the weather, know all the information. What kind of chair will she be sitting on? Your clients hire you to think for them -- my clients are like family. To me, it's art and not just a job.
When you see a dress on a runway, how do you know what works and what a client will like?
I always know. It's just a feeling. It comes from really listening to your client. There is always an open dialogue with my clients about fashion and we always try to keep it moving forward.
*THR would also like to recognize stylist Karla Welch whose part of the styling duo Kemal + Karla. They're responsible for newcomer fashionista Hailee Steinfeld's awards season looks, including her wow-worthy Marchesa at the Oscars. They also Alexis Bledel, Olivia Wilde and Anna Paquin.