WHY SHE MATTERS
One Prada at a time, Erlanger took Hollywood newcomer Lupita Nyong’o from unknown actress to the one to watch on the red carpet — and landed her a major ad campaign with Miu Miu along the way.
Nyong’o, Michelle Dockery, Olivia Munn
After graduating with a fashion degree from New York City’s Parsons, Erlanger worked for six years as the late Annabel Tollman‘s styling assistant: “Annabel taught me everything about celebrity dressing,” says Erlanger, whose first client was Joely Richardson for the Anonymous and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo press tours. Erlanger met Dockery slightly more than a year ago when the Downton Abbey star’s makeup artist introduced them — their first collaboration was a white and gold Alexandre Vauthier Couture gown for the 2013 Globes. “Michelle was my first major client; her Globes dress was life-changing,” says Erlanger. Fast-forward to summer 2013, when Dockery befriended little-known Kenyan actress Nyong’o on the set of their action-thriller flick Non-Stop and offered to put the star of director Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave in touch with her stylist. “Michelle said, ‘When you’re ready, I have the perfect stylist for you,’ ” recalls Nyong’o. Adds Erlanger, who first outfitted Nyong’o in white-and-gold Prada (No. 7) during the Toronto Film Festival: “The rest is history.”
HER TOP LOOK
The fashion buzz surrounding Nyong’o continued to build throughout awards season, but when she stepped out in a red Ralph Lauren caped gown at the Globes (No. 8), her Hollywood A-list fashion status was secured. Erlanger describes it as “the perfect dress, on the perfect girl, for the perfect moment.” Another standout was Dockery’s custom red and burgundy Prada (No. 9) at the Emmys. “It was so beautiful and so representative of Michelle’s natural elegance,” says Erlanger.