Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists: Why Sydney Sweeney, Sadie Sink, Anne Hathaway, Angela Bassett and Jodie Turner-Smith Love Their Image Makers
Andrew Garfield and Janelle Monáe also toast their tastemakers in THR’s annual list, which celebrates megawatt glamour (J. Lo’s 3 wedding gowns), sustainability (thank you, Cate Blanchett) and drama on and off the red carpet (farewell, Law Roach, for now).
Rewear, repeat, three-peat … The verbiage summing up what’s new on the red carpet in the past year happens to center on what’s old, or at least previously worn. Sustainability and vintage were at the forefront of Hollywood fashion throughout awards season. THR‘s Stylist of the Year Elizabeth Stewart worked with Tár best actress nominee Cate Blanchett to create a red carpet campaign with the smallest environmental footprint possible. “The theme is Cate’s closet and celebrating it,” says Stewart, “and being as conscious as possible of the impact our choices can have.” Law Roach, who made worldwide headlines when he announced his retirement from styling March 14, outfitted Zendaya in internet-shattering 2002 Versace for the NAACP Image Awards. Also trending? A return to megawatt glamour, as evidenced by both Anne Hathaway with stylist Erin Walsh and Gucci glamazon Jodie Turner-Smith, who turned the Venice International Film Festival canals into her own catwalk, courtesy of stylists Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald. THR presents a return to its full list, unranked and alphabetized, of the 25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood.
“A lot of our inspiration came from images of Serge Gainsbourg and Paul Newman,” says Amador of Austin Butler’s Elvis press looks, which included mixing old with new pieces. Gucci blazers, vintage jeans, Cuban-heeled boots, pleated trousers, Cartier timepieces and vintage leather jackets, often sourced from Topanga Canyon’s vintage mecca Melet Mercantile, all helped to cement the Oscar-nominated actor’s status as a modern prince of seamless, eclectic style. “Austin loves vintage,” says the Los Angeles-based stylist, who also works with Lady Gaga. One unexpected standout on the red carpet was a custom burgundy Gucci suit at the SAG Awards that was reminiscent of one Presley himself wore for NBC’s Elvis 1968 Comeback Special. Recalls Amador: “It was bolder than what we would normally go with, but when incorporated into a three-piece suit, it felt authentic to Austin’s aesthetic.”
Leave it to Angela Bassett and her longtime stylist to debunk the fashion myth that black is the only elegant hue. The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Oscar nominee makes everything from canary yellow to fuchsia regal. “Jennifer wanted to create a story of us exploring different colors and silhouettes on the carpet, from lilac tulip sleeves to a dreamy yellow and the magnificent ultra-violet Moschino gown designed by Jeremy Scott” for the Oscars, says Bassett. “Each look was so beautiful and different for me, and honestly, they’re all favorites.” Austin, a Los Angeles native who started working with Bassett in 2013, explains: “I want to change the perception of what women of a particular age should look like and to create a new narrative in fashion, especially on the carpet. I dress the spirit and energy of Angela, not her age.” Perhaps most dazzling of all was the silver sequin Pamella Roland halter gown that Bassett wore to accept her Golden Globe, a historic victory as the first performer to win a Globe in an acting category for a Marvel film. Says the designer, “Angela was the epitome of Hollywood royalty and glamour that evening.”
Warren Alfie Baker
“It was a great fashion moment that still felt wearable,” says Baker of Under the Banner of Heaven actor Andrew Garfield’s Gucci floral-embellished velvet suit at the LACMA Art + Film gala, one of his daring but never forced stylistic choices. “It had an elevated vintage feel without being too much.” The Los Angeles-based stylist, who got his start modeling and working in fashion PR, says his favorite look was Garfield’s all-white Zegna tuxedo, sans bow tie, at the Emmys. “It was a color we hadn’t done before, and it just felt effortlessly cool,” says Baker. When it comes to double-breasted suit jackets — a Garfield staple — Baker says the style exudes timeless confidence when done right. “There’s no getting away from an image of a well-tailored, beautiful-looking double-breasted suit on a handsome man,” says Baker, who also has dressed Matt Bomer (Ralph Lauren Purple Label at the Golden Globes) and Glen Powell (Brunello Cucinelli at the Critics Choice Awards) in the classic style. And Garfield has come to enjoy the styling process with Baker: “He wants the person to have space to come through and be expressed. And we aren’t precious about any of it. It’s loose and fun and creative, and it’s a rare lucky connection.”
Wayman Bannerman & Micah McDonald
British actress and Gucci ambassador Jodie Turner-Smith turned the Venice International Film Festival into her own fashion show, with the styling duo calling in pieces from the Italian house, plus Harbison and Balmain in September. “Jodie is extremely fearless when it comes to her style,” says Bannerman, who loved her multicolored Christopher John Rogers corset and ball gown skirt at the amfAR gala. Another wow moment was Turner-Smith at the Bardo premiere in a paint-splattered Christopher John Rogers gown, which the actress calls her “crayon-colored showstopper.” Says McDonald, who notes that he and Bannerman (who count Tessa Thompson, Keke Palmer and Thuso Mbedu among their clients) have been working with her for the past 18 months: “It felt different from what you’d usually see in Venice. It was a Black designer. There was the modernity of the vibrant paintbrush print, and we layered it with Bulgari jewelry for next-level Hollywood glamour.” Another favorite for Turner-Smith, who co-stars with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in Netflix’s Murder Mystery 2, out March 31: “I simply cannot leave off the blue Harbison that I wore to see The Whale. I felt like a dream in it!”
The Los Angeles-based stylist continued his winning streak with actor turned director Michael B. Jordan, most recently for a whirlwind of international press around Creed III. “Sidney Poitier was a reference,” says Bolden, who culled Ralph Lauren, Chanel and Gucci pieces. “We zeroed in on how easy and relaxed Mr. Poitier’s fashion choices have always been, with a modern sensibility for Michael.” No doubt Poitier would have approved of Jordan’s layered white T-shirt and tailored Louis Vuitton coat on the streets of Paris and an easy Versace cardigan and undershirt in New York City, both in line with the movie legend’s knack for nonchalant layering. One of Bolden’s favorites was an updated Prada tux with Tiffany & Co. accents for the London premiere. “I used two Schlumberger Bird on a Rock brooches to signify the father-daughter bond that Creed illustrates so beautifully. As a dad, that was important to me,” notes Bolden, who repeated the same Tiffany’s brooch motif in different colored precious stones for the presenter’s Oscar look. When he’s not dressing clients like Jordan, Yara Shahidi, Trevor Noah and Cynthia Erivo for the red carpet, the veteran stylist keeps Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s fashion game strong. “Ayesha is a secret wild fashionista with an insane closet and amazing personal style. She’s tomboy chic, but in the blink of an eye, she’s comfortably rocking a couture gown,” says Bolden, who met the Golden State Warriors point guard’s wife on a shoot for her magazine, Sweet July. “Steph has a quintessential ’90s ease when it comes to fashion,” adds the stylist. “Some of his best moments are when it isn’t a fashion moment — it’s just him being relaxed.”
Cardi B and her stylist won the Grammys with a sculptural Gaurav Gupta gown. The rapper made a splash when she hit the carpet at L.A.’s Crypto.com Arena in a full-length version of the Indian designer’s cobalt blue couture runway look — originally a minidress — topped with Messika diamonds. “Her custom look was made and flown to Los Angeles from India all within a matter of three days,” Gupta says. “When the Grammys looks started coming out on social media, we were all eagerly waiting for Cardi to electrify the red carpet with that gorgeous electric blue.” The music artist later paid tribute to Paco Rabanne, who died in February, in an archival chain-mail top and skirt with a metal mesh hood, Tiffany & Co. jewels and metallic Jimmy Choo platforms while presenting the award for best rap album.
Don’t Worry Darling‘s Florence Pugh out-dressed and outshone the media frenzy surrounding casting shake-ups and Spitgate for the film’s hotly anticipated Venice premiere. Pugh skipped daytime press at the festival but later breezed in from the set of Dune: Part Two dressed in all-purple Valentino — a now-iconic video of Pugh sipping an Aperol spritz on Instagram was posted by Corbin-Murray — only to be outdone by herself later that evening in Pierpaolo Piccioli’s glitter-printed tulle Valentino dress, proving that, for the star, the only drama worth pointing to was her couture. “We first saw the gown coming down the Spanish Steps in Rome at the Valentino Haute Couture show and fell in love with it. It captured the magic and atmosphere of the city,” says Corbin-Murray. The London-based stylist, who also outfits Lily James (notably in Versace metal-mesh), Bridgerton‘s Simone Ashley and Gemma Chan, had several major Valentino moments with Pugh, including a sheer pink tulle ball gown for the Italian house’s show in Rome that went viral with an ultra-revealing top. “When you push boundaries, it will draw attention, and Florence doesn’t shy away from making a statement,” says Corbin-Murray, who has been working with Pugh for five years. All bets are on a certain new Valentino brand ambassador being announced at any moment.
“Sydney sent me a photo of Elle Macpherson from the ’90s in a low-rise miniskirt and crop top for reference,” says Dickson, who dressed Sydney Sweeney in a similar sparkly Miu Miu style for the MTV Movie Awards that garnered more than 3.8 million likes from the Euphoria winner’s Instagram following. “Syd brought the low-rise mini back,” adds the Los Angeles-based stylist, who got her start assisting Charlize Theron’s glam guru Leslie Fremar. “I text Molly pictures of looks from shows, vintage pieces or even mood boards of vibes I want to capture, and she brings it all to fruition,” concurs Sweeney, who has appeared in recent Miu Miu and Tory Burch campaigns. “What sets Molly apart is her heart. And, like me, she runs on candy, so we are a perfect fit.” Dickson has quickly become Hollywood’s “It” girl behind many of the hottest “It” girls (Sadie Sink, Katherine Langford, Kelsea Ballerini), helping them stake their claim on style stardom. With the Whale press tour for Sink, the latest face for Alexander McQueen (she also has been a Chopard ambassador), they opted for a more “mature and cool” look (Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Armani) to signal to the fashion world that the Stranger Things star is growing up. “Toronto was the first time we put Sadie in red. When we fit the Stella McCartney dress, we were blown away by how amazing she looks in that color,” says Dickson of Sink’s custom cutout gown at the film’s TIFF premiere (the stylist’s other clients include Mindy Kaling and Camila Mendes). “Molly has had the biggest influence on my style,” notes Sink. “We’ve been working together since I was 15; during fittings, she knows what I’m thinking before I even say it.”
Wendi and Nicole Ferreira
The styling duo called on Giorgio Armani, Brioni and Gucci for co-stars Tom Cruise and Miles Teller, ensuring that there were plenty of high-octane looks for the worldwide Top Gun: Maverick premieres. Cinema-saver Cruise made an epic entrance when he flew via helicopter — wearing a three-piece navy Brioni suit — onto the retired Midway aircraft carrier for the film’s San Diego debut. According to the Ferreira sisters, the key to leading-man style is “confidence, class and a good tailor.” The pair, who started working with Teller in 2016, nailed it with an elegant, cream-colored Celine tuxedo for the Cannes Film Festival. “Our inspiration for every look we did with Miles was classic movie star with sartorial nuance,” says Wendi. That said, they aren’t afraid to push boundaries. Says Nicole of their longtime client: “Everything Chris Pine wears [is daring]. We are constantly collaborating with him to manifest his vision and by doing so redefining everyone’s expectations.” Pine most recently suited up in a green suede Bally jacket and matching slim-cut pants for the SXSW premiere of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and switched it up the next day in a vintage shirt and trousers from Mothfood, an appointment-only showroom in Los Angeles’ Mount Washington neighborhood. When it comes to inspiration, it’s ever-changing, but lately Richard Gere, Ryan O’Neal, Jack Nicholson and ’90s Brad Pitt are a few of their favorites. “But let’s be real,” says Nicole. “Wendi’s always inspired by Brad Pitt.”
“I have been working with Zoe Saldaña for 17 years — her red carpet style is chic, confident, fashionable and always anticipated. She never disappoints,” says Flannery, who helped curate Saldaña’s acclaimed looks for Avatar: The Way of Water. The Los Angeles-based stylist started off Saldaña’s global style parade with a lipstick-red Gucci python-print skirt in New York City and capped it off with a velvet Schiaparelli Haute Couture minidress for the $2.28 billion-grossing film’s Hollywood premiere. “It was reminiscent of ’80s supermodel glamour. Zoe’s statuesque figure exuded this feel and modernized it,” says Flannery of the final look, which they accessorized with a gold Bulgari choker necklace. “My inspiration for Zoe is always her strong female personality and the powerful characters she portrays.” A jeweled Alexander McQueen corset dress, paired with water-like Jared Lehr blue sapphire and tanzanite stones, at the London premiere was an homage to Saldaña’s onscreen heroine Neytiri. Flannery also continues to work with longtime clients Reese Witherspoon (“a Hollywood powerhouse — red carpets come frequently for her between being a dynamic producer and an acclaimed actress,” says Flannery) and Emma Stone, whom she credits for her most viral moment of the past year. “Nicolas Ghesquière’s intention of repurposing Louis Vuitton looks gave a second life to Emma’s splendid dress that he designed for her wedding,” says Flannery of Stone’s white feathered minidress at the Met Ball. “Emma’s wedding took place during COVID lockdown, so it never had a moment, but it certainly garnered a second life.”
The notoriously press-shy stylist, who has zero presence on social media, is the not-so-secret weapon of many of the town’s most discerning fashionistas. Taylor Russell, Anya Taylor-Joy and Rooney Mara all trust Hastings to keep them ahead of the curve. Rising star Russell held her own alongside her Bones and All co-star Timothée Chalamet when she stepped out in surrealist Schiaparelli Haute Couture for the film’s showing during the BFI London Film Festival. Russell’s cropped wool crepe jacket with sharp shoulders and a champagne boned corset reportedly took five fittings and more than 150 hours to perfect at the Schiaparelli atelier and quickly captivated the fashion world. Another structured standout was Russell’s Vivienne Westwood fall/winter 1998 strapless dress with oversized buttons, sourced from L.A.’s Aralda Vintage, worn the day after the London premiere.
So how did Michelle Yeoh transition from an international action-movie legend to a global style icon credited with some of awards season’s mega fashion moments by, as Vogue put it, “quietly outdressing” everyone? The Everything Everywhere All at Once Oscar winner embraced unexpected choices and called on Johnson, a Rachel Zoe alum, to help breathe new life into her designer repertoire. “Michelle likes to take risks, she loves being introduced to new designers, and she carries bold looks with such confidence and grace,” says Johnson, who opted for more cutting-edge attire by Off-White and Gucci. “We wanted to have fun and keep people guessing — I think we succeeded.” Yeoh accepted her SAG best actress trophy in a strapless embellished Schiaparelli gown from designer Daniel Roseberry’s Dante’s Inferno-inspired collection. Another sculpted Schiaparelli Haute Couture skirt and beaded matador-esque jacket at the Palm Springs International Film Festival caught the fashion world’s eye when Yeoh was honored with the International Star Award. “Palm Springs is more playful, so that was the right place [for that ensemble]. It’s another look that very few people could pull off, but Michelle wore it effortlessly,” says Johnson, whose longtime clients include Jennifer Garner, Kathryn Hahn and Kiernan Shipka.
Kate Hudson and her longtime stylist channeled her Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery character, Birdie Jay, with countless bombshell looks during the promo cycle. “We knew we wanted a big moment for the world premiere in Toronto,” recalls Lopez, who previewed Wes Gordon’s Spring 2023 Carolina Herrera collection before it hit the runway and landed on a bold and striking red column gown with a rosette detail that Hudson donned at the film fest. The star, who has worked with Lopez for nearly 12 years, credits the stylist for pushing her quite literally out of the comfort zone: “She has taught me that sometimes it’s cool to sacrifice comfort to get that phenomenal photo or wear something that moves really beautifully on a carpet. Every time she has suggested something, she has always been right, and I’ve always been so happy that we went in that direction.” The pair cite a multicolored sequin Halpern gown that was “so Birdie” for the Madrid premiere and an “impeccably coutured” pink Armani Privé sequin gown for the Producers Guild Awards. Hudson, who signed with Sandbox Entertainment Group in January, is moving on to music with plans to put out a record. Says Lopez, “I’m excited to see where it takes us style-wise.”
“Ali and I are like two art students always excited about partnering up for the next group project,” says Janelle Monáe of working with her stylist, both of whom never shy away from making an avant-garde statement, whether in futuristic Iris van Herpen, blood-red Christian Siriano couture or Elie Saab Couture feathers. “I’m a person with a strong fashion vision, and Ali truly listens. It’s so important to me that I collaborate with a stylist who doesn’t push a vision on me that’s not aligned with what my gut feels. She also expands my mind and helps me find a new way to interpret a look that I always appreciate.” Mandelkorn specifically notes of the star’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery promo outfits: “We wanted to reflect the tongue-in-cheek sensibility of the film. The final premiere look in Los Angeles, the pattern of the red feathers on the skirt of Janelle’s Elie Saab gown, almost looked like flames rising up, and the movie also has a very fiery ending.” The former film and television wardrobe assistant, who also styles Jurnee Smollett, met Monáe at a fitting for her viral “PYNK” music video back in 2017, and they’ve been creative collaborators ever since. Mandelkorn’s dream role? “I would love to work with her on a fashion film. Can you imagine Janelle as the lead in a high-fashion runway film that takes us on a global adventure around the world?” she says. “Let’s get the writers in the writers room.”
Ana de Armas has never looked more statuesque than when she stepped out in custom Louis Vuitton dripping with Messika diamonds for her Blonde debut in Venice. The pleated silk halter gown was a clear nod to Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress in 1955’s The Seven Year Itch, while the pop of pink paid homage to Monroe’s 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. “I created a mood board that combined some of Marilyn Monroe’s looks with Louis Vuitton fabrics and textures found on the runways. Nicolas [Ghesquière] took inspiration from a few of the dresses, whether it was a silhouette, pleating detail or neckline, and added his special touches to give us a fresh take on everything,” says McMillen, who also dresses John David Washington, Brie Larson, and Dakota and Elle Fanning (Elle’s vintage Alexander McQueen at the Critics Choice Awards afterparties was a moment only seen on Instagram). For the Oscars, best actress nominee de Armas once again went full Monroe, channeling the bombshell in a custom crystal-covered Louis Vuitton dress that was a version of the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress. “Ana immediately responded to a sketch of the dress,” says McMillen. “It nodded to Marilyn but also had specific detailing that made it unmistakably Louis Vuitton. I loved how happy Ana looked when she walked out the door. The ultimate goal was achieved.”
When it comes to Michaela Coel, her clothing picks are as fierce as her creative choices for which she has been lauded. The British Ghanian screenwriter and actress, who’s co-hosting the Karl Lagerfeld-themed Met Ball in May, chose custom Riccardo Tisci for her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere in London. The silk bodysuit and layered Chantilly lace skirt, Tisci’s first look for his eponymous label in 17 years, hit just the right elegant notes. “Michaela is very much one of Riccardo’s muses and he is always so overwhelmed by her striking beauty, so that’s where we started,” says London-based Medley, who began her career interning at Garage magazine and now works as a contributing editor at Elle UK. “We wanted to strip back the look in its entirety, as, with that face, she really doesn’t need much — the clothes were more so the backdrop,” explains Medley of the premiere look. For the worldwide press tour, the collaborative pair “wanted to really champion Black designers throughout and also home in on the relationships she already had — one being with Maximilian Davis — which led to the idea of creating the first custom look to come from the Ferragamo house under Max,” says Medley of Coel’s stunning crystal-embellished hooded gown at the Hollywood premiere.
Adele’s glam guru called on everyone from Schiaparelli to Balmain to Nguyen Cong Tri to create a custom all-black wardrobe for the Grammy-winning artist’s Weekends With Adele concert residency, which ended March 25, at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace. Each weekend included a new dress that debuted both onstage and on Adele’s Instagram for her more than 52 million followers. “Adele is classic and timeless. She loves a black gown and has been wearing them for forever,” says Mizrahi, who also works with Ariana Grande, Riley Keough and Jeremy Allen White. “Adele’s voice steals the show, and while it’s fun to change the look every weekend and give her fans a little newness, it’s important to let the music be the focal point.” One memorable performance gown (Mizrahi refers to it as a “uniform”) included mesh polka dots for weekend No. 5 in Vegas, designed by Reed Harris for Nina Ricci, reminiscent of the British singer’s custom look Harris created for her “Oh My God” music video. “The silhouette was a shape we knew would work for her body, something she could easily move and perform in,” says Mizrahi. “We like to call her style couture but casual.”
Perhaps best known for his scene-stealing styles, the THR two-time Stylist of the Year (2021 and 2022), who recently announced his retirement, is going out with a bang, having won the Cannes Film Festival and the Emmys with classic looks proving that the Little Black Dress reigns supreme. Roach dressed Bella Hadid in Gianni Versace’s dramatic spring/summer 1987 draped dress (“one of my best looks of my career,” he says) and Euphoria winner Zendaya in a Valentino satin ball gown (“It was new Hollywood glamour,” he explains) for the two major outings, respectively, plus a custom Bach Mai for Megan Thee Stallion that turned heads at Vanity Fair‘s Oscar party. “A black dress is always timeless and can be worn virtually anywhere,” says Roach, who himself has catapulted to stardom that extends far beyond the red carpet. The L.A.-based stylist was named British Vogue‘s contributing West Coast editor, landed on the Time 100 Next list and received the CFDA’s first stylist award in 2022. Roach’s Vera Wang-clad client and friend Kerry Washington presented the superstar stylist with his CFDA trophy at Cipriani in New York City: “Law’s process is exceptional. He doesn’t put together an outfit, he’s determined to create a masterpiece,” said Washington. When it comes to Roach’s favorite moment from the past awards season, he’s quick to reference Zendaya’s viral Versace — a plunging black and lime vintage gown — at the NAACP Image Awards. But don’t think the iconic pair have felt pressure to outdo themselves: “That’s never the goal. We do it for ourselves — Zendaya does it for me, and I do it for her,” says Roach. “It’s just icing on the cake if others like it.” The stylist, who is going on 13 years of working with the star and has put forth that he hopes to act as her creative director going forward, said of his styling career to The Cut: “I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to climb in this industry the way I have. But I can’t say that I didn’t do that without suffering. And I think that’s just in our DNA as African Americans and … I don’t want to suffer no more. I don’t want to be at the beck and call of people and their teams. I want to take some time and figure out, you know, how to live.”
Elizabeth Stewart – THR Stylist of the Year
Back in 2018, Cate Blanchett stepped out in a black lace Armani Privé gown for Cannes’ opening night that she’d previously worn to the 2014 Golden Globes, and it became a viral sensation. Fast-forward to the Oscar nominee’s multicity Tár awards blitz. Blanchett set out to make the smallest environmental footprint possible, whether that meant rewearing, repurposing or delving deep into designer archives (and her own closet) with the help of her longtime stylist. Stewart, a former New York Times Magazine editor, and Blanchett used their creative platform to send arguably the boldest, chicest message about sustainability on the world’s most visible red carpets. “The theme is Cate’s closet and celebrating and cherishing it — and being as conscious as possible of the impact our choices can have on the environment and the industry, which includes supporting new fashion that propels the industry forward as well as just curbing some excess,” says Stewart, who also counts Viola Davis and Julia Roberts as clients. Nothing was too outlandish — including a Wolk Morais suiting fabric made of recycled bottle caps — and creativity was key, as was evidenced by repurposing lace from the aforementioned Armani dress worn in 2014 and 2018. But the ultimate rewear was Blanchett’s Givenchy tiered dress at the Berlin Film Festival that she debuted at Cannes in 2018. “It’s too fabulous to wear only once,” notes Stewart. For the Oscars, Blanchett and Stewart called on Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière to create a look that included an asymmetrical velvet top from a never-before-seen archival collection (which was “striking for its color,” says Stewart) and a skirt cut from sustainable silk, with archival 2012 black satin Giuseppe Zanotti pumps that Blanchett has been wearing for years. “It was a great mix that epitomized her style choices,” says Stewart, who notes that the lace Armani gown is still fully intact despite repurposing it multiple times.
Hollywood’s A-list stylist for leading men (Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Donald Glover, Barry Keoghan and Chris Evans are clients) also was behind the images of two of the town’s most stylish directors this awards season. “We met for a fabulous breakfast at the Chateau, where he was everything I would have hoped for,” recalls Urbinati of her first encounter with Baz Luhrmann, with whom she hit it off and went on to dress for all of his Elvis press. “Baz’s red carpet style is audaciously glam, creative, rock ‘n’ roll and very much inspired by the film he’s promoting.” The pair built Luhrmann’s look for the Cannes premiere entirely around an oversized diamond, sapphire and ruby enamel “Elvis” belt buckle, custom created by Mouawad and reminiscent of Presley’s Vegas-era style. For Damien Chazelle’s Babylon run, Urbinati looked for interesting colors and fabrics like a caramel-hued Dolce & Gabbana three-piece tuxedo, but nothing too flashy. “I’ve been working with Damien since La La Land. He likes to take risks but never in a way that feels showy or like he’s trying to make the moment about himself.” A self-proclaimed film nerd, Urbinati co-wrote The Hollys, a Christmas film that has Black Adam‘s Sarah Shahi signed on to star and executive produce, with Gore Vidal’s nephew, actor Burr Steers, attached to direct. “I have worked with a boatload of directors. Todd Field, who directed Tár, was one of the first men I ever dressed, eons ago,” recalls Urbinati. “Some directors like to stand out, but many of them are front-camera shy and prefer not to peacock too hard.”
Anne Hathaway’s style transformation in the past year has been hailed in the fashion press as a “glorious comeback” and a “fashion renaissance,” all courtesy of Walsh. “Anne’s style is incidentally fabulous. She always looks out-of-this-world cool, fashionable and fun, but it’s also quite effortless,” says Walsh. The pair kicked things off in May with a white sequined Armani Privé column gown for the Armageddon Time premiere in Cannes and continued to dial up the glamour with a retro-chic Gucci minidress and a Valentino Pink PP collection jumpsuit. One moment that truly signaled change was a daring pair of electric yellow Valentino short-shorts paired with a billowy, unbuttoned shirtdress and a 107.15-carat sapphire Bulgari necklace for the newly appointed global brand ambassador’s appearance at the High Jewelry Collection unveiling in Paris. “Erin sees my idiosyncrasies as a strength,” says Hathaway. “Maybe there was initial confusion with me because I was introduced to the world as a teenaged princess, but I never actually connected to things that are ‘sweet’ and ‘pretty’ — no shade at all for those wonderful options. I love the right risk, as does she.” Walsh, who also has worked with Sarah Jessica Parker and dresses Emily in Paris breakout Ashley Park, put Hathaway in a sexy corseted Versace puffer at Sundance, an everything-leopard Valentino look (dress, tights, shoes and bag), and sheer Valentino bows with opera-length leather gloves in Berlin. Walsh even gave the actress’ The Devil Wears Prada fans an iconic moment when she re-created her character Andy Sachs’ final-scene outfit from the film — a black Michael Kors turtleneck and brown croc-embossed coat — during New York Fashion Week. It didn’t hurt that the star was seated next to Anna Wintour at Kors’ show. “We did not expect that response,” says Walsh. “That was so fun, especially because my first fashion job was at Vogue when The Devil Wears Prada came out. The universe truly has a plan.” Says Hathaway of her year of dressing to her edge: “I’ve never had this much fun — and it’s supposed to be fun, right?”
Rihanna and her longtime stylist — a former assistant of Mel Ottenberg, who is now Fenty’s creative director — decided on one custom look to debut the multihyphenate star’s new baby bump at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show, essentially the most-watched pregnancy announcement in history, with 118 million viewers. The “We Found Love” singer stood out in a red Loewe silk jersey catsuit layered with a leather corset and cotton flight suit that she later topped off with a matching Alaïa sleeping bag coat and gloves — a tribute to late style icon André Leon Talley. Weaver, who’s based in New York City and has spent more than a decade working alongside Rihanna, finished her look with a pair of matching crimson MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon Cross Low sneakers that caused a surge online. According to Google Trends, searches for “Salomon sneakers” following Rihanna’s 13-minute Super Bowl show spiked 4,000 percent.
After 16 years together, Welch says that she and client Olivia Wilde are only focused on “wearing what we want” and having “such a fun time doing it.” The Don’t Worry Darling director dazzled in canary yellow Gucci for the film’s debut during the Venice Film Festival. “Venice is for romance and a little excess. Alessandro [Michele] made the dress for Olivia, and we loved the color, the cape and all the crystal fringe,” says Welch, who adds that the look “felt magical and perfect” for the canals. The collaborative pair continued to turn up the heat with a series of sheer and sexy styles, perhaps most memorably Wilde’s disco-sparkle, transparent Alexandre Vauthier gown (braless, nonetheless) with barely blush feathers at the Academy Museum Gala in L.A. “That gala to me is the new ultimate Hollywood event. It’s super glamorous, so we went with that,” recalls Welch, who was the first stylist to offer a MasterClass in January on all things behind-the-scenes red carpet styling: “I give tips and keys to my success, plus lots of great fashion stories,” she says. Welch now boasts close to 20 clients, including Justin and Hailey Bieber, Sarah Paulson and Tracee Ellis Ross. When asked what a typical fitting with someone like fashion chameleon extraordinaire Ross is like, Welch says, “All my fittings are fun! What’s not fun about trying on the best clothes on earth?”
The Brooklyn-based stylist juggled two awards season darlings — Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) and Margot Robbie (Babylon). “I’ve worked with Michelle for 17 years. She’s a great collaborator — she has super-feminine style and loves clothes,” says Young, who dressed the Oscar nominee in an ethereal white silk chiffon Chanel dress with sequin embroidery and a tulle cape for Hollywood’s biggest night. “I love the transparent overlays in some of Chanel’s most recent couture shows,” says Young of Williams’ look. “My favorite part was the choker-length Tiffany diamond necklace.” For Robbie’s fashion-packed outings, Young especially took a shine to an unexpected olive green Bottega Veneta gown, a buzzy change from the Chanel ambassador’s usual tweed attire. “Margot looked great and happy,” says Young of the slinky, cutout style by the Italian brand at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 13th Governors Awards in Los Angeles. And for viral fashion moments, Young can always count on client Selena Gomez. “My favorite look this past year was Selena’s hot pink Valentino at the SNL afterparty” (she was photographed heading to it after making a surprise cameo on the NBC show in December), says Young of the Only Murders in the Building star’s Pink PP collection mini knit with matching tights and platform heels. “It was bright and fun and she had a good time in it.”
Rob Zangardi & Mariel Haenn
The styling duo turned it up on the red carpet and down the aisle. For Jennifer Lopez’s wedding to Ben Affleck at his Georgia home, they commissioned not one but three custom Ralph Lauren gowns, including ruffles constructed with more than 1,000 hand-cut handkerchiefs and 500 meters of fabric; pearls that 30 artisans worked 700 hours to hand-embroider; and Swarovski crystals of varying shapes and shades of white. “There was a long aisle to walk down, so we went with the most dramatic dress for that moment,” says Zangardi, who adds that they’ve been working with Lopez for nearly 13 years on countless iconic looks. “Jennifer’s the most glamorous woman in the world. She’s super collaborative and knows what works for her — a dream client.” For Cara Delevingne, Lily Collins and Suki Waterhouse, the pair turned out one glam slam after another, including Delevingne’s crimson Elie Saab gown that was cited by fashion critics as a best-dress winner at the Academy Awards: “It was her first time at the Oscars, so we leaned into Hollywood glamour,” says Haenn. “She was one of the few who wore color, and she wore it beautifully.” For Waterhouse’s Daisy Jones & The Six premiere in L.A., the duo drew inspiration from her retro rock-star character on the show. “A plunging, emerald Stephane Rolland gown was the perfect way of capturing ’70s glamour with modern nuances,” says Zangardi. For Emily in Paris’ fashionista, Zangardi and Haenn focused on high-impact runway looks. Notes Haenn, “Emily never plays it safe with her fashion choices, and neither does Lily.”
This story first appeared in the March 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.