Who's Behind Red Carpet Looks for Glenn Close, Billy Porter and Awkwafina: 4 Rising Hollywood Stylists to Watch

6:00 AM 3/13/2019

by Carol McColgin

Image gurus responsible for the recent red carpet moments of top actors spill secrets on the looks that put them on the industry's map.

From left: Glenn Close, Billy Porter and Awkwafina
From left: Glenn Close, Billy Porter and Awkwafina
Getty Images

It was a big year for rising talents like Awkwafina — who starred in rom-com hit Crazy Rich Asians — and Pose's Billy Porter, nominated for a best actor in a drama series Golden Globe before becoming ambassador of New York Fashion Week in February. Behind such fresh faces were this year's four rising Hollywood stylists: Avo Yermagyan, Chloe Hartstein, Danielle Nachmani and Sam Ratelle.

Hartstein caught her big break this awards season by dressing two Oscar nominees, Glenn Close and Melissa McCarthy, who both sported caped pantsuits to the 2019 awards show. Close chose a 42-pound ensemble by Carolina Herrera with 4 million gold beads, while McCarthy sported a custom white Brandon Maxwell suit. "Melissa’s look just seemed so badass, cool and strong. She loved the idea of wearing pants and not a dress," Hartstein said.

From Danielle Nachmani dressing Laura Harrier (BlacKkKlansman) in Louis Vuitton this season to Sam Ratelle styling Porter's gender-fluid Christian Siriano tuxedo gown at the Oscars, these are the four rising stylists who had breakout years in Hollywood.

  • Avo Yermagyan

    Courtesy of Subject

    The L.A.-based stylist kept the Jonas brothers — Kevin, Joe and Nick — looking sharp for their reunion tour ("a highlight of the year"), not to mention Nick's Jodhpur, India, wedding to Priyanka Chopra. Yermagyan also teamed up with Crazy Rich Asians' Awkwafina for her red carpet storm. "She's one of a kind, fearless and plays by her own rules," he says. Case in point? A metallic lilac Dsquared2 pantsuit at the Oscars. ­— C.M.

  • Chloe Hartstein

    Courtesy of Subject

    The NYC-based stylist spent a lot of time in L.A. after landing two best actress nominees: The Wife's Glenn Close and Can You Ever Forgive Me?'s Melissa McCarthy. "We went from press tours right into awards season — it's all a blur," laughs Hartstein, who focused on "suiting with playful twists" for Close, while "celebrating the quirkiness" of McCarthy, who Hartstein says "has impeccable taste." How do you know when it's a styling match? "Celebrity styling is like making new friends or dating," says Hartstein, "You know pretty quickly if you connect or not."

  • Danielle Nachmani

    Courtesy of Subject

    The New York-based stylist, who got her start dressing Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and styling collections for major fashion brands, kept BlacKkKlansman's Laura Harrier looking fierce in Loewe, Altuzarra and, most often, Louis Vuitton (Harrier is a face of the brand). "Laura's custom peach Louis Vuitton was a highlight," says Nachmani. "She wasn't able to try it on until she arrived in Cannes the day before the premiere, and it was perfect."

  • Sam Ratelle

    Courtesy of Matthew Holler

    "The biggest challenge was having access to the clothes," says Ratelle of styling client Pose's Billy Porter. "There were sizing issues or simply 'not being on brand,' " he adds. "We want to create visibility for those who don't always fit into social norms, particularly for the gender-nonconforming and transgender communities." Porter topped best dressed lists for his daring Christian Siriano tuxedo gown at the Oscars. "We wanted to juxtapose masculine and feminine energies," says Ratelle.

    A version of this story first appeared in the March 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.