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After two years of virtual awards shows and at-home shoots, the town’s most in-demand image makers returned full of gusto to in-person red carpets and all that goes with them, including capes, feathers, billowy chiffon and OTT sparkle (hello, Mary J. Blige!). “The red carpet gives people something to look at — it sparks joy. Everybody knows it’s smoke and mirrors. There’s someone behind the hair, the makeup, making sure the lighting is just right, but the fantasy of it all is what keeps bringing us back,” says Law Roach, THR‘s Stylist of the Year (for the second year running) and the mastermind behind Zendaya’s internet-shattering ensembles and Venus Williams’ spectacular looks. Adds Selena Gomez’s stylist, Kate Young, who invited THR inside her downtown Manhattan stilettos-filled studio for a fitting with the Only Murders in the Building star: “It was nice to think about shoes! I feel like everyone wears slippers on Zoom.”
And for those who may feel escapist fantasy has no place in our lives considering the real-life news around the globe, Marvel superhero Simu Liu’s stylist Jeanne Yang considers that both can coexist: “The most skilled in our industry know how to create productions that reflect both at the same time — including but not limited to Don’t Look Up, CODA, The Power of the Dog, King Richard. These features gave us escapes while making their social messages heard.” And the stars stepping out on the red carpet shone a light on those projects while also serving up a little magic, as conjured by their stylists — 12 of whom made a particularly notable impact this past year.
Above: On Jordan: Brunello Cucinelli tuxedo, Piaget watch. On Bolden: Louis Vuitton Suit. Jordan (left) and Bolden were photographed during a fitting March 26 at The London West Hollywood.
“One of my favorite MBJ memories is a call we had, and he spoke about wanting to create a look inspired by one that Mr. Sidney Poitier wore and how he made casual dressing so inspiring,” recalls Bolden of his client Michael B. Jordan. The result? A Hawaiian Saint Laurent shirt reminiscent of the one worn by Poitier in Lilies of the Field that the paparazzi captured when Jordan stepped out for lunch at Nobu in Malibu in August. Says Bolden, who has been working with the Journal for Jordan star for the past two years: “It’s our shared references that stand out to me. I like that we talk about the leaders and ceiling-breakers before us and thread them through his looks.” Jordan agrees: “We always begin with conversations about art, life, culture, music. Jason is constantly challenging ideas of ‘staples’ and redefining what fashion can be. His eye pays attention to what others may see as minor details that end up being connective tissue in an entire look.”
For his clients including Yara Shahidi, Trevor Noah and Cynthia Erivo, Bolden’s thoughtful approach and historical and cultural references often come into play. “A favorite was Yara at the Met — that Dior look was more than just a pretty dress. It spoke to an American icon, Josephine Baker, who had to leave the country and come back to be celebrated, and having that story retold by Yara was a dream,” says Bolden of the Grown-ish actress’ embroidered gown with a gold tulle veil, gloves and Cartier diamonds, influenced by Baker’s costumes. “Another pinch-me moment was Cynthia in vinyl red custom Louis Vuitton inspired by Aretha Franklin” at the SAG Awards.
The veteran stylist also was behind Angelina Jolie’s triumphant return to the red carpet for Eternals and Serena Williams’ King Richard press wardrobe. “Jason’s ability to tell stories through clothing is crazy, and I saw what a disrupter he was in the fashion space. Being a fellow disrupter, I realized we were both interested in pushing boundaries within our respective industries,” says Jordan. “That sets him apart from anyone else.”
“He’s dedicated not to trends or designers but to understanding each client he works with as an individual. Timing’s everything, so when we started working together, I knew I had someone on my team who would know how to balance my comfort level with where my style needed [to] — and could — go,” says Jordan. Adds Bolden: “We’ve been working together for close to two years, but we’re just getting started.”
Tom Eerebout and Sandra Amador
Thanks in part to Lady Gaga’s turn as the murderous ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, clad in GG logos and archival pieces in House of Gucci, online searches for the brand spiked 31 percent following the film’s Thanksgiving weekend opening, according to data from ShopStyle, a digital shopping platform. For the film’s London premiere, Eerebout and Amador opted to outfit the star in a draped purple chiffon Gucci gown complete with a billowy cape. “The look had just walked the runway a few days prior in Los Angeles, and it was the perfect gown to kick-start our press tour,” says Amador, who also worked with The Lost Daughter‘s Maggie Gyllenhaal during awards season. “Gaga is a pro on the carpet — I loved how she really worked it and made it her own by throwing the cape up behind her. The images were incredible.” The duo also turned out custom Versace, Armani Privé and Valentino for the star’s press tour. Notes Eerebout: “We channeled Italian glamour for this run — not just for the clothes but the hair and makeup looks as well. For the premieres, we collaborated exclusively with Italian fashion houses and really leaned into not only Patrizia’s heritage but Gaga’s as well.”
The Los Angeles-based stylist outfitted Adele for her 30 press tour in 1940s and ’50s-style off-the-shoulder silhouettes. The most notable Hollywood glamour moment included a custom black silk faille dress with Saturn pendant earrings by Schiaparelli Haute Couture’s Daniel Roseberry for the Adele One Night Only concert. The televised CBS special drew 11.7 million viewers, surpassing viewership for the 2021 Oscars. For the Grammy-winning singer’s “Oh My God” video, which currently has 60 million YouTube views, Mizrahi called on Louis Vuitton (a brocade gown, capelet and opera gloves), Harris Reed (a transparent polka-dot blouse) and Vivienne Westwood (a corseted red satin gown) for a couture tour de force. “Because the video was black-and-white, it was important that each look was textured, detailed and theatrical,” says Mizrahi, who especially loved the custom Louis Vuitton look by Nicolas Ghesquière because it “encapsulated the sophistication of the woman we wanted to portray.” Off the red carpet, the stylist, who also works with Katy Perry and Riley Keough, co-founded with her former boss Simone Harouche the shapewear line Kit Undergarments, which counts Kate Hudson and Mindy Kaling as fans.
More than 103 million viewers tuned in to watch Mary J. Blige in a bedazzled Dundas bodysuit while performing her smash hits “Family Affair” and “No More Drama” alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent during the Super Bowl halftime show (a 19 percent jump over 2021 and the most viewers in five years). The R&B singer rocked 10,000 Swarovski crystals and her own Sister Love Collection icy diamond hoops. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime career moment. I submitted around 40 sketches to Mary in November, and we went with Dundas,” says Rembert, who also styles Lizzo and Diddy. “We were planning to go with a purple look [that she wore for THR‘s shoot]. But, two weeks before the show, Mary reached out and wanted to do white instead. I thought about it and agreed — white is synonymous with MJB. If you were to look back at her red carpet moments and videos, her Share My World era, she wore mostly shades of white. It made sense to bring that color back with this new chapter.” The pair completed the look with thigh-high boots in the same laser-cut print as her bodysuit that felt “leopard-like.”
The New York City-based stylist and designer, who runs his own acclaimed women’s label, Aliétte, met Blige four years ago when he worked with her for press for her Strength of a Woman album. Says Blige: “Jason really listens to what I need and love … he has his own perspective, but he never comes with ideas that don’t feel like me. He takes my vision and amplifies it.”
“It was the perfect combination of sparkle and shine and comfort. It enveloped the energy that I was giving and of course had the fly boots to match,” says Blige of her custom white Dundas performance look for the Super Bowl halftime show, which was originally going to be purple (pictured here). Says Rembert of his client, also known as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, “It is exciting to work with someone whose brand identity has been so relevant for so many decades and is still at the top of their game.”
The New York native and Zoë Kravitz, his client of eight years, kicked off her highly anticipated promotion for The Batman with an Instagram shot of the actress wearing a Matrix-like black leather Saint Laurent trench coat on a rooftop in Paris. The next day, the actress hit the film’s London premiere in an equally daring black halter gown with scalloped cutouts also by Saint Laurent (Kravitz has been a global brand ambassador since 2017). “I did a lot of research on the previous iterations of Selina Kyle in the films and cartoons, and it felt like something she would have worn,” says Mukamal.
For the final leg of the tour, Kravitz fully embraced her alter ego, Catwoman, in a custom Oscar de la Renta velvet dress with a cat-shaped lace-up corset at the New York City premiere. “I found a photo of a Helmut Lang laced bodysuit from the ’80s and knew we had to reference it,” recalls Mukamal, who also dresses Channing Tatum and Billie Eilish. “Fernando [Garcia] at Oscar de la Renta’s first sketch, featuring cat-head bra cups and lacing below the navel, was better than anything we had imagined. She wore exactly that dress.”
According to Mukamal, whose fashion chameleon client’s looks this past year ran the gamut from a “naked” dress at the Met Ball to Audrey Hepburn-worthy petal pink Saint Laurent at the Oscars (one of the night’s top looks): “Zoë’s red carpet style is always changing. We often look at classic pillars of style, things that we both love, and try to modernize or elevate them to a new place.”
Top photo: On Williams: Custom Elie Saab dress, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, Stuart Weitzman shoes. On Roach: Louis Vuitton clothing, Rick Owens shoes. Williams and Roach were photographed March 27 at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, moments before she hit the Oscars red carpet.
THR‘s stylist of the year and his muse Zendaya never miss the mark. From Dune to Spider-Man: No Way Home to Euphoria, with roughly 30 looks in the past year for press, the duo consistently delivered fashion’s biggest moments. A liquid-like, nude-tone Balmain dress (custom-fitted to an exact model of her bust) topped with a 93-carat Bulgari serpentine necklace at the Dune premiere in Venice broke the internet. “All my looks go viral,” says Roach (Tom Holland and Halsey are clients, too). “That whole press run was inspired by the movie … Dune, sand dunes. I had Zendaya’s description of what the clothes were going to look like, but the only other references I had [to work off of] were from the trailer.”
The face of Valentino and her stylist of more than a decade capped off awards season with an instantly iconic cropped shirt and glittering silver organza skirt at the Academy Awards, reminiscent of Sharon Stone’s Gap button-down and Vera Wang evening skirt, circa 1998. Zendaya’s Valentino ensemble was lauded across the board as the evening’s best. Stone reposted the look on her Instagram Stories, giving her seal of approval, captioning it, “Huge fan of you beauty.” Says Roach, who also topped THR‘s stylist list in 2021, “Zendaya and I both have our goals, and we push each other to help achieve them. Our energies feed off one another to create something magical.”
When five-time Wimbledon champ Venus Williams tapped the Chicago native for her King Richard run, “We immediately clicked,” recalls Williams, who dazzled in a daring, high-slit Dolce & Gabbana gown at the SAG Awards. “With this awards season being such a big moment for King Richard and my family, I wanted to go all out on the red carpet — I felt like a glamorous superhero,” Williams says about the dress. According to the icon, working with Roach was extremely collaborative, including weekly meetings to fine-tune upcoming looks: “Law understood my style, my personality and what I wanted to achieve with my looks. I love to express my individuality through fashion and try things that other people aren’t, and he got that right away.”
“I don’t walk red carpets every day — I’m usually on the tennis court or in activewear clothes from my brand EleVen, so having the opportunity to embrace the Hollywood glam was so much fun, and I can’t imagine having worked with anyone else for it,” says Williams of teaming with Roach for awards season. Adds the stylist of Williams: “She’s an icon to me. I grew up watching her and her sister Serena change the world.”
Above: On Stewart: Chanel Haute Couture tweed dress, Chanel jacket and shoes. On Swennen: A.L.C. dress, Chanel earrings, Kurt Geiger shoes. Stewart and Swennen were photographed March 26 at the West Hollywood Edition getting ready for the Chanel and Charles Finch Pre-Oscar Awards Dinner.
It has been 17 years since Swennen started working with Kristen Stewart and went on to dress her for her first major red carpet collaboration during the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. “She is family,” says Swennen, who had an exceptionally busy year with the Spencer star’s jam-packed awards season calendar. “It was particularly fun because we had so many opportunities to play. Kristen is an ever-changing fashion chameleon, and we love to push boundaries.” The L.A.-based stylist, who also dresses Matthew McConaughey, estimates that they put together 50 looks for Stewart’s press tour, including casual outfits for Zooms and countless Chanel samples for the longtime face of the brand. Says Stewart: “We both love the ease that our history gives our work.” Most memorable? The Oscar nominee eschewed a traditional ball gown in favor of Chanel short-shorts, rewriting the rules of appropriate attire for Hollywood’s biggest night. “I had a very specific way I wanted to feel that night,” says Stewart. Adds Swennen: “It made waves simply because it was original and unprecedented; I’m glad it was well received.” The stylist kicked off Stewart’s press at the Venice Film Festival with a similarly short tweed Chanel romper. “Kristen’s red carpet style is uniquely hers. She is always unapologetically authentic and carries a confidence that is magnetizing.”
“It is a fun and collaborative process that develops and unfolds as we grow together,” says Swennen. Adds Stewart: “We started working together when I was 14! She has a wealth of experience that informs her eye and her taste. Tara’s loyal and she enjoys helping people feel their best.”
Walsh pulled out all of the stops for client Anne Hathaway’s WeCrashed, including Versace chain mail, Gucci feathers and Christopher John Rogers gradient dots. “I like when random street-style moments explode — all of a sudden that Christopher John Rogers look was everywhere,” says Walsh of the rainbow bustier top, pants and suit jacket that popped up all over social media. For Hathaway’s cut-out metallic Versace dress at the South by Southwest premiere in Austin, the pair made a strong statement by adding a transgender flag pin to her Pipatchara beaded purse (likely in response to Texas governor Greg Abbott). “Anne really gets the thread of using our platform to pay it forward. That was her idea — I glued it on myself,” says Walsh, who describes her styling process as “intentionally very collaborative” with clients (Thandiwe Newton, Beanie Feldstein and Ashley Park are also on her roster). “All of the looks from Anne’s press tour were so full of love and joy; isn’t that the point of all of this … to bring a little joy to the world?” Adds the stylist, “Just you wait for the Met Gala!”
CLARIFICATION: Previously, it was written that Erin Walsh had styled Timothée Chalamet for Cannes, but it was she and Madeline Kennedy who had assisted under his direction.
Above: Rihanna and Jahleel Weaver onstage during the Fashion Awards in December 2019 in London.
The NYC-based stylist and creative director, who has spent a decade working alongside Rihanna, helped redefine maternity style this year — think crop tops, low-slung pants and navel-grazing chains. The mom-to-be mogul and A$AP Rocky announced her pregnancy on Instagram with a photo of her vintage-Chanel-clad belly on full display in January. Rihanna followed it up with a series of killer street-style looks ranging from a leather hooded Alaïa coat-dress (en route to a Fenty event), to a custom Alexander Wang diamond bra and leather miniskirt (dinner at Santa Monica’s Giorgio Baldi), before rocking Paris Fashion Week in gauzy black lingerie with diamonds and knee-high boots at the Dior show. “To me, there’s a way to exude sex in everything that you do, and that’s something that I always want to convey in my work. I always want it to be sexy,” Weaver has said. Sexy and unabashed has been the mantra when it comes to baring Mama RiRi’s bump — which was once again on display in a transparent black organza Valentino gown, specially designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli and styled by Weaver for Jay-Z’s Oscar party.
Arguably Hollywood’s most badass stylist, Welch works with Justin and Hailey Bieber (“almost a decade with Justin,” she says), Tracee Ellis Ross, Olivia Wilde and Ana de Armas. A highlight this year was landing the most coveted look from Matthieu Blazy’s new Bottega Veneta collection, a white leather tee and high-low skirt with fringe that Sarah Paulson wore to the Vanity Fair Oscar party. “It felt outstanding and cool,” says Welch. The Los Angeles-based stylist, who hails from British Columbia, also outfitted Justin Bieber in a Celine suit and Nike trainers for his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. “Justin in Paris in his suit went viral in seconds — it was a moment. It was so fresh and chic and young. I literally had an hour from finding out he was seeing the president to getting him out the door,” says Welch.
When she’s not glamming up her clients, Welch has several projects that she’s passionate about, including The Period Co., a brand committed to eliminating plastic waste associated with menstruation, and Wishi, a styling service that helps members shop online while incorporating pieces from their wardrobes. “I am very focused on my paths and purpose, and that eliminates a lot of the superfluous from life,” says Welch, who just partnered with thredUP to curate a selection of thrifted festival-worthy looks along with items from Welch’s own styling closet to give Coachella attendees a more sustainable way to shop.
Above: Liu and Yang were photographed March 27 in Los Angeles getting ready for the Academy Awards.
The OG of leading-man style counts Keanu Reeves, Jamie Dornan, Jason Momoa and directors Taika Waititi and Alfonso Cuarón as clients. Yang recently started working with Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings superhero Simu Liu after the pair hit it off on a two-hour Zoom call, orchestrated by his publicist. “I had mentioned that I preferred to work with someone AAPI, and I found that our goals were very aligned; Jeanne understood the many unfair stereotypes and misconceptions that have often been attached to Asian men and wanted to help shatter them,” says Liu. “We both wanted to show the world what an Asian leading man in Hollywood looked like. Since then, she’s dressed me for virtually every premiere, talk show and awards night I’ve ever attended.” Liu’s best leading look? “We have yet to hit the zenith of his fashion capabilities, but Simu’s red Versace tuxedo was one of the dream looks, and he really went for it,” says Yang of the presenter’s Oscar night attire. Liu opted to ditch his tuxedo shirt for the Vanity Fair party, making his gold Medusa harness a focal point. Donatella Versace approved, captioning a photo with Liu on Instagram, “My Versace superhero!” “I loved that,” says Yang, who also works as a manager-producer at Anonymous Content (“I realized I could do things in other areas of Hollywood,” Yang says).
Another standout was Liu’s Gatsby-inspired piped Fendi dinner jacket with a 382-baguette diamond Jacob & Co. watch that hovered at the million-dollar mark. “It made a splash on Instagram and in the watch world — it was a piece of art,” says Yang. “Fashion is art, and art is only really exciting when it pushes boundaries. For most of my life I’ve played it safe sartorially. I’ve never thought of fashion as self-expression until I started working with Jeanne,” says Liu.
As for Yang’s most daring look, she recalls the sherwani that Kumail Nanjiani wore to the Eternals premiere: “We contacted Umar Sayeed Couture in Pakistan through Instagram and gave him Kumail’s measurements. I held my breath as we fit him.” The result was a beautifully tailored look that honored Nanjiani’s roots. “I want to make the red carpet more inclusive with silhouettes from around the globe,” says Yang, who notes she’s hyper-conscious about the impact of social media, especially as a mom to 19-year-old twin girls: “In particular, the attacks against Asians may have been an underlying reason I have been using suits with a nod to traditional Asian clothing from Simu’s Shang-Chi premiere cheongsam, Taika’s kimono tunics and other Eastern-influenced suits.”
“Just because something looks good on a model doesn’t mean it will look good on you,” says Liu of the best advice Yang has given Liu. “I’m a lot broader than a Jared Leto or Timothee Chalamet, so clothes that drape off of them and look amazing aren’t going to achieve their desired effect on me. I study what Chris Evans, Michael B. Jordan or Zac Efron wear because our body types are more similar.”
Above: On Gomez: Celine dress, Jennifer Fisher earrings. On Young: Celine. Gomez (top) and Young were photographed March 31 at Young’s Studio in New York.
The super-stylist, who has topped THR‘s list three times, had a jam-packed awards season with Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lawrence and Dakota Johnson. Young kicked things off with Johnson in a wow-worthy Gucci crystal fringe gown and gold evening sandals for the Lost Daughter premiere at the Venice Film Festival. “It was super exciting because it had been a while since we had a proper red carpet,” she says of the unapologetically dazzling look. The Brooklyn-based stylist, who has worked with Gomez since 2014 when she zipped her into a “tiny red Dior dress” for a film screening, says that this past year was different because the Only Murders in the Building actress was a nominee. “We wanted her to be restrained, glamorous and grown-up — it wasn’t just about looking cool to go to parties,” says Young. Fans went wild for a before-and-after video that Young posted of Gomez’s SAG Awards glam. “Every look with Selena tends to go viral, but people really liked that video,” says Young of the winning custom Oscar de la Renta velvet dress that was accented with a 200-carat, $1 million Bulgari choker necklace. A shot on the actress’ Instagram garnered 7.1 million likes from her 309 million followers, punctuating an awards season of firsts for many, including Gomez.
“Kate is very collaborative. We usually start with a phone conversation or a FaceTime and she always asks me what I am thinking and how I want to feel for the particular event,” says Gomez of her stylist. “Kate’s very patient because she knows how much I hate fittings … I never want to try anything.”
This story first appeared in the April 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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