Who Gives Beyoncé, Cardi B and Kacey Musgraves Their Glam Looks: Music's 5 Most Influential Stylists

7:30 PM 3/12/2019

by Carol McColgin

Image gurus behind the recent red carpet moments of top artists discuss the looks that caught the industry's attention.

From left: Beyonce, Cardi B and Kacey Musgraves
From left: Beyonce, Cardi B and Kacey Musgraves
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

Meet The Hollywood Reporter's top five stylists for musicians in 2019 — the ones that make sure their superstar clients hit a high note on the red carpet.

Just look at Cardi B's Venus gown, designed by Thierry Mugler, which she wore to the 2019 Grammys: "I wanted to show that there are no rules," says listmaker Kollin Carter.

Stylist Erica Cloud put together 16 looks during this awards season, including Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves' Oscars outfit. "Kacey and I both fell in love with the gown the moment she put it on. We loved the color, the incredible tulle shoulders that look editorial from any angle, and the overall ethereal essence of the gown," Cloud says. 

From Beyoncé's music video costumes — courtesy of Zerina Akers — to Rihanna's Met Gala look as the Pope — styled by Mel Ottenberg — these five stylists propel the year's hottest singers to the top of best-dressed lists. 

  • Zerina Akers

    Courtesy of Subject

    Being a "wardrobe curator" for Beyoncé means driving trends and often shattering social media. This year's smash hit? "The Peter Pilotto suit [a plunging pink style] in the Carters' 'Apesh*t' video would take the prize," says Akers of the video with 160 million-plus YouTube views. Akers also styles R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle — who act on Grown-ish — in Versace, Mugler and Isabel Sanchís.

  • Kollin Carter

    Courtesy of Kollin Carter Publicity

    Hands down, Cardi B's image-maker says the rapper's most popular look was her vintage "1995 Mugler moment" at the Grammys, which resembled a pearl in an oyster. "I wanted to show that there are no rules," says Carter, who previously assisted Law Roach (No. 19). The "Bodak Yellow" artist and her stylist first clicked two years ago when he dressed her in a Cinderella-esque Christian Siriano gown for Rihanna's Diamond Ball. "That's when I realized she was into creating memorable moments, just like me," he says.

  • Erica Cloud

    Courtesy of Subject

    She's a little bit country, a whole lot of couture. "Kacey's custom Versace suit at the CMAs was a turning point, when designers took notice," says Cloud, who helped kick Kacey Musgraves' fashion into high gear. The country singer rocked Valentino Haute Couture for her Grammy awards sweep. Another hit was her pink Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown at the Oscars. Says Cloud, who also styles Busy Philipps for E!'s Busy Tonight: "When is the right time to go big if not the Oscars?"

  • Mel Ottenberg & Jahleel Weaver

    Getty Images

    Ottenberg won the Met Ball when he dressed longtime client Rihanna as the pope in a white beaded Margiela minidress with a bishop's hat. Weaver, a junior creative director at Rihanna's Fenty Corp., was the stylist behind the star's Ocean's 8 looks, including the liquid metal Givenchy dress that shut down the red carpet at the New York premiere.

  • Lorenzo Posocco

    Courtesy of Subject

    "I'm lucky to work with inspiring artists like Dua Lipa," says the London-based stylist, who dressed the "One Kiss" singer in two Atelier Versace looks — a glitzy corseted gown and a black-and-white style reminiscent of Elizabeth Hurley's iconic '90s safety-pin dress for her best new artist win on Grammys night.

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