Who Gives Beyonce, Rihanna and Lady Gaga Their Glam Looks: Music's 5 Most Influential Stylists

10:19 AM 3/15/2017

by Jane Carlson and Edited by Carol McColgin

That coordinated diamond flask RiRi carried at the Grammys? That was the work of Mel Ottenberg, who is just one of the standout fashion gurus dressing pop stars from Adele to Zayn Malik.

Marni Senofonte and client Beyonce
Marni Senofonte and client Beyonce
Courtesy of Driely Carter for Parkwood Entertainment


  • Brandon Maxwell

    Client: Lady Gaga

    Courtesy Photo

    The stylist turned designer, who appeared on THR's stylists issue cover in 2015, continues to keep his leading lady, Gaga, 30, fiercely dressed, from the three Versace looks during the icon's acclaimed Super Bowl halftime show to her bold Alex Ulichny ensemble at the Grammys. At the British Fashion Awards, the "Million Reasons" singer wore one of his elegant black evening gowns with Maxwell himself on her arm. "I loved creating this dress for Lady Gaga to wear. Working with her is always a collaborative process," Maxwell tells THR. "Walking a red carpet is always a bit intense, but when you have your best friend by your side, all those fears subside and you get to have some fun!"

  • Gaelle Paul

    Client: Adele

    Courtesy Photo

    Album of the Year winner Adele's longtime stylist budgets about three fittings, several hours each, per look ("that should nail it!") including the "Hello" singer's standout olive green Givenchy at the Grammys: "She had never worn that color before," says Paul. Though the London-born Angelino doesn't play music during fittings, "Closer" by the Chainsmokers, Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and "Juju on Dat Beat" are all at the top of her personal playlist now: "My daughters have taken over music in my car and house."

  • Jason Rembert

    Clients: Zayn Malik, Rita Ora

    Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

    Zayn Malik, 24, in futuristic Versace at the "Manus x Machina" technology-themed Met Gala, was his stylist’s riskiest look by far. "He really took it there with the metal arms," says Rembert, who also keeps Rita Ora, 26, looking glamorous. The America's Next Top Model host wowed in a ruffled floral Giambattista Valli Haute Couture high-low gown at the 50 Shades Darker premiere in Los Angeles (142,233 followers double-tapped on a red carpet photo posted on Ora's Instagram). Of the recent politically heated climate Rembert says: "For decades, musicians have always embraced what was going on in the world and I feel they will always be that voice we need."

  • Marni Senofonte

    Client: Beyonce

    Courtesy of Driely Carter for Parkwood Entertainment

    Senofonte spent the past year and a half working almost exclusively with Beyonce, 35, from the 2016 Super Bowl to the "Formation" video to HBO's Lemonade visual album and Queen Bey's awards-show Instagram posts, aka #lewks. "Beyonce’s Francesco Scognamiglio dress at the VMAs had more than 2.5 million likes, second only to the almost 11 million likes for the photo announcing her pregnancy with twins," she says. The New Yorker typically allots about two hours per fitting but says, "I've had as little as 10 minutes and gone as long as 10 hours!" Currently, "Gucci Coochie" by Die Antwoord and the Hamilton Mixtape are her musical jams.

  • Mel Ottenberg

    Client: Rihanna

    Paul Morigi/WireImage

    Rihanna's longtime New York City-based stylist sent her down the Grammys carpet in custom Armani Privé (an orange crop top and billowy ball gown skirt) with more than 200 carats of Chopard jewels (and a coordinated diamond flask, which instantly became an internet meme). Ottenberg nabbed Paris Fashion Week's coveted YSL boots right off the runway for the "Work" singer, who Instagrammed a photo of herself wearing them days later, to the liking of more than 1.22 million of her 50.3 million followers.