Cannes 2012: Stylist Michael Angel Reveals the Keys to Dressing the Stars (Q&A)

Cannes Red Carpet Fonda Longoria Pinto Split - H 2012
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Cannes Red Carpet Fonda Longoria Pinto Split - H 2012

L'Oreal brought a team of makeup and hair people to outfit Julianna Margulies, Eva Longoria, Jane Fonda, Freida Pinto and lots more - but they only brought one stylist.

L'Oreal Paris had many stylish and turned out brand ambassadors walk the steps of the Palais in Cannes: Eva Longoria, Freida Pinto, Jane Fonda, Julianna Margulies, Ines de La Fressange -- and they all wore numerous and fashionable gowns that fit them like collective gloves.

But except for Fonda's sparkling red Roberto Cavalli gown, worn with a Judith Leiber clutch and Jimmy Choo shoes that was selected by her regular stylist, Tanya Gill, (one of THR's 2012 Power Stylists) the ladies were dressed by L'Oreal Paris's official stylist, Michael Angel.  

Turns out Angel is a stylist based in New York, but  born in Melbourne, Australia. THR sat down with the man in Cannes with the very large closet to find out who he is and how on earth he did it.

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The Hollywood Reporter: Tell us about your background.

Michael Angel: As a stylist I have worked for magazines such as Elle, V Magazine, GQ and L'Official. I usually work more in advertising with brands such as L'Oreal as it is such an amazing outlet to send out trends and create long lasting images that are seen worldwide. As a designer I have had my label for the past 6 years and my designs have been featured in publications such as Vogue, Vogue Italia, Interview Magazine, Elle, Numero, In Style, W and Marie Claire. I have also been very fortunate in designing for women such as Freida Pinto, Amanda Seyfried, Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Mary-Kate Olsen and Rihanna.

THR: How long have you been outfitting the L'Oreal brand ambassadors at Cannes?

Angel: This is the second year now. I have been working with L’Oreal Paris for the past two years as a stylist/style consultant on Global advertising Inc TVC and Print. The Cannes festival is important to showcase why these women are so amazing. It's bringing the work we do in advertising to the red carpet. I have only recently started doing red carpet and have too say I am enjoying it -- a lot. Pushing traditional red carpet is inspiring. 

THR: When do you start looking for the wardrobes? How early do you have to start?

Angel: Me and my team, which includes three assistants, start with a big selection of what we like and then begin weeks earlier to narrow down what the women like and are inspired by. The process is challenging as this event is globally one of the highlights of red carpet season so securing and selecting gowns becomes quite hard -- but I am a big believer in not forcing or pushing too hard- the right dress usually happens if its meant to be. My team is incredible!

THR: What information do you get on the various women – sizes, taste, etc.? Do you consult with them first?

Angel: After two years with L’Oreal Paris now, I have some sort of relationship or understanding of who I am working with and what their personality is. For the red carpet, I approach in a way that is solely based on who the women is personally and what makes her smile. Nothing compares to that feeling when everyone in the room goes, "Wow!" Then you have it. 

THR: Which designers do you go to? What are your guidelines in dressing so many women for Cannes?

Angel: L'Oreal Paris fortunately allows me the freedom to choose what I believe is best, as red carpet is about the individual and it’s more personal. This is an essential part of the selection -- they don’t restrict me which is amazing, so the selection is usually natural and not forced. I love to work with designers that are inspired by the women or any relationships the women have. 

THR: Do you do fittings with them?

Angel: Yes, as most of the women have very little time, but we try and get at least one or two fittings in. Plus, knowing them so well helps with decisions and choice. Being able to simplify the choices is extremely important for time reasons. I have to be confident in my choice and vision for them.

THR: Do you bring tailors with you to Cannes?  

Angel: Of course! Wouldn’t go anywhere without them! They are crucial and very much a part of my team. They ensure each woman fits and feels confident in what they are wearing. Also we have design houses provide couture seamstresses to work on gowns as well as come couture pieces are quite intricate.