Lupita Nyong'o's Stylist Wrote the Book on Accessorizing

BFA

Micaela Erlanger’s 'How to Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit' is on shelves now.

When it comes to sage fashion advice for the ages, Coco Chanel’s iconic quote comes to mind: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Aside from that practical tidbit, however, you’re on your own when it comes to accessories.

That’s where Micaela Erlanger comes in. The THR Power Stylist, ranked No. 7 on the 2018 list, has just written the book on the subject: How to Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit, published by Clarkson Potter, now available for $13. 

Erlanger's purse-sized tome is 126 pages of practical advice for all the most pressing questions, such as how to tie a scarf, where to pin your brooch (the tip of a collar, on a comb as a hair accessory or even on your handbag) and when to remove your hat (whenever you're indoors, even if you're having a bad hair day). Each point is illustrated with Instagram-worthy images by Babeth Lafon.

“I wanted to talk about something that was so important to me,” Erlanger told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday evening at the Gramercy Terrace in New York where she was celebrating the book’s release at a party hosted by Schutz. “This is what I do for a living, and so many people over-complicate getting dressed. So this was just a very organic book to write.”

Just 32, Erlanger certainly has an impressive list of credentials. You may have heard of a few of her clients, like Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Common or Diane Kruger — all of whom are perennially on the best-dressed lists.

Both Nyong’o, and Kruger (in Schutz heels) were on hand Tuesday evening to celebrate their style maker, joined by designers Jason Wu, Fernando Garcia (one half of the design duo behind Oscar de la Renta and Monse) and Prabal Gurung, as well as model Candice Huffine. But you don't need to be a fashion plate with a designer closet to enjoy the book, according to Erlanger, who noted it was for “anyone who wants a little extra help in the getting-dressed department.”

“Accessorizing is the easiest way to transform any outfit into a home run,” she added. “The entire book is based on my experience. It’s really an opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the years.”

As for her take on Chanel's infamous adage, Erlanger is ambivalent. “My rule of thumb is re-evaluate," she says. "Make sure you’re not overly done. It’s about curating your look.”