Black was the color of choice for celebrities at the GLADD awards Saturday night. Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence both donned superb combinations of the shade, the former in a jumpsuit cinched by a beautiful gold chain belt, the latter in a fit-and-flare with sexy 2-strap heels. They will no doubt be touted on countless fashionable websites for their visionary, classy looks. However, although they wear them well, the prestige and respect should undoubtedly go to the most increasingly influential group in Hollywood: Stylists.
Celebrities have always existed in some manner. We, as humans, have always been intrigued by certain people, following the way they speak, act and of course, dress. We criticize their choices, but secretly admire them too.
Now, actors like Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, and anyone you can think of won’t hit the red carpet without the recommendations of a trusted style maven: “Kent Belden, CEO of styling agency MMA. “Although we think it’s the celeb who makes the best-dressed list, it is really the stylist…” Think Rachel Zoe, Brad Goreski, Kate Young – stylists are taking over, and becoming some of the most powerful determinants in many a film career.
What’s amazing is that it has become one of the most lucrative in terms of celeb-status stylist, being that they have a responsibility not just to themselves and their client, but they have also “become increasingly valued for their impact on a movie’s bottom line.” (Hollywood Reporter) Any separation of fashion and film no longer exists. Clothing and style has become integral to the celebrity persona, and in-turn to the types of film they are in.
It could be argued, especially in the face of the Suzy Menkes article on the ‘Circus of Fashion’, that celebrities should not be commended for their superb style. After street style stars and famous bloggers were criticized, it seems unfair that celebrities should go free. This thought was part of the reason I wanted to write this article, because there was something irritating about the media glorifying celebrity style and fashion sense when really, most of them have someone else to thank for it.
Then I remembered – everything is a business; film is a business, styling is a business, and the idea of ‘celebrity’ is a business. Although some actors enjoy the status, many others do not but they understand that if it happens, it is part of their business to look the best they can, reflecting this trend in our society. Ultimately, it pays off for many people this way and it makes the red carpet a fun, runway alternative.
In focusing on the stylist aspect of the celebrity aura, it becomes a lot more interesting (and a relief that celebrities don’t have it all right, phew!). In an article featured in Glamour magazine last fall, they took a closer look at just how far celebrity stylists have infiltrated the Hollywood system. Some celebrities for instance, employ their stylist’s services for events beyond the red carpet, proving their style manager’s prowess with outfits for the airport, grocery store and the street. Others stick to the red-carpet collaboration, creating a more unique style with the actors and celebrities that may already have an eye for style but just don’t have the time to do it.
Overall, Hollywood styling is a highly enviable business. Through it, many of them reach icon status, have their own clothing and accessory lines, TV shows, and major fan following. They are a powerful tool in the creation of media personas, marketing for film, haute couture and even musical superstars. With these connections and the fact they have rendered themselves completely invaluable to several industries, it will be interesting to watch the changes to pop culture brought on by the current, and true, style stars of now.
- Image makers, brand builders: Hollywood Reporter celebrates 25 most top stylists (canada.com)
- Stylists (sophiewentworth.wordpress.com)
- Stylists’ star-making, brand-building power feted (miamiherald.com)
- ‘Chelsea Lately’: Rachel Zoe and Chelsea On Dirty Secrets of Celeb Styling (on.aol.com)
- Leslie Fremar Tops List of Hollywood’s Most Powerful Stylists (fashionista.com)