The Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Top Stylists Issue

Posted on March 13, 2014

THR takes a look at the top stylists in Hollywood and we, quite naturally, have a lot of thoughts on the matter.

The power stylists pose with their stars for the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Lupita Nyong’o, Micaela Erlanger, Michelle Dockery

Karla Welch and Elisabeth Moss

Samantha McMillen, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning

Christina Erhlich and Margot Robbie

Rose Byrne and Penny Lovell

Robin Wright and Kemal Harris

Kristen Stewart and Tara Swennen


Thought #1: We’re asked a lot whether it’s fair to criticize a star for the decisions a stylist makes. Looking at Micaela Erlanger with her two top clients, Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery (who look STUNNING side by side and need to immediately make a movie together about fabulous women with delicate features and spines of steel fucking shit up because they can) illustrates nicely that a stylist has to work within whatever boundaries the client establishes. Michelle and Lupita have some similarities in their styles (they tend to favor crisp, colorful and Euro), but Lupita’s a FAR more adventurous fashionista than Michelle is.

Thought # 2: This is a gorgeously shot and (no surprise here) styled editorial.

Thoughts #3 – #100: Ladies (and certain gentlemen), you best watch yourselves. You’re making yourself the center of the story and that doesn’t end well in this world. We’re seeing an intense public focus on stylists lately and we don’t think that’s going to be a good thing for them in the long run. The fashion world is a multi-billion-dollar industry and unlike a whole hell of a lot of other industries, fiercely circles its wagons and then collectively lashes out when someone other than the producers of fashion and fashion journalism (the designers and top-ranking editors) grabs the spotlight. Remember the ’90s and the heyday of the supermodel? The fashion world didn’t like that the most popular and visible names and faces of the industry were the people who have absolutely no input into the product the industry puts out. It wielded its considerable power to course correct and change the way the industry approached and treated popular models. And thus the age of the supermodel ended right around the turn of the century after only about a decade of existence. It was followed quickly by the Age of the Fashion Editor, with Anna Wintour and Nina Garcia becoming household names and ensuring that the correct people were designated the face of the fashion industry; the people who were allowed to talk about it and represent it. But then the Age of the Fashion Blogger tried to happen, but because fashion bloggers have literally no power at all in the industry, that age came to a close the quickest of all. This past Fashion Week in New York was largely fashion blogger-free because the industry once again got fed up with the wrong people gaining access to the spotlight and becoming the story.

What we’re trying to say is this: everything we know about observing this industry tells us that it’s not going to allow the Age of the Stylist to get out of hand. When the question stops being “Who are you wearing?” and turns into “Who styled you?” you can bet an industry smackdown is coming. We’re already seeing how several stars love to brag about not using stylists. We’re also seeing how the fashion houses are openly paying the stars to wear their goods, which means the need for an outside stylist is practically nil. Why would Jennifer Lawrence hire a stylist when she’s got the House of Dior paying her to wear their goods? Why not have someone in-house pick out everything for her instead of paying some attention-seeking stylist?

We’re just sayin’, is all. We love your work, stylists, but we’re not sure it’s a good idea to be posing for high-end editorials like this. Granted, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Rachel Zoe is largely responsible for the idea of spotlight-seeking stylists, and if you believe what you hear, a lot of her clients didn’t like it at all.


[Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter]

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  • LaMamanduPoeteetSainte

    You, gentlemen, are brilliant. That is all.

    • Laura Renee

      Now I just hope they aren’t too brilliant so that they don’t feel like a threat to the mighty fashion empire… (Seriously I read this wondering, “And how did they let you escape from the Age of the Fashion Blogger?”)

      • Rhonda Shore

        Because TLo are pop culture bloggers vice fashion bloggers. It’s a bigger picture. 😀

  • Darren Nesbitt

    Thoughts 3-100 = Wow! TLo Could you teach a continuing education course on Everything. Please let us know. K.Thanks.Bye.

  • gayle

    Thank you for that food for thought! I wonder if this is part of the reason Anne Hathaway left Rachel Zoe? Also I like that Michelle Dockery hooked Lupita up with their stylist, I will forever be indebted to her for the dress porn we got during award season.

    • Sobaika

      Is that how it happened?? Too cute!

      • gayle

        apparently while making “Non-Stop” Michelle put her in touch with her stylist before the 12 years a slave promotion started.

  • Laurieandclaire

    This is very interesting stuff. This is something that I, for one, would love to hear more about. Maybe one post a week on the evolution of different aspects of the fashion industry? I’ll even take a quiz!

    • Judih1

      Me too!!! Nice to learn about the backstory of the fashion industry

    • SugarSnap108

      Me, too. I’ve vaguely wondered why there are no more Cindy Crawfords, et al. I want to know more about how the fashion industry crushed the supermodel trend. Because I’m like that.

  • Heather

    I thought Michaela Erlanger was Saoirse Ronan.

    • susu

      Me too! I knew something was off (beyond the hair color), but that was the best guess I could come up with.

  • Dan_In_NYC

    You just dropped some major knowledge. BOOM.

    • kimmeister

      That was the sound of our collective minds blowing.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Perfect analysis! So happy to hear the bloggers weren’t the center of attention at NY Fashion Week.

  • @Biting Panda

    Part of me feels the celebrities will like the fact that they can defer blame. “Oh my stylist picked this from head to toe.” After getting slammed for a RC appearance. But overall, I agree with all written. It also is feeling weirdly late, because Rachel Zoe and her popularity have already peaked, she is on her way back down, both professionally and in the public eye. Was the public really clamoring to see more or what’s a happening behind the curtain.

    You can’t go questioning all the logistics of how Santa Clause delivers all that shit in one night. You just need to believe in the magic of it all. To over examine the process will only serve to show the utter ridiculousness of it all and take away the sparkle for the common fan of stars and their fashion.

    • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

      I don’t think Rachel Zoe is on her way back down, but rather chose to turn to fashion design and, because of that, she slowed it down as a stylist.

    • Sonny

      The problem with deferring blame is that you also can’t take credit either. If the stylist becomes a household name, that shifts the conversation from “Lupita N’yongo is so fashionable” to “Michaela Erlinger is such a good stylist”. So I can see why stars would want to avoid working with someone like Rachel Zoe who pulls attention from the client.

    • ChaquitaPhilly

      Everybody knows there ain’t no Sanity Clause.

  • KateShouldBeWorking

    Very insightful.

    Also, that’s the best I’ve ever seen Kristen Stewert look.

    • MK03

      Does anyone else feel like she was given a “buddy stylist” especially for this spread?

      • Linda

        The stylist is wearing upholstery fringe in two colors. Because of this, I’m willing to believe Tara Swennen would put KS in jump suits designed for non-humans (I can still picture the burgundy satin horror with the origami diaper crotch).

        • MK03

          Hmm. Touche.

          • Linda

            lol, you never want to “touche” near an origami diaper crotch!

      • tania831

        shes been working with Swennen for alomost ten years (through some great looks and a TON of bad looks) but she is in fact her actual long term stylist.

  • ConnieBV

    Very interesting take. I love fashion, but I could care less about stylists, and I very much look forward to the end of this era. I loved the celebrity makeup and hair artists, but this is a bit far for me. What I am saying is I never got over Kevyn Aucoin, damn it.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Oh I loved Kevyn Aucoin, RIP.

    • decormaven

      He was a genius, for sure.

    • Heather

      RIP Kevyn.

  • Zeee

    Case in point, if I were KStew’s stylist, I’d hide from the spotlight until I could get that girl to stand up straight and slap a smile (on her face at the same time. (And certainly wouldn’t wear that dumb eyelash dress). Lupita and Michelle look flawless as usual, but Elizabeth Moss? Stunning.

    • sienna elm

      I don’t think Elizabeth Moss has ever looked better!

      • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

        Honestly? I think she and her stylist should have switched outfits.

        • Aurumgirl

          I would go so far as to say that Elizabeth was upstaged by her stylist, who sabotaged her here.

          • MishaFoomin

            Such is the danger of stylists getting too uppity! ;P

  • Supernumerary

    Robin Wright looks achingly, utterly, impossibly perfect.

    • Guest

      She should be posing with her stylist and her divorce attorney.

  • Karen Belgrad

    Does this mean we finally have someone (and a name) to blame for the Fanning sisters apparent allergy to color?

    • marlie

      But, they look better here than I’ve seen them look in a long time, despite the lack of color.

      • Karen Belgrad

        Agreed, but I find it humorous that the stylist is wearing the richer color.

        • Susan Velazquez

          I like that she’s looking away from them like, “I told this bitches to wear something more colorful and they wouldn’t listen. I’m going to look away and pretend I don’t see them.”

        • marlie

          That’s a good point. And the funny thing is, with her darker hair, she might be able to pull off one of the paler dresses and not look quite so washed out/monochromatic.

      • CelandineM

        They should be wearing the color their stylist is wearing! And the younger Fanning looks ridiculous in a dress too mature for her that belongs on a diva who would work the scarf/cape. For a nice change, hair and makeup look great.

    • altalinda

      Yes! And I already have.

    • SylviaFowler

      Agreed. That’s one stylist who needs to lose her job and change careers entirely.

  • Laura

    “Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery (who look STUNNING side by side and need to immediately make a movie together about fabulous women with delicate features and spines of steel fucking shit up because they can)”

    Hollywood, are you listening? GET ON THAT.

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      Ball gowns and machine guns, amirite?

      • Laura

        I think it’s about time you two started moonlighting as Hollywood producers. I’m just sayin’.

      • MishaFoomin

        With cameos by Tilda, Iman and David Bowie? And other fabulous creatures? Just title the movie: The Most Fabulous Movie Ever. With many sequels. And drag queens.

        • Anna


        • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

          All of them sporting January Jones’ bitchface to us while they catch the light to highlight their cheekbones.

        • Tracy_Flick

          I read that at first as “With many sequins,” and I was like YES YES YES.

          • MishaFoomin

            That’s what the drag queens are for: ALL the sequins!

        • Little_Olive

          Tilda, Iman, and D Bowie as themselves, you mean. Plot: they fight Rachel Zoe, who is hogging all the dresses for herself. Sort of a Zoolander: The Real Thing.

          I read “and lots of sequins”. Well, goes without saying I guess.

          • MishaFoomin

            I was thinking J-Lo could be another villain, acting in The Fug Girls’ “Hola, Lovers” style.

            So many sequels!

        • BKagainwiththesweatpants

          I would watch the SHIT out of that.

          • boweryboy

            I was about to type the same thing.

        • Tom and Lorenzo

          TRANSCONTINENTAL BITCHFACE, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Michelle Dockery, January Jones & Fan BingBing as fabulous international Fuck-Shit-Up-pers dressed in Couture.

          We’d direct the SHIT outta that.

          • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

            For some reason, I pictured a party (Eyes Wide Shut-style) with a crowd of people wearing masks of January Jones’ bitchface. Boy, that’s a creepy picture.

          • MishaFoomin

            That’s what all the sequels are for! To cover the many amazing ideas that could be done with such a cast.

          • KateShouldBeWorking

            That idea is more exciting than all Sausage Friday’s combined! I’ll be in my bunk.

          • Aurumgirl

            We have some Kickstarter-ing to do, then, don’t we?

          • Lilithcat

            I would so watch that movie!

      • Coco Cornejo

        A Thelma & Louise for the 21st century.

      • MK03

        (Kinda) fun fact: They actually did make a movie together. They were both in that Liam Neeson air marshal movie. Now they just need to do a movie together that isn’t a complete waste of their talent.

    • Bridget Smith

      I’ve been wanting this ever since I found out they were both in Non-Stop and that fact ALMOST made me want to see it. Almost. I would pay good money to watch them co-headline a movie.

      (I also want a movie in which Cate Blanchett is the icy, sophisticated older sister to Katee Sackhoff’s screw-up younger sister, and they, like, rob a bank together or something. This movie will never, ever exist.)

      • Meg P. W.

        OH MAN. Well, now it will be playing on repeat, in my dreams…

  • marlie

    I wonder what – if anything – it means that Rachel Zoe *isn’t* featured in this spread.

    A movie starring Lupita and Michelle NEEDS to happen. And not a stereotypical “chick flick” or romantic comedy, either.

    • Kate Andrews

      A romantic comedy where they fall in love with each other could be good! With a dressing room montage, of course.

    • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

      About the Rachel Zoe exclusion, it may mean (in my humble kitten opinion) two things:

      1. They deliberatedly ignored those stylist who have other platforms (i.e., reality shows built around their careers) to talk about their job (since Brad Goreski was also ignored).
      2. Rachel doesn’t give a fuck to be considered as a stylist because she’s too busy trying to become a fashion designer.

      Whatever it is, I’m glad she was excluded. Not because she’s done a poor job, but because she doesn’t need the extra publicity and because there are so many talents out there that it wouldn’t be fair.

      • Guest 2

        A couple of years ago, they didn’t include Zoe on their list and she was deemed “too big to rank.” I’m assuming that’s what’s happening this year as well.

    • Alicia

      Something like Kill Bill but with collaboration between the women!

      • Sofia

        nailed it.

      • jtabz

        “Something like Kill Bill…” is a good way to start any proposition.

    • Aurumgirl

      I don’t know, Marlie…seems like everyone’s first thought after reading this spread is “Rachel Zoe”!

  • Anna

    Thank you for this, very insightful!

    RE: Lupita and Michelle making a movie together, I would’ve been more inclined to see “Non-Stop” if they were the heroes of the movie, rather than the flight attendants. Suffice it to say, their own movie where they fuck shit it up really needs to happen.

    • Anna

      Ha! Marlie and Laura, we all said variations of the same thing.

  • sleepycat

    If you guys survived the cut this year at Fashion Week, then you guys must have a tinsy bit of power, but then again you guys do a wide variety of stuff ensuring your survival in the long run.

  • marlie

    And, re: TLo’s last comment, I wonder if there’s anything to it that Rachel Zoe *isn’t* in this spread.

    And yes, a movie starring Lupita and Michelle NEEDS to happen. And not a stereotypical “chick flick” or romantic comedy.

  • Tabby_abby

    I agree to some extent. But as this site has pointed JLaw (and others) look questionable when they let fashion houses style them. And stylists when are good they make outfits and people look amazing and show off good designers rather than taking the focus off the designer.

    • Aurumgirl

      That is their point, though: Fashion houses want to keep the power to decide who they will have representing them to the world. Stylists have stepped on some toes doing their jobs, and they do take away the right of the fashion producers to have their work represented on celebrities of their own choosing. Yes, stylists are better at what they do, and the example of Jennifer Lawrence is a great one. When she’s dressed by a stylist, the outcome has been better for Jennifer Lawrence than Dior has been; but Dior wants to hook their wagon onto the star/celebrity of their choice so that we always think “Dior” when we see Jennifer. Not, “Wow, Jennifer Lawrence looks great!”. Unlike stars who sign contracts with designers, Stylists can dress their clients in anything they see fit, no loyalties whatsoever to any design house or manufacturer. That’s what makes Stylists so threatening.

      • Tabby_abby

        I agree, with a but. I think that when I see Jennifer Lawerence in a bad Dior dress because that is what she is being paid to wear, it doesn’t reflect well on Dior as a stylist or on the head designer

        I think that designers still have the ability to get high profile celebratities into their clothes. And as a stylist’s responsibility is to his/her client rather than to the design house, the star looks good in the designer.

        Sorry if muddled. On my phone where my brain is faster than my thumbs

        • Aurumgirl

          Oh, I mentioned the Dior example because it’s a good one for showing exactly how a good stylist can really peeve a design house. I don’t think anyone at Dior knows what to do with Jennifer Lawrence except when she’s the face of their skin care and makeup lines–there she is perfect. But she’s not the girl for their clothing. Whoever decided to choose Jennifer Lawrence made that decision because she’s the “girl of the moment”, and as a Hollywood hot property, she would be photographed endlessly and make literally hundreds of appearances on TV all over the world, wearing Dior as per her contract. But she wasn’t chosen because Dior designs would look great on her. They don’t.

          Stylists are paid to make the celebrity look great, and they’ll use every trick they know to make that happen. That’s why Jennifer Lawrence can wear almost anyone else and look better than she does in Dior.

  • Saturnine

    I agree 100%. To me, stylists fall into the Wizard of Oz category (“pay no attention to the man (woman) behind the curtain”). While I can completely appreciate the art of styling (or juggling) various high-profile clients for different venues, occasions, and personalities, I’m not all that interested in the minutiae of how they get there.

  • MilaXX

    I think we are just ready for a good female lead movie period. Starring Lupita & Michelle would be icing on the cake.

  • ashtangajunkie

    The end of the age of the supermodel still hurts me. I miss real supermodels.

    • HVM

      Yes! Especially when they graced magazine covers instead of generic starlets.

      • KinoEye

        Indeed. I remember watching The September Issue, and Grace Coddington (absolutely genius stylist and photographer for Vogue; can’t sing her praises highly enough) said she didn’t much care for having actresses and celebrities on the cover, as opposed to models/supermodels. You can really see her point when you look at the photos of Sienna Miller as compared to the ones Grace took using models — Grace’s are much better suited to high-fashion magazines. Miller looks pedestrian, although the styling and photography are also to blame. Funny that one of the people responsible for that shift was Coddington’s boss, Anna Wintour, as mentioned above.

        ETA: In fact, reading what TLo said above makes more sense the more I think about it. The supermodel era ended right around the time Wintour really came to the forefront of fashion journalism. Now I can see why.

        • decormaven

          When I think of Raquel Zimmerman in that documentary in the Versailles photo shoot, compared to Sienna Miller in Rome, I get agita. It’s one thing to be photogenic, but to capture the magic of a moment, that’s what top models do. Actors/actresses have the ability to sustain moments in a performance, but that quicksilver second- that is modeling.

          • Latin Buddy

            Which begs the question, what do we need to go to get TLo an interview and feature with Grace Coddington?!

          • decormaven

            Ooooh, that would be fabulous.

        • makeityourself

          Wintour’s decision to eliminate models from Vogue covers came about early in her reign. It was a trend she predicted then implemented. Of course she was imitated by the flock of sheep running the other fashion mags and here we are.

          It interests me, though, that models have gained new notoriety today. My 13-year-old daughter knows all of the runway girls’ names, and who has the cosmetic contracts, and who is in the mag editorials. It’s because of new media. And Vogue is backing up that trend by mentioning their models’ names in the descriptive copy that accompanies editorial shoots. That’s completely new. No respected fashion magazine ever game credit to its models even five years ago, if my memory is serving me.

          And I don’t care if Dior is paying JLaw to wear their clothes, she would benefit from hiring a stylist.

    • Little_Olive

      I am yet to see a face as versatile as Kate Moss’.

    • Anna

      I saved my British Vogue 1990, Vogue April 1992 100th Anniversary Special, and April 1993 issues for that specific reason. God, those were some fucking fabulous covers. Christy, Linda, Naomi, Claudia, Cindy….nobody did or has done it better.

      • ashtangajunkie

        Those names! Yes, yes, so much yes.

        • Anna

          You know that old saying (that I just totally made up), if they were good enough to appear on Ru’s “Supermodel” single…

          • ashtangajunkie

            That’s a great saying and I promise to cite you when I inevitably get drunk and launch into my ‘where have all the supermodels gone’ rant. :)

          • Anna

            Why thank you :). And that’s a fabulous thing to rant about!

            I might have to dust off those old magazines when I get home for some nostalgia. Christy was (and still is) my favourite, I could just stare at that woman’s face all day.

  • MishaFoomin

    Hmm… Now we know the face of the one who keeps putting Lupita in awful shoes. Get her!

    • Kate Andrews

      Maybe the stylist is in cahoots with a line of bridesmaid dyeable shoes.

  • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

    When did Rose Byrne age that much? There’s something around her face that looks very aging.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      I think it is the cardigan that belonged to someone’s grandpa hanging off her neck and shoulders that is aging her. Seriously, what is that thing?!

      • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

        I know, right? What a silly styling item to put on someone who’s not used to do “quirky”. I would also add that the light seems to make her hair and makeup look harsh.

  • BlairBear

    Didn’t Rachel Zoe lose a lot of her clients once she became a big deal with her show and line and show. But maybe she makes enough money from her launch to not need clients? I think it is kind of amazing how stylists carved a niche for themselves when they aren’t quite necessary.

    • Kate Andrews

      See, I disagree — a good stylist is important and quite possibly necessary if a star is on red carpets all the time. An actress needs clothes that A. no one else is wearing at the same event, B. something that photographs well and looks good on TV, C. accessories in addition to the clothes and D. something appropriate to the event’s time and location. That’s a ton of work, especially if you’ve got a job acting, being interviewed,etc.

      • sagecreek

        When I win the lottery, and just as soon as I get back from my trip around the world, I’m going to hire a stylist for one day. I would love to get some professional tips from a neutral source.

        • Kate Andrews

          I worked with stylists at my magazine — which is a whole different animal, since they’re dressing models, and if something is too loose, you use clamps to cinch it in — but it’s interesting.

      • BlairBear

        I agree that that work needs to get done. I could just easily imagine the work getting done by other people. Like the stars team working with the pr team of any major design house. And if stylists try to figure out B-D most of them do a pretty terrible job.

        • Kate Andrews

          Maybe — although the PR team is writing press releases, etc. — but if it were me, I’d rather have a stylist focused on what makes me look best, rather than a person from the design house that’s possibly more concerned with having their clothing displayed in magazines. As we’ve seen on JLaw, even gorgeous Dior fashions don’t necessarily suit her better than something else.

          • BlairBear

            Thats true. I’m just not sure stylists really do all that great a job looking out for their clients and making sure they look great/like what they are in. It just seems they care more about the trend of the moment instead of what really suits their clients. Although I am sure there are great stylists. And I kind of miss the days when celebrities showed up on red carpets looking like shit but being totally happy with how they looked because they picked it out themselves .

          • Kate Andrews

            Me too! I think back to Demi Moore in her bike shorts. Oh, for those days to return. It was more fun! And I suspect some stylists get overbooked, causing some real mistakes.

          • BlairBear

            And I am not trying to belittle their job I am sure like all the people that work for celebrities it is highly stressful even if to outsiders it looks like it shouldn’t matter.

          • Kate Andrews

            Yeah, and some celebrities work against their own self interest. I watched LiLo’s reality show on OWN, and sweet Jesus, why will she not wear a bra? So droopy, and there’s no reason for it!

          • marlie

            I should have just said “what Kate said.”

        • marlie

          I might hesitate to pair up with the PR team from any design house, because I would worry that their focus is on getting their clothes out on the red carpet rather than on making sure the right ladystar is in the right outfit for her (coloring, body type, etc.).

          • BlairBear

            I guess my main point is judging by a lot of what I see on this site stylists dont do all that well at considering the individual needs of their clients and what suits them they just put them in what is trending at the moment. I think a great stylist can be an excellent tool for female stars, it just doesn’t seem like a lot of stylists are great stylists

          • marlie

            That’s certainly the case a lot of times. I think where the reliance on “professional” stylists can sometimes go off the rails is when they’re so committed to trends (nude shoes, sheer dresses, cutouts, non-color lipstick), that they want to seem on-trend and current, above anything else. Maybe they also need to be able to say “no” to their celebrity client, as well.

            BUT, when you’re a ladystar, and are going to multiple events and appearances in a day, and certainly can’t wear the same outfit (oh the horror!), and need to procure dresses, bags, shoes, jewelry, makeup, and hair, it pays to have a central person whose job it is to wrangle the closet and make those connections to the fashion houses. That worked back in the day when the studios managed what the stars wore, but the designers had less influence then.

    • Latin Buddy

      I also disagree. The red carpet today is an entirely different beast than before. Look at the way even big name stars dressed for their red carpets. They were disasters. Today, the expectations are different. I think it is BECAUSE of stylists that we now see couture and real fashion on the red carpet. I do agree with TLo that although they paved the way and upped the stakes of the game, fashion houses will likely take the lead and figure they can do it themselves. The only problem is that you will get the Dior/Lawrence Effect, whereby stars will wear head-to-toe designers and wearing outfits that look best when mixed-and-matched.

      • BlairBear

        I kind of miss the messy red carpet days. I would rather cracked out fashion than 50 shades of beige and sheers picked by the same five people. That being said I am sure there are some great stylists. Michelle and Lupita’s stylist seems to do a great job picking interesting/colorful clothes that aren’t cracked out.

        • Little_Olive

          I get the same feeling with movies. I miss “old” (up to ’95 I guess) films where bot everything was à propos and taken care of; there was some naivitè in the costumes, makeup and hair (especially), set decoration, rhythm of the story (longer scenes with parts that were not absolutely necessary) and even dialogue; but that didn’t make films worse but gave them a looseness and richness that are hard to find nowadays.

      • MilaXX

        True but Hollywood is a cyclical beast I don’t think they are saying stylist will cease to exist, any more than supermodels ceased to exist of fashion blogger are no longer blogging. It’s just their moment in the sun will be short lived and sometimes the really high high come with a bit of backlash.

  • Kate Andrews

    I was watching Fashion Police a couple weeks ago and the stylist for Julianne Moore (which — really? you want to claim credit for anything she wears on the red carpet? oooookay.) was interviewed. There is a huge spotlight on stylists, and not just Rachel Zoe.

    • Jackie4g

      I look at this blog, I watch the Fashion Police, I read and listen to interviews with stylists and I still want to ask “Why don’t these people have a real job?”

      • Kate Andrews

        Just the nature of the beast. It is a lot of work to pull clothes from multiple designers and shops, do the same thing for jewelry, shoes and other accessories, get them all in a room with the celebrity and choose outfits. I do wonder what some stylists are thinking when they put certain outfits together, though…

  • Little_Olive

    Yep, flying too close to the sun is never a good idea. Especially when your job consists of catering well to others: a service profession is not “secondary” per that fact, but is actually a very hard thing to master. And mastering it demands that your professional satisfaction comes from a job well done, so you are happy and proud at your client’s success -achieved through you, no doubt- rather than seeking “first hand” success. I see it with lawyers all the time.

    • Kate Andrews

      That is true. And a lot of the really good stylists I’ve met (granted, these are primarily for fashion shoots in magazines, not for red carpets) are not styled to the nines themselves. They look put together, but they’re saving the big bang for their jobs.

  • Judy_S

    Well, if the age of the fashion blogger is over, it must be said that the very best survived the cut…!

  • AC Simons

    I see a new, brilliant, and insightful book coming on this topic. I will pre-order it.

  • Akemi

    *standing O*

  • Calinda_L

    I agree with a lot of this (plus the fact that this kind of editorial shines a major spotlight on the man behind the curtains which, as you stated, stars might not be wild about), EXCEPT your point about JLaw. True, she doesn’t need a stylist *now*, but I think it’s a damn safe bet that she’ll be clammoring for one as soon as her god forsaken contract is up and she wants to establish her own style.

  • Tina

    Where are all teh gayz? I was actually surprised to see 100% women stylists. I feel like a bad feminist saying that…. or maybe a good one? I’m confused.

    • Jackie4g

      I hope I don’t get killed for saying this, but I have a feeling the Gays would pick out everything that’s wonderful and nothing that’s wearable. It’s one thing to tell someone to hold in your stomach and only turn this way, and it’s quite another to execute the commands. The inherent panache is sometime intimidating.
      Edit for typo.

      • Tom and Lorenzo

        I think you’re painting with a really broad brush and stereotyping, to be honest.

        • Jackie4g

          You think everyone is as enlightened as you two are? Or as intelligent? Or, dare I say it, as nice? You wrote a book that besides being funny is actually a confidence builder for the reader. While you are skewering the hypocrisy, you’re also reminding everybody what celebrities do does not necessarily apply to real life. That’s why you’re who you are, and why not every blogger can achieve what you two have. I understand there’s a certain loyalty to the Gay Community, and you have to make sure that nothing that could be a slight goes unremarked. No slight was intended, and you have my word on that. Look, my experience is anecdotal, from knowing other doll collectors, a community which has a diverse population of all kinds of middle aged ladies and all kinds of Gays, and from seeing lots of Bravo and Project Runway TV shows. What I was referring to is that sometimes the Effect is the end object and comfort and practicality go by the wayside. I suppose any stylist, or any designer could make that choice, I just had specific memories when I wrote it.

          • Tom and Lorenzo

            Thank you. Just wanted to say, I’m not trying to call you a bigot or anything. I’m not remotely offended. I just think you’re painting really broadly in the “women aren’t scientists because they’re bad at math” mode without realizing it.

          • aly

            Good call, uncles. Well said.

    • Imasewsure

      My guess is that they are pushing lady clothes here so they wanted the stars who work with other ladies for this one. Beautiful shots though, no?

  • Loramir

    I agree with most of this, but I do think stylists are at least more deserving of some recognition than bloggers – bloggers are just critics expressing opinions, generally. Stylists are (theoretically) actually making a designer’s clothes look their best. Look at Lupita in her custom Prada gown vs. Lena Dunham (who from a quick google + her general disheveledness doesn’t have a stylist) in her custom Prada gown. We can’t expect stars to walk around carrying a list crediting everyone who contributed to their look, but a brief glimpse behind the scenes at the stylists who help the stars shine can be interesting. Especially a star who’s becoming well-known for her fashion like Lupita. I can see where both stars and the fashion industry wouldn’t be too pleased with a stylist who tries to make herself a star like Rachel Zoe, but I can’t blame them for wanting their existence acknowledged.

    Also re stars bragging that they don’t use stylists: that’s all well and good if you can still look polished and put together most of the time (and there are quite a few – Dita, Marion Cotillard, Diane Kruger). A lot of stars who make a big deal about not using a stylist are in fact walking advertisements for the benefits of stylists because they clearly need some help (not that there aren’t stars WITH stylists are also frequently hot messes).

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      Just so we’re clear: there’s not a word in our post arguing that bloggers are more deserving of recognition than stylists – or even whether they’re deserving of recognition at all.

      • Loramir

        Oh, not disputing anything you said – just that the fashion industry would view them both as worthy of smackdowns/people that shouldn’t be getting/demanding attention.

        • Tom and Lorenzo

          Got it. I thought you were disagreeing with us in your first sentence.

  • Hallie

    robin wright is a GODDESS

  • boweryboy

    Thought #101: Where are the male stylists in this editorial? I know there are plenty out there.

  • In_Stitches

    I Flove Rose Bryne’s sweater scarf. It’s hilarious, impractical and the most Wasp-y thing I’ve ever seen. Suits her to a T.

    The Fannings look great and are distinguishing themselves from each other-one going straight up Marilynn and the other more of a dramatic Florence Welch-y vibe.

    Pretty much all the ladies look like their style, distilled down to it’s perfect core.

    • willworktomorrow

      I love that sweater scarf too. I don’t know if you could actually stand up and walk in it, but for sitting and posing, it’s perfect.

  • zuzu

    Ladies (and certain gentlemen), you best watch yourselves. You’re making
    yourself the center of the story and that doesn’t end well in this
    world. We’re seeing an intense public focus on stylists lately and we
    don’t think that’s going to be a good thing for them in the long run.

    Indeed. Just look at what happened to Cinna.

    • PastryGoddess

      Congrats you just won all of the internetz

  • MightyMarshal

    Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o are actually in Nonstop together with Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson, they just weren’t advertised for it at.all. I didn’t know until I got in the movie and was watching it.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      They were mentioned on some of the movie reviews, but since this is an action flick, I’m not surprised that they weren’t prominently featured in the ad campaign.

  • MaggieMae

    What a sexy cover shot! Yow!

  • Pablo

    Elisabeth Moss looks smoking hot

  • mmebam

    This should be your second book.

    • PastryGoddess


  • Kent Roby

    I am absolutely fascinated by your #3-100 dissertation. I’ll add that I find this editorial rather creepy; it gives the idea that the stars themselves are mere puppets (Michelle Dockery literally cannot physically separate herself from her stylist, and Robin Penn looks like a wax figure).

  • melanie0866

    It may not be smart of the stylists to take center stage, but I find it really interesting. I love knowing who’s behind Lupita’s fabulousness.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    I love the expression on Michelle Dockery’s face on the cover. It is a total “Be Me”.

  • shopgirl716

    Interesting. Seems like the stylists would have figured this out by now. Honestly, it seems like it is a better idea to let the actresses and fashion houses take the spotlight and remain in the background. You become known as the person who can get people and fashion houses a lot of exposure while maintaining your relationships. There has to be someone in the celebrity-fashion house equation who isn’t pursuing press exposure but providing the support and connections.

  • EEKstl

    Fascinating perspective, TLo. Smart, funny AND great taste – a good way to go through life, gentlemen!

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Ages may come and go…but for us Bitter Kittens, the Age of Fashion Bloggers T and Lo will never die.

  • burrito jones

    Did their top stylist (Elizabeth Stewart) not participate in the shoot? That’s interesting to say the least.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    The TL;DR version: Bitches better don’t be stealing the spotlight from other bitches.

    • decormaven

      Well put.

  • Fraggle

    Some very interestings thoughts. Thank you for that.
    Personally I actively do not want to know about any stylists. For me it would take away too much of the “magic” these movie stars should have. But I’m oldfashioned and love dreaming of past decades where stars were real stars…

  • Clash D

    Now i know who is responsible for Kristen Stewart’s “granny panties-in-sheer” moments.

  • luludexter

    well now we know who to talk to about Lupita’s shoes…

  • crash1212

    You kind of answered your own question about why Jennifer Lawrence would hire a stylist when Dior pays her to wear their clothes. Have you seen the clothes they’ve been putting her in? Of course you have…and they stink. Don’t disagree with your overall theory thought….pulling the spotlight off the “star” is never a good idea.

  • Lower L

    I am totally waiting for the Hollywood Reporter to feature three very attractive men standing cheek-to-cheek with their arms gracefully entertwined. I’m going to go with Hiddleston, Cumberbatch, and Elba. Who are your three?

    • formerlyAnon

      Hiddleston, Cumberbatch (ETA: if he doesn’t have to be A-list, I’d sub Laurence Fox for Cumberbatch) and some brown skinned dude far more willowy than Elba. And it is a sad testimony to both my limited knowledge of actors and of the industry bias, that I can’t think of any skinny brown skinned actors that meet my personal swoon criteria. A few singers, no actors.

      • Gloriana Reginata

        If you’re going to go for the next bright new things for your skinny brown actors, I can quote you three: Anthony Mackie (‘The Falcon’ in Cap America 2); Michael Ealy (the android in ‘Almost Human’); or Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films, grew up and was in Coriolanus with Hiddleston at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre recently).

        Myself, I will take Elba as the third layer of the Hiddleston/Cumberbatch sandwich ANY DAY. Or scrub the beards off Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender, and blend Chris Hemsworth into the mix. After all, gents get to see three lovely ladies together all the time: why shouldn’t we get a double serving when our chances are so few?

        • formerlyAnon

          Ealy and especially Enoch are way TOO pretty to be my picks. Mackie, maybe, but I can’t recall seeing him in anything other than We Are Marshall (disclaimer: saw it under duress) and he had many attractive qualities, but skinny wasn’t one. (The slim/skinny thing is kind of the challenge. Hiddleston has bulked up out of my dream team several times, depending on the role he’s playing.)

          The only guy I can think of who comes close is a Brit named Michael Obiora, who’s been on a several British t.v. shows, but as far as I know, in the U.S. most people I know who’ve seen him saw him Dr. Who, in the Blink episode. (He was the police inspector, Billy something). But as he’s still in his 20s (ETA: I think), I’m sure he’ll fill out/bulk up for a role soon enough.

          But I’m happy to take suggestions. I’m sure there are movies out there I need to see.

          • Gloriana Reginata

            Yes, I can see why Obiora caught the eye :) Thankyou for that heads up. And I also see why you say Enoch is too pretty – although, give him time to grow into his face. Pretty can turn into something far more interesting with a bit of age added (cf both Hiddleston and Hardy).

            But I fear I would find little in my own tastes to suit you, if Hiddleston has bulked out of your dream team on occasion. For my money, I’d keep him at the Coriolanus weight level indefinately :) :)

          • formerlyAnon

            In theory, since in reality I am pretty sure the occasion shall not arise, it is good thing when tastes differ. Sharing graciously is so much easier that way.

            (edited because I cannot spell to save my life, today)

      • Jackie4g

        mmmmmmmmm, Laurence Fox!!!

        • formerlyAnon

          Yup. Tall, lanky and lots of bones to his face.

    • altalinda

      Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Michael Jordan.

  • formerlyAnon

    Why would Jennifer Lawrence hire a stylist when she’s got the House of Dior paying her to wear their goods?

    I refuse to believe you guys were not being “totally meta” as the kids say (argghh, and now I do too) in citing J-Lo & her Dior experience. Since, as has been pointed out already (most recently by crash1212), the shelf-life for the design house as stylist & resulting pendulum swing back to one’s own stylist, is embodied in her experience. IMO.

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      I think you missed the point. Regardless of what we think of J Law’s Dior dresses, from her perspective, it’s easier and cheaper to just let someone from Dior handle her style needs.

      • formerlyAnon

        Galloped past the point, yeah. Thinking that cheaper & easier works, until you start to think that you might look better more often if you had your own stylist. And then things shift again. But smart money would bet on y’all’s prognostications rather than mine, in any case.

  • Anya

    You gentlemen should be given a seminar at RISD with tenured, senior faculty status.

  • GeoDiva

    Kristin Stewart has a stylist? Could have fooled me! Great essay TLo.

    • Gatto Nero

      Yes, and she likes boob fringe! Because who can live without it?

  • Call me Bee

    Another brilliant chapter in a succession of thoughtful and insightful analyses.
    It makes me realize that I’m like a kid when it comes to fashion. I see it as an art form, therefore I kinda don’t think about it too much. I like what I like and am usually not interested in the process. Until I read your blog. You explain the back story so well, it makes me want to know more about the movers and shakers in the fashion world. Thanks you.
    BTW–if you EVER offer a course in fashion analysis–I am so there.

  • Let it out

    Interesting. I feel like a lot of the stylists look alike, or at least of a type. I will say that it never occurred to me that Kristen Stewart had a stylist (and I am one of KStew’s few fans here, it seems). I’m impressed with how non-styled styled Stewart always looks.

  • Gatto Nero

    Now I know who to blame for Elisabeth Moss’s tragic mistakes on the red carpet.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Elisabeth Moss pays someone to dress her like that?

    • formerlyAnon

      I know! She underperforms with such consistency, you start to think she *can’t* pull off stunning or even really pretty. And then she looks quite good on an isolated occasion, and it’s even more infuriating to see the tidal wave of “barely good enough” and “meh” she shows up in.

      I’m not sure if it’s more dispiriting, or less, to hear she’s been using the same stylist for years. They ought to know each other by now, and be able to make the best of it. That they don’t is dispiriting.

  • Victoria Pavlova

    This is one of the most clear-eyed and good-looking pictures of Kristen Stewart.
    Lady Mary and Lupita look FANTASTIC. Poor Elisabeth Moss, that pic illustrates perfectly what’s wrong with her styling.

  • Sunraya

    I had the same thought about stylists getting too big for their britches when I read the Vanity Fair article. Seems like they are using their clients to make themselves rich and famous. I doubt a lot of actresses have a high tolerance for that!

    Having said that, Blake Lively could use a stylist and I think JLaw uses Rachel Zoe. And Elisabeth Moss and Kristen Stewart should fire their stylists! They do a terrible job!

  • Jane Patterson-McGuire

    I feel like Kemal Harris’ outfit is much more nicely calculated, in that she looks good, but is not wearing same-level clothes as Robin, and is positioning herself much more in a supporting role. For the rest of these shots, if I don’t recognize the actress, I don’t know which one is the stylist.

  • Sandy

    Even the greatest stylist won’t be able to prescribe the best shoes for Lupita unless they cover up her feet and legs. let’s face it. Lupita does not have nice legs. With good clothes, it was easy for them to hide her protruding booty and with expert makeup artist, they’re able to improve her face and soften it. The reason why Lupita needed to be more adventurous with her style is so that she can stand out. If she goes simple, no one would notice her. A naturally beautiful woman like Michelle can go for simplicity and still be attractive. Lupita however, needs to go bolder to attract attention.

    • Gloriana Reginata

      ” If she goes simple, no one would notice her. A naturally beautiful woman like Michelle can go for simplicity and still be attractive. Lupita however, needs to go bolder to attract attention.”

      Cannot agree, I fear: Lupita is gorgeous. Eye of the beholder and all that, but while Docherty is certainly striking, Lupita would turn heads a continent away.

    • kerryev

      Flag calling Uncles; Flag calling Uncles; come in, Uncles.

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      You might want to check your racism, honey. But you’ll have to do it somewhere else because you’re banned from commenting here after that tripe.

  • JynxTheCat

    Good point but as the ones getting the stuff out to be seen on the people that folks want to look at they may have an edge others did not. My purely speculative thought.

  • Elizabeth Phillips

    The DID, boys. It’s called “Nonstop.”

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      They had small roles and didn’t fuck shit up.

      • Elizabeth Phillips

        ROTFLMHO Gotcha.

  • The Dedicated Follower of Fash

    I do some styling (not the celebrity red carpet kind) and the LAST thing I want is to be in front of the camera.

  • NinjaCate

    This is some of the most accurate commentary I’ve seen about the gate-keeping of the fashion industry. Totally nailed it Uncles TLo.

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL

    Lupita in the regal blue is STUNNING! Elizabeth Moss has never look that fabulous on the RC, and, as someone stated here, should have switched outfits with her (scene stealing) stylist! Samantha McMillan looks stunning and should put the Fanning girls in some color sometime! That blue Halston-want-a-be is TDF! Robin Wright is GIVING IT and showing how to wear Champagne! Fabulous! Kristen Stewart looks clean, well-groomed, and tasteful. That’s a rarity.

  • Jecca2244

    The article on stylists in the VF issue from around the Oscars was really interesting. Partly a look at how quickly stylists can be tossed, even the ones who have been with celebs for 5 plus years.