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Behind-the-Seams of Stars' Stylists

Behind-the-Seams of Stars' Stylists

The Hollywood Reporter magazine has compiled its first-ever list of the 25 most-powerful celebrity stylists, and, no surprise, Rachel Zoe is at the top. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

Associated Press/AP Online

March 18, 2011

NEW YORK – Oscars host Anne Hathaway had many winning outfits during the recent telecast, even if the banter with her co-host was less memorable.

For Hathaway and other stars famous for looking great wherever they go, those flashbulb-fashion moments largely are a tribute to their stylists.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine has compiled its first-ever list of the 25 most-powerful celebrity stylists, and, no surprise, Rachel Zoe – who dressed Hathaway on Oscar night – is at the top.

She’s grown her bohemian, beach-girl look made famous by Cameron Diaz into a reality TV show, books and her own fashion line.


It’s important for a stylist to carve out an aesthetic, much like a designer does, but she also needs to give her clients what they want, and Zoe is a master at that, said Merle Ginsberg, Hollywood Reporter senior writer. “When Rachel was working with Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan years ago – and making them into mini-mes – she caught a lot of flack, and it ended quickly. She was young, they were young. Now she does Cameron Diaz as the bohemian, but Eva Mendes is not, and Anne Hathaway is no bohemian.”

The next names on the magazine’s list are Kate Young, a former Vogue editor behind Natalie Portman’s stylish maternity wardrobe; Petra Flannery, who is guiding young stars Emma Stone and Hailee Steinfeld; Jen Rade, who boasts longtime client Angelina Jolie; and Anna Bingemann, whose clients include Claire Danes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts.

Depending on the celebrity, the duty of the stylist changes, Ginsberg explains. For someone like Cate Blanchett, who works with Elizabeth Stewart, she already has a strong fashion sense and is looking for someone to scout out outfits that suit her style. Other celebrities turn to their stylists to help them carve a fashion personality.

Sometimes – think Rachel Bilson or Diane Kruger, perhaps – the starlets are becoming more famous for their ripped-from-the-runway looks than their resume of roles.

“Something happened in the ‘90s, maybe it was the economy or maybe that fashion became a bigger deal in America, but that’s when this whole thing started, and that’s when all the Hollywood fashion started to be good,” said Ginsberg.

She gives credit to Phillip Bloch, Deborah Waknin (No. 7) and Jessica Paster (No. 14) as early trailblazers who made the link between Hollywood and the runway. They introduced names such as Alexander McQueen, and, really, Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace, to the armchair audiences of America who were suddenly interested in celebrity style thanks to the weekly glossy magazines and cable channels that brought the red carpet home.

These relationships all require delicate handling, though, Ginsberg added, with the designers, stars and stylists all wanting some degree of credit for a winning outfit.

The stylist issue of The Hollywood Reporter is on newsstands Thursday.


Courtesy of ©2011 Yellowbrix, Inc.

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