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Now that we're deep into Awards Season, by now we've all seen our share of red carpet wins, wows, and WTFs. Although it's certainly fun to critique from the sidelines and predict who will make it on the best- and worst-dressed lists, we've got to give it up for the folks who put their careers on the line to make sure that their clients are wearing what everyone will be talking about the next day—in a good way.
Whether you're preparing for an upcoming stroll on the coveted carpet or have big dreams of dressing A-listers for a living, here are some foolproof ways to face those flashing lights with ease, straight from LA's best.
"After a fitting, I like to marinate on our top three to five options and process which makes the most sense for my client and the specific event. I always follow my intuition and choose the look my gut tells me to. This has always worked for me and my girls to create magical red carpet moments! If you're a new stylist, my best advice is to trust yourself and convey your opinions in a strong and compelling manner to your clients but also allow a collaboration between the two of you."
"Practicing your poses in the gown, taking photos, and deciding on a pose that works best is sort of crucial. I've had girls in amazing gowns that just didn't translate on the red carpet because half the photos are in a bad pose."
"Fit, fit, fit! Red carpet 'wow' moments are created when a garment is tailored impeccably. I have seen the most gorgeous gowns fall flat because the fit was too tight or sagging in the wrong places. Never underestimate the power of a fabulous seamstress. They are the trump card that every stylist has up their sleeve. You need not spend a fortune though, even your local dry cleanerprobably has a tailor that can hem and alter a pair of pants relatively inexpensively and make you look like a million bucks!"
—Anita Patrickson, International Style Institute
"Make sure that you have a great tailor. It's rare to have a dress fit a person perfectly; the slightest alteration can make a look best-dressed!"
"My mantra is 'don't freak out!' There is a solution to every problem."
—Brad Goreski, E! Fashion Police
"Always have a sewing kit, duck tape and a back up dress. Too many times zippers have broken on me and I had to do some fast moving."
"Double-sided tape defines my life."
"Always make sure the person likes what they are wearing and that they feel comfortable and confident. The dress can be really sexy and revealing, but the person in it, needs to love it to pull it off. Also, most of the looks on the red carpet have been tailored to the client, so the fit is perfect. The items that are always in my kit are Double Stick tape, Commando underwear, Spanx, and Footpetals."
"Making someone look red carpet ready is a team effort and no look is flawless without a great hair stylist, makeup artist or an amazing seamstress. It doesn't matter how gorgeous the dress is if it isn't cut in a flattering way or doesn't cinch in the right places. A perfectly tailored look makes my job so much easier!"
"Tell your clients that their pose is the finishing touch of any look. Have them practice in the mirror to find what angles flatter the silhouette and their body best."
"Always have at least two fittings when tailoring is involved for big events. Never rely on the tailoring to be perfect just after one fitting! tailoring is never guaranteed. If the fabric has a tendency to wrinkle, lie down as flat as possible in the car on the way to the event. Or better yet ride on a bus standing! If the stylist will not be with the client, make sure the client knows to pull down and fix their her gown when exiting a car right before walking the carpet. You would be surprised how many bunchy and unflattering skirts end up appearing on the red carpet."
—Sammy + Judy
"Always, always, always have a back-up option. The first time you come with only one look, no matter how much everyone loved it at the fitting, this will be the time that tragedy strikes. And don't forget a sewing kit for a small battle!"
"Comfort is key! I would hope that my client can breath, and move around in whatever look he or she is wearing for that specific event. Nothing looks worse than someone who looks uncomfortable in their look."
"Having confidence will make you fly and land on the best-dressed list. I'm also obsessed with Shibue No-Line Strapless Panties! It's literally a life saver under gowns, tight pant, great on lingerie shoots, etc. Say goodbye to panty lines forever!"