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Before she held the coveted title of power stylist, Cristina Ehrlich dreamed of becoming a dancer. Born in New York and raised in California, the bicoastal celebrity dresser has always had lifelong fascination with the art of movement and fashion. "From as early as 13 years old, I was collecting Vogue magazine; I knew who all of the models were," she says. Her first love of ballet led her to study dance in NYU.
While working as a professional ballet dancer, Ehrlich also had both feet in the fashion world. When off the stage, she assisted legendary stylist Irene Albright and found herself "struggling with what the life of a dancer was going to be," she tells us. "I had this continual voice in my head about wanting to create a career that would allow me to be independent and creative at the same time. Getting older and being a dancer was not really something that was appealing."
At 27, Ehrlich broke it off with her first passion and pursued a career in styling. The transition was easy: "It was very much about discipline and continuity and being repetitive and going for full-on every single day," just like in ballet, she recalls.
After scoring her first celebrity clients, "it was kind of like a domino effect," she says. She partnered with fellow stylist Estee Stanley for seven years before going solo. "The job has changed a lot; we're kind of like the middle man," explains Ehrlich. "What we're doing all day long is talking to designers and brands and trying to get specific clothing and looks for our clients."
We caught up with the on-the-go stylist—who has studios in LA and NY—at Nekter Juice Bar in West Hollywood, where we found out a few of her favorite red carpet moments, her top words to live by, her most recent big buy, and more.
What are you drinking today?
When I order juices, I always go for green. I chose The Buzz today because it's hot, and this was very citrus-dominant [with] ginger in it. I like that it's very energizing and puts brightness around you.
Favorite red carpet moments?
One year for the Emmys, Julianna Margulies wore a Giambattista Valli couture dress that I was so madly in love with. There was definitely that really iconic moment when Penelope Cruz wore the blush Versace gown to the Oscars back in 2007. There have been countless moments with Allison Williams in the last few years, and this past awards season Margot Robbie was really a lot of fun because it was really creative.
Most recent splurge?
As of officially three weeks ago, I became a homeowner, [so my new apartment] would definitely constitute as a huge splurge. I bought in Nolita and I've been a renter my whole life; I've always been this dedicated gypsy. It makes me officially a New York resident, although I have a huge love for LA.
What's your life's motto?
I'm working on currently [trying] to be as much in the present moment as possible. The other thing I think about a lot constantly is really based a lot on Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote a book, The Four Agreements. It's so simple and so straight-forward: always do your best, be impeccable with your word, always tell the truth, and make no assumptions. It's a daily challenge.
If you could travel 100 years in the past or the future, which would it be?
I would choose going backward. Watching how technology and everything is moving so fast, something I'm always constantly working on is really trying to stay caught up. When life was a little bit more horse and buggy, and women were wearing corsets, and chivalry was alive, and men were getting on their knees, and [even though] we hadn't created women's lib [and] life was just a lot more bucolic and simple, I would one hundred percent go back. I also think the history and from a stylist's point of view, the fashion was on another level.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Favorite day of the week?
It's not Monday! In all of my years on the planet, I had never heard of "hump day." The girl who's running my LA office put something about hump day on Instagram and I got all upset, she was like, "What are you talking about?" The real honest answer would be Friday, but I'm working on loving Wednesdays because I think it's important in the middle of the week to still feel inspired and invigorated, and you can still get a lot done.
Dot dot dot. When I write emails—even though I went to school and I'm a college graduate—I don't tend to honor all of the regular punctuation. I kind of write in thoughts and there's no period; it's a little bit of stream of consciousness. Even on my Instagram I do dot dot dot. It's just kind of a way of sharing a thought that doesn't have a finality to it.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To fly. I think I would fly from New York straight to Ibiza or to Greece, and land on some beautiful, simple white dome or some beach.