Oscars host Anne Hathaway had many winning outfits during the recent telecast. For Hathaway and other stars famous for looking great wherever they go, those flashbulb-fashion moments largely are a tribute to their stylists. And in a fitting tribute to these behind-the-seams stars, The Hollywood Reporter magazine has compiled its first-ever list of the 25 most-powerful celebrity stylists, and, Rachel Zoe, who dressed Anne on the Oscar night, is at the top.
Rachel has grown her bohemian, beach-girl look made famous by Cameron Diaz, into a reality TV show, books and her own fashion line. She has also styled Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan in the past. “It’s important for a stylist to carve out an aesthetic, much like a designer, but also needs to give the clients what they want, and Zoe is a master at that,” said Merle Ginsberg of Hollywood Reporter. 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," she adds.
“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,” says Ginsberg.
She gives credit to Phillip Bloch, Deborah Waknin (No 7) and Jessica Paster (No 14) for introducing names such as Alexander McQueen, 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.
Desi stylist power list
While Rachel Zoe might be the favourite resident stylist for Hollywood divas, closer home, the race for the top rung is quite a tight one. Actor Sonam Kapoor, Bollywood’s resident clothes horse has credited her style savvy wardrobe to her own personal tastes, but there are some names which are quite big in B-town. “The most popular stylists around in Bollywood are Arjun Bhasin, Aki Narula and Anaita Shroff Adajania. Not only do they do great work with styling films but they also do great work with individual stars. Plus, their styling is quite often then aped by regular folks as well,” says fashion critic Umesh Jivnani.