Beyoncé with her stylist Ty Hunter who works tirelessly to ensure she’s always picture perfect
Since the dawn of time, celebrity fashion has always been somewhat of a public fixation. After all, these are the lucky few that have the opportunity to wear an amazing (and sometimes expensive) outfit, get their hair, makeup and nails professionally done all just for one day. For most women that sounds like a dream come true.
But when a starlet appears all poised and coiffed on the red carpet, we the public know the amount of work (and not to mention, the team) that it takes to get them looking like a million bucks. We’re aware it’s a façade, and that the celeb did not “just wake up like this”. Just look at all the celebrity “Get Ready with Me” pieces that the media covers every time awards season hits.
So to understand a celebrity’s real personal style, we turn to paparazzi photos and Instagram to get a true sense of who they are outside the polish of the red carpet. But with more and more celebrities becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of being known for your unique style, many are turning to professional stylists to craft well-put-together off-duty looks that welcome the paparazzi’s gaze instead of avoiding them.
Stars like Bella Thorne get their Coachella looks styled by professional stylists
While we’re unsure of when the notion of celebrity street style even started, you can thank 2002 for what it has become today. What happened in that year you might ask? Well, a little trifecta called Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. Celebrity gossip culture was at an all-time high in the early noughties thanks to this crop of celebrity debutantes (dubbed celebutantes by the press). These women were photographed outside of the red carpet with such regularity that they were generating more headlines for what they wore off duty and to the clubs instead.
They also had a very distinct style. One part Los Angeles bohemian, and another part ‘70s rock star goddess, these women would hit the clubs in huge jangly jewellery, maxi dresses, peasant blouses and oversized Balenciaga motorcycle handbags (hands up who wanted one back then?) thanks to the work of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. It was undoubtedly the look of that era, prompted Zoe to brag in the New York Times Magazine in 2007 that while American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was one of her heroes, she considered herself to be much more influential.
Rachel Zoe with Nicole Richie, the client that emulated her look the best
Since then, all bets are now off. Stars like Richie and Lohan who paid for pre-styled looks for the paparazzi are no longer the exception, in fact, they are the norm. Celebrities know that if they make waves with their fashion choices, this could lead to covers on women’s magazines as well as an endorsement from a major fashion house. In fact, the pressure is so high, airport OOTDs are now a thing, with celebrities like Miranda Kerr preferring to change out of their tracksuits and into a fitted dress and heels just before facing the public.
This pseudo personal style can also be a great way to market sly and seemingly candid brand deals as well. Former Pepsi spokesperson Kendall Jenner (remember how disastrous that went?) recently made headlines for a mundane trip to the bodega. But what stood out from a normal shopping run was the striking mango coloured Bec & Bridge dress that the model/reality starlet was wearing, which seemed to match the newly released vanilla-orange flavoured Coke can in her hand (logo artfully facing the cameras of course).
View this post on Instagram
# Ad? Short-lived Pepsi spokesmodel @kendalljenner made a glamorous bodega run in NYC yesterday to grab a can of Coke. It wasn’t just any Coke though… The most recently launched Orange Vanilla flavor she chose happened to be just a couple Pantone shades away from perfectly matching her dress. Surely enough, images of her with the beverage were soon splashed over the web. Was this color harmony a coincidence or have Jenner and Coca-Cola been scheming to skirt around the FTC’s social media advertising guidelines? 🤔 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷: Getty Images ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ H/t: @lexcarthur ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • #kendall #kendalljenner #kardashian #kuwtk #orange #model #coke #cocacola #orangevanilla #soda #beverage #bodega #matchymatchy #pantone #nyc #paparazzi #wiwt #ootd #dress #slinky #bodycon #tankdress #dietprada
Coincidence or a well-hidden ad placement? You decide for yourself
“The people who look like they are wearing their own clothes and jewels,” like Ingrid Bergman in printed Chanel silk dinner pyjamas from her own closet, “make the best Oscar moments,” says fashion arbiter André Leon Talley. “That’s rare now—it’s an industry, a system. They are all afraid not to follow the herd.” – Slaves of The Red Carpet, Vanity Fair, February 10, 2014
But while these pre-styled outfits are usually on-trend, and super fun to see on your Instagram feed, it also begets the question, do any of Hollywood’s current crop of stars have any of their own personal styles? Whenever you see Bella Hadid crushing another noughties inspired ensemble in a paparazzi photo, do you even believe she pulled that look on her own?
Bella Hadid ever-evolving street style looks
Just take a look at the Instagram account @nightopenings, an account that posts nostalgic photos of movie premiere red carpets from the early ‘90s to the mid-noughties. A scroll through their feed and you’ll quickly see men in leather blazers and women in a myriad of going out tops and denim. Granted, those were wild times for fashion, but people actually looked like themselves and further proved the point that while celebs could be genetically blessed, stylistically they’re just like us. Sometimes you could be a hot mess even at an event.
Compare that to a premiere today. If a starlet had to go out and promote a movie, not only will she be armed with an entire rack of clothes for the press tour, but day-to-day looks that encompass anything from photo-ops to a quick stroll on the street. Everything would be meticulously planned, down the type of hair and makeup for each look.
The pressures of social media and being in the public eye has made so many young starlets completely devoid of style and personality, which is why even the red carpet scene has become so boring. Celebrities would much rather get it right and safe all the time, as opposed to occasionally getting it wrong, but having a strong point of view when it comes to the clothes.
Paris Hilton and her iconic looks have now become trendy again.
So what does this all mean if celebrities continue to push this carefully polished image on us? It means that our attention will shift away to the ones who can entertain us, namely Instagram influencers and YouTubers.
We get that mainstream celebrities are busy, with conflicting schedules and whatnot. But yet these are also the same people with all the resources in the world to learn, as well as the access to ridiculously beautiful clothes. So celebrities, here’s our open letter to you: make a mistake! Wear a swan on the carpet or a purple pastie over your nipple! Because if you want people to start moving their interests back to you instead of Instagram influencers, it’s time to ditch the stylist and go back to being you. And if being you means dressing like a fool, we’re here for it. And ready with our memes.
Image: TPG/Click Photos