There's no denying the influence of a celebrity stylist. Their work fuels our fascination with red carpet glamour and can help propel their celeb clients into superstardom (not to mention lucrative ad campaigns) by establishing a memorable style arc or sometimes, with just the power of a single dress.
The Hollywood Reporter is celebrating some of these individuals, most of whom (with the exception of Rachel Zoe and Brad Goreski) remain largely behind the scenes, with their second annual Top 25 Most Powerful Stylists list. Along with red carpet staple Jimmy Choo, the publication held an inaugural luncheon to celebrate the stylists, some of whom appear on one of four different covers of the current issue of the Hollywood Reporter.
Kate Young, stylist to Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman, took the No. 1 spot this year. Second was Leslie Fremar, the woman responsible for helping Charlize Theron look so stunning. Petra Flannery, stylist to Zoe Saldana and Emma Stone, came in third, and fourth went to Elizabeth Stewart, who works with Jessica Chastain and Viola Davis. Theron, Stone and Chastain appear on the magazine's cover along with their respective stylists, as do Jeanne Yang and her client and design partner Katie Holmes. You can check out the entire list of power stylists here.
Beyond just posing for a cover with their stylist, Saldana, Theron and Holmes, further showed their support by attending the luncheon, as did Ellie Kemper (styled by Jessica Paster, No. 17) and Alice Eve (styled by George Kotsiopoulos, No. 23).
Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez's style team Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn also made the list for their work. The duo had just flown in at 2 a.m. Wednesday from a Lopez video shoot, stopped through the luncheon and were off to the set of "American Idol" to get their star client set for taping. The duo, who also style Lily Collins and Rachel McAdams, started styling together six years ago after meeting in the wardrobe department at MTV. Rihanna's "Umbrella" video was their first job as a team. "Working together makes it so much easier," says Zangardi. "We try and do everything together, but sometimes have to split up because there's so much going on." They claim that a signature styling element they impart to most of their clients is jewelry, specifically rings. Haenn illustrated the look by putting out her hands, which had striking diamond rings (a mix of H Stern and custom designed) on each finger. Naturally, the two have a jewelry design project in the works, no doubt something fans of their clients' style will be clamoring for.
Stylist Penny Lovell, who works with Ginnifer Goodwin and Rose Byrne, was a newcomer to the list and attributes the success of her 15-year career to really knowing and understanding who each of her clients are and exactly what they want to wear. "It's very psychological and I love psychology," she says. "Clothes are your second skin. It's so personal." She adds staying extremely organized is another key to being a great stylist, especially when the top tier of those in her profession are often juggling five to six jobs, ranging from red carpet to concert tours, at once.
"It's also important to remember that this is a business," Lovell says. "Styling is fun and very creative, but it's not just playing dress up. You have to remain professional."
Many of the stylists who made this year's list have turned their regular gigs into high-profile endorsements and clothing lines (Young is the only stylist to be signed with CAA and has recently been named editor-at-large for Macy's, Yang designs a collection with Holmes and Kotsiopoulos is a co-host on "Fashion Police" on E!), proving they certainly understand the business side of styling, moving out from behind the camera and closer to the spotlight.
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Photos: Charlize Theron, top left, and stylist Leslie Fremar attend the Hollywood Reporter's inaugural luncheon to celebrate its top 25 top stylists' list. Zoe Saldana, center, attends the event, as do Katie Holmes, bottom left, and her design partner Jeanne Yang. Credits: Jeff Vespa / Getty Images for the Hollywood Reporter (top); Andreas Branch / patrickmcmullan.com (center and bottom)