When I’m working with a client, it starts with feeling out the direction and mood of an event, as well as how they feel. Then we talk to designers and look at all the shows to find a look which aligns with their own personal style, too.
A successful red-carpet look is something someone feels confident in, as well as being absolutely effortless. I know a dress is ‘the one’ once we’ve looked at it pictured from all angles; it needs to read well in every photo. Attention to detail is what makes a great stylist.
My favourite brands for the red carpet differ depending on who the client is, but a few I love are Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Oscar de la Renta, Brandon Maxwell and Ralph and Russo. They are brands which exude glamour and elegance for every occasion.
It’s so hard to choose my favourite look, but a recent stand out would be Florence Pugh’s Oscar gown, custom designed by Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton. As for favourite looks I didn’t style, I have so many. I recently revisited Cate Blanchett’s Jean-Paul Gaultier couture dress for the 2000 Oscars.
When it comes to planning for a big press tour, my team and I start with a concept and a mood board, and then we do brand research. We call in looks, do multiple fittings with the client and start to build a tour/event wardrobe. We will try and keep a consistent mood throughout – the last part is to select the accessories, before making sure everything is packed ready to leave the country.
Logistics are probably the hardest thing to manage in this job. We need to keep on top of where borrowed samples are and sometimes there are thousands of things flying around with different clients. It can be quite stressful to manage as there is so much at stake.
Sometimes a look only comes together right at the last minute. Gemma Chan only tried on a toile (the mockup version of a dress in a muslin fabric) of a custom dress the Wednesday before a Sunday event. The fitting was in London and the dress was being made in New York – the event was in LA. She only saw the finished dress the day of the event and it was glorious, thankfully!
I’m lucky, I’ve never had any major disasters. A strap broke at an event recently but I managed to safety pin it and no one noticed.
My number one styling hack has to be well-fitting underwear.
My current list of brands to watch includes Monse, Khaite, 16 Arlington, Aliette and Coperni. At the moment, my wish list is basically anything from Khaite.
My own style is minimal, clean, considered and timeless. I shop for pieces bought to last rather than trend-led styles. My favourite piece in my wardrobe is an 'Old Celine' coat, which I love.
If I could swap wardrobes with anyone, I’d choose one of the Olsen twins for their vintage jewellery collection and The Row knits.
I’m very focused on the cost per wear of any item I buy. If you can’t resist that dress from a fashion chain, then ask yourself, ‘How many times will I wear this?’ If it’s going to be a timeless piece that lives in your wardrobe for years to come, then it’s a good investment.
We should all be mindful of what materials we are buying and how sustainable they are. I was told recently that buying one new cotton shirt produces the same amount of emissions as driving a car for 35 miles. There are quite a few brands specialising in sustainable materials, including recycled cotton, organic linen, organic hemp - and even innovative fabrics like Tencel and Pinatex.
Properly caring for clothes is a key step in our quest for a more sustainable lifestyle. We are all familiar with the stats on how much clothing ends up in landfill each year and we need to waste less. I now use Samsung’s AirDresser to freshen up my t-shirts and jeans. Before I was totally guilty of chucking them in the wash when I’d only worn them once. When we send outfits back to designers, the clothes have been worn all evening and sometimes been stuck in a cramped suitcase travelling from LA to my studio in London. But with the AirDresser I can take care of the most delicate of materials, sanitise the clothes, remove any odours and make sure they go back to the designers as good as new.
Follow Rebecca on Instagram @RebeccaCorbinMurray