inside my world as a celeb stylist

As a celebrity stylist, I know why Adele is ditching the heels

November 23, 2022 3:13 pm(Updated 3:28 pm)

Nowadays, celebrity fashion stylists or the “glam squad” (as we are often called) can gain just as much fame and notoriety as the famous person they’re working for, take celebrity hair stylist Chris Appleton, who has racked up over three million followers on Instagram after styling for Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lopez and more. They have the ability to catapult not only a client’s confidence but their career through fashion. It’s no wonder the public have piqued interest in learning more about what goes on behind the scenes.

Recently, the attention has been on Adele and her (delayed) six-month residency in Las Vegas for her Weekends with Adele shows. In her debut last weekend, the Someone Like You singer wore a black custom-made Schiaparelli dress and in the weekends that follow she’ll be expected to wear designer brands including Versace and Louis Vuitton.

Talking to The Wall Street Journal, her stylist, Jamie Mizrahi, has delved into the styling decisions and what to expect in the weekends that follow and people are into it. She’s revealed that Adele is ditching her heels on stage in lieu of a pair of “posh” socks to ensure that she doesn’t slip during a rain scene – if this isn’t the most legendary thing you’ve heard all week, I don’t know what is. Adele and Mizrahi have chosen practicality over glamour to ensure that there’s nothing to hinder the singer’s ability to belt out her chart toppers for the audience. Additionally, they’ve chosen to change the outfit weekly instead of daily, wearing the same outfit the entire weekend instead of changing into various looks, which was previously the plan.

I have styled a range of clients myself, from The Crown’s Gillian Anderson and king of the big screen, Robert DeNiro, to upcoming talents and ordinary people. Every day is different in the styling world. Some days I dress clients for red carpets (like the Golden Globes and BAFTAs), other days headline performances at music festivals, day and night television appearances or everyday street style outfits. As an image curator, I look at each event and decide how I want the person to be portrayed to the world, ensuring I am on top of the latest trends, if not ahead.

One of my clients, comedian Katherine Ryan, chose to tour in the same Gucci dress and Victoria Percival headband the entire run of her show, Missus, despite it running for almost 18 months. When I asked her why she wanted to perform solely in one dress, she said: “Oh yes, because for me, it’s a lot like theatre and I grew up doing musical theatre and we had a costume not a series of outfits. It feels like a character, and I don’t have to think about what to wear. It’s just one less thing.”

Fashion doesn’t often go synonymously with sustainability, but as Adele and Katherine have proven, a continuous change of outfit isn’t needed to showcase your craft.

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Styling is still one of the most environmentally conscious careers you can have within the fashion industry as celebrities often borrow an item from a designer before returning it after an event. As an image curator, I watch models showcase a garment on the runway and then request it for my client’s event, whether it be a ceremony or television appearance. Afterwards, it is given back to the designer where they then lend the same piece of clothing out to magazines, online publications and various other events. As was seen with Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr President” gown to the Met Gala this year, the industry is much more circular than people presume.

But it’s not all up to me, or any stylist. Before a major event, such as a red carpet, I often ask the talent what direction they’d like to head with their fashion choice and what they’ve recently been inspired by. If they’re attending an event to promote a particular movie or a television series, they might want to wear something that gives a nod to the role they play or the programme they’re being paid to promote.

The following steps include calling designers and arranging fittings. Alternatively, if a client is very high-profile, they could have their own contracts with big designers (for example Margot Robbie with Chanel and Bottega Veneta) and be contractually obliged to wear their designs.

Celebrities not only want to dress for the job they have, but, like us, they might want to dress for the job they want. If an actor is pigeonholed into only playing a certain type of character on screen, they might devise a plan, alongside their stylist, to get them seen in a different way by directors. I see this happen a lot with people out of the spotlight too – ordinary people that want a career change or have experienced significant life event often have the desire to transform their style.

If this, is you reader, I suggest beginning with a style mood board to help guide your new fashion direction. Try implementing these new outfits into your daily life, or for an event you have in mind. You might just find a new you.

Jennifer Michalski-Bay is a celebrity fashion stylist and consultant based in London and New York. She regularly holds masterclasses for fashion on her website.

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