International Celebrity/Wedding Stylist Nicole Janowicz who has styled the likes of Audrina Patridge, Jaime King, Backstreet Boys and Slash of Guns N' Roses (to name a few) joined me this week to discuss what goes into styling musicians on and off stage, what a typical day is like before a red carpet event, the top trends for spring and much more!
Candace Rose: You've styled some of the biggest musicians of all time; can you tell us what goes into styling a musician on and off the stage?
Nicole Janowicz: "I love styling musicians because it is amazing to be part of the process of creating a persona and show for the fans! Musicians are different than anyone else because they create these huge shows on stage and perform live in front of thousands upon thousands of fans, but also have to maintain a particular image off-stage. They have to have the energy and performance skills to enchant stadiums full of fans, and take these same qualities to a smaller scale to the red carpet, TV interview, and meet and greets. It’s an interesting dichotomy and I am constantly in awe of my clients.
When I am styling, I think about what their fans would love to see them in, both on and off the stage. Wardrobe for photo shoots, red carpet, and their personal life has to communicate their personalities and music. Their costumes for stage, on the other hand, have to satisfy other requirements which include: reflecting the musicians’ personalities, compliment their bodies, all of the costumes on stage (lead artists, background musicians, dancers, and back up singers) need to be cohesive, reflect the songs in a particular set, work together to tell a story, work with the set and lighting design, add to the drama and theatrics of a show, and of course, look great.
They also have to be durable (to withstand the hard life of being on tour) and functional (so the artist can move, dance and sweat in them as well as easy to change into, and out of, in less than 30 seconds for a quick change throughout the show)."
Candace Rose: What is your day typically like when dressing a client for a red carpet event?
Nicole Janowicz: "There is a lot of preparation time that goes into putting together a red carpet look: researching designers and their collections, picking out specific pieces to pull, fittings, choosing accessories, alterations, discussing and deciding upon hair and make up, etc. So, a lot of the hard work is done prior to the day of the event.
In an ideal world, the day of the event would flow as follows: my team and I would arrive first thing in the morning at the client’s home, hotel room, or dressing room on set (if they are performing at an awards show); steam and press the clothing; consult with hair and make up; make sure that the client is feeling comfortable and help calm his/her nerves; help the client get dressed and of course he/she will look amazing; ride in the car with the client to the red carpet; do last looks before they walk in front of the camera; then send them off to work their magic.
Some days run smoothly and others are a little more challenging. All stylists encounter little hiccups and there is always a fire to put out. For example, we may need to make an emergency Spanx run for a female client, or a client has a last minute request and we need to have a store open early for us, or last minute alterations, or an emergency shoe change because the stage is too slippery for dancing, etc.
An interesting hiccup from my tenure as a stylist was when a tree burst into flames next to my assistant’s car on the day of an event! We didn’t want to start the car because there were embers floating all over the place, so we had to brave the flames and save the wardrobe! Then of course we called 911.
While 'typical' days are few and far between, they are always welcome!"
Candace Rose: What's the secret to putting together a wardrobe that's powerful and also low-maintenance?
Nicole Janowicz: "When women shop or peruse their wardrobe, they shouldn’t focus on one outfit. They should think about it as a whole entity, meaning the majority of the wardrobe should work together so there are many different outfit options that can be mixed and matched; rather than focusing on a singular outfit in which the pieces can only be worn together or not at all.
That being said, the trick to a low-maintenance wardrobe are a few good staple items that are interchangeable. For example: a great leather jacket will go with everything from a pair of jeans and sneakers to a cute cocktail dress and heels; a pair of dark jeans that are properly tailored that will transition from day to night seamlessly; or a blouse that can be worn with jeans or a cute mini skirt. This also a good way to pack for a vacation!
Most importantly, you must love everything in your closet. That way, every time you get dressed, you are going to look and feel confident and wonderful!"
Candace Rose: What are some of your favorite trends for spring?
Nicole Janowicz: "I’m excited for art deco (1920s-30s) inspired silhouettes and details, meaning dropped waists, geometric patterns, and tubular silhouettes in loose fitting, ethereal fabrics. I find art deco fashion to be beautifully effortless…think old Hollywood glamour.
This trend is great for spring and summer because they are easy to wear in warm weather. You can throw on a dress, some bangles, and a pair of stylish heels and you’ll look amazing for a night out on the town. The cuts, waists, fabrics, and patterns make these pieces so much more interesting for the summer than a traditional strapless maxi dress and flip flops."
Candace Rose: Is there one trend you'd advise women stay away from?
Nicole Janowicz: "There are trends, like a new silhouette or a popular color; then there are fads, like stirrup pants or “jeggings.” I think a good rule of thumb when contemplating buying the newest, hottest clothing item is to ask yourself: 'If I saw a picture of myself in this piece of clothing in a year or 5 years from now, would I still love it?'
Some trends, even If they are new, will become classics and will always look chic. For example, Christian Dior’s first collection in 1949 revolutionized the fashion world because it introduced a new silhouette in dresses. In fact, this entire collection was dubbed “the new look.” This silhouette never really went out of style. It evolved, new trends emerged, but over the last 60 years, wearing a dress inspired by this collection was always considered fashionable. In fact, the Christian Dior spring 2012 couture collection paid homage to the original 1949 collection.
Buying classic and timeless pieces is especially important given the current economic times. Not everyone has extra income to spend on new clothing every month. Save your money and buy great pieces that you will wear over and over again for many years. They may be pricier in the beginning, but they are worth it because you will get more mileage out of them. You’ll definitely get more bang for your buck and will always look chic and put together!
If you absolutely love your jeggings and want to wear them until the end of time, by all means rock those jeggings like there is no tomorrow!"
Candace Rose: Is there one key piece that you feel everyone needs in her closet?
Nicole Janowicz: "Both men and women need to have amazing black leather jacket. It goes with everything and makes any outfit instantly cool. Plus, you will wear it for years and years. Also, we all need an amazing pair of “big boy/girl” shoes that make us feel like we can take on the world and overcome any obstacle that may come our way."
Candace Rose: When should we save and when should we splurge?
Nicole Janowicz: "There are 2 main situations in which you should save: 1) The airline loses your luggage and you need to buy a few days worth of clothes. This is a time to run to H&M and Forever 21. 2) When the item you want to buy is more fad then trend: you love it, but you don’t see yourself wearing it in a year from now.
Splurge on items you want to wear for years. Specifically, purses, leather jackets, and a solid winter coat are all wardrobe items you will wear over and over again. The most important items on which to splurge are shoes. We wear our shoes all day, every day, and sometimes all night. The last things we want to worry about are blisters and feet discomfort. When it comes to shoes, the old adage is true, 'You get what you pay for.'
Remember, splurging does not mean you have to pay full price. Stores have big sales twice a year to move out the current season’s merchandise and make room for the new season. But, when you go to a sale, have a plan. Make a list of specific items you are looking for, make a budget, and stick to both. It is very easy to get caught up in the “but it’s such a great deal” mentality, buy a lot that you don’t need, and end up spending more than you planned. I am a huge fan of sales, especially shoe sales! The Barney’s shoe sale gets me every time…every single time."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Nicole Janowicz: "Fashion is meant to be fun, liberating, and a creative way to express oneself. So, have fun, experiment, make mistakes, and enjoy the process of finding clothes, shoes, and accessories that make you feel and look beautiful."
For more information on Nicole Janowicz, please visit: NicoleJanowicz.com/