Hollywood stylist Micaela Erlanger on staying sane and stylish
Stylist Micaela Erlanger is one of the big hitters, dressing the cream of Hollywood and with her work appearing on red carpets and in brand campaigns around the world. She’s won awards, written a book and countless magazine articles and is on the speed dial of countless celebrities. I first heard of Micaela in 2015 when her name cropped up on a chat show when someone was talking about Lupita Nyong’o, who famously had her Oscars dress stolen (the pearl-embellished custom Calvin Klein gown worn when she won Best Actress in 2015 if any other fashion nerds remember).
Micaela styles Lupita, who I have always thought looks incredible in everything she wears and I immediately went into stalk mode and found Micaela online. I found that a lot of my other favourite red carpet looks on other individuals had also been her work, and I became an avid follower. I was drawn in by how vibrant and at ease, her clients always seemed to be wearing her looks, her Instagram account is a feast of colour and the images all seem to move, they had such life to them (all photos on this post copyright Micaela Erlanger Instagram)
Micaela counts her clients as her ultimate muses and draws inspiration from history, films and art when pulling together a look. The endless list of top designers she works with include Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Dior and Givenchy and her social media feed is a curated slice of the very best creations in fashion, a riot of colour all perfectly tailored and clustered together with the ideal accessories.
Check out these pics of Constance Wu and her Versace look for the 2019 Oscars.
And here is Meryl Streep's Dior Haute Couture look for the Golden Globes
This time of year is particularly exciting for me and other fashion nerds as we get to pore over all the preparations and final outfits at the Golden Globes, BAFTAS, Oscars and more. Don’t even get me started on the Met gala.
With Lupita and other acclaimed actresses including Meryl Streep and Diane Kruger on Micaela’s client list, awards season is a crazy busy time filled with constant travel, fittings and long hours. On one Oscars night, Micaela styled 7 different actresses, and with each gown requiring an average of 4 fittings, it is easy to imagine the stress levels! That’s 28 fittings with celebrities who live and work all over the place and a hard deadline of an event where the entire world is watching. And these actresses are wearing these outfits for hours and hours, the portion of the awards ceremony shown on TV is just a fraction of the entire event not to mention the red-carpet entrance. So these looks have to have endurance!
Here's a little Lupita montage for you:
Speaking of endurance, I often thought Micaela must have a TARDIS (yes I like Doctor Who just as much as couture) to get everything done in time without collapsing, and therefore imagine my excitement recently when I was lucky enough to catch Micaela for a quickfire round of questions on staying stylish and sane under pressure. Here they are...
Rosanna: What are your tips for outfits you have to work in for 6+ hours but still look stylish?
Micaela: I live in dark skinny jeans, blazers and ballet flats. You look polished, professional and can be on your feet for hours on end.
Rosanna: Do you have any styling tips for looking good in photos?
Micaela: If you feel good, you look good, and that shines! Confidence radiates in photos! But aside from that, remember what your momma taught you: stand up straight, shoulders back, and smile! Oh and make sure your clothes are steamed and fit properly
Rosanna: How do you make time for your mental health during mad awards season?
Micaela: It’s hard. There is not a free moment! But I love the Calm app and use the breathing exercises a lot. It helps me focus and centre. It also helps me sleep better!
Rosanna: And finally, vintage or straight off the runway?
Micaela: Both! But vintage has a special place in my heart!
Speaking of vintage and sustainable fashion though, her tip for making sure clothes fit properly is a good one to take note of when trying to buy less – having old wardrobe items altered is a great way to feel better in them as well as make them seem new again and so you get more wear out of things.
Replacing buttons on old coats and jackets, having dresses or skirts taken up to different lengths and adding embellishment are all ways to refresh your clothes. Another one of Micaela’s clients, Amanda Hearst, is a huge voice in the fight for sustainable fashion and the founder of Maison de Mode. At her recent wedding that Micaela styled her for, she wore only borrowed samples or her main dresses were made from re-purposed fabric (by Oscar de la Renta and Viktor and Rolf no less). And of course, vintage jewels!
I for one am really looking forward to the rest of awards season and what else Micaela has in store for 2020 (in addition to planning her own wedding).
A big thank you to Micaela for inspiring this post, and me, and answering a few of my questions. I enjoy writing style-related posts so much and want to do more as well as shine the spotlight on a few other people I admire, so watch this space for other articles like this one.