A-listers like Penelope Cruz, Tina Fey and Amy Adams are Cristina Ehrlich loyalists – and for good reason. The stylist has been in the biz for 20 years and has built strong relationships with the most coveted design houses. Here she reveals what we can except from her clients on tonight’s red carpet.
What is the best and most difficult thing about the race to the red carpet?
The best thing is the finished product, when your girls are done, dressed and on the red carpet feeling amazing. I wouldn’t use the word difficult, but figuring out how to adjust the dresses we’re given, which are usually runway samples, to fit the actress and look right for the red carpet is a process.
How and when do you start preparing?
Being a Virgo, I tend to like doing everything way ahead, but sometimes it is impossible. Like for the Globes. The nominations come out and then ten days later everyone is on holiday vacation. The Oscars give you a little bit more time and there is a buzz, so designers come to you. We decided on Amy’s Globes dress on Wednesday night. The next night she was nominated for an Oscar, and I’ve already gotten a couple texts from major designers saying, “I want to dress Amy for the Oscars, let’s talk.”
What was your first red carpet moment? What is your favorite red carpet moment since you started?
My first was Mandy Moore at the 2001 MTV Music Awards. She wore a stunning vintage dress from Decades and won! I don’t have a favorite, but probably the biggest moment ever, would be Penelope Cruz in the Atelier Versace big blush dress at the 2007 Oscars. Top to bottom it was a masterpiece. That was a time when the Versace couture gowns were out of control.
What’s your favorite ‘make it work’ story from any red carpet event you’ve dressed?
There are many scenarios, but once a zipper broke on a dress as the client was getting into her car. She was nominated and had to make the press line, so I crawled into the car with the seamstress, and we sewed her into the dress as she lay down in the car. We laughed the whole way.
What makes for a great awards dress – Golden Globes vs. Oscars?
Most important for me, hands down, no matter who the woman is, her age, her style, etcetera is the fit of the dress. When the fit is right, the client feels good, she looks beautiful and exudes confidence.
What are your predictions for red carpet trends this award season? What’s a trend you would like to see happen?
I would love to see the peplum go away for 5 minutes. I love timeless over trends, but I was wondering the other day if a lot of women will be doing beaded dresses because I’ve seen a lot of beading, piettes and over-exaggerated sequins. I’ve also seen a lot of flower prints come through the office, but there are very few women who can take big risks and pull it off.
Can you give any hints about what we can expect from your clients on the carpet at the Globes this weekend?
This far, all my women have a very refined sexiness to them, and I feel they are all taking a little bit of a risk. Sexy, flirty would be a good way to describe it as I am playing with very fitted silhouettes. What Julianna Margulies is wearing is beyond. It is the sexiest thing.
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