BY: Suzanne Ennis
It’s the flashiest season of all in L.A.: awards season! Beginning in late November and culminating with the Academy Awards on Feb. 27, these ceremonies are fi lled with celebrities dripping in gems and couture, riveting cinephiles and style watchers around the globe. With the biggest shows just around the corner, we asked some of L.A.’s top fashion, makeup and hair gurus for their predictions and picks for this year’s top looks. Find out how you, too, can achieve a look worthy of the red carpet.
DRESSING THE PART
Following several years of safe choices on the red carpet, experts are heralding a return to glamour and risk taking. This year’s fashion influences are all over the map, from minimalist and 1970s looks inspired by the runway to ballet on the big screen, Old Hollywood and retro looks from the small screen.
Self-proclaimed “maximalist” Sue Wong, an L.A.-based designer favored by Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel, predicts bold color and bohemian looks for women. “I think there will be a lot of rich colors on the carpet, including reds, plums, fuchsia, cerise and orange along with a more erotic, Marrakesh, YSL-in-the-’70s type of look,” she says.
As for jewelry, Ginnina D’Orazio, whose public relations fi rm D’Orazio & Associates specializes in fi ne jewelry, fashion and accessories, notes, “For years [the awards season] was strictly a white-diamond affair, but as the U.S. jewelry market has matured, demand has grown for pieces that are edgy or unique with a slight vintage-retro style.” She likes blackened gold with rose-cut diamonds, and bracelets and rings with colored stones.
Celebrity stylist Melis Kuris also champions “dressing to impress” this year. She believes heavyweights Chanel, Giorgio Armani’s Armani Privé, Elie Saab and Marchesa will continue their red-carpet reign, and expects navy and fl esh-toned gowns that accentuate “plus points” versus hewing to trends. Her male clients, who include Peter Facinelli and Kevin McHale, opt for classic peaked lapels. Younger men might rock a skinny trouser, like those at Paul Smith. Kuris would love to see brown, gray and navy suits, including her favorite Dolce & Gabbana charcoal tux, peppered with personal touches like handkerchiefs and Chopard watches. She emphasizes expert tailoring: “If the dress doesn’t fit, it doesn’t matter if [you’re] wearing a million-dollar necklace,” she cautions.
CUT TO HAIR
Early events indicate that retro waves will be reprised at this year’s big awards shows, as will soft updos. But minimalist looks have infiltrated the red carpet, say celebrity hairstylists Mika Fowler, director of style at Gavert Atelier in Beverly Hills, and Robert Ramos of Estilo Salon in West Hollywood.
Ramos, who attends to Jessica Alba’s tresses, likes to give his fashion-forward clients a chic look with slick, glossy and super clean chignons, low buns and French twists. Color-wise, lightened ends are in demand, says Ramos, as is high-maintenance red.
Fowler, whose celebrity roster includes Malin Akerman, complements sleek gowns with hair that’s middle-parted and tied in a simple knot, or “Goth-style,” long and straight. Men’s hair is short this year, says Fowler, with product-enhanced texture.
Another edgy look both stylists are ecstatic over is the Jean Seberg-inspired pixie, headlined by ingénues such as Carey Mulligan.
SPECIAL EFFECTS: MAKEUP
Celebrity makeup artist Robert Bolanos of Lukaro Beverly Hills, whose clients include Queen Latifah, is another who has noticed a return to boldness on the red carpet. He predicts a focus on the eyes, à la the dramatic makeup in Black Swan, but “less smoky, more sultry,” perhaps achieved with liquid liner.
Makeup & GO! studio director and makeup artist Anna Marco, who recently worked with Kate Hudson, expects to see the “less-is-more” approach dominate. At the flagship studio in Brentwood and pop-ups in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood (open for awards season), she delivers flawless, highlighted skin, topped off with thick lashes and bright lip stain . Celebrity brow and makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle of Valerie Beverly Hills, who works with Mila Kunis, anticipates colorful gowns, and advises, “This calls for very nude facial colors, and tints on the cheeks and eyes, but bright lips.” As for nails, Jessica Vartoughian of Jessica Nail Clinic, who counts Demi Moore among her clients, comments, “I think we will see an extension of the fall grays, deep purples and trendy neutrals on the red carpet.” The “First Lady of Nails” also endorses a classic “brilliant red.”
For men, grooming is key . Marco and Bolanos embrace facial hair for the red carpet. Just keep it trimmed, advises Marco.
Bolanos urges his celebrity clients to pay attention to trends, but always add their “signature look.” With the diversity of trends emerging, there’s sure to be a look that accentuates your assets. What will your signature be?
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