I’ve been a massive fan of Brad Goreski since college, when my friends and I would binge watch The Rachel Zoe Project instead of working. Zoe was always a delight to watch and you couldn’t tear me away from a Rog talking head, but the real appeal was always, obviously, Brad. I still maintain that the dress he picked out for Kate Hudson but was scrapped due to a white stage was stunning and would have landed on all the best dressed lists, but most people in the world have moved past that, I suppose. Oh well.
He’s long since moved on from Team Zoe and is a hugely accomplished stylist in his own right, working with Kate Spade, starring on his since-ended Bravo show It’s A Brad Brad World, and his bread and butter: styling celebrity clients. It seemed like a natural fit to ask his advice about going bold (since he’s never one to blend in), and to get some words of wisdom about finding the courage to stand out.
We asked him about how to make the bright, bold patterns we see on his celebrity clients work on normals like us who might be too nervous to step out in something other than our winter black coats.
The Gloss: Your client Rashida Jones has been wearing a lot of bold patterns this year–her Valentino dress at the Vanity Fair Oscar party comes to mind. How do you style bold patterns so that they don’t overpower your clients?
Brad Goreski: Rashida wears clothes with such confidence. She loves to do things that are unexpected. When wearing a bold pattern, it’s good to let that be the star of your outfit and keep the accessories simple. For the Vanity Fair party we wanted to do a look that was different and unpredictable. The accessories were key! The hand bracelet and hoop earrings really pulled the whole look together. You just have to go for it. It’s good to stand out in the crowd!
Next up: Brad tells us how four celebrities went bold and gives us his opinion of their looks.
Goreski’s confidence is enough to give me courage, but I needed a few more specifics. We asked him to dissect four recent red carpet looks with striking patterns and tell us exactly what worked and what didn’t, so we could try it out ourselves.
BG: Mindy nails this look! The color is gorgeous on her and I love where the skirt and crop top meet. It’s just the right amount of skin.
Chrissy Teigen’s Oscars dress
BG: Floral fantasia! This is a great look for Chrissy. We are used to seeing her in such sexy outfits. It’s nice to see another side of her style personality. I would’ve loved to see this dress with her hair up and maybe a bracelet too!
Reese Witherspoon at the Independent Spirt Awards
BG: I love that Reese tried something different here, however I feel like there is a lot going on and in my opinion this look would be better suited for something like a movie premiere. I applaud her though for wearing a short dress instead of the below knee length she often wears.
Alison Brie at the Mad Men premiere
BG: On the runway, I love this dress. The silhouette and embroidery are beautiful. For Alison, I would have suggested adding a little more color to make the tones in the dress stand out. Perhaps brighter earrings and a colorful closed-toe pump!
Coming up: the lessons we learned from Brad.
So after talking to Brad, I feel like I actually might feel bold enough to go pattern crazy this spring and deviate my usual colorblocking of black and navy. I’m going to follow these simple rules, and then just say screw it and enjoy wearing something fun.
1. Find a cut that doesn’t fight with the pattern
Kaling’s outfit nailed it–the crop top was subtle enough to accent the pattern instead of causing a confusing scene. Witherspoon’s was a bit off, with way too much going on. I didn’t know if I should look at the pattern or the shape or the belt or whatever. This is an easy one. Keep it simple.
2. Don’t be afraid to accent your pattern with bold beauty
If the pattern is the only thing doing the talking, your clothes are going to wear you instead of the other way around. Don’t go overboard with crazy braids, huge lashes, jewel toned eyelids, and bright lips, but a statement on one area can’t hurt.
3. Match your accessories so that they enhance your pattern
Pick your jewelry, purse, and shoes around your pattern and let them be the supporting cast.
4. Keep things simple
Don’t try to do too much at once–the pattern will do most of the heavy lifting, style-wise.
5. Hold your head up high and don’t be afraid
Without a doubt, the key is being confident. Typically I’d say that’s easier said than done, but if you follow these simple steps, it should take the guesswork out of things.
See you all in patterned dresses this spring? My goal is to get another “floral fantasia!” out of Brad. A girl can dream!s
Photos: Getty Images/The Magnet Agency