We’re all familiar with seeing celebrities walk down a red carpet, but what we’re not exactly sure about is what goes on behind the scenes. Sure, we now have glimpses of it thanks to Instagram, but we don’t get the full picture of what happens before celebs step out of their limo and onto the red carpet.
Celebrity stylist and Hollywood film costume designer Leesa Evans is familiar with the process. Not only has she worked on classic films such as Bridesmaids, Zoolander 2 and Trainwreck, but she has also dressed many different celebrities for red carpet events. Amy Schumer and Russell Brand are just some of the stars she has dressed. We spoke to Leesa to find out more about what it is like getting someone ready for a big red carpet event.
The Gloss: How long does it typically take to choose an outfit for a client for a big awards show like the Emmys or the Golden Globes?
Leesa Evans: I almost always focus solely on one designer and give that design team a week or two to come up with sketches based on our initial design concept conversation. Then it’s generally another week or two until the first fitting.
TG: Describe what the process is like.
LE: It’s a truly great moment for collaboration from the initial design concept to sketches, to fabric selection, to fittings and finally the red carpet.
TG: How many fittings do you typically have for an awards show?
LE: An awards show usually takes about two fittings. I try to keep things as simple as possible.
TG: What is one of the biggest considerations when choosing a look for an awards show?
LE: I focus on the mood of the person and the feeling they want to convey. Sometimes that can mean bright and cheery, simple and sophisticated, or even dramatic and serious. I really enjoy helping clients find clothing that feels great everyday and how that parlays onto the red carpet.
TG: What is the most stressful thing about getting someone ready on the day of the red carpet?
LE: It’s often a busy day and by the time someone has gone through hair and makeup, there is only a tiny window to get dressed. Then it’s off to the show, but it can be an hour or more in the car so wrinkles can really set in.
TG: Do you have an all-time favorite awards show look?
LE: I have loved so many looks I’ve styled and so many looks from other stylists. It’s always fun to see a sea of gowns.
TG: What is something that people would be surprised to know about getting ready for awards shows?
LE: Sometimes there can be six to eight people in a group you need to get ready so it’s all about timing. You want to make sure everyone has their moment to feel great and be ready to go.
TG: What’s something interesting that you keep in your styling kit/on hand during awards show prep?
LE: I have everything from shoe pads to meditative music to an extensive sewing kit to tiger balm patches for pain. You just never know what you might need.