Sartorial wisdom from the world’s most popular stylists

Posted by
Stylist Team
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

With awards season wrapped up and a good few fashion weeks in the bag, there's been no shortage of incredible star style to lust over in recent months.

But while the A-Listers lap up the attention and the limelight in their sparkly gowns, the power players behind the Hollywood glamour have once again been revealed and ranked in The Hollywood Reporter's Power Stylists 2015 list.

From Alexa Chung's longtime buddy to Claire Underwood's personal wardrobe creator and a few former Anna Wintour assistants, here are the top 10 dressers of the beautiful people, along with some pearls of style wisdom us mere mortals could learn a thing or two from.


  • Striking, memorable looks
  • A "boyish feel"
  • Clean and sophisticated

Style tip: "Create your own personal style. Take your favorite pieces and blend them with what you love from a certain star’s style. Make it unique but subtle—being fashionable is not being loud."

San Francisco-born Petra came second last year, but tops the 2015 list with a stellar client base including Claire Danes, Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Gwen Stefani, Zoe Saldana and Mila Kunis. She has previously described her own look as "modern, clean and classic" but prefers "thinking outside the box" for the A-Listers she dresses.

Notable red carpet moments include Zoe Saldana's Guardians of the Galaxy promo trail and Emma Stone's unusual Lanvin jumpsuit at this year's Golden Globes (pictured below).


  • Ever-changing colour palette
  • Clean, modern and simple feel
  • Eye for detail

Style tip: "I always choose one part of the look that is going to draw attention and the rest I leave in the background."

Leslie came in at number five last year, but her elegant styling was back in the spotlight over the 2015 awards season, with Best Actress Oscar nominees Reese Witherspoon (above) and Julianne Moore, who took the statue home, trusting her with their big moments. Other clients have included Jennifer Connelly, Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson.

The stylist, who is based in New York and used to be Anna Wintour's assistant at Vogue, has worked with Julianne for over a decade, since being introduced by Salma Hayek's manager, and the actress' ombre feathered Givenchy gown at the Golden Globes (pictured below) made many a best-dressed list.


  • Fashion-forward NYC vibe
  • Relaxed California cool
  • Stand-out details

Style tip: "Some girls can slip on anything, but others can't. When people look amazing on the red carpet it's because the clothes fit well."

The Canadian duo, who split their time between L.A. and New York, style Olivia Wilde, Amy Poehler, Elisabeth Moss, Felicity Jones, Justin Bieber and Robin Wright for the red carpet, and value honesty when putting looks together. "Personally, I think it’s so important for a stylist to be honest and straightforward with their clients," says Kemal. "They’re depending on us to make sure they look their best on their big night. An effective stylist is not a yes-man."

Their relationship with actress Robin extends to her onscreen presence too, as Kemal also put together Claire Underwood's wardrobe for the third season of House of Cards - calling in an impressive collection of designers to convey a slightly softer edge to the fierce First Lady, but also creating some pieces herself - even stringing the pearls on Claire's necklace in the official portrait scene (below).


  • Up-and-coming American designers
  • Vintage pieces and film-inspired looks
  • Edgy and cool

Style tip: "Carve out a little time for yourself, and set a day when you’re going to go shopping, take pictures on your cell phone of yourself in the dressing room, and then don’t buy anything until the next day when you see what you really like and want."

Credited as being behind the return of fashion favourite Sienna Miller, Kate also boasts Dakota Johnson, Michelle Williams, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Selena Gomez as clients, as well as Natalie Portman - whom she styled for the Miss Dior adverts.

Kate, who also started in the industry as an assistant to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, famously put Michelle in yellow Vera Wang in 2006 and the look still gets attention now. "I tend to be really hard on myself, so I don’t usually think, like, Oh, I really did a great job,'" she said in an interview. "But there are times when I know that I’ve gotten good response for stuff. That yellow dress is one of them."


  • Precise, slick looks
  • Occasionally edgy menswear
  • Mixing shades of the same colour

Style tip: "My grandma always told me that you could be in jeans and a T-shirt, but as long as you have gorgeous accessories, you’ll always look chic."

Ilaria dresses a huge roster of Hollywood men, including James Marsden, Ben Affleck, Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds, but it was her 2014 Emmys styling of Masters of Sex star Lizzy Caplan that had everyone swooning.

Speaking of Lizzy's monochrome Donna Karan Atelier gown, which was originally all black until Ilaria requested the addition of white, she said it had opened up doors for the actress. “We were not prepared for the level of attention it got. It was a total game-changer — now every designer wants to dress her.”


  • Old school glamour
  • High-concept editorial shoots
  • Structured dresses

Style tip: “Nude heels are the ultimate versatile shoe. They can easily dress up a casual outfit to help you transition from day to night with ease."

She topped the list last year, and Elizabeth's star-studded clientele continued to impress. The stylist dresses Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Amanda Seyfried, Freida Pinto and January Jones among others, and Rebel Wilson recently revealed she'd turned to her to "class up my whole image".

Now based in Santa Monica, she has flitted between America, France and Spain throughout her career, and revealed to Hollywood Reporter that her looks for Jessica Chastain, including the salmon pink Yves St Laurent (below) at the Interstellar London premiere, have been generating big responses online.


  • Feminine aesthetic
  • Effortless cool
  • Vintage nods

Style tip: "I think we are most true to our tastes when we are young and before anyone has told us what we should like."

Leith is the longtime stylist of Keira Knightley and Alexa Chung, whom she lived with at one point, and edits her own magazine as well as styling. Canada-born but London-based, Leith has worked with Keira since 2007, and while she's recently had Keira's baby bump to accomodate, she says one of her favourite looks of late was back in September.

In a navy blue Michael van der Ham dress at the Toronto Film Festival (below), the star had to contend with the weather on the red carpet. “There was a storm, so her hair is blowing everywhere and she’s laughing, and it just looked amazing,” Leith says.


  • Embellishment detail
  • Interesting silhouettes
  • Clean, timeless looks

Style tip: "I mix the high and the low. I love TopShop, I love Zara, I love H&M. It's really nice to learn to shop with an eye that knows you're adding to your collection."

New York-based Cristina dresses Allison Williams, Margot Robbie, Tina Fey and Penelope Cruz among others, and recently picked up plaudits for putting Girls star Allison in a Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown at the Emmys (below).

The stylist says avoiding fashion fads is the best way to ensure you won't have any regrets years down the line. "I'm not really into trends," Cristina has said. "I'm really about a classic aesthetic you look back on 10 years [later] and you're like, 'I loved what I was looking like'."

She added: "I don't like my girls to look like they've been styled. I like them to look like they've got great, chic taste, and the fact that they're getting some help from somebody, great."


  • Approachable, fresh feel
  • Simple, yet big impact pieces
  • "Masculine/feminine with an edge"

Style tip: "[It's] good to know your go-to's. If a staple works for you, buy it three ways and just own it. You don't have to follow every trend. And then you can toss it on without a lot of fret as you know it works."

Jeanann was a fashion publicist until 2012, when good friend Naomi Watts enlisted her style advice for a press tour, and she's never looked back, now styling the likes of Suki Waterhouse and Emily Mortimer. She'd only been styling  for six months when she put together Naomi's stunning Armani Privé look for the 2013 Oscars (below), an experience she described as "dreamy".

She describes her own style as “French, approachable, masculine/feminine, with an edge" and says a certain TV show always gets her in the best mindset for her job. “A few episodes of Sex and the City will always leave me feeling inspired,” she admitted. “You see the love for fashion in every scene. It reminds me to dress and style with passion, stack it on, try something different - it’s all meant to be fun!”


  • Delicate looks with a bold lip
  • Retro styling with modern touches
  • Sheer, but never revealing detail

Style tip: The Hollywood Fashion Secrets sponge. “It’s marketed as a way to remove deodorant, but it also miraculously removes makeup from many fabrics."

Joseph is well known for dressing Taylor Swift, and the pair started working together in 2008 when he was asked to do a basic “steam and press” job, largely for the experience he would gain. He turned up with a full wardrobe and so when the original stylist on what turned out to be a Taylor photoshoot "dropped the ball", he stepped in and has been styling her exclusively since on red carpets, music videos and promo shoots.

While Taylor looks predictably amazing in long gowns, he's also made some sartorial statement recently, notably the playsuit she wore to the 2014 VMAs. Whether you loved it or loathed it, there's no denying it got people talking. Joseph says, “I think people were expecting a gown, so when she wore Mary Katrantzou’s alphabet-themed romper, a collective gasp was tweeted and Instagrammed — #legsfordays.”

Images: Rex Features, Netflix,, Getty Images

Share this article


Stylist Team