If I had to name my top five style icons, Kate Bosworth and Sienna Miller are two that would definitely make the list but while these fair haired ladies surely have their own stylish sensibilities, there’s one woman that’s had a little something to do with their sartorial successes. Enter, LA-based celebrity stylist Cher Coulter, whose career started in part through her friendship with Orlando Bloom but has now led her to a friendship and business partner relationship with Kate Bosworth. I got to pick the high-profile stylist’s brain on everything from working with Hollywood’s A-listers to what I’d find in her very own closet.
How did you originally get started in styling?
I studied fashion design at Saint Martins College in London and then launched a clothing brand, AKA, in the UK, but I always did a bit of styling along the way. On a whim, I came out to LA and bumped into an old friend, Orlando Bloom, who had since become a famous actor. In the meantime, I had taken my clothing line to Flaunt Magazine, and they asked me to style the Orlando cover. From then on, I continued doing covers for Katie Holmes, Jude Law, Jessica Biel, and it all sort of came together. This was my launch pad for getting to know Hollywood and how it worked. Through Orlando, I met Kate, and we immediately hit it off and started enjoying fashion together.
Youve styled some of the top celebrities like Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler, Robin Wright, Sienna Miller and Kate Bosworth. Can you pick out your 5 favorite celebrity red carpet moments?
1. Kate at the Met in vintage Chanel. Her multi-colored dress had a futuristic vibe a fun fashion moment!
Kate Bosworth. Photo by Rabbani & Solimene, WireImage
2. Sienna Miller at the G.I. Joe premiere in YSL her signature boho glam look. 3. Emily Mortimer in Cher Coulter at the Pink Panther Premiere. (I made her a custom black and white stripe dress that channeled NY cool chic.)
4. Robin Wright in Balenciaga at the Cannes film festival. She wore a blue dress with a black stripe through it that epitomized classic beauty.
5. Michelle Williams in Coco Chanel at the Cannes film festival was a very special moment for me.
You just started a new jewelry line with your friend and client, Kate Bosworth. How is designing jewelry different from styling?
Actually, I apply the same rules. Kate and I observe and listen to people to understand their style. Do they seem classic, quirky, bohemian, edgy? Then we design accordingly to accommodate a variety of styles. We also look at the runway shows to get on trend. You can find certain colour palettes and shapes that reflect the runways in our designs. We also love getting inspiration from vintage pieces and other art.
What was it like going from having Kate as a client to a business partner?
Easy! We have always listened to each other and worked together on everything. Five years of practice! JewelMint really is our fashion dream.
What are the 3 most important factors that you take into consideration when deciding on a red carpet look for your clients?
1. Comfort – they need to feel good!
2. Something fashionable. I ask myself, will this image both stand the test of time and also appear in magazines as a reflection of current trends? Outfits that do both pave the way for my clients to be recognized again and again. 3. The wow factor! The dress should stand out from things theyve worn in the past, but still have their personal style all over it.
Youve also dressed some serious leading men like Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. How is styling for your female clients different from doing so for the guys?
Neither sex is easier or harder than the other. For example, Tom Ford fits Eric like a glove, and always makes for an exciting ensemble, the same way Givenchy perfectly suits Kate Bosworth and brings a new twist at the same time. One main difference is that with girls, Im looking for the perfect fit, color, and fashion sensibility all on a super high level. With guys, the perfect fit comes first, and then the other details climb higher on the list.
Emily Mortimer in Cher Coulter. Photo by Jim Spellman, WireImage
When styling someone tall and curvy like Emily Mortimer as opposed to someone more petite like Kate, what are the different styles and silhouettes that you gravitate towards for each?
For Kate, Sienna, Robin and slimmer girls, you dont want to overwhelm them with a lot of prints, frills, and ruffles. The goal is to elongate and simplify. For women with more curves and height, you can get a bit wilder! But you still need to consider things like bigger busts, which require a more structured dress. Each body shape has got something going; the same simple spaghetti strap dress that looks chic on Kate probably wont fit a girl whos reliant on her bra for support. But a petite figure wouldnt pull off a Vivienne Westwood corset dress the way Christina Hendricks could – very statuesque!
Any red carpet moments you look back on and cringe?
Who are some dream clients you have yet to work with?
I would love to work with Jon Hamm because he looks so sharp in Mad Men and it would be a great challenge. On the female side, I would love to work with Carey Mulligan because I think we would understand each other. She has some genius curves!
Since jewelry has been a focus on your roster as of late, what jewelry trends have you been wearing personally?
Big earrings! I live in my JewelMint Cleopatra Cabochons! They get everyones attention and work with so many different looks. I also love mixing and stacking rings and bracelets. You can pile a ton of our bohemian inspired silver bracelets for a fun day to night look.
If you werent styling or designing jewelry for a living, what would you be doing instead?
Id like to think Id pursue photography. Though Im not a big techie, I love taking shots and have a good eye for timing and composition.
If we snuck into your closet for a day, who are the top 5 designers we would find?
Well, Id like to say Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Proenza Schouler, Celine and maybe some Chanel… But honestly, its Topshop, Zara, H&M! I have some Mulberry and Loewe in there too they are both great friends.
Its about that time when were organizing our closets to make way for winter wares. What are your top closet organization tips?
Separate by garment to give your eyes a break! Make sure to hang your jeans for that perfect fold. Also hang your sweaters individually over hangers since youll be wearing them a lot in the chilly winter season. Put your coats in a separate closet or cupboard as theyll get wet and soiled from popping in and out of holiday parties!
Last three fashion purchases?
1. Zara black suede kitten heels
2. Isabel Marant Etoile print dress
3. Current Elliott black lace-up jodhpur black pants
Do you read any fashion blogs? Which are your favorites?
I love Jak&Jil. Images speak louder than words for me on fashion!
For girls that dream of being a personal stylist someday, what advice would you give them?
Know body types really well – and start with your own! Be brave with your style choices because fashion should be fun! Study your fashion history as much as possible because it will help you understand why you like certain styles. Scroll through Style.comrunway shows on a daily basis for inspiration!
Who are your personal style icons?
Marianne Faithful was uber cool in the Sixties. She was both effortless sexy and herself.
To learn more about Chers fashion sensibility, check out the new jewelry line from her and Kate Bosworth at JewelMint.