Today, The Hollywood Reporter released its 25 Most Powerful Stylists issue, which calls attention to the leading celebrity stylists in Hollywood. At the top of the list: Leslie Fremar, the gal responsible for the stunning red carpet looks of high-profile clients like Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, and Charlize Theron (with whom the stylist was rumored to be collaborating with on a denim line last week, but Fremar has since confirmed that it was just that—a rumor.)
We caught up with the busy Fremar, who filled us in on how it feels to be recognized in such a big way, as well as dished on what really goes into dressing some of Hollywood’s biggest A-listers.
StyleCaster: Congratulations! How does it feel to be recognized like that?
Leslie Fremar: It’s so funny—everyone’s saying congratulations, and I’m like, “For my baby?” I mean, it’s amazing. It’s nice that they’ve taken the time to recognize the behind-the-scenes people, and I think everyone is happy to get the recognition. It’s not about the number on the list, it’s just that they’re acknowledging that we work really hard, and that’s cool.
If you had to pick out a few stand out red-carpet moments of your clients, what would they be?
I don’t know, I love them all! It’s like picking my favorite child—I can’t do that! So much time and effort goes into it that you love every single one. Then when you read the press, and someone doesn’t like something, it’s hurtful. It hurts your feelings because you’ve spent so much time and effort into putting it together with the hair and the makeup and the whole ensemble. Sometimes people don’t understand how much work goes into one red carpet look. I’m proud of my work, and I love my clients, and I think they’re amazing and beautiful, and I love what we do—so unfortunately I can’t choose!
Have you had any super stressful situations while styling a celebrity where you really had to think on your feet?
Yes. There are times that you have a dress custom made, and it shows up and it’s not what you expect and you have to figure out how to rework it. There’s a technical part to this job too, like understanding the garment and what’s possible and what’s not, and when to start again or rework something to make it work at the level that you want it to. It’s just problem-solving, and I’ve never had anything not work out—or situations where I go home in tears—nothing like that has really happened yet!
You have great relationships everywhere from Dior to Tom Ford. What is some advice that you could give an aspiring stylist on how to get in the game and foster those relationships?
I think it’s just being loyal to brands that you relate to. If you make big moments for them, it helps to build the relationship naturally. It takes time because the designers also have to trust you. The designers are sending you their designs, and hoping that you put them together in a way that they’re proud of. My advice would be to be patient, and build your aesthetic and understand what works for you, and what doesn’t. I work with brands where I appreciate what they’re doing, so it feels organic to have working relationships with me. There are other brands that my aesthetic doesn’t make sense with.
For people who aren’t celebrities and don’t have stylists, what are some of your tips on how to create a great look with what you already have?
My approach to styling is that I keep everything quite simple, and I choose pieces that are well-made or have another quality that I gravitate to, but I don’t layer on everything that I love all at once. There’s usually one or two things that stand out that I really love and then there are other things that fall to the side to bring more attention to the things that really work in the look. I just think that my approach and suggestion is to keep it simple. There’s other girls that are super eclectic that layer a ton, and it works for them, but it doesn’t work for me. You need to know what works for you and your personality, since that’s what fashion is an expression of.
When you’re doing something like the Oscars where you’re dressing multiple clients, how do you stay balanced and deal with the multiple personalities and senses of style?
It weirdly all works out, but maybe that’s why I’m good at my job. That part of it feels organic, it doesn’t feel like I have to figure out how to balance anything. It just kind of happens. It somehow works out. Time always works out, the looks always work out. It just feels easy for me. I don’t know, if it doesn’t feel easy, then maybe it’s the wrong job!