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16-07-2005
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Join Date: May 2005
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Rachel Zoe - Stylist (July 2005 - March 2010)
Moderator's Note: Effective Sept, 2008

All comments about Rachel's show should now be made in that thread: The Rachel Zoe Project ... Television Show

This thread will remain a place to post information about her styling/designing work and her personal style. Comments about the show posted here will be considered off topic and will be deleted.




By Booth Moore, Times Staff Writer

At some point over the last few months, it began to feel like an assembly line: Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan ....

All of a sudden, you couldn't tell them apart: the drapey gowns clinging to skinny hips, the long blond tendrils falling over matchstick-thin arms, the smoky eyes accenting bottle-bronzed faces.

"Attack of the Clones" was the headline in Women's Wear Daily. "Lindsay Lohan's Double Visions," quipped People magazine above a photo of Lohan and Richie.

It might look like a peroxide wind is blowing through Hollywood, but there's actually a mastermind behind this look-of-the-moment: celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe.

And it turns out many of her clients look just like her: wispy-thin, golden-tressed, bronzed and sexy.

Zoe — she was Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig until her agent urged her to drop her last name — is one of a handful of sought-after Hollywood stylists who earn up to $6,000 a day. She dresses some of the world's most visible teen idols for film junkets, premieres and magazine shoots. (Mischa Barton, Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, Kate Hudson and Brittany Murphy are also clients.) As such, her power as an image maker cannot be underestimated. A recent entry on a Lohan fan site read: "I would do anything to look like her!"

It's not that no one has ever done the bohemian chic look before. Kate Moss and Sienna Miller have a similar, much imitated style, mixing vintage with modern-day romantic pieces, and inspiring designers such as Chloé's Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney. For these English style icons, fashion is effortless. But in Hollywood, women are used to walking the red carpet. They have to look "done," with every detail perfect, down to makeup and hair. So Zoe has created her own brand of studied effortless chic.

"I'm not trying to make people look like me," she said during a recent interview at her Beverly Hills apartment, which has racks of designer clothing crammed in the entryway. "But when you spend a lot of time with someone, you rub off on each other. I think I'm kind of an older sister to Lindsay and Nicole."

In fact, it's not uncommon for Zoe, 33, to dress "her girls" as she calls them, out of her own overstuffed closet, full of free clothes given to her by designers in hopes that she or one of her clients will be photographed in them.

Zoe's style is grounded in 1970s sex appeal — part biker chick, part disco denizen. During the day, she favors super-skinny jeans, sky-high studded or python stilettos by Gucci or Alexander McQueen, cropped Chanel jackets, and gold chains with shark-tooth charms from Kaviar and Kind. Her face is bronzed and her eyes lined and colored with frosted shadow. For evening, Zoe goes for drapey goddess gowns — vintage Chloé or Yves Saint Laurent, and always clingy. (A recent purchase from Decades was a one-shoulder purple chiffon Halston.)

Thinness is essential. Rather than surgically enhanced breasts, Zoe has the reedy, flat-chested figure of hard-partying 1970s rock stars and Studio 54 regulars — gold dust women like Bianca Jagger, Diane von Furstenberg, Diana Ross and Stevie Nicks. (Fashion insiders have whispered privately that she is single-handedly bringing anorexia back.)

The sultry 1960s and '70s look was championed by Tom Ford in the 1990s, so it's no surprise that Zoe "worships" the designer, who until recently worked for both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. "There is virtually nothing that man has designed that I wouldn't wear," she said.

But for a 19-year-old like Lohan, the boho Barbie look can come across as a little world-weary, especially with the kohl-rimmed bedroom eyes and stark blond hair. Lohan had already dyed her hair for an upcoming role as Meryl Streep's daughter in "Prairie Home Companion" when she and Zoe started working on a new image in New York. "I remember sitting on her hotel room floor and saying, 'Now what do you want from me?' " The overall goal was to step up Lohan's style, she said, taking inspiration from Moss by day, in Balenciaga and Chloé, and Old Hollywood by night, with Brigitte Bardot lashes, heavy eyeliner and vintage YSL and Valentino dresses.

"I am the biggest fashion-obsessed person in the world," said Zoe. "But in Lindsay, I feel like I may have met my match. If she wasn't an actress, she would be a stylist, because she would have to be." Zoe remembers a night Lohan dropped by her apartment at 9 p.m. to pick up a bag and ended up staying four hours, trying on clothes and taking Polaroid pictures "just for fun."

Zoe's apartment is jammed with hundreds of designer pieces — a vintage YSL safari jacket, a lavender Chanel parka, Balenciaga boots, a Gucci black woven-leather biker jacket, plus jeans by Levi's, Jordache, Hudson, Rock & Republic and more — much of it unworn, with the tags still on it.

Splayed out on the marble floor of her bathroom are 14 shoeboxes filled to the brims with jewelry by Chanel, YSL, Claude Montana, Dior and Givenchy. In preparation for moving to a new house, she recently dropped off six garbage bags full of clothes at resale shop Decades. "I've done four edits and I will probably do one more," she said, speaking about her closet in fashion editor parlance. Like most stylists, she doesn't have any formal fashion training. "I was always dressing my friends, and I started finding myself dressing up to go hiking or to a diner. And I would ask myself, 'What am I getting so dressed up for?' But it was kind of all I knew how to do," said Zoe, who was raised in Short Hills, N.J.

When she was 13, she traveled to Paris for the first time on a family vacation. "I had saved every dime and dollar, and I walked right into Louis Vuitton and bought a bag." She still has it, along with hundreds of others she has collected since, which are stored in the foyer in a closet of their own. Recently, she's been carrying the latest "it" bag, the Chloé Silverado in bronze python, a thank-you gift from the French fashion house.

Zoe attended George Washington University, where she met her husband, Roger Berman, an investment banker. He was working as a waiter and she as a hostess at a popular Georgetown harborfront restaurant. She majored in sociology and psychology. ("Some would say that helps in my job," she said.)

After college, she moved to New York and began working as a stylist at YM magazine. She describes the experience as "a crash course" and remembers going back and forth to L.A. on almost a weekly basis for celebrity shoots and fashion features. After four years, she broke out on her own as a freelance stylist working with musicians such as the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias and Vanessa Carlton. "There were a lot of sleepless nights, finding out at 11 p.m. that you had to be on a plane at 7 a.m.," she said. "I don't mean to sound superficial, because we are not saving lives. But that's the kind of pressure that the industry puts on a stylist to create a certain image."

The occupation of wardrobe stylist did not even exist until 10 years ago, when fashion designers and celebrities realized the revenue that could be brought in from red carpet photos. Now a stylist is an essential celebrity handler, on a par with a publicist or a trainer.

How dependent can they get? For Zoe, until August, it's all Lindsay, all the time. She is traveling with the actress on the "Herbie: Fully Loaded" European press tour. Before leaving, she will fit and photograph Lohan in hundreds of outfits, packing them in trunks for the four-city, two-week trip.

"This girl went through two trunks of clothes in 48 hours in New York," Zoe said, "so I would imagine there will be eight or 10 trunks. She'll wear at least three outfits a day."With all the exposure, it's no surprise that stylists are becoming sought-after stars in their own right. After dressing Halle Berry, Phillip Bloch signed with the William Morris Agency, published a book and became a spokesman for Lycra and Visa. Outfitting Nicole Kidman elevated L'Wren Scott's profile so much that the beauty is now dating Mick Jagger. Two years ago, Zoe signed with the Margaret Maldonado Agency in L.A. and seems to be making her way toward the red carpet herself.

She's begun preaching the virtues of tan and slinky to the rest of America, as a regular contributor to Cosmopolitan magazine and a guest on "Oprah," and she was recently hired as a spokeswoman for GapBody, where her duties include "Bra Bar" fit clinics for customers, despite the fact that most days she doesn't even wear a bra.

*

How to get the Rachel Zoe look

Hair: Cut and color by Byron Williams at Byron Studio on Robertson Boulevard

Makeup: Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil in Tanzania and Gold Coast Bronzing Powder, both at Sephora stores

Jeans: Rock & Republic — cut off at the ankle, size 25

Jewelry: Anything gold from Kaviar and Kind on Sunset Boulevard, preferably layered pieces, but "keep only one item big"

Undergarments: Go braless

Exercise: None

Food: "The Stress Diet" ("If my life would settle down, I think I could put on some weight," Zoe says).

Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Balenciaga. No flats.

For dressing up: Anything Grecian and 1970s looking, preferably vintage Halston or YSL. Nothing above the knees ("I've got chicken knees," she says).

Source: latimes.com:style and culture


Last edited by BetteT; 15-10-2008 at 06:03 PM. Reason: To add Moderator's Note.
 
 
17-07-2005
  2
Frozen irony.
 
pucci_mama's Avatar
 
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wow.. I would love to have a dig in her closet..

 
17-07-2005
  3
Meg
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This is the most god-awfully superficial article ever. I can't believe she's proud of herpersonality.

 
17-07-2005
  4
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i want her closet too! all the designer stuff......

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17-07-2005
  5
flaunt the imperfection
 
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this is reality....

 
17-07-2005
  6
Meg
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you say that softie, but you aren't like her at all (or are you secretly bringing anorexia back as well?). or is that just the ny/LA divide?

 
17-07-2005
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flaunt the imperfection
 
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honestly....
you wouldn't believe the stress and pressure and schedule you have to keep when you are in the middle of some of these things...
and you physically are unable to eat from the acid in your stomach...

so it's not anorexia a lot of the times but real STRESS!!!...
it's ludicrous but so true...

i used to be a rail!!...seriously!!...
and you can't sleep either!
it can be a really unhealthy lifestyle which is why some of these girls look so sick...
and that's why i say over and over that being thin is not always a sign of anorexia...
some people eat when they're stressed and some people just can't...

i'm one of those who can't...so i relate to that in a big way...
it's part of why i needed to take a break from all of that madness...

ps meg...
can you merge the other thread on this at the bottom of this thread and move it to the stylist section please?...thx...

 
17-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pucci_mama
wow.. I would love to have a dig in her closet..
I would too!!

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17-07-2005
  9
Meg
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oh softie I wasn't saying that at all...i was saying that she seems to think of thinness as a style and encouraging it...she seems quite contrived.

 
17-07-2005
  10
flaunt the imperfection
 
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i guess we are looking at it from different perpectives meg...

i agree that it sounds contrived...
but it IS contrived...
it's all about artifice and 'looking good for the camera'...
it's all 'make believe'...
especially in hollywood...

fake hair, fake tan, fake boobs, fake 'style'...
that's why i say it's reality...
it's just the facts of what's happening out there...

not saying i like it...
but it is interesting to me to listen to another stylist talk about what it's like...

 
17-07-2005
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Well ... of course when I saw that in the LA Times this week, I had to pick it up and read it.

My thoughts ... well, she's just another typical LA celeb stylist, at the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. The "look" she has created for these girls is just the same old, same old ... I am so tired of these blond, skinny, tanned, trendy, little creatures. No one of that group stands out as a person with any personal style ... they do look clones of her. I fail to see much creativity. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she may be restrained by what her clients prefer (to look like everybody esle) or their publicists.

But of course, I could be jealous of her ... but probably not. I do mostly print and dread working with celebs ... I don't want to be on call 24/7 and work those hours ... I have a life of my own. And I certainly don't want to deal with self important divas. I would like the money, however.

Coincidentally, tomorrow, I am working with my first celeb (minor, but you'll see more of her very soon on Fox) for an interview and photoshoot. But this young lady still is just in awe of the fact that she got a lead in this summer series, so she's still sweet and fun ... no attitude. So I am looking forward to working with her and maybe we'll forge an ongoing relationship ... who knows? On the other hand, her manager/publicist may want her to work with a stylist like Zoe, who has become a celeb in her own right. It's all about image and who you know in L.A.!

 
17-07-2005
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Question? - Was it Rachel Zoe that put Jennifer Connelly in Balenciaga at the Oscars and when Jennifer got trashed by the everyone, Rachel turned around and said it wasn't her fault cause she wasn't there to dress her as she was in New York.

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17-07-2005
  13
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I'm not sure I regard someone like Rachel Zoe as a stylist as such. Maybe a dresser or wardrobe-person? Her portfolio is made up of various celebs-du-jour in rather glam frocks and big jewels, which is pretty and non-offensive but really rather boring. I don't hold the people she dresses in high esteem so maybe I don't see the cache in it. I also don't think the rate of pay matches up to the stress or reality of having to deal with the negatives associated with that type of job.

ps. BetteT - good luck tomorrow! and don't let Rachel Zoe steal your first celeb from you!

 
17-07-2005
  14
flaunt the imperfection
 
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well...
officially people like her an l'ren scott are still referred to as a stylist...
the difference may be that they are 'wardrobe stylists' as opposed to 'fashion sylists'...

it's basically a 'personal shopper'...with fancy rich clients...

which really doesn't interest me ..i'm not a maid or a babysitter!!...
but the money is ...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


...

good luck bette..have fun!...

 
17-07-2005
  15
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Thanks, Stilista and softgrey.

And I agree ... more of a personal shopper than a stylist. And I don't want to baby sit either. But the money is very tempting ......

 
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