Stylist Jeanne Yang — who's working with Gillette this season and dressing one of the Best Actor nominees tomorrow night (sorry, it's a secret) — is the creative force behind looks for Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale, along with Katie Holmes and Evangeline Lilly. But, there's more to dressing a celeb than what we see on primetime TV.
"If they’ve been nominated for the Oscars, they’ve probably been nominated for the Globes, NY Film Critics, BAFTA…" Yang told us, explaining that she meets with both male and female clients about four or five times between January and Oscar night.
"It’s daunting, the schedule they have. I’d say it’s typically 15 to 25 events [within awards season], so you meet a few times to get together all the luncheon outfits, Producers Guild, SAG, etc."
While we're not really ones to play battle of the sexes, with Jeanne's help, we broke down just how long — and how much — it'll take to walk the red carpet tomorrow.
Yang says that the number of appointments for men and women clients are about the same. But, there are specific challenges for each.
Women "The beginning of January [is when] you start to look at dresses and gowns," Yangs says. "I usually try not to look too far in advance because you’ll end up changing your mind." Plus, female clients also have a few more details to be think about. "With men, the shoes have to be comfortable and look right in terms of the front vamp and the thickness of the hem. For women there are so many variables. Are they open-toed or closed? Dyed, not dyed? Decorated? Do we embellish it? With jewelry it’s the same thing."
Men While everyone is making their final outfit selection one or two weeks before, Yang says she tries to wait a bit longer for the men. "A lot of my guys change significantly. They can go from a 42 to a 44, even down to a 40. They may be doing a role where they’re playing an action star, so they’re working out, drinking protein shakes, and they’re crazy huge. When they stop, and after three or four weeks, they drop a significant amount of pounds." When it comes to final alterations, Yangs says that for all clients it's "generally with 1 ½ fittings, you should have it done right." In addition, since 18 out of the past 20 men who took home a Best Actor award have sported a clean-shaven look on the red carpet — a stat according to Gillette — we can assume that a fella's grooming time may not be quite as speedy as wash-and-go.
"The big secret [about] awards season is that we don’t make tons of our money," Yang admits. "A lot of people are doing favors for their clients or you get paid a nominal amount. It’s not the money-making time. It’s really the image-making time." While this may be a common Hollywood trade off, there are other things we can put a price tag on.
Women It's near impossible to price a couture gown, but as our expert tells us, fabric goes for approximately $150 to $200 per yard, and each dress requires six yards. "You’re already at $4,000 before you’ve even sewn," says Yang, adding that the stunning creations on the best-dressed list can range from $25K to $35K.
Men According to Yang, a Tom Ford suit may price out around $6,000; Dolce or Prada around $3,000. "That’s not even including the shirt, tie, and shoes," she tells us, which could tack another couple thousand of dollars to the cost.
Heels break. Seams slit. And, sometimes right before you leave to attend the Academy Awards. Don't sweat. Jeanne's got you covered.
Women "One of the things women forget is to shave their legs or armpits," Yang says, speaking from experience. "So, [I have a] razor, double-stick tape, mints, and a mini sewing kit — because there’s always that last-minute thing that might happen."
Men Slipping on the red carpet is probably not the worst thing in the world, but that doesn't mean it won't feel like it at the time. So, for men, Yang carries sandpaper or scissors to scuff up the soles. "I usually have a pair of cufflinks," she adds. "And, a lint brush [for] that last-minute touch to make sure they’re perfect."