As A-listers turn to more statement-making attire, classic elegance has become the exception to the rule in red carpet dressing. Off-the-runway designs slated for celebrity clientele strive for a ‘wow’ factor that can penetrate an oversaturated news landscape; this often means that the wearability of the garment becomes secondary to capturing the attention of a demanding audience. Recent collections are a reflection, too, of a newfound desire to create affinity with this audience. Social media has allowed for a “grounds up” movement in high-fashion where design houses are looking at the people for inspiration, rather than the other way around, leading to a comeback of urban-influenced, street-wear styles over the more traditional styles long associated with couture.
Enter Elizabeth Saltzman, one of the most prominent celebrity stylists of today, a former fashion editor for Vogue and Vanity Fair, and an overall industry legend. Her clients include your favorite females from every best dressed list, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Saoirse Ronan, Sandra Oh, Poppy Delevingne, and Gemma Arterton. Her speed dial easily has the numbers of fellow fashion greats like Tom Ford, Suzy Menkes, and Jefferson Hack on hand. In more or less words, Elizabeth lives at the heart of high-fashion every day, meaning she is more than familiar with the bold new direction today’s trends are taking. But she also has her own vision.
Photo courtesy of @ELIZABETHSALTZMAN
Photo courtesy of @ELIZABETHSALTZMAN
Even though red carpet and eveningwear dressing are all about looks that “cool” and “edgy" at the moment, she says it's messing with her aesthetic as a stylist. “I want to attract elegance again, and I think the world just needs some basic prettiness. While fantasy is fun and exciting, I want to see someone and just think, that’s pretty,” she continues. “It’s not cool for me to put a woman on the red carpet in an outfit that’s hard to wear.”
Elizabeth is happy to skip the fashion show-stopper with something that simply makes the women of #TeamSaltzman feel beautiful and authentic. When a client feels good in an outfit, she will stand confidently, carry herself strongly, and allow her inner-beauty to shine through, she explains. Classic doesn’t mean boring, though. Elizabeth has her eyes on elegant gowns featuring eye-catching embellishments and off-beat shades of citrus, green, and pink for the upcoming awards season.
See some of Elizabeth's most beautiful celebrity looks.
Here are some of her personal tips when it comes to evening attire!
Find your fit
There’s not a magical style for every shape…except maybe Diane von Furstenberg’s wrap dress. Therefore, it’s important to take time to find a look that works for you. Instead of the being upset about the parts of your body that you may not like, focus on the aspects that you’re confident about. For example, if you’re top-heavy, skip the dress for a tailored suit where the blazer cinches the waist and the trouser flares at the knee to create balance. Or if you have great legs, go ahead and wear a mini, but off-set it with a more conservative silhouette and cut on top so that it’s still evening appropriate.
Invest in good underwear
Make sure to have amazing underpinnings on hand—a great bra and shapewear makes all the difference when it comes to looking red-carper ready. “I really care about comfort and you can tell when someone doesn’t feel great and keeps checking what they look like in the lady’s room,” says Elizabeth.
Shop your own closet
"Nine times out of ten, you have the perfect piece in your wardrobe already," explains Elizabeth. "You just need to style it differently in order to make it new!" Instead of buying something for every party, invest in timeless classics and then get creative with the way you wear them each time. Maybe it’s the addition of a bold necklace, perhaps you pin up the side of your dress, or it can be as simple as adding a loud lip color. “When you have style, you can create something original with whatever you already have.”