Sharon Knolle Freelance Writer

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Published October 27, 2004

Styling with substance

Stylists help Winslet, Staunton, Linney get dressed


What to wear? It's a question that plagues every woman, but none more than actresses getting ready for a big awards show. It's an era in which what a thesp wears and how she looks is more important than why she's on the red carpet in the first place. Of course, stylists play a huge role in helping a star reach sartorial heights, and we talked to two Hollywood clothes vets about how they would dress three actresses who are gaining award-season traction.

Kate Winslet
Vincent Boucher, Stylist:
I'm seeing Kate Winslet as a sort of modern-day Elizabeth Taylor.
Golden Globes: Calvin Klein has these incredible, sophisticated jersey dresses from the fall collection, these amazing reds and oranges. They're great for someone who's curvy. With a great cocktail ring, she'd be set.
Independent Spirit Awards: I'm very impressed with Christopher Bailey's designs for Burberry's. This spring, there's probably some really adorable sweater set and floaty skirt in a delicious color, like an incredible pink or melon.
Oscars: I would ask John Galliano to design something for her in her favorite color, or maybe ivory. She would look regal in an incredible bias, Galliano kind of cut.

Deba Coben, Stylist, Celestine:
She is acting royalty and of the most beautiful women in the acting profession but she plays herself down. She needs to step up the opulence but also be her age.
Golden Globes: Valentino's dresses are so regal and create a real impact on the red carpet. She usually favors dark colors, but I think that she could carry off so many beautiful muted colors, even ivory.
Independent Spirit Awards: I see a great skirt from Dolce & Gabbana that fits her curves, sexy and simple without overdoing it.
Oscars: She's so serious and sophisticated even at her age, with such a natural elegance, she could carry off a black and white Chanel dress, one that would give her a nice silhouette.

Imelda Staunton

Imelda Staunton is kind of petite, so you want to play up her fragility.

Golden Globes: Maggie Norris has some incredible gold beaded theater suits, not long, probably just to the knee, with a jacket. It would be very simple but have a lot of surface interest, like beaded embellishments. The gold would be really pretty with her hair.
Independent Spirit Awards: Pringle has been having a renaissance, doing modern takes on British country style like argyle sweaters. Imelda would look amazing in a sweater set in traditional yellow, pink, or a buttery blue.
Oscars: A Carolina Herrera dress would play up her best aspects. I would love a slightly faded, old-portrait kind of effect in terms of color, like a beautiful faded sapphire or jade. Probably chiffon, not flowy, but still delicate.
She's a British national treasure, but we don't really know her here. It's important for her hair and makeup to be top of the line. I'd take her Frederic Fekkai and leave her there. I wouldn't make her an advertisement for any designer, just have people get to know her.
Golden Globes: This is her moment to show off a real fashion note. I wouldn't pick a specific designer, just a great fitted dress with fabulous accessories such as a Judith Leiber clutch and Neil Lane vintage jewels.
Independent Spirit Awards: An extremely gorgeous Chanel tweed blazer and high heels would be very elegant for her.
Oscars: Again, I'd go with Catherine Walker and have her make an extremely elegant evening suit. I love British tailoring. Nothing off the rack is going to work for her, so it needs to be custom-made.
Laura Linney
She's a classic American actress and should approach fashion in the same way. Laura has beautiful arms and decolletage and being a pale blonde, color is important.
Golden Globes: Vera Wang is such a regal American designer but with a real global view. One of her long, column-shaped dresses would be very flattering on Laura.
Independent Spirit Awards: I'd love to see her in a crisp white shirt with fantastic tailored trousers from Isaac Mizrahi with just a little something special, a very Katharine Hepburn mentality, classy and elegant.
Oscars: I'd have Isaac Mizrahi create a custom dress for her with clean lines, something very sophisticated. A fitted bodice would create the illusion that she's lean and tall. Isaac's specialty is to find a color that would make her pop and look like no one else.

Golden Globes: She's a really big Prada girl. They love her, and she loves them, so I'd ask them to make a long version of their peacock feathers dress. The Globes is a fun party and I think that would be a fun idea.
Independent Spirit Awards: Diane von Furstenberg has reissued her wrap dresses from the '70s. They're really cute for outdoors and hip and flattering. They're sexy but appropriate for daytime. A green and white print would be pretty with her complexion.
Oscars: Proenza Schouler at Barneys does these wonderful bustier dresses. I'd ask for a warm or cool silver tone. The dresses have classical allusions that are good for the Oscars but are still totally modern.
Date in print: Wed., Oct. 27, 2004

2004 Reed Business Information 2004 Variety, Inc.