The Academy Awards, aka fashion’s biggest night, broadcasts this Sunday, and in conjunction, Vanity Fair Magazine’s recent issue celebrating ‘Hollywood’ contains an article on stylists and their undeniable role in the life of Tinseltown. As a lover of fashion and movies, I’ve been catching up on the nominated films, and ’12 Years A Slave’ featuring the incandescent and destined-for-greatness Lupita Nyong’o brought me back to the article, the awards, and this moment in our culture where stylists are as responsible as anyone for making and sustaining an actresses career.
Rather than rehash what someone else wrote, please read for yourself how fashion can make an actress’s career. But long story short: fashion draws attention to the actress which draws attention to her work, which keeps attention on the actress, which helps land her more work. It’s the ultimate mutually-beneficial relationship**, and the stylist is its broker.
Per the article (and per common sense for fashion-followers), Ms. Nyong’o is the nominated actress to dress for this years’ show. This means that every top designer, from Georgio Armani to Valentino, Ralph Lauren to Prada* will be balls-out courting Ms. Nyong’o and her stylist. And as I watched her performance tonight (her first ever in a motion picture), as the emotional center of this important film, and knowing of the high likelihood she’ll take home the Oscar, I was reminded again of the power of fashion and style to launch a career into the stratosphere. This is happening now before our eyes. So come Sunday, I will be tuning in as much to see good work celebrated as to witness the coronation of a star***, knowing how fashion helped get her there.
*And perhaps even Tom Ford, the crown-price of fashion and one who, it’s insinuated, never grovels for celebrities to wear his designs.
**Which is why you see so many actresses shilling perfumes and products.
***No small feat for an actress of color.