Tag Archive: Ilaria Urbinati

Aug 12 2013

Teen Choice Awards: Nina Dobrev In J.Mendel

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Who: Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev

Where: At the 2013 Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California

Wearing: An exploded floral-print silk J.Mendel peplum top with matching slim trousers from the pre-fall 2013 collection, teamed with an orange Devi Kroell clutch, green Dolce & Gabanna shoes and Martin Katz earrings

Verdict: Nina Dobrev has been constantly getting it right on the red carpet lately and this is another stunning look from the young actress.

What I love about this look is that is fun, young, and not what I was expecting her to wear – normally the Teen Choice Awards are filled with cute dresses – but this J/Mendel pant suit is just divine – I am in love with the paint-splattered-floral print and the sexiness of the deep v-neckline to the top.

But what makes this look for me other than the fact it fits Nina perfectly has to be the styling – I love that the actresses long-standing stylist Ilaria Urbinati took colours from the splatter print and incorporated it into the accessories – especially that incredible orange patent Devi Kroell clutch.

I am really developing a girl crush on Nina’s red carpet looks – she always looks flawless and she was by far my best dressed at this year’s Teen Choice Awards.

Are you a fan of Nina Dobrev’s red carpet looks?

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Fancy buying Nina’s J.Mendel look? Well you can pick up the top for $1,290 and the trousers are $1,880 – bargain right!!!

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[Pic: via facebook.com/JMendelbrand]

Jul 29 2013

Variety Power of Youth: Nina Dobrev In Versus Versace

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Who: Vampire Diaries Nina Dobrev

Where: At the Variety Power of Youth event held in Universal City, California

Wearing: A red Versus Versace safety pin shift dress, teamed with gold Christian Louboutin T-bar heels, a Susan Foster ring and a black and gold Amanda Pearl caged clutch

Verdict: Ever since the Vampire Diaries star teamed up with Hollywood stylist Ilaria Urbinati her red carpet looks have been memorable, stylish, and totally age appropriate and I have loved her fashion transformation.

This is another amazing, fashionable-yet-effortless look on Nina, I love the simplicity of the shift silhouette with the added edginess of the safety pin detailing on the shoulders, which works perfectly with the gold accents on her accessories.

Her Louboutin heels are incredible but its the Art Deco-style cylindrical clutch by Amanda Pearl that has me blown away. I wasn’t aware of this label before, but I love that the New York-based designer names all her pieces after one of her friends.

If you want to get Nina’s look the black version of this dress is currently available at Flannels for £265.84!

What do you think of Nina’s latest red carpet look?

[Pic: facebook.com/OfficialVersus]

Feb 22 2013

Interview: Ilaria Urbinati – The Stylist Behind Nina Dobrev & Bradley Cooper

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The rise of the celebrity stylist has fascinated me for a while, yes we have all seen Rachel Zoe and Brad Goreski on their reality shows, and many a celebrity name drops their stylist as one of their close friends, but what actually does a stylist have to do in the run up to a major award show?

Well, I asked one of my favourite red carpet stylists, Ilaria Urbinati, who has been making waves recently with her incredible styling of Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev, I think each look last year and this has been on my best dressed lists, and I love the way she seems to make Bradley Cooper look even hotter in his dapper suits.

For me, Ilaria is up there with the likes of Jen Rade who dresses Angelina Jolie, Kate Young who is known for styling Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman, and British stylist Cher Coulter who seems to make Rosie Huntington Whiteley look so stylish with little effort, and it was so cool to find out how she got started in this crazy world called fashion, what inspires her styling, and how she makes Nina Dobrev look so flawless on the red carpet.

What made you want to be a celebrity stylist? And how did you get your start? Also can you tell me a little about yourself and fashion background?

Ilaria: “I actually didn’t want to work in fashion at all! Growing up I only wanted to read and write. Most of my family works in fashion and I was sort of the black sheep. But I needed a job and my aunt (who had an incredible store in the 90s that was really popular with stylists) wouldn’t hire me to work at her store so I went and worked at Fred Segal and became their #1 salesperson. So then my aunt was like – OK come work for me now.

“I became her buyer and suddenly at 18 found myself sitting front row in Paris at Balenciaga and Margiela runway shows. After that I was the buyer for several other really popular stores, and one day I met actress Mia Kirshner because she liked the store I was a buyer for called Satine. She asked me to come interview to be the stylist for her show The L Word. I’d never styled anything in my life so I didn’t think I’d get it and I didn’t really care either way. So I went in there with nothing to lose and a lot of opinions about what they were doing wrong with the clothes on the show.

“Out of the 30 working stylists they interviewed, I got the job. Typical! It’s always like that when you have nothing to lose. That was like styling boot camp – it was totally insane. After that I went freelance and now here I am.”

Can you run me through how you get from brief to red carpet, the time involved in dressing a celebrity for the red carpet? Basically what is a typical day for you.

“Usually if a client has a big red carpet they either tell me way in advance – or two days before. It’s always like that, it’s totally unpredictable. Then I go through the political nightmare of trying to get my hands on the dresses or gowns I want. It’s tough – so many girls, not enough good gowns! Sometimes you gotta get creative. That part is definitely the most challenging, because it’s not just about your taste or your skill, it’s about your relationships and the status of the client in the industry.

“Once I get all the clothes in we do a fitting – if it’s a big event like an award show we do a couple of different fittings as various gowns start to trickle in. If it’s for an entire press tour then a fitting can take HOURS. We try everything on, pick our favourite and I pin it (I do all my own pinning because I don’t trust tailors to do it the way I want). Then I take it to my amazing tailors and we try to squeeze in another fitting if there’s time just to make sure everything’s perfect and the undergarments, accessories, jewellery etc., all work. Otherwise we close our eyes, get really stressed out and pray for no last-minute surprises!

“If it’s for a press tour that I organise it by outfit, label it by date and event, and pack it up in true OCD style. You gotta figure the clients waking up at 4am, in a different city or different country every day. They just want it spelled out for them at that point.”

What inspires your styling?

“Almost always its movies – I’m a real film junkie. Anything from Woody Allen and Bertolucci/Fellini movies to 90’s chick flicks like Clueless and Heathers. I’m a real 90’s kid. For men I’m inspired by the great icons like Paul Newman, James Dean, Alain Delon, Steve McQueen, Brando – all classic guys whose outfits still look cool today.

“Sometimes I’m inspired by an old photograph (I keep A LOT of archives of photos on my desktop) or a book (I’ve definitely been known to shout ‘it’s so Franny from Franny & Zooey!’ in fittings before). I’m sort of a cultural and pop cultural junkie so that informs everything I do. Otherwise I get bored because fashion can be vapid. There needs to be a bit of a story to keep a look cohesive (and more fun for me).”

How important are fashion weeks for your styling? Or is more about relationships with fashion houses and showrooms?

“Not to sound spoiled, but I have had to go to every fashion week (four times a year if you count men’s) for the last 16 years of my life, and still now because of my store Confederacy (I do all the buying). If it were up to me, I would avoid it like the plague. It’s everything I DON’T like about this industry. Just a bunch of silly drama. It’s exhausting and unpleasant and stressful and only glamorous the FIRST time or if you’re an actress just attending shows. I’m there to work and for me it’s hell. As much as I love NY, I pretty much hate it during fashion week.

“So for me it’s definitely about the relationships with the fashion houses. There can definitely be some bitches working in this industry – and I remember the ones that used to be horrible snobs to me but who now send me Christmas cards every year – BUT, I have mostly met some incredibly lovely people. We’re all in it together and I see some of them more than I see my own family most of the time! So there’s a real bond there, and we’re all total workaholics.”

 

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Bradley Cooper in Tom Ford at the SAG Awards

You style both female and male celebrities, is there differences in how you approach the styling? Also do you have a preference?

“There is totally a difference because with men, it’s really more about your taste and knowledge and skill of it because there’s not as many politics involved. Designers don’t care if more than one guy wears the same style suit so it’s a totally different game. For that reason I do prefer it. I have more control over the job.

“I also have a lot more male clients than I do females so I constantly just have racks and racks of clothes in my studio to work from. But people always say that men are easier to dress than women, and I disagree. There’s way more attention to detail with men. With a girl – you put her in a pretty dress, she looks good. With a guy there are so many limits and it’s harder (but really fun) to try and play around and within those limits – to make a guy look classic and simple but still have him look unique.

“During awards season though I do love working with women more because I do love a good gown!”

What is the biggest challenge you face with dressing celebrities?

“Their entourage. Lets leave it at that.”

 

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” Kerry Washington – she takes insane risks and ALWAYS pulls it off”

Which celebrity do you feel has flawless style? And why?

“Recently – Kerry Washington – she takes insane risks and ALWAYS pulls it off. There’s a real story behind her looks, you can just tell. I’m always totally in awe of her looks – especially her Django press tour. That checkered Louis Vuitton dress with the bow headband and the little box clutch – I was floored.

“I’m always in awe when something is risky but totally works – because I know the balls it took on the stylist and the client’s part. It’s a tough world out there and everyone’s a critic! To be able to say screw it let’s make it fun, I love that. Fashion shouldn’t be so serious.”

You style some of the ‘best dressed’ stars in the business, is there a celebrity that you would love to style in the future? And why?

“I can’t name names, but it’s always the girls that are well-known but manage to look terrible that I want to dress. I love a project. Also I sit at home watching the award shows going – oh my god with the access to designers you have – THAT’S what you wore???? That’s the craziest to me. When someone is really well-known or nominated and I know for a fact that they can get ANY look from ANY designer including couture OR custom and they’re wearing some bland dress – that, I’ll never understand.

“That said, I really do try to not judge other stylists’ work because I know how many other elements are at play. And one thing I never do is knit pick. It’s crazy the stress we go through like, ‘shit, if we use this bra, they will be able to see an inch of it through this one little panel here’ – and you know the blogs will ZERO IN on that one imperfection. It’s kind of crazy.

“The internet has done amazing and terrible things for the world of styling! Everyone just relax! I’m sitting there thinking, god if it was me I would just throw the damn thing on and who cares if they can see that I wore a bra! But such is not the case on the red carpet.”

What trends do you think we will see this award season? Or do you not work to trends?

I don’t ever work trends. I stay so far away from trends. For one thing, how are you supposed to set trends if you’re following trends. Secondly, I like to pick things that will still look great in 50 years. Like old photos of Natalie Wood, Bardot, Sofia Loren, Birkin, Elizabeth Taylor. You don’t get that by following trends. Having said that – sometimes something being ‘in’ lets you get away with something that would never fly otherwise (case in point – Kerry Washington’s Louis Vuitton checkered dress).”

 

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Nina Dobrev at the SAG Awards

When it comes to styling Nina Dobrev, who I think was last years breakthrough star, what do you have to consider? Does she has preferences on designers, styles or are you able to suggest new things for her?

“With Nina, we both really try and maintain balances – like the balance of trying designers she hasn’t worn before, while also maintaining a level of loyalty to the designers she has worn in the past. Or like the balance between fashion-forward and accessible.

“She has a young fan base and I want them to be able to look up to her so it’s important to keep her chic and never ever border on trashy or too revealing – at the same time, she’s young too and we want to have fun with her look. There’s definitely a responsibility that comes with a young fan base and Nina is always super respectful of that, and so gracious – that’s also why they love her so much, they get that from her.

“What’s fun is that I always know that if a look looked good on the runway, it will probably look great on her. She has such an incredible figure – even better than the models cause she is slim and tall but also has some curves – she’s a dream to work with. There’s also a real collaboration between us. She is very involved in the whole process.”

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Can you name your biggest styling achievement?

“Probably Nina at the Emmys when she wore the red Donna Karan gown. People in styling always talk about ‘a moment’ – THAT was a moment. A total game changer. A stylist gets only a few of those a career!

“Also I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve worked with most of my clients as long as I have – I had Bradley right before the first Hangover, Chris Evans before Captain America, Armie Hammer before Social Network. It’s fun to see them blow up and get the career they deserve. I’m proud of their loyalty to me and I’m proud of my relationships with them – some of them feel like family to me.

“My client Krysten Ritter, whom I met on a shoot almost 5 years ago, is one of my best friends on the planet. They don’t make too many humans as true blue as that girl.

“It’s easy to get close on the job because you work together so much and it’s really a collaborative and creative process. It’s also pretty intimate – you see everyone in their skivies! So you get comfortable with each other real quick!”

What do you think about using social media? I know that you are big on using Twitter and Instagram – do you enjoy sharing your work?

“I LOVE twitter. Instagram is fun as well cause of the images, but as ridiculously stupid as it sounds – I feel a lot of support on Twitter and you get an immediate response. On award show days I’ll still be driving home from the client’s house and start getting the fans tweeting me the photos of the client hitting the red carpet.

“Recently I was so nervous/excited and I tweeted ‘happy golden globes day! wish me luck!’ and I got about 50 tweets from total strangers wishing me luck and saying cute things like ‘as if you need it, you’ll do great!’ – I mean – it’s really cute and it’s really sweet. And they’re my client’s fans so I love seeing their support of them because I’m a fan too so I get it. Also I kind of love giving out style tips haha so when my big GQ article came out last year it was really fun answering all the boys’ fashion queries!”

Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion stylists?

“I always say the same thing – there’s no rules. I never even assisted, but you have to work your tail off – whether you’re interning or assisting or on your first job – you have to be the first to arrive, the last to leave and you have to care about it more than anybody.

“I always go above and beyond with my clients and that’s such a big part of why they stay loyal. It’s important, in any aspiration, to have work ethic and to give more than you’re getting. I really believe that. That said, I’m a complete workaholic and probably need to learn to take it a little easier.

“I also always advise people to really know your references – know your fashion history, know every collection, know what it means when someone says ‘Dolce & Gabbana is channelling Schiaparelli this season’ (or whatever). Also be a culture junkie – the more you take in, the more inspiration you will have to draw from.

“Most importantly – realise that this is not an audition for your reality show, this generation really needs to learn that! Some of these interns I interview, I swear!! It’s not all glitz, glamour and shopping. 85% of it is schlepping and long hours and racks falling over on your head (which by the way just happened to me yesterday.”

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Let’s step away from the red carpet and find out a little bit more about you, what’s your style, where would you recommend to visit in LA and what are your current addictions!!!

What three items in your wardrobe can’t you live without?

“My Corey Lynn Calter star print silk pant suit. Perfect for fittings cause its comfy and chic. My vintage Havana black sweater with a giant skull on it (as VERY often seen on me on instagram. Any and all cute flats! I don’t wear heels cause I’m lazy and a slave to comfort – so I compensate by wearing fancy and fun flats.”

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I’ve only been to LA once and loved it, what shops/must see places would you recommend?

“Um, well obviously mine – ‘Confederacy’ in Los Feliz! The ‘Way We Wore’ and ‘Resurrection’ for the best designer vintage by far. ‘American Rag’ for affordable thrift store finds (and lunch next door). The ‘Malibu Country Mart’ for a day of outdoor shopping by the sea – aka my happy place. ‘Arclight’ for the best movie going experience in the WORLD (and stop by ‘Amoeba Records’ next door) – aka my other happy place, and ‘Pinz’ for bowling – I had my birthday there!”

“And oh my god so many amazing restaurants. To name a few: beef picked tacos from ‘Malo’s’, gourmet burgers from ‘Umami Burger’, ‘Picca Peru’ for foodie/Peruvian heaven, ‘Terronis’ for Italian, ‘Cliff’s Edge’ for atmosphere (night), ‘Trails Cafe’ for atmosphere (day), ‘Johns Garden’ in Malibu for healthy outdoor comfort & people watching, ‘Sugarfish’ from famed chef Nozawa for the best sushi in the damn country and ‘La Poubelle’ for drinks.”

What are you currently addicted to? 

“The TV show Nashville (I’m secretly a big country music nerd, which is weird cause I’m from Italy ), the band First Aid Kit, Winona Ryder and Sandra Bullock chick flicks (always and forever – and the best cure for heartbreak and/or a stressful day, just add ice cream, and rescue dogs! I keep trying to adopt them all and my husband is like ‘please no more dogs!'”

Who are your favourite designers?

“For red carpet: Elie Saab, Valentino, Prabal Gurung, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Erdem, Rodarte, Donna Karan, Oscar DelaRenta, Ralph Lauren, Monique Lhuiller, Erdem, Reem Acra, Dior, J Mendel, and Alexandra Vidal.

“For men: Gucci, Burberry, Dior, Dolce, Tom Ford, Calvin, Shipley & Halmos, Todd Snyder, Michael Bastian, Gant, Belstaff, Rag & Bone – and most of all Simon Spurr (I am anxiously awaiting his return to fashion!).

“For me to wear: Valentino (in my dreams), Proenza Schouler, Carven, ALC, Opening Ceremony, Thakoon, Helmut Lang, Dolce, Topshop and Asos.com.”

If you could steal the style of one person who would it be?

“No contest – Keira Knightley. Scruffy tomboy by day, romantic swan by night. HEAVEN!”

Also very randomly, did you ever style with Barbie dolls when you were little?

“I did but my sister used to steal my dolls and hang them by their necks with my blankie out the window. Very traumatising.”

**I was so giggy that Ilaria agreed to answer my mountain of questions and I hope that you enjoyed the second part of my Award Season Interview series – plus if you don’t already follow Ilaria on Twitter – do – she always gives the inside scoop on who she dresses @ilariaurbinati and offers great styling tips.**

[Pics: Ilaria Urbinati/Tom Ford/Elie Saab/Donna Karan]

May 08 2012

Met Gala 2012: Nina Dobrev In Donna Karan Atelier

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Who: Vampire Diaries Nina Dobrev

Where: At the 2012 Met Gala in New York

Wearing: A black and antique gold Donna Karan Atelier gown inspired by the Donna Karan devoré dress immortalised by Gwyneth Paltrow in the film Great Expectations. The asymmetrical draped gown has been modernised with silk chiffon and burnt out metal sequins and gold-lined beads, with single layer sequin straps to her back

Verdict: Wow, what a way to debut Donna Karan Atelier, the designer’s new high eveningwear collection, as Nina Dobrev looks stunning styled by Ilaria Urbinati. Just for the combination of the black and gold it will hit the best dressed lists, add in the beauty of that gorgeous train, the sexy back, and the feminine draped detailing to the bustier, and it is simply stunning.

When Nina hit the pink carpet there was a lot of traffic, but seriously all the photographers were shouting for her, as she looked completely radiant, and totally captured everyone’s attention. Also check out her gorgeous H.Stern earrings, they are so delicate and lovely, work perfectly with such a gorgeous dress.

Without a doubt Nina’s dress will be one of my best dressed of the night, I have been waiting to see it for weeks since I knew Donna Karan was dressing her, and I most certainly wasn’t disppointed, if anything I was blown away even further by the brilliance of Donna Karan.

What do you think are you loving Nina’s look?

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[Pics: courtesy of Donna Karan/Getty Images]

Apr 20 2012

Avengers Assemble: Cobie Smulders Vibrant In Red

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Who: Actress Cobie Smulders

Where: At the London premiere of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble held at the Vue Cinema Westfield London

Wearing: A long-sleeve ruby red silk georgette and organza Alexandra Vidal gown with keyhole detailing and a gorgeous textured mermaid hemline from the autumn/winter 2012 collection. Completing her look is a square gold minaudière and a simple thin headband.

Verdict: Thanks to Ilaria Urbinati, who styled Cobie, for introducing me to the wonders that is New York designer Alexandra Vidal who was a finalist on Project Runway in 2004, a designer I will certainly be looking out for in the future if this gown is anything to go by – as it is simply divine.

As with the Hollywood premiere Cobie really has pipped Scarlett Johansson as the best dressed as she really shines in this gorgeous dramatic gown, granted I would have loved the red carpet to have been black so it really stood out, but that is just me being extra picky.

This is one exquisite look, and what I love most is how different it is from her sexy Donna Karan dress she wore to the world premiere, this gown has a more demure feel about it, and it is nice to see the return of the headband after seeing it so much over the award season.

Who gets your best dressed – Cobie or Scarlett?

[Pic: by Jon Furniss]

Apr 12 2012

The Avengers: Cobie Smulders In Donna Karan

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Who: Actress Cobie Smulders

Where: At the premiere of Marvel’s The Avengers held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California

Wearing: A slightly modified black and bronze Donna Karan gown from the spring/summer 2012 collection, full of intricate embroidered detailing and a plunging neckline, teamed with a dark clutch and amber earrings

Verdict: Wow, Scarlett Johansson might be the lead in the film but Cobie Smulders, who I have to admit I had never heard off, really did put herself on the map last night with this uber-sexy Donna Karan gown. Everything from her cool name, come on I can’t be the only one wishing my surname was Smulders, to her gorgeous wavy locks, and that incredible patchwork gown – this is one hot look and she looks fabulous.

Styled by Ilaria Urbinati, who also looks after Vampire Diaries Nina Dobrev, I can’t wait to see what other looks she pulls for Cobie on the Avengers promo tour.

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[Pic: Getty Images via Donna Karan]

 

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