Bosses Behind-the-Scenes: How Stylists Are Defining a New Fashion Era
Most of us are familiar with top models, artists and stars on a first name basis, and the likes of Rihanna, Kendall or Gigi need little to no introduction. The masterminds behind these women's effortless and enviable style, however, are fast becoming household names in their own right, and changing the nature and pace of the fashion industry in the process. From the various vintage tees and layered chokers Los Angeles stars don on a daily basis, to the ombre fur coats and matching denim sets spotted on the streets of New York after dark, celebrity stylists are defining the decade's fashion trends and consumer shopping habits through a combination of savvy styling, choice muses and social media prowess.
If you've ever admired one of Karlie Kloss' business chic ensembles, or lusted after a dress Ruth Negga or Sarah Paulson took a turn in on the red carpet, then you're a fan of stylist Karla Welch's work. With a range of clients that include top model Kloss, actresses Negga, Paulson, Michelle Monaghan, Demi Moore, Tracee Ellis Ross, Elisabeth Moss and more, Welch has successfully solidified her status as the go-to fashion stylist and consultant for streamlined, elegant, professional and timeless looks.
A quick scroll through Welch's Instagram feed (@karlawelchstylist) also reveals the stylist's strong political beliefs, from her vocal support of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, to her status as a proud feminist (she's often sporting the Dior "We Should All Be Feminists" tee), and advocacy for other social and racial issues relevant to our country today. Her clients seem to share a similar political bent, whether they're donning blue ribbons in support of the ACLU at the Oscars, starring in The Handmaid's Tale (a Hulu series based off of Margaret Atwood's foreboding novel of the same name), or supporting young girls in STEM through coding scholarships.
Monica Rose (@monicarosestyle) has also become a household name over the course of several years, mostly due to her extensive portfolio of work for the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan. From popularizing the silky bomber jacket look, to bringing back oversized vintage sunnies, and convincing shoppers they need to purchase clear plastic boots and lace up leggings, Rose has become one of the most influential arbiters of taste in the past decade.
You can credit the Kardashian-Jenner family's seemingly overnight style evolution to Rose's acute eye for detail and ability to craft distinct fashion personas for each sister. Rose is also known as the creative force behind the Hadid sisters' inimitable street style, Chrissy Teigen and model Chanel Iman's sultry red carpet looks, or crafting looks for burgeoning stars like Kaia Gerber. The reason you spend too much money on chokers at Forever21 or decide to splurge on the latest boyfriend jean trend is likely because Rose dressed one of her famous clients in this exact same piece.
Within the current context of the fashion industry, it comes as little surprise that fashion stylists and the influencers they dress, as opposed to actual designers or fashion houses, have become the most important determiners of fashion trends and style today. With the rise of social media and the frenzy payed to any outfit Kendall Jenner sets out in, one could argue that stylists like Welch and Rose are spearheading a new wave of "fashion populism" (The New Yorker). This new, crowdsourced form of fashion revolves around the avid following of models and reality stars, rather than an actual appreciation for the design mentality or vision put in place by fashion houses that have existed long before the Jenners or Hadids flitted by in their flashy Vetements tracksuits.