Vogue Australia

Red carpet tips you can use in real life

8th January 2015

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sienna Miller, Kate Bosworth, Nicole Richie and Kate Upton are or have all been clients at one time of super stylist Cher Coulter. The U.K.-born, L.A.-based stylist was a friend of Orlando Bloom when she met Kate Bosworth and instantly hit it off style-wise. With preferential access to the most beautiful clothes in the world and very high profile clients, she knows a bit about looking good. She shared with Vogue her top tips on dressing well and some things to keep in mind when eyeing off red carpet looks this awards season.

Figure out what you like

Coulter’s advice is simple but effective. She advises immersing yourself in the process of deciding what you do and don’t like. Start by looking at magazines and visiting boutiques you like. “With Kate [Bosworth], we’d go shopping and we’d go into shops and look around and then she’d say, ‘Oh I like Balenciaga’, or ‘I really like this’, and ‘I really like that.’ Just get really into it.”

Real talk

Coulter keeps on top of everything at the international collections, but she doesn’t like “staged” looks. If you’re dressing for an event, she recommends adding a personal touch to keep it looking “real life” and toning down the matchy-matchy looks that can happen when you borrow straight from the runway. “I try making it more fashionable rather than just looking like a polished movie star,” she says – adding it can age her clients. Add jewellery or shoes that reflect your own style, and avoid “the matching shoes and bag. That just doesn’t feel exciting anymore.”

Don’t underestimate underdone

While it’s tempting to romanticise the golden age of Hollywood, directly emulating their looks can make you come across as overdone according to Coulter, who for the most part avoids ornamental jewellery, including diamonds, “I don’t often put people in diamonds, because I think they’re very aging,” she says. “Unless it’s the Oscars.”

Put shape first

Coulter advises keeping your body shape front of mind at all times when choosing an outfit. Getting distracted by a colour or print and forgetting what styles suit you is a big mistake. “The minute you stop thinking about that, it becomes just contrived and weird,” says Coulter.

Layer off

Streamline your look. The simpler, the better, and avoid layers, recommends Coulter. “It just drowns a person.”

Separate issue

For Coulter, it’s not all about the dress on the red carpet. “It’s great to see people put on a great pant and an amazing top,” she says. “That feels refreshing to me.” She reminds you to “keep it interesting” for events. “I think separates really help to do that.”

– Alice Birrell