One look at Nicola Peltz's Instagram account and you'd know that the 19-year-old actress has wonderful taste. One look at stylist Leslie Fremar's portfolio and you know she is a red carpet wizard. So together they are seriously capable of red carpet magic.
Since embarking on an international press junket for "Transformers: Age of Extinction," Peltz has worn some mesmerizing outfits, from a backless Stella McCartney number to an elegant Giambattista Valli confection.
It's clear the partnership between Peltz and Fremar is a fruitful one, so I hopped on the phone with the stylist to talk about her process working with a new (and young!) client and if she still gets red carpet jitters.
What's the process like when you take on a new client to figure out what styles she likes?
The way that we [Nicola and I] did it was we met, and we looked through pictures, and we kind of went back and forth trading references and things that she liked and things that I liked, just so I could get a sense of her taste. Then we did like some small fittings and I got to know her a little better, seeing what she gravitated to, what she didn't, and then that kind of helped me get to know her better for this major tour. Then it's just kind of a process of trial and error. We call in all the things that we think are great, and then we just start trying everything on and discussing it. You know, all the clothes are on such a tight schedule, sometimes when you fall in love with a picture of something you can't get it anyway. I explain that to my clients, and just say, "Let's go through what is available at the time that we need to do the fitting and see if we can cover all our bases. If not then we we try another fitting on a different day because other things are available." There's a lot of trying and trying and trying until we just find things that she's happy with and that I'm happy with. That's basically how the process works.
Do you feel more pressure when you're working with someone who's making her debut on the red carpet, as opposed to working with someone with a long history in the public eye?
For me, it's exciting because I've actually never done that before, so it was a challenge and it was fun. I really like her as a person and I just wanted the best for her, you know? I just wanted it to work, kind of like a mom. And I explain to all my clients that I could anticipate what I think the press will say, but you never know, it's so subjective, so try not to be too sensitive if you decide to read the reviews. Everyone's prepared in advance to take everything with a grain of salt both ways, if they [the press] love it or if they hate it. I'm really happy for her the way things turned out, and it's really fun for me to see it happen--it's just new for me and I've been doing this for so long. It's fun to like have the challenge and whether I felt pressure…a little bit I guess, but not to the point where I was worried because I've been doing this for a long time and when I saw her in all the clothes I just knew that everything was great and looks great on her and she has such a great hair and makeup team who plays such a huge part in finishing all the looks. I wasn't that worried.
I feel like she always looks like herself, which is to say that all her choices are really consistent and she never looks like she's trying. I think that's why she resonates with so many people.
I think she's really comfortable in her skin, she's really sophisticated for her age, and she choses things based on what she is comfortable in and not what I tell her will be amazing. It's always a conversation, and she's not shy to say, "I don't feel that comfortable in this." She definitely likes things on the simpler side, not too over the top, but she still appreciates details and things that are well-made. She's pretty sophisticated.
I've noticed that she's worn Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent a few times on the red carpet…
Yeah, she loves it. I think she's fortunate in the sense that when she goes shopping maybe she's looking at things that are the quality of...the make is maybe different than someone else her age shopping at like an H&M. So I think her eye is trained to appreciate well-crafted things, and she likes those clean lines but that have interesting details. I think she loves what Saint Laurent's doing right now, and she loves what Stella's doing. She had asked me…she was like, "I love what Rihanna wore to the Met. Could we do something like that?" So that kind of inspired the dress that we just did in Berlin. Obviously, it was a little bit more covered and clean, but it was just a point a reference. She really liked what Rihanna did because she liked the simplicity, but she liked that it was a little different. She's pretty clear in what she likes.
How do you prepare for an international press tour of such magnitude as "Transformers"?
It's a lot of work [laughs]. It's really funny, actually, because I know how much work goes into it because I do it all the time--and I think she was just super excited, so she would have put in as many hours as necessary--but she had some friends visiting her, and they were like, "Oh can we come to a fitting?" Everyone was like, "Sure!"--you know it's exciting--and like six hours later they were like, "We would have had no clue how much work and how much pinning, and altering, and refitting and altering goes into when you see it on the red carpet, or how many hours and hours of fittings and the man power goes into making it happen." It's funny to see it from an outsider's perspective because, usually, no one really comes to the fittings. That was cute.
When she travels is there someone that travels with her to help her get dressed?
No. I think what happens for anyone is they have a headcount of how many you can take with you [on a press junket] and that usually gets eaten up by your publicist, your hair person, your makeup…so she doesn't actually have anyone from our team [with her], but the clothes are packed so thoroughly. She has a binder with all the pictures and descriptions of everything that goes together, and it's all packed by look for each event, so when they unpack it, it's right there. Then there are back up pieces incase something doesn't fit or something breaks. We haven't had any major issues so far. It's definitely easier if you have someone from your styling team with you, but she doesn't.
The level of organization is incredible.
It's really organized. It has to be. For her the pressure is not on the clothes, it's on the interviews, so for us, we don't want her to wake up and be stressed about her clothes, too, on top of everything that she has on her plate. We try to make sure it's as simple and straightforward as possible.
What has your reaction been to all the positive feedback she's been getting on all her outfits? I think we write about her on Fashionista, like, every other day.
It's really exciting. I'm more excited for her than I am for me because I just want her to…you know, I love her like a sister. She's so great and she's so gracious. She's just such a wonderful person, so you just want the best. And she gets really excited because she's never had this before. I'm like, "Wait, it's going to get better." I did an interview the other day, and I was like, "Can you hold the piece? The best dress is still coming!" For us, it's just exciting. I think with some of my other clients, the fashion is kind of secondary, and this is really taking center stage for her, so it's fun for me and it's fun for her because she loves fashion.
There's so much public attention on the red carpet these days–it can really make or break an actress's career in a sense. Do you feel pressure or concern over that?
I mean, if I started thinking about it too much, I think we would all never make decisions. So it's just about kind of moving forward, trusting your instincts and going with a feeling just knowing that you've been doing this for a long time. We actually had this conversation yesterday about how the press can't be this positive forever. If you believe all this positive hype you have to believe all the negative hype too, so you have to just try to stay as grounded as you can and enjoy it but not let it take over because then you're going to let the bad stuff take over too. It's all with a grain of salt. I'm happy for her it went this way, but it could have gone another way. I'm used to that because I think sometimes with what I do, it's not so straightforward and I don't always get positive reviews on everything. We definitely, with my clients, take a lot of risks. Some pay off and some don't, so it's just about remembering that, you know?