Oscars 2011: LA Stylists Hustle To Get It Done Right

Scarlett Johansson

Ever since Scarlett Johansson was asked to be a presenter at the Oscars, her personal stylist Nicole Chavez has been wrangling dresses from all over the world for the big day. With just a few days left before the event, many haven’t even arrived yet. “Some were with the designers, some were with editorial, and some were with other celebrities, so it’s just been a little bit of a waiting game,” she said glumly.

Scroll down to see some of Nicole Chavez’s red carpet looks.

Still, it’s not all bad news. Though it’s a hectic time for Chavez, she says that in some ways, her job as a stylist in Los Angeles gets easier during Oscars week. “What’s great about the Oscars is that everybody comes here. We have all the best designers, all the jewelers fly in the best pieces, and all the vintage archived pieces are already here in LA.” She adds, “Sunday’s usually a really fun day. But I’m not into surprises.”

Until then, it’s up to her to elbow her way into boutiques and showrooms all over the city and “call dibs” on anything that Scarlett might like. She’s specifically visiting Bulgari and Van Cleef for jewels, as well as Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo for shoes.

For stylist Phillip Bloch, he’s given up planning ahead for Oscars week. Bloch explains, “it used to be that I’d see something in a show and say, ‘oh, I’m going to use that for the Oscars. I’m fine.’ But now there are so many stylists and so many celebrities and so many awards shows. You can’t even really count what you’ve seen in the shows because it’s probably already been worn.”

Beyond fashion’s furious pace, Bloch also bemoans designers who send in their dresses at the last minute, around the time that final fittings are usually scheduled. He explains, “some designers started to see that many celebrities make last-minute decisions.” So the fashion houses play to this impulse by saving their dresses until right before the event so that they seem fresh, leaving stars’ previously chosen gowns looking tired and picked-over. It’s a far cry from 2002, when Bloch was able to plan Halle Berry‘s unforgettable Elie Saab gown months in advance.

Although Bloch is under a confidentiality agreement about his clients until after the event is over, he can reveal that he’s dressing a “presenter” and a few people for the Oscars parties. He adds, “and I can’t tell you what they’re going to wear yet because I haven’t done a fitting!”

Story continues below

Red carpet photos of Nicole Chavez and Phillip Bloch’s past work.

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