Stylist to Oscar winners Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto, Micaela Erlanger gets real about wardrobe malfunctions and the importance of confidence
Notice how Jared Leto has really cleaned up on the red carpet recently? No man skirts and no ratty plaid shirts; just crisp, well-fitted suiting and the occasional Gucci statement jacket. But what — or rather, who — you don't actually see behind this 180 change is Leto's stylist, Micaela Erlanger, the New Yorker that lives, breathes and dreams red carpet outfits for stars like Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong'o, Gal Gadot, Jennifer Hudson and of course, one Mr Leto himself.
While Erlanger's expertise in the world of styling and celebrity fittings is privvy only to clients and a tight-knit team on a daily basis, Danish jewellery brand Pandora puts the tastemaker to work in their latest campaign — titled, 'The Look of You'. Tasked with kitting out an individual in Pandora's Autumn 2016 collection — taking into consideration both style and personality — watch one of Hollywood's most sought after stylist ripe in her element in the video above.
As she shares with us her top jewellery picks from the season's collection, Erlanger also dishes on what's hot in New York right now and teaches us a thing or two on mastering fall's biggest trend. So sit up, pay attention, and learn from the very best.
It's funny, because I always knew I wanted to be a stylist... I just didn't know that this field of work existed. It wasn't until I went to Parsons and began interning that I learned about the industry. I started from the bottom up, and interned at every possible magazine. I thought I wanted to be a fashion editor at the time but when I graduated from college, I began assisting many different stylists — that's when I found my calling. I trained for 6 years (with a short stint in costume design) under my mentor, Annabel Tollman. She taught me everything and inspired me to be able to go off on my own. Actress Michelle Dockery was my first client... and I had a knockout year with her. She actually introduced me to my current client Lupita Nyong'o and the rest is history. My client roster has since expanded to include six Oscar winners and I have offices in both NY and LA.
My personal style is... very feminine with a sense of playfulness, whimsy and fun. I love to get dressed up and nothing makes me happier than wearing a pretty dress. I like to think that I am the queen of colour; I dream in colour and print.
But I am also practical. For work, I have a bit of a uniform as I find myself running around. More often than not, you will see me in jeans, a button down, sneakers or mid heels and a moto jacket.
I'm inspired by... art, travel, culture, film, and by people around me. All of it really. I'm inspired by a feeling, a mood, a moment in time.
My muses are... my clients. My key fashion items are... A perfect white silk button down — J.Crew makes the best. A moto jacket from Saint Laurent, a mens Rolex watch, Céline sunglasses, flare jeans from Frame denim and a stuffed and distressed carryall bag from Prada. My favourite fall/winter 2016 trend is... bedroom dressing. With camisoles and slip dresses and lots of lingerie inspired looks. To style the bedroom dressing trend appropriately for work... layer camisoles and silky pieces under cosy knits or blazers. When heading out, I dress it up with jewellery, a leather jacket and pair of killer heels. My must-have pieces of jewellery are... stacked rings. My favourites from Pandora's Autumn 2016 collection are... the asymmetric earrings and the pieces inspired by florals. I really love juxtaposing soft romantic elements with edgier pieces.
Right now, I notice women in New York wearing... little bandanas in their hair and around their necks, and flared jeans — at least the girls in my styling studio are. I love it! The '70s are back. A woman's style is unique because... it's down to the way she carries herself. Confidence in the way you look and feel translates into what you wear and how you wear it. To express personal style, a woman needs...jewellery that tells her personal story. Whether it's layering necklaces, mixing metals, or owning that statement ring or charm bracelet that they can add to or pass down. I look for pieces that are an extension of my personality and I think it's important to choose jewellery that speaks to you. I dream of... going to Asia and seeing that part of the world. Secondly, designing a collection of my own. I've had many wardrobe malfunctions... with broken zippers. And once, I had to sew a client into a dress!