AWARD season has reached its climax with the Oscars, and the red-carpet choices that have come with it - no more so than with the class of 2017, including one Miss Emma Stone. The La La Land actress, who picked up her first Oscar last night for her leading turn in Damien Chazelle's musical masterpiece, has had a stellar season style-wise, sporting ensembles from what is probably the most sought-after arsenal around. And the women she has to thank? Petra Flannery.
Having worked with the star for the last decade, there's no one better placed to reveal how Stone's style and CV have simultaneously risen through the Hollywood ranks. In the final instalment of our Secrets Of A Celebrity Stylist series, we find out Flannery's top tips for making sure that Stone (as well as the rest of her illustrious list of clients) lands on the best-dressed lists the morning after the night before.
You've worked with Emma for a long time - what's the secret to longevity when it comes to styling a celebrity?
"I've worked with Emma for 10 years now and the secret when styling a client is always delivering."
How have you seen her style evolve in the time that you have been working with her?
"We have evolved together. Her fashion gets more and more fun. Over the years it's been colourful, artful and confident."
Does she have her own ideas, or is she happy to be led by you?
"Emma is exceptionally spirited when it comes to fashion. Her creative input is valuable for me. When she is excited I am inspired."
Do you have any little rituals or running jokes between the two of you?
"We find humour in vintage times. We love to speak as if we are from the Forties. It's a take on Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant's transatlantic accents."
How do you approach a new client and what questions do you ask them?
"I love to ask them who their favourite designers are and I try to connect with them through my world, which is fashion. This helps me to build on the designers they already like and to introduce them to other designers I think they will vibe with."
Who are stars that you work with repeatedly and why?
"My regulars are Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Claire Danes, Emilia Clarke, Carey Mulligan, Faith Hill, Mila Kunis, Maria Sharapova and Jack Huston. I work with them because fortunately they keep me."
How do you stay on top of all the designers?
"Vogue online, a lot of teamwork, and existing and emerging designers who reach out directly to me."
Do you have designers who you rely on for certain occasions? If so, who?
"I rely on them all!"
Who is your favourite designer for accessories?
"It is hard to single a favourite out as accessories can really make a look and I need a constant variety. I will say though that Tyler Ellis is my go-to for clutches. When she asked me to collaborate with her I jumped at the offer. The Lou Bag is a twist on Tyler's envelope shape. It's a rose-gold accented disco clutch great for fashion on the go."
Who is your favourite designer for casual ready-to-wear?
"I love The Row, ALC and Brock Collection."
What are your red-carpet tricks to enhance stars’ appearance taking into consideration height, size etc?
"My red-carpet tricks include perfect tailoring and finding the right heel. The proper fit of a dress it vital to pulling off a look and when it comes to heels, it's finding a shoe that gives carpet confidence."
Do you embark on a planned campaign with stars, as in plan out the entire season ahead?
"I map out ideas based on type of events and locations they have. By the first fitting it usually takes on a theme and our creative direction is on the way."
Who have been the most style-savvy stars you have worked with?
"Emma Stone has definitely taken on a style-savvy role. But everyone has fashion flare in their own right."
What is a big no-no when it comes to dressing stars for the red carpet?
"A big red carpet no-no is putting someone in a dress that has already been worn."
Do you ever give advice to stars you dress?
"Yes, when it pertains to certain dresses. It's important to highlight silhouettes properly, so going over poses helps. I remind them to have fun as a sense of fun equals confidence on the red carpet."
Have there aver been any disasters and what have you learnt from them?
What has been your favourite outfit of all time?
Three come to mind: Emma Stone in a custom Lanvin, black crystal jumpsuit at the 2015 Golden Globes 2015; Zoe Saldana in a Givenchy Haute Couture, lavender dress at the 2010 Oscars; and Amy Adams in a custom Tom Ford green dress at the 2017 BAFTAs."