An Inside Look at Celebrity Styling

How is it that stars like Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, and Kerry Washington always seem to look their best, whether they’re gracing the pages of a magazine or accepting an award in front of an audience of millions?  They have a team of styling experts ready to help them prepare for any role.  We recently sat down with the celebrity styling team from Maison D’Alexandre to get the inside scoop on their top beauty tips and secrets from working with star clientele such as Jodie Foster, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston, Helen Mirren, Tom Hanks, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Diane von Furstenberg.  They have decades of experience styling for illustrious events including the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Emmy Awards, Paris Fashion Week, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and of course, Greenwich International Film Festival.


What are some of your most-used hairstyling tips and techniques?

Ariel Zona, Colorist: A healthy scalp equals healthy hair.

Rabih Fakhoury, Creative Director – Style: We use products that are designed for each individual’s hair. It takes teamwork to complete a look, so it’s important to look at the outfit and choose a hairstyle that will complement it.

Vera Nicolla, Makeup Artist: When selecting your makeup, add a pop of color on the eyes or lips, but not both.  I always recommend a detox facial to bring out the client’s natural glow.

Cohl Katz, Master Stylist: I recommend doing hair and face masks.

Alexandre Chouery, Founder: Each client goes home with a custom hair care routine. We encourage clients to wash their hair one day before their appointment. I love Leonor Greyl and René Furterer products. They are the best beauty weapon. With these two products you can create any look that you want.


What hair and make-up trends are you seeing at awards shows and events?

Vera: I like to see celebrities who change up their look, like Taylor Swift.

Cohl: Clean makeup, with everything finished beautifully. Cate Blanchett is a great example.

Rabih: I see a lot of half-up, half-down hairstyles. Bangs are a huge trend at the moment. Loose and natural looks.

Ariel: In terms of hair color, I see a lot of natural and subtle looks with pops of color and highlights.

Beth Jablonska, Creative Director, Color: A big trend is covering over the grey!


When you don’t have much time, what is the easiest hairstyle that looks good on everyone?

Ariel: A messy bun with dry shampoo.

Rabih: Braids.

Alexandre: A low, distressed bun.


Who are some of your favorite celebrity clients?

Cohl: Jodie Foster, Helen Mirren, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston, Tom Hanks, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Alexandre: Diane von Furstenberg (DVF). I’ve been her official hairdresser for 11 years.


What is it like backstage when you are preparing for an event?

Cohl:  There is a lot of buzz backstage!

Rabih: Sometimes you have to deliver a look in five minutes. You get used to working under pressure. We always do a trial run with photos to be prepared.

Vera: You have to be in the moment.

Ariel: You can’t over-analyze, just go with the flow!

Alexandre: Behind the stage is madness especially with last minute surprises, but we get the job done.


Who was your first celebrity client and how did you get started working with them?

Cohl: It started when I first moved to New York City. I was working for a print magazine and was doing make up for Jodie Foster on a photo shoot. After that it was a lot of word mouth.

Alexandre: In Paris, I was head of Dessange, a very prestigious brand, and all of the celebrities/royalty/socialites used to come there and became my clients. They were partners with a lot of the fashion houses – it all started with Fashion Week in Paris.


Greenwich International Film Festival is thrilled to have the support of Maison D’Alexandre, as the Platinum Salon Partner of the Festival. Make sure to visit to learn more and get to know their team of talented stylists.



Article by Shamika Pandit

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