Micaela Erlanger is a name synonymous with high fashion and showstoppingly beautiful red carpet looks. As a celebrity stylist and now bridal stylist based in New York, she has dressed high profile clients from Meryl Streep to Lupita Nyong’o and Shailene Woodley, and has repeatedly been named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Most Powerful Stylists’. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, In Style, and Town and Country, as well as on television shows such as Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight. She’s also worked on several extraordinary advertising campaigns for brands including Lancôme, St. Regis, and L’Oréal, and written one of my fashion bibles, ‘How to Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit’.
With that kind of background, you can understand how excited I was when I heard that Micaela was bringing her considerable style and expertise to the wedding world last year. Her bridal styling business focuses on styling and consulting to both brides and bridal brands. Needless to say, any brides lucky enough to work with her as their bridal stylist, feel like a true celebrity on their big day!
Alejandra Poupel Events spoke to Micaela Erlanger about her work as a celebrity bridal stylist, the parallels between wedding and red carpet styling, and how to make a statement on your big day. She also offered us some fantastic insider tips on bridal shopping in a time of Coronavirus, and whether couture still has a place in modern wedding fashion.
What is a bridal stylist and how can they help?
“As a celebrity stylist I have been responsible for dressing and curating the public image of some of the most famous movie stars and women in the world. I firmly believe that walking down the aisle is the closest thing to walking down the red carpet and there are so many parallels between getting ready for your wedding day and getting ready for Oscars night.
I expanded my business to include luxury bridal styling services as I realized there was an opportunity to elevate a bride’s experience, image, and wedding day in a completely unique and collaborative way. My distinguished bridal clients have a broader palette to paint with, and access to a diverse range of influential couture and bespoke designers who bring completely new visions to life. This level of access is unmatched in the industry and what would otherwise feel like a privilege reserved for A-list celebrities is now a bride’s to enjoy.”
Image by Kelli Boyd Photography
“I work with the planning and photography team for on-site styling on the day of your wedding, to ensure ensure that the wardrobe also fits the environment, that every moment is captured, and that every special reveal throughout the wedding day is underscored by a crescendo of remarkable beauty. Guided by a concierge-level philosophy, my client partnership starts with a creative design plan tailored to suit a bride’s style and complement the environmental tone and design of your wedding celebration. If we plan to shop for the season’s newest styles, you’ll find access to private couture collections and one-of-a-kind pieces that brands only offer clients within my portfolio. Alternatively, we may start from scratch to create a custom gown. In that scenario, I will tap into my roster of internationally acclaimed bridal and couture fashion designers to find the best partner who can make your vision a reality. You’ll have a trusted expert and liaison from the very beginning, to ensure every look is designed and finished flawlessly.”
Image by Erik Melvin Photography
How would you encourage brides who truly want to stand out and make a fashion statement to do so? And once they have the gown, what guidelines or guidance would you give women about accessorizing their wedding dress?
“I love creating custom couture gowns for my clients. I believe that creating something one of a kind is the ultimate luxury. I also believe you can transform any look with your accessories! In fact I wrote the best selling book, ‘How To Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit’.
Your accessories need to be thoughtfully curated as the details punctuate a look. From head to toe, every element needs to have balance. And, of course, jewelry is often the icing on the cake.”
Image by Douglas Friedman
What are your thoughts on wearing more than one wedding dress on the big day?
“I absolutely believe in an outfit change! Slipping into a more comfortable dress for dancing. Typically, my clients choose a minimum of three outfits for their wedding weekend. These include the rehearsal celebration, the wedding reception and, of course, the wedding gown. For a multi-day wedding celebration, clients generally require a minimum of five outfits and add on-site styling services to ensure that no detail is overlooked throughout the entire wedding weekend.”
Image by Erik Melvin Photography
Are there any pitfalls to avoid when wedding dress shopping (or selecting)?
“I think the biggest piece of advice that I can recommend is going in with an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try new silhouettes or shapes – you might surprise yourself! Also consider your environment – where are you getting married, what does the venue look like, what time of year, what time of day, and where will your photos and portraits be taking place? You want your dream dress to complement your environment just as much as you want it to complement your natural beauty.
Lastly, make sure you are comfortable! There is nothing more disappointing than worrying about your dress all night. Choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle, make sure you can see yourself wearing the dress few a few hours, make sure you can comfortably sit in your gown, walk in your shoes, etc. You want to be completely present and in the moment on your wedding day, and not fussing or worried about your wardrobe!”
Is couture really worth it and why?
“For designers that are officially recognized members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the answer is yes. The couture tradition strictly recognizes couture craftsmanship as a form of wearable art, which is treasured. The very idea of couture is where its appeal lies.”
Images by Christian Oth
How can brides continue to shop for their wedding gown and accessories in a time when salons may not be open or they may not feel comfortable shopping?
“While many stores are closed, most brands and salons are offering to ship samples to try on. Designers and bridal boutiques have creative resources and solutions for servicing their clientele. Additionally, many brides are considering alternative dresses such as special eveningwear gowns, which can be purchased on retail sites. It’s worth noting that working with a stylist affords greater access and many brands are willing to make the impossible, possible.”
Top image by Christian Oth