Oscars 2015: 6 Hollywood fashion secrets from a celebrity stylist

Celebrity stylist Karla Welch has built a career dressing some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Here's what she wants to see on the Oscars red carpet this year.

Canadian-based L.A. stylist Karla Welch shares her insights on dressing the stars

Canadian stylist dresses the stars

8 years ago
Duration 1:59
B.C.-born, L.A.-based stylist Karla Welch tells CBC's Kim Brunhuber about the 'crazy time' before the Oscars

A delivery has come into Karla Welch's Los Angeles studio. It’s a boxful of jewelry.

"That’s nice," Welch says as she unwraps a topaz bracelet from a California designer, a friend of hers. Later today, an actress will be slipping it over her slim wrist to make sure it goes with her Oscar party dress.

"This is part of the process," the stylist says, unwrapping another. "Cause we don’t leave it until Sunday."

"This is all worth...?" I ask.

"Way too much," Welch says. "Don’t rob us! You go to Beverly Hills this time of year, you see all the stylists walking like this," she tucks her arms in to her chest like a mother holding a newborn.

"If someone was really smart they’d knock us down and take our purses."

Welch, who grew up in British Columbia, has now risen to the top of Hollywood’s ultra-competitive fashion styling scene. A look at one of her studio’s clothing racks says it all: the tags above the hangers read "Amy" for Amy Poehler, and "Justin" for Justin Bieber. There’s a wall of purses. The floor is littered with Jimmy Choos. This, she says, is "crazy time."

Grace under pressure

"It’s the culmination of the entire award season. We’ve gone from the campaigning to the Golden Globes to the SAGs and the BAFTAs, and the Oscars is the ‘big wow.’ I feel the pressure. I don’t really care about the ‘hottest’ lists, I just feel the pressure of making sure my client feels amazing and that everything’s perfect."

Her most glamorous client? Oscar-nominated The Theory of Everything actress Felicity Jones.

"The approach with Felicity is we’re really collaborators. She loves the process as much as I do. We came into award season with the intent of telling a story. She has a very consistent style, very modern, very classic and very elegant, so we’re just weaving a thread throughout."

As for exactly what Jones will be wearing on the red carpet on Sunday night, Welch wouldn’t reveal anything. Except this: "I can say her dress is an incredible work of art. I’m so excited. It’s maybe not for everyone but it’s…. aaahh! You’ll have to wait until Sunday."

6 Hollywood fashion tips from celebrity stylist Karla Welch

  1. Make sure your clothes fit properly
  2. Wear the right underpinnings
  3. Be comfortable because that helps project good style
  4. Have fun
  5. Find a pair of blue jeans you like
  6. Get a good blazer 

The 87th Academy Awards will be given out at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. on Sunday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET with the red carpet starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Our CBC Arts team is on the ground in Hollywood and will be live blogging from the parties, the red carpet and behind the scenes starting Saturday. Watch for full coverage, including photo galleries and all the winners, here on CBCNews.ca/arts.

Watch CBC's Kim Brunhuber's interview with Karla Welch in the video above.


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