Art of Style

8 Red-Carpet Style Secrets By A-list Stylist Kate Young

L-R: Selena Gomez, Dakota Johnson and Rebecca Ferguson are among Young’s A-list clientele

Dakota Johnson, Sienna Miller, Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie and Michelle Williams never fail to put a chic modern twist on red-carpet dressing. The woman responsible for this sartorial success? KATE YOUNG, the stylist who selects pitch-perfect pieces, finding the line between elegance and ease. Here, she shows us how to master the art of after-dark dressing…


Embrace extravagance

“It feels pretty exciting for everyone to be able to go out again; it’s fun to go to a wedding, it’s fun to go anywhere these days. So much of our clothing had been utilitarian for quite some time – it was all about, ‘what’s comfortable, what’s functional, what can I wash?’ But I think everyone is less interested in utilitarian – or ‘safe’ – pieces now, and more excited by opulence.”

Get personal

“To help my clients find their own ‘look’, I start by chatting with them about everything from movies and books to art, then I’ll show them mood boards and see what they respond to. I don’t have any go-to designers, because it differs for every client based on their body, style and personality, but you can always count on Gucci, Prada and Chanel for amazing gowns.”

Kate Young
Sienna Miller at the 2022 Baftas, wearing a Gucci gown and jewelry by Boucheron

Make it yours

“To make a dress feel contemporary, you have to be really careful with jewelry, hair and makeup. These things can make the difference between ‘cool girl’ and ‘Queen of England’. I love softening a fancy dress with a simple beauty look – it looks easy and effortless – but, of course, it’s not right for every situation. I think jewelry completes an outfit and can bring sparkle to areas you’d like to highlight – a diamond rivière necklace is great for that. I love vintage jewelry; Tiffany & Co. and Cartier have great collections.

“I added lace gloves to Sienna Miller’s Bafta look because I thought there should be another texture to make it feel a bit more multidimensional. What we were thinking for the hair and makeup was that it should be easy; that dress could have been quite over the top in that classic Old Hollywood way, so we wanted it to feel a little bit more fun and gamine – ’90s cool girl versus full-on glamour. It’s an over-the-top dress, but also quite simple, so I wanted to find some jewelry, as with the gloves, to make it feel very ‘Sienna’.”

Remember your evening-bag essentials

“If a client is wearing white, I usually give them a stain stick because, often, you touch your face and you get lipstick on the side of your dress, or somebody spills wine on it. If you have one of those little stain pens, you can usually get it out.”

Make time for tailoring

“If you have a big event coming up, make sure you leave enough time to get your dress tailored. It should fit your body – I learnt the importance of this the hard way. One time, a client’s gown was altered too small – it was a total nightmare. I had to cut a piece of the lining and sew a wedge into the dress. She couldn’t lift her arm all night.”

Prioritize fun

“There is no perfect outfit to wear to a wedding, although I do have a soft spot for a Brock Collection printed dress. It all depends where and when the wedding is taking place and whether there’s a theme. However, there are a few rules that I think everyone should abide by: as a guest, you shouldn’t wear white or anything too risqué, and make sure you go for something you can dance in.”

Be your best selfie

“Practice posing in front of a mirror before you head out: some dresses are better from the side, while others need a hip popped or are better straight on. Look before you leave.”

Find the good light

“I really like the Cannes Film Festival. It’s the best because it has the biggest carpet and the best light… The Croisette has the prettiest light ever because it’s ‘beachy’ light, so everybody looks glowy and amazing. Often, somebody looks incredible but then the ‘step and repeat’ is badly lit – and some garish color, and there’s a hideous carpet on the ground – so the woman looks great, and the outfit looks great, but there’s just no romance in the actual picture.”

Second act, with Sienna Miller

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