Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kristen's stylist Tara Swennen talks about her 'Still Alice' NYC promo style Kristen Stewart's Stylist Explains Her Love Affair With Laid-Back Suiting
It started with her "sexy James Dean" hair.

It's not secret that Kristen Stewart's post-"Twilight" no f--ks given vibe has freed the actress to fully embrace her style, and we here at Fashionista are digging it. In just the past month, she has been making the rounds promoting her new film "Still Alice" wearing masculine-inspired suits almost exclusively and every look has been on-point.

Stewart's stylist Tara Swennen says the reason for the fresh new style is two-fold: New York's winter weather and her new cropped hair. "It's the perfect opportunity for me as stylist to approach a new angle that maybe we haven't hit," she says about the shorter hair. "That's why I thought the suiting was kind of cool for her. To me she sort of oozes that sexy James Dean kind of look right now. That's sort of where I was going."

Stewart has had cropped hair before (it started back when she filmed the Joan Jett biopic in 2010 and has been existing in different variations every since), but Swennen says this time is different. "It wasn't as sleek, it has grown out a little bit now and it's very sophisticated. But, you know, Kristen loves a pantsuit and so anytime we can do a pant, a jumpsuit, that type of thing -- we like to throw it in, and especially the New York weather was a great opportunity to do that."

Her "Today Show" outfit, pictured above, was perhaps the most striking of Stewart's recent looks, pairing sweatpants with an oversize collared shirt from the brand Atea Oceanie. "I personally had seen Kate Hudson in one of their suit sets and just sort of died and loved it so much and thought, 'That is the perfect brand for Kristen,'" said Swennen. "They have this great crisp boyfriend shirt button-up that was very, very oversized and we had to take it in to make it nice for TV, obviously. But I loved pairing it with sweats -- again, because I was thinking about the cold weather and Kristen and I are very comfort-oriented people. It was just something that she'd never really done before."

The same promo-packed day saw Stewart change into another suit for "Late Night with Seth Meyers" from the Paris-based brand Sandro, pictured above. "I've looked for a lot of suiting with her, but she's such a tiny, tiny person that this particular brand just fits her flawlessly," explains Swennen. "She's a big fan of A.L.C. and Jonathan Simkhai because they have sort of scuba tops that fit really well on her petite frame. So instead of pairing it with a collared shirt or a loose t-shirt, we went with a tighter fit this time." Swennen also noted that both suits complement the chunky locket necklace Stewart has been wearing, which was made for her by her makeup artist Jillian Dempsey.

And even when Stewart has to wear heels and a dress -- as she did to the New York premiere of "Still Alice," -- she and Swennen are still exploring new designers. "She'd never worn Roksanda before," says Swennen. "I had the dress at another fitting and I was in love with it, but it just never got tried on. So I called it back in and it was just one of those things where the moment she zipped it on, it literally just fit perfectly. It was flawless, I thought it was fabulous."

Despite her famous resistance to heels, Swennen says her long-time client knows when she has to ditch the sneakers. "I don't mind, after a decade at this point it's a given, I don't even balk at [her preference for sneakers]," she says, laughing. "But she knows when I would love her to wear the heel, she does it." And as for this new chapter in Stewart's red carpet aesthetic? Swennen says it's not strategic. "She's really comfortable with all this stuff. The beauty of her is that she really is a chameleon -- she'll go from wearing dresses to suits and as long as she can wear sneakers with it, she's good."