This is the second year they’ve been doing this.  I used to read this all the time when I was a development assistant.  It was strictly news, but with a dollop of party photos.  Now with Janice Min at the controls (she revamped Us Weekly) it’s way more glamorous.  I don’t think stylists have power per se, you hire them, and you can fire them.  But they’re definitely influential and can help you get attention, and that in itself is worth their expense.  They are highly connected, and this business, like any other, is who you know.

Being in the right dress, at the right time is like being Lana Turner at Schwab’s drugstore.  Not being in the right dress, at the right time?  Well, it’s hard winning the folks who pick spokesmodels and whatnot over again once you’ve made a bad impression.  Think about Eva Green.  Tall, thin, naturally buxom, striking green eyes, an ingenue everyone wanted in their campaign.  Armani used her right after “Beautiful Dreamers.”  Then she was cast in “Casino Royal,” as Vesper.

Why choose to look like this?

When you can look like this?

Or this? Patrick Demarchelier, Vanity Fair.

It seems she naturally gravitates towards gothic, so go ahead and do that, but you can do it with a dash of Dolce and Gabbana and a bit of Dita Von Tese.  She did get a contract here and there, Dior perfume for one.  But she could’ve done much better for herself.

Shailene Woodley is a young actress trying to establish herself in a sea of other ingenues.  What better way than to wow the powers that be on the red carpet?

But this dress is not going to do it.

If she worked with a different stylist, the result might have been different.  I’m not hating the dress, it’s just not right for the Oscars and for a young lady trying to make a global impression.  She’s tall with a great figure, she can wear anything and look good and they still managed to make her look, eh.  Maybe she wanted to look more grown up?  Why?  Enjoy being young and have fun with your clothes and hair.  Unfortunately, the world took notice of her, and quickly wrote her off.

This Proenza Schouler dress did little to wipe the white Valentino clean. See how they styled it for the runway? Hem below the knee, prim and proper, mixed with leather gloves and heels, naughty. It's always a balance you're trying to achieve. No balance on her look. Photo:

It may seem like superficial nonsense, but trying to stay in the game, and get ahead for these ladies is Olympic-sized competition.  You need to stand out, and with today’s image driven media, you need a look that hooks.  For you it equals, contracts which means more $$, but also those ads will be see by millions, especially those who are casting.  Believe me, casting is like (now step back in time with me) going into a record store.  You’re overwhelmed with choices and get stuck.  Then you flip through a magazine and see cute Hailee Steinfeld in a Miu Miu ad, she’s perfect for it!, and that gets the ball rolling.  Also, think about how short some careers are.  These contracts are only going to come when you’re hot.  Better to cash in while that slot is still paying.

So in other words, it’s interesting to see the Hollywood Reporter start naming and giving recognition to the people behind the curtain.

On newsstands now.