With Coachella wrapping up its second weekend on Sunday night, music festival season has officially kicked off for the summer. We already know how big of a deal the event is in the fashion world — it’s a retailer’s equivalent to Black Friday — and festival goers’ outfits can launch a thousand style tropes, both good and bad. For Monica Rose, it’s a just another day on the job, and she’s fully aware of how impactful her #StyledByMonicaRose celebrity looks can be. The Los Angeles-based stylist responsible for dressing Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Chrissy Teigen and Chanel Iman took the time ahead of Coachella’s second weekend to chat with a few special guests of Reebok’s Classics crib.
When it comes to dressing up for one of the most-watched music festivals of the year, Rose prefers to tap into her clients’ personalities rather than giving in to the boho, flower crown and fringe trends. “It’s always a group team effort on hair, makeup and creating a look and being consistent,” she says. “Not just, ‘One day, we’re going to be boho, one day we’re going to be ’90s, one day we’re going to be ’80s.’ It’s all about a consistent look, almost like a story, an editorial.”
This year for Iman, Rose was inspired by the model’s multicolored braids, so the stylist turned to ’90s-era Lisa Bonet for outfit inspiration. Last year, Gerber made her “Coachella debut” with Rose in an all-black rocker ensemble. “She’s not a boho vibe,” Rose tells Fashionista, who also notes that she keeps Gerber’s age (15 years old) in mind when creating appropriate looks. “I definitely want to keep it festive but stay true to her aesthetic and her style.”
Read on to find out what fashion insider gems she had to share when it comes to dressing up for spring, summer and beyond, as well as any music festival plans you may have this year.
“A lot of my style that I do is basically put together with accessories,” admits Rose. Lately, she’s been turning to wide-brim or fisherman hats, as well as small crossbody bags, belts and statement earrings and necklaces (Dylanlex, preferably). “It’s the little things that you add that make your look come together. I think it’s all about the accessory pulling your look together.”
The stylist has been a scarves kick, swapping her penchant for chokers (and its comeback) for swathes of soft fabric. “Sometimes an outfit is so boring and I put a scarf on and it looks so cool,” says Rose. She prefers getting scarves at vintage shops because you can find a slew of styles. (Plus, vintage bandanas are softer, as newer ones are stiff and require a few washes before using them.) Rose says she usually goes for smaller bandana scarves, tying a single knot, while longer scarves require double.
Another accessory that Rose as been adding to her clients’ wardrobes are fisherman hats. “They’re very ’90s-inspired,” she says. “I remember doing an airport look with Kendall and a Saint Laurent fisherman hat.” If you don’t have the budget for a designer-name version, Rose suggests scouring vintage shops and surplus stores. “You can literally buy them for five dollars and they’re even better,” tips Rose.
Rose says white sneakers are her go-to now when it comes to styling a lot of her clients, but it wasn’t always that way. “I thought back in the day that I wasn’t a sneaker girl; I would look frumpy,” says Rose. “I love that women now care and wear the coolest sneakers and it’s such a big trend. I think [the sneakers trend] here to stay; comfort is always here to stay.”
The stylist’s growing affinity for sneakers is thanks to her clients, like Gigi Hadid, who happens to have her own sneaker campaign with Reebok. “I remember styling some of my clients for fashion month,” she says. “They’re all about comfort because they’re running around. They don’t want to wear heels all of the time. I would mix and match dresses and jeans with sneakers. I love styling a look that you think you have to wear a heel with it, but then you can throw it off and wear a sneaker.”
In fact, Rose reveals that her everyday looks planned for Hadid are generally swapped with sneakers by the model herself. “She always throws a Gigi twist to it, which I love, and makes it more effortless and more her personal style,” she says. “I remember she wore boyfriend jeans and a Jonathan Simkhai beaded oversize jacket and I originally put it with heels [but] she threw the sneakers on. Recently, I put a tracksuit with a boot, and she wore it and threw on the same sneaker.”
“Re/Done Hanes tees are a must-have,” says Rose of the Los Angeles-based brand’s recreation of the classic American T-shirt made from soft, well-worn cotton in ’60s and ’50s-style silhouettes. “I have a whole rack of them in my studio and my girls are always like, ‘I need more,'” adds Rose. Usually she cuts the T-shirts for her clients for a more cropped look, but for her own outfits, Rose prefers a half-tucked T-shirt and rolled sleeves.
Rose has a knack for seamlessly incorporating a mix of designer names with lower-ended brands and up-and-coming designers. “I don’t there’s really any approach to it,” she says thinking back on it. “The amount of looks I have to create, I think it’s just what I have to work with. Sometimes I have four racks of clothes and I’m pulling high-end, H&M and all of these different new, upcoming designers.”
It’s her early years as a stylist that helped her build such a skill: “Starting off, not ever having a budget or having designers wanting to work with me, I had to work with what little I had, and I feel like I still have that in me,” says Rose.
And if you just so happen to be a young designer in hopes of catching Rose’s eye, don’t hesitate to reach out. “There are so many amazing talented designers out there that I just don’t feel get a chance and I want to showcase that. I want to be the first,” she says. “Email me, send me samples. I have to touch and feel everything and see how it fits.”
During Rose’s group Q&A, she gave a special shout-out to her tailor, who was in attendance. “My tailor is amazing, and she tailors everything,” she says. “Even those street style looks you see? Those are all tailored. You can’t just buy a dress off the rack anymore. It’s tailored, pinned, the slit’s cut higher or lower, or the sleeves are ripped off. We recreate everything. And I think that’s what’s important; it’s paying attention to every single detail.”
Disclosure: Reebok paid for my travel and accommodations to attend and cover the Reebok Classic Leather Experience.
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