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Dressing a celebrity for the Oscars

BY STYLE EDITOR, ON 23 FEB 2011 17:00 CELEBRITY & GOSSIPCOMMENTS

Ben de Lisi

The Oscars, probably the biggest event of the celebrity social calendar, is almost here so we asked Ben de Lisi to tell us all about making gorgeous gowns for A-listers.

He’s created bespoke dresses for super-stars like Kate Winslet and Anjelica Houston but where do they start when picking a gown for something as important as The Academy Awards?

Ben told me; “About 70% of celebrities will come to see me with a stylist; they might have a colour in mind but not usually a shape or detail. They come to a designer because they want that designer’s style and once you’ve dressed someone a few times and you have their confidence they’ll usually come back without a stylist.”

Creating the perfect dress:

  • The client tries on a few dresses for Ben to get a feel for what they like and what looks best on them
  • Ben does some dress sketches
  • A toile is made, to test the dress pattern
  • During a fitting Ben will tweak it to get the fit absolutely perfect
  • Once the toile is perfected it’s on to the real thing, in the real fabric
  • The client will wear the dress while Ben takes photos from every angle to ensure that everything is flawless for red carpet photos

What makes a good Oscars dress?

Ben always likes to include an “entrance-making detail and an exit-making detail” so that the dress makes an impact when the celebrity arrives and when they leave. It’s also important, he says, not to over do it. “The design should be clean and pure, never overstated. If I’m using an opulent fabric then the design should be simple, if it’s a simple fabric then you can get away with extra opulent details.”

Plus there’s that red carpet to think about, “You have to think about the colour of the dress against the red carpet, the last thing you want is something that clashes” says Ben. Lucky for the celebs, they don’t have to worry about solution lingerie. Ben builds in corsetry so the last thing they have to think about is finding a strapless bra.

Then for that final finishing touch, Ben will help the client decide what shoes and accessories will look best and even what type of hairstyle to go for. Doesn’t it just make you want your own personal designer!

Ben de Lisi dresses

We’ve got the next best thing though. If you love red carpet glamour then check out Ben de Lisi’s range of fabulous occasionwear at debenhams.com

Last year Amanda Posey, producer of nominated film ‘An Education’ wore the gorgeous Turquoise jewelled necklace evening dress to The Oscars. Unfortunately she wasn’t a winner but she did look the picture of sophistication in her stunning Ben de Lisi dress.

Which celebrity do you think has the best red-carpet style?

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