I had the immense pleasure of styling this gorgeous family for the red carpet premiere of brand new Terminator Genisys movie. Bryant (that cutie in the front) has a starring role in the movie (young Kyle Reese) and when his mom Melanie asked me to style their family for the red carpet, I jumped at the chance. I’ve known Melanie since I was a tween, and always looked up to her– she’s wildly talented and one of the nicest people I’ve ever known– so styling her sweet family for an event this special was such a treat for me.
I asked Melanie if she would be alright with me sharing our process here on the blog because styling for an event like this is extra fun, and has added elements to consider which makes it more challenging but even more exciting, and I thought it might be fun for you all to get a little peek behind the scenes. She was more than happy to. (Make sure and check out Melanie’s blog, she talks all about raising children in show business, and she’s got the most amazing down-to-earth approach to helping her kids navigate the business and chase their dreams. Seriously, she is the most balanced, centered and amazing stage mom I have ever met. You can’t help but adore this woman.)
Now on to the styling!
My number one goal when styling anyone, is that they feel great, comfortable and like the best version of themselves. I love to stretch them, but I never want anyone to feel like they’re wearing a costume, I want them to feel at home in their clothes, because I understand that’s how they’ll be most comfortable and when you’re comfortable, you’re confident. I really try to understand who it is I’m working with, what their personal style preference is, and then go from there.
According to Melanie, unlike more formal red carpet events (like the Oscars), with movie premiers, just about anything goes. Some people show up in tuxes and others are in jeans. She said last time they were on the red carpet (for The Lone Ranger premier– yes Bryant was in that too, he’s legit) they felt they dressed a little more formal than necessary, and while there’s nothing wrong with going dressier, she preferred they were a little less on that side this time around, so basically a bit of a tricky balance. Formal, but not too formal. I tried to dance just on the edge of dressy so the Prince family would feel comfortable, event appropriate, and that they looked their best but also not overdressed.
I started with Bryant, because he was the star (literally ;-) here. Dressing teens for formal events, especially something like the red carpet, can be tricky, but Bryant was a breeze. He already had two great options to work with, a seersucker pant and vest set and a more formal navy suit. I like to work with what people have in their closet already, (it saves time and money) and I was doing the giddy dance when Melanie sent over these options because they were so perfect. I started with the seersucker look, because it was my favorite and I had a sneaking suspicion it was what Bryant would want to wear most. I wanted this look to feel fresh, casual but formal, and be a nod to Bryant’s Carolina heritage, so I styled it with a simple white shirt, a great pair of brown oxfords and two options for a tie. Bryant’s signature look is a bow-tie but I wanted him to have another option just in case he wasn’t feeling it. The lobster necktie was a great summery option, and of course you can’t go wrong with a striped bow-tie. For his second look, I wanted to have even more fun. I thought it would be great to play with the classic formal suit look by pairing it with a cool graphic tee and bold red Chuck Taylor’s. He’s a teenager, after all, no need to take dressing for the red carpet too seriously. ;-)
Look 1: Seersucker suit (Bryants). Shoes: Bow tie, tie.
Look 2: Suit jacket, pants (Bryant’s). Shoes. Shirt.
Payton is Bryant’s beautiful older sister and she was the trickiest to style. She is a phenomenal teenager, immensely talented, sweet like her mother and a real natural beauty. As I said before, dressing teens is a tricky business, especially girls. You want them to look grown up, but not too grown up. Payton has very high modesty standards (finding modest formal wear is it’s own headache) and I wanted to make sure that anything I picked worked with those standards without alterations and that she would look modest without looking matronly, and mostly that whatever I picked would let her natural beauty radiate. Her style is very classic, and I wanted to stay close to that. Here’s what I came up with: the long ball gown I chose in case she wanted a more formal option; the mermaid cut and floral print kept it summery, and I paired it with a nude heeled sandal and a simple white clutch. The second and third options were my favorites and very similar with the exception of the dress silhouette. The first was a great eyelet wiggle dress in white I found at ASOS and the second a high waisted a line skirt and a matching cropped top, which when paired together feel like a fit and flare dress (she went with this one). Then I chose a fun bright pink heeled sandal (because she’s young and it’s summer) and this gorgeous floral clutch. Sadly, the clutch sold out before we could snag it, and so we substituted with a mint Kate Spade clutch Melanie already had in her closet. (Which I loved even more.) For her make-up, we played off of Payton’s gorgeous complexion with a soft and summer peaches-and-cream look. Her hair down and in loose waves.
Look 1: Dress. Shoes. Bag.
Look 2: Dress. Shoes. Bag.
Look 3: Skirt. Top. Shoes. Bag.
Bryant and Payton’s mom Melanie already had a beautiful cobalt sheath dress that I loved for her to wear, but because she’s such a bombshell I couldn’t help but come up with another option for styling her. This gorgeous Betsy Johnson floral sheath dress was just so her, and I thought would look stunning with her skin tone. She agreed, and went with the Betsy Johnson number which we paired with a white shoe and a bright pink clutch to pull out some of the color in the dress. Like Payton, Melanie has a gorgeous complexion and so we kept her hair and makeup light and summery as well. Soft curls, peaches and cream. I cannot tell you what a pleasure it was to work with Melanie. She is so sweet and energetic. She’s got a great energy, it’s like gravity… just pulls you right in.
Dress. Shoes. Bag.
Finally Spencer. Bryant’s dad, and Melanie’s husband. Can I just say how much I love this guy. He’s like a big brother to me and a second son to my parents. He’s just such a great human being, it was such an honor to come up with a couple looks for him. Spencer’s style is simple and straightforward. He prefers keeping his colors neutral: black, navy, brown or grey. Style wise he’s a simple guy and very happy just being himself, but it was also very important to him that he felt like himself. Honestly his style preferences were so similar to my husband’s it was really fun and it made it so much easier because I could run stuff by Craig and get his opinion before presenting it to Melanie and Spencer. The first look I put together for Spencer was a less formal option. I love when men wear formal jeans with a nice blazer. Craig wore an outfit very similar to this to a semi formal event we went to a few months ago, and I thought the look would be a bit of a stretch for him on the style front but he loved it and felt so great. Kind of subtly dressy, if you know what I mean, so I came up with a similar option for Spencer should he feel more casually inclined. And for the second look, you can’t go wrong with a classic suit and a nice summer tie. Spencer wears suits to work, so I knew it would be a look he would be comfortable in, and I found a couple chic striped chambray ties to give it a fresh, less officey look. He chose the suit option and looked like a million bucks.
Look 1: Blazer. Jeans. Shoes. Shirt.(from his closet)
Look 2: Suit Coat. Pants. Tie. Tie. Shoes.
Once everyone had chosen the look they were going with, we had a ball going back and forth figuring out all the accessories, face-timing trips to the tailors and running around finding the right sizes for everyone. Movie premiers are all very last minute, running around, crazy and it was fun for me to get a little taste of a very glamorous industry. Truly such a great experience.
So there you have it… the story behind the styling.
Make sure you go check out Bryant in the latest Terminator movie (which came out yesterday). Craig and I are going this weekend and I can’t wait. The last time Bryant was in a movie (The Lone Ranger), we got to see it opening day in the theater with him, I suspect this won’t be quite as thrilling but you know… can’t win them all. ;-)
A huge thanks to Melanie for letting me share this experience here. It’s going down in my book as one of my all-time faves.
If you are interested in working with me on a styling project, or if you just need a little extra closet/wardrobe help, head over and check out my styling services page.