FASHION Magazine recently shot Mad Men star Jessica Pare for their March cover here in LA, and I had the chance to ask stylist Zeina Esmail a few questions about the shoot, her career, and whether Jessica is really as nice as she seems…
What are you most looking forward to wearing for Spring 2014?
I love the new silhouette that women’s fashion has taken on this season. We actually emphasized it in this month’s issue titled Lady 2.0 because it was so apparent on the Spring 2014 runways. It’s really about shapes that are sexy yet somewhat boyish, such as boxy jackets with short shorts, straight skirts with high slits, crop tops and high waisted pants. I am really excited to tackle this trend full force as I think we all own pieces that we can play with and translate to this specific spring trend…if it ever gets warm! There are of course a couple of pieces I am coveting this season, one of which includes a Balmain leather trumpet skirt and a mini dress from Mary Katrantzou.
Any trends that you’re not into for this coming season?
I think that seasonal trends can always translate to an individual, as long as you take what works best for you, rather than committing yourself to one specific trend. I think the “un-pretty” shoe trend can get to be too much of a departure from my own personal style, although there are some versions that I like. For example, the Prada collection was one of my favorites, but I didn’t care much for embellished rubber footwear.
I love the statement earrings that Jessica is wearing on the cover of FASHION – how did you decide what looks to put her in?
I try to familiarize myself with what they tend to wear to events, red carpets and parties while also taking into consideration their body type, and pull wardrobe and accessories accordingly. Jessica has an amazing body. She is tall, but is also busty so certain styles looked better than others. I saw this Kaufmanfranco jumpsuit on the runway and knew right away it was a cover option, and it looked phenomenal on her. She also has a long neck, so she can pull of the huge earrings – I know they were painful at times, but she was a trooper. In saying that, you need to always have a ton of options because sometimes what you think will work just doesn’t. Also, when you dress a celebrity, they frequently play a huge role in choosing what they wear, so they will often gravitate towards certain styles or designers.
Was Jessica as sweet as she seems in interviews?
Yes! She was polite and very pleasant to work with – must be the Canadian in her!
How long have you been styling for FASHION? How did you get started in the industry?
I have been styling for FASHION for almost two years. To be honest, I didn’t even know this world existed. I am from Calgary and took science in university. I moved to Toronto to take some fashion courses and started interning in the fashion industry, which then turned into a job when I finished school. My then roommate – who is now a very successful stylist in LA – was working at an agency as a receptionist and began taking on small styling jobs. I used to help her out for the fun of it, but it wasn’t until I got laid off from my job that I decided to try it on my own, fell in love with it, and the rest is history. I was lucky, I got thrown into it. There weren’t a ton of stylists back then – nine years ago – so part of it was timing. I feel like so much of this job is hard work, strong people skills and a really good imagination. Nobody can tell you how to do this job; there is no handbook so you have to be very visual and take your inspiration from anything that interests you – sometimes that can be the most unexpected thing.
What would be your dream styling job?
This is a tough question, how much space do I have? We are blessed to shoot the amazing celebrities that grace our covers but since model covers are becoming a little less common, my dream would be to have Gisele on the cover of FASHION. If she is reading, I am confident that Bernadette (editor-in-chief of FASHION) would help make that happen.
If we are still dreaming here…how about styling a video with Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay-Z? But seriously, styling a major international show would be a dream: Chanel, Givenchy, Balmain, etc. Also I would have love to work with Michael Jackson but that will sadly remain only a dream (the rest of it…I will have my agent work on ;))