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MTV VMAs 2015: Stylist Derek Warburton Talks Red Carpet Trends, Dream Celebrity Clients, More

Aug 28, 2015 02:36 PM EDT
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(Photo : Courtesy/Ezekiel Williams)

A slew of celebrities will gather at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

And while we're excited to learn which of our favorite stars will take home awards this weekend, we're even more eager to see what they wear on the red carpet. In anticipation of the star-studded event and the unofficial start of awards season, we recently chatted with celebrity stylist Derek Warburton about his job dressing famous faces for the red carpet.

Warburton, who recently scored the cover of LaPalme magazine's fall 2015 issue, dishes on everything from his favorite red carpet moment to stars he's dying to work with in our interview, which you can read below. 

1. What's your method for dressing celebrities on the red carpet?

"It depends on what they're looking for. Certain people will reach out to me directly. When I worked with Jessica Alba, we never even spoke before we met. When we got there, the makeup artist told her, 'Just do your job. Today he's got it. It will be amazing.' She came in and let me do what I do, and it turned out amazing. Other people will call and say, 'I don't want to look like this anymore.' When I started working with Irina Shayk, she called me up and said, 'I don't want to look like I've looked anymore.' Then we started the transformation. She started to be compared to Kate Middleton. Taking a girl that was only known as Sports Illustrated and turning her into something like that is unbelievable. It just depends who you are and where you're at in your career."

2. What's something about dressing celebrities for the red carpet that people might not know?

"When you're dressing a star for the red carpet, it's really about creating moments and keeping them within brand, or changing brand as discussed. What people forget is that you yourself are a brand. You have to really build that. I think that's the big secret. When you're a hairdresser, you're a brand. People come to you because they love you, they think you're cool. A lot of my clients come to me because of my reputation and for what I am. You have to be really mindful of that. I think there's so much more emphasis on the red carpet because they're setting themselves up to be judged more than in their everyday life. That's why the red carpet is so much more calculated."


(Photo : Courtesy/Ezekiel Williams)

3. How would you describe your brand?

"Quirky gentleman. Fun. I always have something cool on. When I walk into a room, I always get noticed because of something. Today I have on the new Dior sunglasses that Rihanna's promoting, and the store actually gifted them to me because they're like, 'Oh, that'll work for you.'"


(Photo : Getty Images/Kevin Winter)

4. What's been your favorite red carpet moment so far?

Darlene Love and I have the same publicist. She came to me right as they were starting to promote "20 Feet from Stardom." Darlene was s**t on her whole life. Her first big appearance was on David Letterman, and I put her in a purple mini dress with six-inch stilettos. She's in her 70s. That was such a hit that everyone called for her, and that went on and on and on all the way to the Oscars. It's one thing to have a young star make it to the Oscars because they have a long career ahead, but someone like Darlene who has struggled for 50 years to make it, to get her to the Oscars red carpet, to get her to the Oscars stage and then to watch her win and sing her acceptance speech, I balled my eyes out. Her husband came to me that weekend and told me the reason why her and I were so connected was because I had such a difficult time coming up as a homeless person, I've done everything on my own and to meet other people who have struggled to come up [who then make it big], it's inspiring. That was my favorite story, and I've never dressed anyone for the Oscars, so to have that moment happen, it's just unbelievable."

5. As we're getting ready to kick awards season off with the VMAs this weekend... what are some trends you think we're going to see on the red carpet?

"Breasts? It's the VMAs so we already know little, tiny dresses. I'm sure we'll be seeing underwear as outerwear and as many scandals as possible because Miley [Cyrus] has raised the bar so high, or actually so low, that they have to struggle for the attention now. They all have to oneup each other. We're going to see as little clothes as possible."


(Photo : Getty Images/Jason Merritt)

6. Who are you most excited to see on the red carpet this awards season?

"I love Katy Perry, and I love what she looks like. I think that as she grows, she gets more and more chic. I can't wait to see what she wears. I'm really excited for Rihanna this year because you know she's going to turn it. Now she's with Dior, so she's going to be working the Dior look. Actress-wise, I think Sofia Vergara is looking amazing. Nicole Richie is one of my favorite fashion stars. Although she's not winning any awards this year, she's out on a regular basis, and I love what she's looking like."

7. What are some don'ts for dressing for the red carpet?

"Definitely visible panty line. Commando is the way to go."

8. What celebrity would you love to work with?

"Cate Blanchett and Keira Knightley. Those are my two favorites." 

FOLLOW: Derek Warburton, Red Carpet, 2015 VMAs

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