Dressing the stars: Lauren Bush on styling celebrities

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on RachelKhoo.com and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

The woman responsible for primping and priming our very own Editor-in-Chief Rachel Khoo on new TV series Zumbo’s Just Desserts, Lauren Bush has had a stylish career. But, we asked Lauren what it’s really like to play dress ups with celebrities for a living, and here’s what she told us about her fashionable gig:

Tell us, what’s your job title and what do you do? 

I’m a freelance television wardrobe stylist. I help people find fabulous outfits so they look and feel great on TV. This involves meeting with a personality, sourcing outfits for them, through to fitting, altering, seeing the outfit come together on screen and laundering it afterwards! I spend most days researching looks, fitting clients and shopping…. With a little washing and ironing thrown in to keep me busy.

Did you always want to work in this field? Where did your love of fashion begin?

I’ve always had a love of clothing and telling people what to wear. I decided what everyone was to wear to my second birthday party and went about telling everyone I invited the dress code. I don’t think I’ve had a party since that didn’t involve dressing up.

Rachel Khoo - Zumbos just desserts

When I was a teenager, my mum taught me to sew and make my own clothes, as I am pretty tall and found it hard to find clothes that were long enough for me. Being creative and the having skills to make my own clothes just fed my love of fashion from there. When I was thinking about starting my career, I didn’t really know this job existed. I first thought of it as a potential career path when I did work experience at university.

So, how did you get this gig?

When I finished school I undertook a bachelor of arts in design for theatre and television, as well as some short courses at AFTRS and TAFE. As part of my degree I did some work experience in the wardrobe departments at a couple of the networks here in Australia and was lucky enough to score a job as soon as I finished university.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love the variety of my job. One day I might be shopping in Sydney and the next day I might be strapped to the outside of the tallest building in Australia trying to get a dress to float at exactly the right angle. I get to travel all over Australia and the world, meet interesting, creative and inspiring people daily, and I regularly get paid to go shopping with someone else’s money!

What are the challenges in your line of work?

Television is a very fast-paced environment; it involves working long hours, often in high pressure situations. Day-to-day challenges involve working with real bodies (not your typical model types) and making sure they not only look great on camera, but feel confident to appear natural and comfortable on screen.

What shows/projects have you worked on that you’re most proud of?

I’ve worked on My Kitchen Rules since the first series, which has been a huge part of my career. I am proud of how it has grown in to one of the top-rating shows in Australia and that every year it looks a little bit better.

Last year I had the chance to work with costume designer Janet Hine on the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar. It was a great experience working in a different culture, with language barriers. I had a lot of fun pulling together looks that were culturally appropriate, practical for performance, visually appealing for their audience and also strong fashion looks for the Western pop stars that were performing.

Rachel Khoo's My Kitchen Rules Wardrobe

Who are your fashion icons?

Grace Kelly and Katherine Hepburn.

What/who are your favourite fashion brands/labels and designers?

I am inspired by designers that use traditional tailoring techniques in interesting ways such as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Toni Maticevski and Mui Mui.

How would you describe your personal style?

Classic with a nod to seasonal trends.

What are your top fashion tips?

Dress for your shape and don’t get too caught up in seasonal fads that don’t necessarily suit your shape. Make sure you have really good foundation garments that fit well and the right underwear for the right outfit. Nothing takes a stylish outfit to trash town quicker than poor underwear choices!

Who would be your dream person to dress/style?

Beyonce – because she’s an icon of her generation, knows what works for her shape and always gets it right!

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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