Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV
Everyday via social media or in person, E! News fans ask me any and everything you can think of: What was that celebrity really like? Is she as beautiful in person? Of all of your fitness segments, which was your favorite? You get the idea.
Well, now you'll get some of your most burning questions answered with the brand new: Ask Alicia column. I'm game to investigate all things related to E! News. So Tweet me or hit me up on Instagram, or just holla' when you see me. You ask. I'll answer.
For the first installment it's only fitting we start with the number one topic for questions asked. Drum roll please… fashion!
Who helps the E! News hosts and reporters with clothing?
We have a talented team of six stylists. I work with PJ Pascual and Raia Gomez in New York, and Denise Borrego in Los Angeles (thank you to PJ and Denise who provided a lot of info for this piece!).
We want to show our personalities in everything we do and displaying our individual sense of style is no exception. For fall I created an inspiration board—old school: cutting photos out of magazines and gluing them on a master board—so they could see what colors, patterns cuts and fabrics I wanted to wear. In turn, they push me outside of my comfort zone by encouraging me to wear things I normally would not, but because of their expert eyes, ends up looking fab. Who knew I would actually like leopard print, mesh and sky high boots?! Even though the on-air crew works with different glam squads, it is always a team effort. Who can forget the Academy Awards 2013 when my second dress was too low cut. Amelian to the rescue, pinning, taping and helping me out until it fit perfectly.
Here's a breadown of the E! News stylists (left) and the personalities they work with:
Denise Borrego—Ali Fedotowsky, Kristin Dos Santos, Ken Baker, Melanie Bromley
Mike Bogart—Terrance Jenkins
Monica Rose—Giuliana Rancic
PJ Pascual—Alicia Quarles
Amelian Hamilton—Catt Sadler, Jason Kennedy
Cat Wright—Jesse Giddings, Christina Guerrero
Where do the clothes come from? What do you do with them once they are worn?
I liken getting dressed up in the beautiful clothes we wear to being Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight: you go back to your normal clothes, and the haute couture goes back as well. Our stylists pull from designer showrooms, pr companies and purchase clothing. The borrowed goods are samples—meaning, we wear them one day, and a model, actress, really anyone in the business could be wearing them the next. This is why you see celebs in the same dresses (I've been caught doing it).
When you change three times a day like I do, or when you are anchoring on set like Giuliana or Terrence, it would be insane to try to buy all of the clothes. Also, you hear about sample sizes, which are model sizes: 0, 2 and sometimes a 4. In order to borrow the clothes, you have to be able to fit in them. The typical sample size for shoes is a US 9. I'm an 8, so we either buy my shoes, try to pull in my size, or stuff them so that my foot "magically" grows a size. Once the samples are worn and photographed (most of us snap pictures and post on social media of our look of the day), they are returned. This means, our fashion gurus and their assistants are constantly packing, unpacking, shipping and delivering clothing.
How many looks does each of us need daily?
This depends on location. Since I am in the field a lot (running from shoot to shoot), PJ and Raia usually prepare six looks daily. He divides them into categories: day, evening, sporty, edgy. I could be wearing workout gear for a fitness segment, then switch to a dress for a sit-down interview, then it's on to a cocktail dress to cover a red carpet. In LA, much of the show is shot on set, so Denise usually styles three options: one for in studio, and others for a premiere or press junket.
What are some secrets to making the clothing look perfect on all of the different body types for the hosts?
Both Denise and PJ agree it is all in the tailoring. When we are on set tailoring is sometimes cheated by pinning clothing in the back so it gives the illusion of the perfect fit. When I'm not on set, I can't run around with pins sticking out of my clothes, so we take pieces to Mr. Park, our amazing dry cleaner and tailor in New York City. I can't tell you how many times PJ has rushed in saying, "Mr. Park, help!" The man works wonders and can fix anything in a pinch. "A partnership with a great tailor is a MUST," PJ says. Plus, tailoring is a lot cheaper than you might think. Any gives the allure of everything fitting on your body as if it were made for you.
What are some clothing items that you feel don't work on camera?
"Anything boxy, baggy or oversized," Denise says. Adds PJ: "Wrinkled clothing is a nightmare. Steamed clothes gives a clean, confident, and linear approach while presenting on TV."
My final thoughts: You don't have to spend a lot of money on clothes to look good. It is all about mixing high and low and making sure your clothing fits well. Nothing beats confidence. If you feel good in what you are wearing, you will shine.