This is how it usually starts:
Daniel Musto (my stylist): Hi honey
Me: Oh my God.
Daniel: Tell me.
Me: I'm doing the post-show for the Emmys!
Daniel: Stop it.
Me: I will not. I will not stop! We need dresses.
Daniel: On it.
And then the hunt begins…
After that it always starts with what know about the E! Emmy Awards After-Party show:
1.It's the Emmys, Not the Oscars: If we choose a dress that's too major, I may look silly. Of course, the Emmys are serious, but TV is a bit more relaxed.
2. It's the Post-Show and Not the Pre-Show: If you leave it up to me, I'll show up in a damn ball gown! But I need to remember that I'm not actually going to the awards show itself or on the red carpet, and check myself before I wreck myself, you know? So I've got to think Vanity Fair's Oscar Party vs. the actual Oscars. It's still glam, but a little more party time.
3. It Is for E! News and Not Some Stuffy Network: The post-show is all about fashion and fun! It's called the After-Party for a reason, so I need something that I can move around in easily and feel free.
4. And Lastly, I'll be Seated for the Entire Show: Being seated means the majority of the time you will only see the front of my gown. If I chose a gown with a simple front but an amazing back, it would be a total waste.
I share all this information with Daniel, and he gets straight to work. I used to be against the idea of a stylist. I thought: I have my own sense of style, I don't need someone to make me over, and furthermore, I don't want someone taking credit for my personal style. Ego you say? Yup. But I realized that's not what a stylist does at all.
A stylist gives you access to the resources that allow your personal style to shine through. They have the relationships with the right showrooms, agents and publicists for designers and therefore can call ahead to say, "I'm pulling Emmy options for Orly Shani, what's available to me?" It's their connections. Plus, the relationship with your stylist will be one of the most intimate in your life. Not because your creating cool fashion together, but because they see you at your best and your worst!
So off to the showrooms we go!
We begin by looking through each and every gorgeous gown and pull anything that might work. I try not to have too specific an idea of what you want, or you won't be open to the amazing options out there. I just remember what you know and work off those parameters. When I go to the showroom with Daniel, we usually try the gowns on there and only take the legitimate contenders home with us, which is what we did at MHA Media and LSPR. When Daniel goes alone, he grabs anything that might work and we schedule a fitting at my house.
This particular house is owned by Avia Rosen, our incredible photographer and my beautiful sister. She doesn't know this yet, but I'm planning on moving in.
For every gown, we need certain photos to cover our bases:
1.Standing Photos, Front and Back: We need to see how the gown will look standing for press.
2. Sitting Photos: So that I see what the dress will actually look like on-camera.
3. Close-Ups: This helps with hair, makeup and accessory choices.
4. Bonus Photos: Oh, and of course, a fun editorial shot because you have the amazing gown and the amazing photographer!
After I try everything on, we go over the photos and attempt to edit them down. Whatever we don't pick is returned to the showroom right away so that someone else can pick out the gown.
This part is the hardest for me, because sometimes the gown I die for is not what's most appropriate for the event. Thank God for the amazing photos that Avia took, because now I can remember them forever even if it didn't make the cut.
For instance, the red Chagoury gown is way too major for the After-Party, it needs to float down the red carpet, not sit on a couch! By the way, Conor, my little munchkin, is always at our fittings and as you can see, wiggles his way into our photos. I love it.
As for the Johanna Johnson, navy Vaudeville and Harlow cape (see gallery), some clothes actually alter the way you carry yourself. While this was one of my top choices, I noticed that I became all demure and controlled when I put that caplet on which would have prevented me from being playful and free during the show.
Makeup I'm really feeling a bronze, super-blended-out, smoky eye. Patrick and I never do a heavy eye on me, so I'm nervous I'll look like I have no eyeballs on TV. You'll tell me if that happens, right?
Hair I'm going with an updo, because I don't want to compete with the ornate nature of the neckline. I had an idea for a little hair art done with bobby pins. I've never seen it before, but hopefully we can nail it. I'm working against the glamorous quality of my gown and going for a little gothic edge.
1. Start with your eye makeup first and then apply your foundation. This way any dusting of product won't ruin your perfect skin.
2. Wet your brush to get the glitter shadow to stick and appear extra bright.
3. Use gel liner around the rim of the eyes to help it last all night.
4. Using individual false lashes will create a much more natural, twinkly look.
1.Start with dirty hair and apply Unite Texturiza.
2.Braid one side of your hair tightly against your head and fasten with an elastic.
3.Then start adding bobby pins in a V shape to create a pattern and texture. Try alternating colors for extra texture.
4.Leave out whatever you want to be your heavy bang and apply Unite Expanda Dust for an extra lived in look.
5.Use a 1-inch curling iron and wrap hair in different directions for volume. (If you curl in the same direction, the bang will want to gather into a heavy tendril.)
6.Top it all off with Unite Max Control so it lasts all night!
1.Be sure to wear a robe or a button-down shirt so that you can get changed without ruining your hair and makeup
2.When your arms, legs and bust are covered by your gown—like Orly's gown this time—add sex appeal with the shoes!
3. If you're doing something major with your hair, keep the earring understated so it won't compete.
Once we're all set it's time to put on the gown on and make tiny tweaks to hair and makeup. I chose these amazing Brian Atwood heels because they added a tiny bit of color and sex appeal to an otherwise very covered-up dress. I pop on the Levian Diamond studs and Delphine-Charlotte Parmentier ring, and we're off!
All that work, for one hour of TV! Could you die?!
See even more photos from my Emmys journey below.